Manchego Cheese

istock_000005130560small.jpg

Manchego Cheese

 

Manchego cheese is produced in the La Mancha region of Spain and is made from the whole milk of Manchega sheep.  The cheese is rich, semi-firm and aged in natural caves for 3-6 months.  It has a distinctive herringbone design embossed in the rind.  The taste is slightly salty, but not too strong.  The texture is creamy and a slight bit piquant – similar in taste to feta cheese, but less salty and a more chewy texture. 

 

As with wine, Serrano ham and olive oil, Manchego cheese is protected by the government.  It controls its production, ensures the exclusive use of milk from Monchega sheep and dictates an aging period (in natural caves) of a minimum of two months. 

Warm Almond Crusted Monchego Cheese with Hot Garlic Vinaigrette and Toasted Almonds

 

Yield:  2 Appetizer Servings

 

INGREDIENTS

 

¼ cup all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg

1 tablespoon water

¼ cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons ground almonds

1 (8-ounce) slice Manchego cheese, about 1-inch thick

2 tablespoons olive oil

Hot Garlic Vinaigrette, recipe follows

¼ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley

PREPARATION

 

Set up three bowls:  1 with flour, seasoned with salt and pepper; 1 with egg and 1 tablespoon of water and seasoned with salt and pepper and 1 with bread crumbs and ground almonds. 

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

 

Cut cheese into 2 equal pieces.  Dredge the cheese first in the flour, then the egg wash and finally in the bread crumbs.  Place the cheese in a small cazuela, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese is soft.  Immediately drizzle with the Hot Garlic Vinaigrette and sprinkle with slivered almonds and parsley.  Serve with warm crusty bread.

 

Hot Garlic Vinaigrette

 

INGREDIENTS

 

¼ cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

PREPARATION

 

Heat oil over low heat in sauté pan.  Add garlic and cook until light golden brown.  Remove from heat and whisk in the vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

 

 

Source:  Bobby Flay – Boy Meets Grill – Episode – Tapas