Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Easy Make Ahead Appetizer, Marinated Cheese

Several years ago my friend, Jeannie, served this as an appetizer at a book club meeting.  It was so good and she was kind enough to share the recipe with us.  I took the recipe card she gave us and promptly stuck it in the middle of a random cookbook.  That would have been fine, but I have a way too many cookbooks. Years passed and I thought about it but had no idea what I had done with the recipe card.  A few weeks ago as I was culling cookbooks and giving them one last look to see if I had put anything in them before I gave them away.  With a good shake out floated the recipe.  Eureka! My 4th of July appetizer was in the bag.

                                                              Marinated Cheese

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons minced green onions
2 ounces diced pimento
8 ounces new york sharp cheese, cubed
8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
8 ounces white cheddar cheese, cubed
Assorted crackers or baguette slices

Put cheese cubes in a shallow dish that has an airtight lid.  Try to keep the cheese cubes from being stacked directly over each other.  I try and make a checkerboard pattern with the 2nd level of cubes.

In a medium bowl add the oil, vinegar, sugar, pepper and salt.  Whisk well to blend.  Stir in the basil, garlic, parsley. green onions, and pimento.  Mix thoroughly. Pour over the cheese cubes, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (Overnight is fine)

Remove the cheeses with a slotted spoon to a shallow bowl or small platter to serve. (Reserve the marinade in case you have leftover cheese)  A few cocktail forks make spearing the cubes easy work. Serve with your choice of crackers, toast points or baguette slices.  I can't even find the words to tell you what kind of deliciousness will happen in your mouth, unless you just don't like cheese. ( I have never tried this with non-dairy cheese so I have no idea how it would work)

This makes quite a bit, so have it for a large party or do what we did with the leftovers.  The day after we had cheese and crackers with salad for lunch, but there was still a lot left.  On day 3 I drained all the marinade from the cheese and made mac and cheese with it.  There was not a morsel remaining!

This is going to become one of my go to dishes.  I can do it ahead of time and it looks and tastes like it took much more effort than it did.


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