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):
based on eight servings, with 2 tsp. oil;
sat fat g
Photo: Scott Phillips