Monday, July 26, 2010

Something yummy this way comes!

Greetings, dear readers! I know it's been a few weeks since I have posted a new blog entry. My apologies-- I've been very busy with other tasks and projects!

Today, I am going to share a lovely personal recipe for marinated feta cheese. Not only is the cheese itself delicious, when prepared this way; you can re-use the leftover oil for a bread dip, or as the basis for a delicious homemade salad dressing.

Feta Cheese Marinated in Olive Oil and Herbs

1 lb. feta cheese in brine (look for the stuff that comes in big blocks, soaked in liquid)
16 oz. Filippo Berio original olive oil (not extra virgin, that is too bitter for this recipe)
1 T. fresh thyme, stems removed and leaves left whole
1 T. fresh summer savory, stems removed and leaves left whole
1 T. fresh marjoram, stems removed and leaves left whole
1/2 oz. fresh chives, chopped finely
5 fresh sage leaves, bruised and left whole
4 large fresh spearmint leaves, bruised and left whole
4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 dried or fresh cayenne (small red) peppers, slit down the middle and left whole
1/2 t. whole black (or whatever colour you prefer) peppercorns, slightly crushed 

Place about half of the herbs and spices in the bottom of  a large mason jar. Drain the liquid from the feta, and chop the cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. Place them into the jar. Add the remaining herbs and spices, then gently pour the oil into the jar, enough to cover all. Now, place the jar into the refrigerator. Gently turn the jar upside down, then back right side up, every so often, to mix the ingredients. Don't shake it, or the cheese may disintegrate and cause the oil to become cloudy. Let this marinate for a week or two in the refrigerator. The oil may become somewhat solid, but that's OK, as it will liquify again when you bring it out to serve. Serve as an appetizer with crusty bread, olives, pickled peppers, giardiniera, etc. After the cheese cubes have been eaten, the remaining oil can be strained, mixed with a bit of nice vinegar, and used as a delicious salad dressing.