Creamy and smooth with an almost velvet-like texture, this marinated or “pickled” cheese is a favorite appetizer found in most any local restaurant in the Czech Republic. Garlic, onion, herbs, and a some hot peppers give this treat an amazing depth of flavor. Served with some dark rye toast and a cold Pilsner Urquell, it is easy to see why this treat is a local favorite.
- 1 round block of Hermelín Camembert, or Brie
- 8-10 dried red chilies chopped
- 1/2 Tbsp paprika powder
- 1/2 tsp crushed dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 4-5 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 springs fresh thyme
- 1-2 cups olive grape seed, or sunflower oil
Sterilize a wide mouth quart jar and set aside to cool.
Cut cheese wheel in to 8 pieces
Mix chilies, paprika, thyme, peppercorns, and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Thinly slice onion and garlic and add to bowl.
Add cheese and bay leaves and toss carefully to coat.
Place a sprig of thyme in the bottom of the jar.
Using tongs carefully place the cheese in to the jar layering with the onions, garlic and thyme. Spoon any remaining spices in to the jar.
Fill jar with enough oil to completely cover the cheese. Cover jar with a lid and place in the fridge for at least 4 days before serving.
When ready to serve, place jar on counter until oil becomes clear and cheese can be easily removed. Serve with dark rye toast and a cold Pilsner.
For best flavor allow the cheese to marinate or "pickle" for at least 4 to 6 days before serving. I have used the oil to make a second batch which worked quite well. I also have used the oil to make a salad dressing.