marinate this ::::
Recently, Grub and I looked into the twilight and stopped to watch a flock of birds fly overhead. Grub was entranced. Then we went inside and ate some cheese. It’s not easy to still this child these days. He pretty much moves constantly and eats most meals like he hasn’t eaten in days.
My kids are somewhat into cheese, sometimes eating more than their fair share of smelly cheese that could turn a few adults, and other times absolutely disinterested. Growing up, I ate many a cheese: tangy English cheddars; the soft, almost buttery, Port Salut; the occasional mushroomy Brie. Usually I ate straight-up cheese and bread: no extras like a fig jam with the Brie, a rich red pepper spread with my Port Salut, or a membrillo with my manchego. I’ve gotten over it.
This is a little different spin on flavoring cheese. Rather than a vegetable or sweet spread, the cheese is marinated in seasoning, then eaten by itself or wonderful on a crusty piece of bread. There are different versions of marinated manchego I reviewed before delving into an amalgamation of recipes for today’s post. Some include olives, fresh chiles, tarragon, vinegar, and fresh garlic. When marinating olives, it may take up to a week for good flavor. I wanted to make this recipe a little more time-friendly but only needing a few hours to marinate the cheese (although up to 3 days is fine).
This easy cheese dish may be a nice accompaniment to the beet dip I highlighted on my last post, especially if you are preparing for a party in need of cute appetizers to grace the table. This cheese might actually still your party guests, maybe even some busy cheese-loving two-year-olds.
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, approximately
- 2 large sprigs thyme
- 3 4-inch sprigs rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 8 ounces aged manchego, rind cut off, cut into ½-inch cubes
- good-quality olives (optional - I skipped this)
- In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil, thyme, rosemary, and chili over medium heat until the oil is hot (160 degrees F), about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool completely at room temperature.
- Put the manchego in a glass or ceramic bowl. Pour the olive oil, herbs, and chili on top. Add more oil to cover, if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. If using the olives, marinate these for at least 3 days up to 1 week before using. Remove from the refrigerator a few hours before the party to return the oil to room temperature.
- To serve, transfer cheese (and olives) to a nice bowl, soaking in some of the oil and toothpicks alongside.