Marinated Montrachet/chevre Nuggets
Why I Love This Recipe
I love cheese, so much so, that if the moon really was made of green cheese... I would have signed up for the astronaut program with NASA. It has become quite a joke with my friends as well, this preoccupation I have with milk curds pressed and aged into one delectable form or other. For Christmas I received a book on Cheeses of the world, an in depth study... It's 6 inches thick I swear. Captivating reading.
Whenever I am asked to make appetizers for a party, you can bet at least one, if not all, of them will have cheese in one way or another, from Brie en Croûte (with Morel mushrooms or Smoked Oysters) and Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives to the Fabled Cheese Platter with Parmigiano-Reggiano drizzled with Balsamic as the hub.
Some of the softer cheeses, however, need a little help along the way for presentation purposes. Now, fresh Mozzarella comes in different forms such as your flat medallions (insert Basil leaf and tomato here) or small round balls. But the softer goat cheeses are usually only available in cute little pyramid boxes (Chavrie) or in your standard log form (Silver Goat). Being only slightly harder than cream cheese, this makes serving difficult.
When I decide to serve 'Montrachet/Chevre' at parties I take the time to create small balls out of the log and will store them in olive oil so they will not stick to the platter. To 'kick it up a notch' (As Emeril would say) I will sometimes roll the cheese balls in dried herbs before marinating them in an olive/lemon mixture. For my personal eating I stick with slices.
The following recipe is my full on marinade vs. the simple olive oil storage. You can mix and match the herbs to your taste. When I make this just for myself, I drop the rosemary, add more marjoram, and double the black pepper, red pepper flake and the lemon zest.
Ingredients You'll Need
11 oz log of Montrachet or Chevre (Such as SilverGoat or Madame-Chevre)
2 tsp Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
2 tsp Chopped Fresh Thyme
1 TB Chopped Fresh Marjoram
1 tsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary
1 tsp Chopped Fresh Basil
1 tsp Chopped Fresh Oregano
1 tsp Chopped Fresh Chives
1 large Garlic Clove, Minced
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Red pepper Flake
1/2 tsp Salt – Dissolve the salt in the lemon juice before adding to the marinade
1/4 tsp Coriander
1/2 tsp Cracked Black pepper
1 TB Lemon Juice
Zest of 1/2 of a lemon
You have 3 choices here:
Take a large jar with a sealing lid and add everything but the Montrachet. Seal jar and shake the heck out of it until is becomes somewhat emulsified. Slice cheese and add to the jar.
UPDATE-01/14/08 I should mention the easiest way to cleanly cut Chevre is to use Dental Floss (unwaxed)
Just place the whole log in a storage container, pour marinade over and seal container, then slice when you serve.
In both these cases store cheese in the refrigerator for at least 2 days, preferably 3, to ensure a good marinade.
Serve at room temperature.
Thirdly (What I do for parties):
You can also roll the slices into balls and roll the balls in dried herbs instead of fresh ones and make your marinade from the Garlic, Olive oil, red pepper flake, salt, coriander, pepper, lemon zest and juice.
Marinate cheese balls for 2-3 days
Serve at room temp with toasted baguette slices and a crisp Sauvignon (Fumé) Blanc