Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Marinated Cheese


So, you're going to a party, (maybe a Super Bowl party), and you need to bring an appetizer.

But, you want something different.

You want something easy.

You want something that will make everyone's eyes scan the room as they holler over the crowd, "WHO BROUGHT THIS CHEESE STUFF?"

This recipe, that my mother-in-law often makes when we come to visit, fits that bill perfectly. We often have it as a Thanksgiving or Christmas appetizer, but it is perfect year-round.

I love cheese and crackers. It's one of the first things I go for on a table - even before I reach for a hot dip.

This recipe just takes that simple concept to another level: Cream cheese and cheddar cheese - sliced and layered alternately and covered in a delicious herby marinade - soaked overnight until absolutely divine.

Yes, please. Over and over. Yes, please.

I love how pretty it is - no matter where it's placed on the table. And, no matter what the view.





I could eat this stuff all day long. So delicious.

Here are a few tips and change-ups:

1. Got fresh basil? Add it instead of dried.

2. Like a little kick? Add a bit of crushed red pepper to the marinade. OR, use pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar.

3. Play with the cheese selection: white cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack, Swiss. Create the combination you like!

4. Serve with sliced baguette instead of crackers. YUM!

Try this recipe next time you're throwing a party or heading to a friend's house. This one will become a great addition to your take-a-long appetizer collection.



Marinated Cheese

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoon minced green onions
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic minced
1 (2 ounce) jar diced pimento, drained
1 (8 ounce) block sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz), chilled
1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese, chilled

Combine first 10 ingredients in a jar or dish with a lid; cover tightly, and shake vigorously. Set mixture aside.

Cut block of cheddar cheese in half lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/4- inch-thick slices. Set aside. Repeat with cream cheese. Arrange slices alternately in a shallow baking dish, standing slices on edges. Pour marinade over cheese slices. Cover and marinade for at least 8 hours.

Transfer cheese slices to a serving platter in the same alternating pattern,reserving marinade. Spoon marinade over cheese slices.

Serve with assorted crackers.


  1. Funny you should post this! i made it for the first time for a holiday party. Used all cream cheese as some of the reviews for the recipe claimed the cheddar didn't seem to soak up the marinade very well, so it didn't look as pretty as yours. It actually wasn't a smashing success sorry to say.

  2. @Jules - I can see why it wouldn't be as good with just cream cheese. The sharp cheddar and marinade are really the stars - with the cream cheese being more mild - and, mostly adding texture. Maybe try it again with the cheddar? :)

  3. This looks delicious! I wonder if it stays pretty once people start digging in? I love cheese and fresh herbs... I'll be sure to try this next time we have company. If I make it for my husband and I, we'll eat the entire thing!

  4. @keeley - it does stay pretty. Because you just layer the cheese slices (and don't smush them together), you can pull away a chunk and easily separate it. Hope you try this one - bet you two will love it! :)

  5. Yum! Pretty, delicious, AND easy! I'll make this one.

  6. Sounds so good, and looks pretty too! I'm saving this one. Thanks!

  7. This looks SO good! I'm confused as to how you then serve it. Do you just kinda take a slice of each cheese (and of course marinade) to put together on the cracker? I want to try this!

  8. @anonymous - Yes, exactly. I'll grab several slices and a few crackers for my plate. I like to put one slice of cheddar plus one slice of cream cheese on each cracker as I eat them. Perfect combination! Hope you try it! :)

  9. Mmmm... I'm so craving cheese right now. Can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks!
    (funny note: my word verification to sign in was "fatin". How appropriate!)

  10. Thanks for posting this. We're having an After Christmas Christmas party on the 15th and I am definately going to be making this as one of the items.

  11. I make something very similar to this, but with balsamic (which honestly, I think is the star of the dish!!!) and a mixture of sharp cheddar, cream cheese and fresh mozzarella. I also add diced cherry tomatoes and I do not use pimentos. I serve it over toasted baguette or I buy those garlic toast rounds from the deli. This is a to die for appetizer and is definitely my "go to" dish when asked to bring something!

  12. My sister-in-law made this for Christmas, it was the best appetizer ever!
    Making it for super bowl party!