Serious Eats: Recipes

The Secret Ingredient (Marmalade): Marmalade and Stinky Cheese Canapés

[Photographs: Kerry Saretsky]

I saved the best for last. Of all the secret ingredients of 2010, marmalade has been my favorite. It really does add that secret oomph, and it's nearly impossible to match its depth of flavor. And it is my favorite not least of all because I don't usually like it (although I have loved reading the comments of those of you who do!). It just goes to show you (or rather, it just goes to show me) that one should always try to eat new things. Perhaps I've found my New Year's resolution.

And while we're on the topic of New Year's, this is about that time where you might be digging for great cocktail party and entertaining recipes. For me, I could eat my whole day's worth of meals in tiny, punchy bites at a finger food cocktail party. Canapés and cheese plates are my idea of culinary heaven. So I combined them.

It is customary to serve marmalade with some of the stinkier cheeses, because its combined sweet-tart kick is the perfect foil to a delightfully overwhelming cheese. Here, I use Epoisses, a textbook soft and stinky cheese. It has a pungent, almost peppery, smell and flavor, and it is all held together by a thin orange rind. Once you puncture the rind, the cheese starts oozing everywhere. I top golden-toasted strips of bread with golden-orange marmalade and golden-orange-rinded cheese, for a delightfully monochromatic, very not run-of-the-mill cheese stick. And if a diet is on your list of New Year's resolutions, don't forget: those start the morning after.

The combination also make the perfect grilled cheese for stinky cheese lovers like myself. Find that recipe at the end of this one.

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About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the French in a Flash series for Serious Eats.

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