Sunday, 25 October 2009

Easy Peasy Cheesy

I made this recipe a wee while ago when friends came round for dinner, and the praise it received seemed totally disproportionate to the the effort involved in producing it - which makes it a pretty good dish in my book. It was lovely served at room temperature with some freshly made tomato and pepper relish and mini bagels rubbed with garlic, drizzled with oil and grilled. It really felt quite like summer, despite the fact that it has recently turned into winter here (after deciding to bypass Autumn all together).

Marinated Feta

(inspired by these recipes for brandied manchego and marinated cheese at Carina Forum)
Serves 6 as a starter
  • 400g feta cheese
  • 150ml olive oil *
  • 3 tbsp runny honey *
  • juice of 1 lemon *
  • 1 clove or garlic crushed *
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil *
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme *
  • ground black pepper *
  • dash of tabasco sauce *
Cube the feta. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients marked with the asterisk (*) in a medium sized bowl. Add the cheese to the marinade and mix gently until well coated. Leave for at least 3-4hrs before serving. Serve at room temperature (not chilled).

I made a fresh tomato and pepper relish to go with it (which I stupidly forgot to photograph) as follows:

Tomato and Pepper Relish (an original concoction)
Serves 6 as a starter
  • 1 small onion
  • Approx 20 small poblano green peppers
  • 4 tomatoes
  • A glug of olive oil
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 heaped tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2tbsp red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Finely dice the onion and fry in the oil for 2-3 minutes. De-seed and chop the peppers - add to the pan with the brown sugar and cook for approx 5 minutes until the sugar has melted and the onion is soft. Chop tomatoes (leave the skins on) and add to the pan along with the red wine vinegar. Cook over a moderately low heat until the liquid evaporates and the mixture thickens. Serve hot or cool, but taste before serving. The peppers can vary quite a lot in spiciness - from mild to having a fair kick to them! But if you find you've got a mild bunch, then you might want to add a little shot of tabasco or dried chili to taste.

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