Last weekend, when we were shopping in the Slovak shop in Stoke, I saw they have hermelín – Czech cheese of camembert/brie type. I bought all they had, which was I think 5 pieces. I had a plan.
Nakládaný hermelín or marinated camembert, goodness in a jar. I can’t buy this typical Czech pub snack anywhere here in England, so I make it at home.
It is easy to prepare it, but the tricky part comes after – it should be marinating for a few days and it is damn difficult not to touch it before it’s ready.
There are plenty of recipes and everybody prides themselves with their own, but the basics are the same: cheese, oil, garlic, onion, peppercorns, bay leaves and other spices according to your taste. Think sweet or hot ground paprika (for the inside of the cheese), more garlic, colourful peppercorns, allspice, chilli, rosemary, even more garlic etc.
I like a lot of garlic, so I put garlic even in between the halved cheese. Somebody might love a strong chilli flavour or a specific herb. I always use rapeseed oil, although I have heard about people marinating the cheese in olive oil. I think olive oil would give the cheese totally different taste and overpower the flavours of the ingredients.
Method: basically slice the onion, cut the cheese and garlic and layer them in a glass jar together with the rest of the spices. Pour the oil in, it should cover all the contents without anything sticking out. Close the jar, put it in the fridge and wait… In a few days (I usually wait a week) the cheese becomes soft and the flavours of the spices and garlic infuse the cheese and oil. Serve with bread. Enjoy!
Have you tried marinated camembert? Do you have any recipe you would like to share? Let us know in comments.