Went to a wine and cheese party last night at a friend's place out in Fountain Hills. 14 different types of wine, yet I am somehow escaping hangover hell. Maybe there's still pinot noir dripping through my veins. The chocolate wine that I had found by accident in our pantry at the last minute was such a hit that it won first prize (a huge glass wine carafe)!
Also popular was my cheese, although it was a far cry from winning - the victor by a long shot was an amazing strawberry-dripping-jalapeno-cream cheese concoction that was melt-in-your-mouth-yummy. But, since a few people also asked for the recipe for my marinated cheese, here goes:
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. dried basil
3/4 tsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
pinch dried oregano
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. unrefined (turbinado) sugar
a couple of drops of lemon juice
1 or two chopped green onions
1 chopped and seeded roma tomato
one pound of your favorite cheese, sliced or cubed
Put all ingredients* except onions, tomato, and cheese in a covered jar and shake well. Allow flavors to meld for at least 8 hours or overnight, shaking occasionally. Add tomato and onion to the mixture. Put cheese in a large bowl and gently mix in marinade until cheese is covered. Refrigerate for three hours. Remove cheese from marinade and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with crackers and 14 varieties of wine.
I suppose you can use just about any type of cheese, but in this case I used pepper jack and mozzarella. People seemed to especially like the pepper jack, but it was a bit crumbly. The mozzarella held together well. With fresh herbs instead of dried this probably would have been a lot better, but it was pretty good as it was. This marinade is also delicious with fresh vegetables (I couldn't resist dipping mushrooms, cucumber, and cauliflower in it while it was melding)
This week's mission: go to Total Wine and find me some more of that chocolate vino.
*ingredients are approximate - measuring tools were not used.