Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Aug 20, 2013

Garlic & Herb-Marinated Mozzarella

Libations used: Splash of sherry...
Libations left over: Basically the whole bottle, so pour yourself a little glass to celebrate how easy making this recipe was...
I had just come back from a lovely weekend celebrating a friend's wedding in Lake Tahoe, so I was far too tired to cook anything.  I knew later in the week I'd be going to a picnic at the Santa Monica Pier for one of their free summer concerts on the beach, so I wanted to bring something cheesy and delicious.  The Kitchn's recipe for Garlic & Herb-Marinated Mozzarella is full of fresh herb goodness, as well as a splash of sherry.  I used a mixture of fresh basil, oregano and thyme and added a bit more than 2 tablespoons.  Rather than use a cheap cooking sherry, I purchased a bottle of Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, which is a nicer, mid-range brand and better for sipping.  You can use either bocconcini or ciliegine mozzarella, but I prefer the small ciliegine as they're easier to share with large groups.  The Kitchn also recommends trying this recipe with other cheeses such as feta or goat cheese.  I plan on serving these tasty morsels up in an antipasti platter with olives, roasted peppers and prosciutto...and maybe finish off that bottle of sherry!

Garlic & Herb-Marinated Mozzarella - serves 6 to 8
  • 3/4 cup high quality olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I used 6)
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme, oregano and/or parsley)
  • 1 tsp black or rainbow peppercorns
  • 1-2 bay leaves (I used 1)
  • Peel from half a lemon, thinly sliced
  • Splash of sherry (I used Tio Pepe Fino Sherry)
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 16 oz of ciliegine, drained
- Heat the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it's bubbling gently.
- Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
- Stir in the herbs, peppercorns, bay leaf and lemon peel.
- Add the sherry, red pepper flakes and salt, to taste.
- In a large bowl, pour the mixture over the mozzarella and toss gently to evenly coat.
- Transfer the mozzarella and mixture to a mason jar or airtight container.
- Refrigerate overnight or up to two weeks.
- Bring to room temperature before serving.