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Manchego Marinated in Olive Oil & Herbs

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Serves eight.

  • Make the menu:
    A Festive Tapas Party
  • by Sarah Jay from Fine Cooking
    Issue 81

This is an easy way to make supermarket-quality manchego cheese taste extra special. Eat the cheese within 3 days. (I keep the infused olive oil refrigerated and use it within 10 days for sautéing.)

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more if needed
  • 3 large sprigs thyme
  • 2 4-inch sprigs rosemary
  • 1 small dried red chile, 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.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings, with 2 tsp. oil; Calories (kcal): 200; Fat (g): 19; Fat Calories (kcal): 170; Saturated Fat (g): 8; Protein (g): 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 0; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 170; Cholesterol (mg): 30; Fiber (g): 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

My definition of the perfect recipe....simple preparation and AMAZING results. This fits the bill. I made this recipe as an appetizer for a big Spanish themed dinner. I wanted something that could be done in advance and was kind of easy. The flavors were fantastic. I made a double recipe for 20 people and it was completely gone....and it was not the only appetizer I served.

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