Marinated Herbed Cheese

Course : Cheeses
Serves: 4
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4 ounces regular cream cheese
4 ounces feta cheese
1 clove garlic -- peeled
3/4 cup or more extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs fresh herbs -- such as rosemary, thyme or majoram
3 whole black peppercorns

Preparation / Directions:

In a food processor, thoroughly blend the cheeses and garlic clove to form a smooth paste. Line a mold, or several small molds, with damp cheese cloth. For example, you may use small ramekins, teacups, small bread tins or the inverted cover of a butter dish. With a spatula, spoon the cheese mixture into the cheesecloth lined mold(s) and smooth out the surface. Refrigerate until firm. (If you do not have cheesecloth, plastic wrap will also work fine.) Select a wide-mouthed, air-tight jar or other container, one just large enough to hold about 2 cups of liquid. Remove the cheese from the cheesecloth and cut or shape it into 4 chunks, fairly large in size but still small enough to fit into the jar. Drop the cheese pieces into the jar. Insert the fresh herbs and peppercorns along the sides of the jar. Pour in enough oil to cover the cheese and herbs completely. Seal the jar and refrigerate for at least 1 week before using. Serving Suggestion: Place small blocks of the marinated cheese on flavorful greens, using the olive oil to make a vinaigrette. Or, serve the cheese with toasted crostini and sun dried tomatoes. Melt the cheese with a bit of cream and use it as a spunky herbed cream sauce. Once you have it on hand, you'll find a zillion ways to use this zesty marinated cheese. NOTES: Robust, marinated soft cheese for quick snacks and to jazz up other recipes. The oil itself is a culinary treat and can be used wherever a fruity, herb- infused olive oil is called for. There is an added bonus to this recipe. While goat cheese is available in most places of the country, there are still some areas where it is hard to find. This recipe blends the more readily available feta cheese with cream cheese, then marinates them in fruity olive oil and fresh herbs. It is not an exact replica of goat cheese, but it is delicious in itself and is an acceptable substitute for the Montrachet-type of goat cheese called for in many recipes, for it provides a similarly tart and pungent flavor. And unlike goat cheese which has a short shelf life, this cheese may be kept refrigerated in its marinade for as long as 6 week


Nutritional Information:

315 Calories (kcal); 24g Total Fat; (68% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 101mg Cholesterol; 1284mg Sodium

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