Frico Recipe – Traditional Italian Cheese Pancake from Friuli

Frico Recipe – Traditional Italian Cheese Pancake from Friuli

A frico is a cheese pancake that isn’t really a pancake because it has no eggs. Fried until it’s firm and crisp, it’s typical of Carnia, in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. Potatoes are usually added but the variations are endless and each village and mountain valley has their own interpretation or recipe. Nowadays it’s served with a salad for starters but it really seems like a pretty hefty starter.

The biggest frico ever made was made by the Udine Association of Chefs in Austria and measured 3 meters across, weighed just over 600 kgs with the frico itself weighing 300 kg.

A really interesting place to make one when you have friends around, is at a fireplace called a fogolar which is more than merely a fireplace but also so much more than merely a place where food is cooked. Friends and families socialize at a fogolar and meet to eat, drink and be merry – much like at a barbecue. The hearth, where food is grilled over a wooden fire is usually found in the middle of the kitchen and it has a massive flue overhead. Pork, chicken, beans – anything really is cooked there and it makes for a stimulating evening.

Frico Friulano

This traditional dish from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy is simply delicious.

  • 400 g Montasio cheese
  • 250 ml homemade chicken stock (500 ml)
  • 4 medium sized potatoes (peeled and washed and thinly sliced)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan and lightly sauté the onions.
  2. Add the sliced potatoes and toss them briefly in the butter.
  3. Pour over the stock and gently until the potatoes are soft – add just enough stock to cover the potatoes and keep adding until the potatoes are soft otherwise you may just sit with far too much at the end.
  4. Dice the cheese and once the potatoes are cooked and all the stock absorbed, scatter the cheese over the top and allow it to melt.
  5. Continue browning and pouring off all the oil that will form as the cheese melts.
  6. When the edge is nicely browned, the frico is ready to serve.

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