There’s a few things I won’t bother to make at home. Things that demand a lot of work or time but that you can buy premade versions of and it’s just as good. Homemade puff pastry definitely comes to mind. (WHY is that a thing.)
Somehow poutine has also fallen into this category. Maybe because there’s a lovely gastropub nearby that makes a poutine so perfect we order it every time we’re there. The fries are fresh and fried in duck fat(!), there’s a crazy-good gravy with duck confit all up in it, the cheddar curds plump and flavorful. It’s crunchy, savory, gooey heaven. A sacred dish that belongs at The Black Birch only, not in my kitchen.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t check out them cheddar curds every time I’m at the grocery and wonder what else can be done with them. They look so squeaky and fun. Ready to party. Who am I to deny bouncy cheese bits that are calling my name?
Turns out marinated cheddar curds are perfect for truckin’ about on summery outdoor jaunts or when it’s too hot to cook and you just want wine and cheese for dinner. Potted usually references a cheese spread of sorts, but the principle stands that this is indeed cheese, preserved (in olive oil), and in a cute pot.
These cheddary babes know the magic word: make-ahead-able. In fact they just get better as they absorb all that flavor. Delicious served at room temp as part of a cheese board, looking gorgeous next to those new hipstery crackers you found at Whole Foods. Or do yourself a favor — spoon the mixture on toast, popped under a quick broil — for a more I will eat this for dinner standing in my kitchen with melted cheese stuck on my chin kinda vibe.
Potted Cheddar Curds with Dill & Garlic
- 6 ounces cheddar curds
- 2 garlic cloves diced
- large handful fresh dill coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup diced dill pickle spears from about 2 spears
- 1 TB pickle juice
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1/4-1/2 tsp chile flakes
- good quality olive oil for potting
Combine curds, garlic, herbs and spices into medium bowl. Stir to evenly coat the cheese.
Dump into 10-12 ounce canning jar, let the mixture loosely settle.
Pour olive oil on top until the curds are covered.
Cover with lid and refrigerate until ready to use.
(Let marinate overnight if possible!)
Take out to room temp before serving.
For cheesy curd toast:
Place a rack in the upper part of your oven and put your broiler on high. Spoon a generous amount of the potted cheese (shake off excess oil) on a piece of well-toasted toast (pre-toasted prevents soggyness.) Broil for five minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and getting caramel brown spots. Inhale while hot and no one's watching.
- This is ridiculously adaptable! Change up the herbs, the spice factor, it's delicious marinated cheese. Don't overthink it, whatever you do, it's gonna be good. 😉
- The pickles might seem random but they pair so well with the salty unctuous cheese! But you can certainly leave them out if pickles don't float your boat.
- Serve with Roasted Bone Marrow, Juniper Berry Pickles, and Rye & Chamomile Old Fashioneds for a super scrumptious spread.
- Good for 2 weeks as long as the cheese is submerged by oil.