Two Hot Appetizers for Cheese Lovers
We don’t think there is anything more universally enticing than cheese-laden appetizers, and these two hot appetizers for cheese lovers are our go-to recipes.
Cheese-based appetizers pair well with wine and beer, and work perfectly with mixed drinks. They take the edge of hunger when you are planning a late dinner, or fill a crowd for a cocktail party.
When you prepare a hot cheese appetizer, the satisfaction factor is multiplied. Here are two of our favorites. Maybe put one or both on the menu for your Super Bowl party?
Baked Feta Cheese and Olives in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
You will need: a block of Feta cheese, mix of your favorite olives (black, green, kalamata, etc.), sprigs of fresh oregano, 1 large lemon, red pepper flakes, a good extra virgin olive oil, dried thyme, dried oregano, garlic powder, Greek seasoning, salt, and fresh cracked black pepper.
Pour 1-1/2 to 2 cups of olive oil into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of thyme and oregano. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the olive oil, and add a dash of garlic powder, Greek seasoning, salt, and fresh cracked black pepper. Mix.
Warm the oil and herb mixture, remove from heat, and let the herbs marinate for a least four hours. It’s better if you let it sit overnight.
Once the oil has absorbed the herb flavors, you are ready to plate it up! Pour all the oil into a decorative baking dish (you are going to serve in this dish), and place the olives in the bottom. Squeeze the juice from half the lemon over the olives and oil. Place the block of feta in the center and sprinkle it with additional olive oil. Add 4 to 5 fresh sprigs of oregano, decorate with sliced lemons, and sprinkle with additional red pepper flakes, a dash of salt, and cracked black pepper to taste.
Bake the feta and olives at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. To get a nice color on the top of the feta, switch to the broiler for the last 45 seconds.
Serve with crackers or garlic French baguette slices that are toasted on both sides in the oven.
Enjoy! The best part of this dish is dipping the bread in the herb oil and spreading the warm feta on top. This will become one of your two favorite appetizers for cheese lovers.
Queso Fundido with Chorizo
You will need: one package of oaxaca cheese (Wilmington foodies, you can find this at a Mexican food market, or at Harris Teeter in the cheese refrigerator on the very bottom shelf), 2 tubes of chorizo, 1/2 yellow onion, and 1 teaspoon chopped garlic.
Squeeze the chorizo out of the tube casing into a skillet. Fry over medium heat until cooked through and slightly crispy. Push the chorizo to the edge of your skillet and add finely chopped onion and garlic. Saute the onion and garlic until soft, scraping up the bits of chorizo from the bottom of the skillet. Mix together well, and then remove with a slotted spoon to a dish covered with paper towel.
Grate the cheese. It will melt more evenly if grated.
Coat a small baking dish with olive oil. Put 1/2 the cheese in the bowl, then layer with 1/2 the chorizo mixture, the other 1/2 cheese, and finally the remaining chorizo.
Bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is entirely melted and slightly bubbling.
Serve with mini flour tortillas. To warm the tortillas, wrap in foil and place in the oven for about ten minutes. If you have a gas range, you can hold the tortillas with long tongs, one-by-one, and pass them over an open flame.
Want more cheese-lover appetizers? Try this goat cheese spread.