Sunday, July 3, 2011

Marinated Manchego

This is an incredibly easy and oh-so-yummy appetizer.  It's made up ahead of time and then served at room temperature which makes it even less work.  This is one of my favorite apps, and it's bite-sized!

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more if needed               
3 large sprigs thyme
3 4-inch sprigs rosemary                                            
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 small dried red chiles, cut in half or thirds             
8 oz. manchego (more aged is better), rind cut off, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes

In a small saucepan, heat the 1 cup oil and the thyme, rosemary, and chile over medium heat until the oil is hot (160°F) and looks shimmery, 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 chile on top. Add more oil to cover, if needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Remove from the refrigerator a few hours before the party to return the oil to room temperature.

To serve, transfer everything to a pretty bowl, with toothpicks alongside for spearing the cheese .

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