Marinated Manchego with Orange Preserve

I wanted a fun cheese appetizer for a party, and this recipe jumped out at me from a recent issue of Bon Appetit. This takes a bit of time to make, but it can all be made ahead of time and brought out just a few minutes before serving. I made this exactly as the recipe directed (with the exception of slicing the cheese instead of cubing it), and it was fantastic! It doesn’t need any changes – everyone loved it! Enjoy!

Marinated Manchego with Orange Preserve
From Bon Appetit, Sept 2016
Serves 16 (about 2 cups total, 1/4 cup per serving)
Ingredients:
1 head of garlic
1 1/2 cups olive oil, plus 2 tsp more for drizzling
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 Seville or navel orange (use peels and juice the flesh)
1/4 cup sugar
1 pound young Manchego cheese, sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
Toasted baguette or other crusty bread (for serving – not included in nutritional info)

Directions:
Heat oven to 350°F. Cut 1/4 inch off top of garlic bulb and place on a sheet of foil. Drizzle with 2 tsp oil; season with salt. Wrap tightly in foil and bake until skin is golden brown and cloves are tender, 35–40 minutes. Let cool. Squeeze cloves into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, cut 1/4 inch off top and bottom of orange and cut lengthwise into quarters. Remove flesh from each quarter, not including white pith, from peel in 1 piece (save peels). Squeeze juice from flesh into a small bowl; set aside. Cut peel into 1/4 inch pieces and place in a small saucepan; pour in cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil then drain; repeat process twice more to remove bitterness. Return orange peels to saucepan and add sugar, reserved orange juice, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until peels are soft and liquid is syrupy, 20–30 minutes. Let orange preserve cool.

Add orange preserve, Manchego, rosemary, thyme, and remaining 1 1/2 cups oil to bowl with garlic and gently toss to combine. Cover and chill at least 12 hours.

Bring marinated Manchego to room temperature before serving with bread.

Do Ahead: Manchego can be marinated 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Nutritional info (per 1/4 cup):
Calories: 321.8
Total Fat: 30.8 g
Saturated Fat: 9.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 15.3 g
Cholesterol: 25.0 mg
Sodium: 248.1 mg
Potassium: 21.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 4.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1 g
Sugars: 3.1 g
Protein: 7.2 g

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