Crisp cheese cones, or baskets, or discs, or pipes, …
“Tegoline di formaggio” are a fantastic base to run wild with the fantasy and make nice and interesting combinations for fingerfood or appetizers. Use 1 cup of grated hard cheese, parmigiano reggiano, or pecorino, depending on the combinations that you want to create. Split the cheese in 12 portions (it should be 12 heaping tablespoons).
What you want to do, is melting each tablespoon of cheese in a disc shape. You will obtain this by sprinkling the cheese in circles of about a couple inches. There are two ways you can melt the cheese, a) melting one tablespoon at a time on a flat small pan, or 2) prepare all the circles at the same time on a baking pan. In both cases you want a medium heat and a very short time for melting, if you let it too long the cheese will get a bitter taste.
So, if you use a pan, tidy the edges with a spatula as the cheese melts, and lift off carefully with the spatula when the cheese turns light gold color. Put aside and make the others. If you use a baking pan, as the cheese melts and starts to get a little color, pull the pan out of the oven and remove the tegoline one by one. As concerns the shape, you can keep them flat, or give them a shape while the cheese is still warm and soft. To make baskets, mold each disc around the bottom of a small glass (a liquor glass is perfect), or shape them in pipes wrapping them around a stick.
Variations on the theme. You can add a small ratio of other dry ingredients to your tegoline to change the taste and the consistency. For the tegoline in the pictures, I mixed 1/3 of parmigiano and 2/3 of pecorino cheese, and I added a spoonful of crushed pistachios, well I added some more than that, it was too much and they came out too friable. So, I would say, 1 tablespoon of other stuff for 1 cup cheese is a good ratio. It could be also almonds or pecan, your pick.
Suggestions for filling.
1) Basic and simple, whipped cream cheese with fresh herbs; 2) for parmigiano tegoline, some leaves of arugula on the bottom and chopped tomatoes, dressed with salt, basil, garlic, olive oil; 3) for pecorino tegoline, prepare a cream with boiled favabeans dressed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and minced mint leaves (… your guests will never forget this).
I tried cream cheese, shrimps and strawberries, good but not memorable 😉