recipe: parmesan cones with avocado and red pepper

September 16th, 2010

I am almost embarrassed to admit how many times I tried to make these cones, without success.  At least a half dozen, and that’s being conservative.  I’d heat up my skillet, throw on a tablespoon or so of freshly grated Parmesan, heat it up with high hopes… and then burn my fingers trying to lift the crisp off the pan.  And then watch helplessly as they turned dry and crackly before I could even think about taking photos.  And then I’d somehow forget what a disaster it was, because a few months later, I’d inevitably try again.

But as I was going through my recipe stack the other day, a different technique stood out to me.  Baking the crisps at 500 degrees for just a few minutes would leave them hot but not burning, perfect for shaping.  Still, though, I wasn’t convinced.

For some reason, I felt like the Parmesan was the real problem — it dried too quickly.  So in this last-ditch effort at Parmesan cones, I did them a little differently: I didn’t just use Parmesan.  Instead, I added freshly grated cheddar and Asiago — a *giant* difference, let me tell you.  Not only was the flavor interesting and new, the crisps stayed soft long enough for me to mold them easily, with minimal hand-burning.  Pair them with some a little bit of avocado, corn and red pepper, and you have a foolproof appetizer for company.

Even on the seventh try.

Parmesan Cones with Avocado and Red Pepper Recipe

1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated cheddar
1/4 cup grated Asiago
1/4 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced into 1/4″ cubes
1/2 red pepper, seeds and stem removed, diced into 1/4″ cubes
1/4 cup corn
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon juice


Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

Mix the cheese together.  Pour a heaping tablespoon of the mixture onto a silicone or parchment lined baking sheet and lightly pat down.  Repeat with the remaining cheese, leaving at least an inch between piles.  Bake for 3 minutes, until the cheese has melted.  Allow to cool for one minute, then wrap the cheese around cone molds like these [or, reader Donna recommends shaping them using a peeled carrot!], or press into mini muffin tins for tuile shapes.  Allow to cool until hardened.

Mix together the avocado, red pepper, corn, olive oil, lemon juice, and additional salt and pepper.  Mix lightly so the avocado doesn’t bruise.  Fill the cones with the mixture and serve!

Makes about a dozen.

Tags: appetizers · food

29 responses so far ↓

  • 1 julie @ rosy + tart // Sep 16, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Those bad boys look absolutely heavenly. And the serving spoons are super cute!

  • 2 Lizzy // Sep 16, 2010 at 6:17 am

    What a great idea!  Those look so delicious and very impressive.  A great app for a dinner party.

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  • 5 VeggieGirl // Sep 16, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Stunning presentation!

  • 6 Natalie // Sep 16, 2010 at 7:48 am

    These look amazing!  I have a thing for Asiago 🙂 I will definitely use these for my next dinner party (after trying them out on my own, of course – even if it takes 7 times)!

  • 7 Joanne // Sep 16, 2010 at 9:51 am

    If at first you don’t succeed…as they say.

    These look fantastic and the presentation is just gorgeous!  Perfect for a dinner party or even just to sit at home and snack on!

  • 8 Alicia // Sep 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I am completely impressed!! They are beautiful and I’m sure taste amazing as well.

  • 9 Chiara // Sep 16, 2010 at 11:27 am

    This is an amazing idea!!! How did you think of this?!
    I love anything cheese so this is really enticing!


  • 10 Katy // Sep 16, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Thanks guys!  They started as my take on Thomas Keller’s Parmesan Crisps, but definitely took on a life of their own! 

    I think Spago does something similar with the cone shapes and raw tuna — but you know me, if I can make something vegetarian, I always do! 🙂

  • 11 Katy // Sep 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Ah, and I forgot to mention — they’re gluten-free as well!

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  • 14 emily // Sep 17, 2010 at 6:23 am

    fabulous!  deconstructed, upscale nachos!!!!!!!!

  • 15 Peggy // Sep 18, 2010 at 3:35 am

    Those look perfect!  They’re so cute and I bet would be a hit as an appetizer at any dinner party!

  • 16 Anne Marie // Sep 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I love your recipes and you are now my go-to site. Used to be food network, but you’ve trumped them in my book.  Thanks!

  • 17 my boyfriend cooks for me // Sep 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Okay, I’ve been talking about trying to make parmesean bowls (or cones) for at least a year now, and we also recently bought cute little amuse bouche spoons that we have yet to use. Definitely want to try your recipe so we can kill two birds with one stone!

  • 18 kiley // Sep 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    omg this is genius-i am going to attempt them this weekend!  cute appetizer holder and edible?  love!


  • 19 nyjg // Sep 24, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Great blog post, I have been after something like that!

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  • 22 Aimee @ ShugarySweets // Aug 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Oh my gosh these are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing! PINNED.

  • 23 Tim Johnson // Dec 21, 2012 at 11:54 am

    After an epic failure on round one, here’s what I did in round two that helped make them perfect:

    1. I used WAAAAAY too much cheese the first time around. Make sure you’re just using a little bit.

    2. In my oven, I had to bake them at 500 for 4 1/2 minutes to get the proper texture.

    3. I did them one at a time. I found it impossible to get them all curled before the hardened when doing more than one at a time.

    Thanks for this recipe! So excited to use it for dinner tonight!!

  • 24 Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon // Jul 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    A cornucopia of flavor.

  • 25 Charlene // Jul 21, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Just a quick tip about making frico.
    Place a sheet of parchment paper on a large baking sheet.  Place mounds of cheese – 1 to 4 T. on parchment.  Bake @ 350 degrees until cheese begins to bubble and spread – 5 to 6 minutes.  Watch them because the edges will brown more quickly than the centers.  I have found this to be so much easier than making them one at a time in a skillet.  I’m going to try this recipe soon.  🙂

  • 26 Helen // Mar 15, 2014 at 3:36 am

    Hi can you make the parmesan cones the day before?

  • 27 Charlene // Mar 15, 2014 at 9:06 am

    You can make the cones ahead of time and store them in an airtight container and then fill then just before serving.

  • 28 Karen Harris // Apr 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    I love these. Can’t wait to try them. Perfect for summer entertaining.

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