FOR THE LONGEST TIME, I believed that cooking and prepping food was a mystery, solved only through alchemy and dedicated study. I’ve worked in restaurants for many years, but rarely in the kitchen, which was where the sorcery happened. A few years ago, a switch turned on in my brain and curiosity got the better of me. I rolled up my sleeves, grabbed a knife, and started learning to cook. Seriously, that’s all it takes, a little desire and a little will. You’ll find that cooking is more like sleight of hand: a bit of know-how that stands in for real magic. Marinated cheese is magic for beginners. It’s super simple and, trust me, it will impress your friends when you show up to a dinner party (when we can have dinner parties again) with this.
- Goat cheese, cubed (enough to fill a wide-mouth quart jar)
- 3-4 whole peeled garlic cloves
- A sprinkling of peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- A couple sprigs of rosemary & oregano (or any fresh herbs)
- Extra virgin olive oil
LAYER INGREDIENTS IN A WIDE-MOUTH SEALABLE JAR. Fill with extra virgin olive oil. Let marinate in fridge for at least one week. Contents will solidify, so remove from fridge the day before you plan to eat. When the cheese is gone, the leftover oil is terrific for sautéing, or add a little balsamic vinegar and sop it up with a crusty loaf of French bread.
DOBLE THE FUN
I’M A BIG FAN OF USING DRUNKEN GOAT, a creamy goat cheese from the Murcia region of Spain. Each wheel is soaked for three days in doble pasta wine, a Spanish style that is fermented with double the usual amount of fruit, skins, and pulp. This results in a massive juicy wine which gives the cheese rind a deep purple hue.