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Almond-Crusted Manchego Cheese

INGREDIENTS:Hot Garlic Vinaigrette:
3 cups olive oil
8 oz. minced garlic
1 ½ cups sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. black pepper
7 oz. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. salt, divided
1 ½ tsp. black pepper, divided
6 eggs
1/3 cup water
4 oz. panko (Japanese toasted bread crumbs)
3 oz. natural sliced almonds, ground
12 8-oz. (1 inch) slabs Manchego cheese
1 ½ cups olive oil
12 oz. blanched, slivered almonds, toasted
3 oz. chopped fresh parsley DIRECTIONS:To make hot garlic vinaigrette: In large pan, warm oil and garlic over medium-low heat; cook 2 minutes or until garlic is light golden brown. Immediately remove from heat and stir in vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside. (Yield: 4 ½ cups.) Set up 3 containers for breading: 1 for flour, 1 ½ tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper; one for eggs beaten with water, 1 ½ tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper; and one for panko and ground almonds.

For each serving, to order: Dredge 1 slab cheese with flour. Dip into egg wash, then into panko mixture, pressing to coat. Place breaded cheese in heatproof serving dish; drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil. Bake in 450°F. oven for 5-7 minutes or until golden and cheese begins to soften. Remove from oven. Pour about 1/3 cup hot garlic vinaigrette over cheese; garnish with ¼ cup slivered almonds and 2 Tbsp. parsley. Serve immediately with hot crusty bread. SERVINGS:12 appetizer servings for 2 From:Chef Bobby Flay, Bolo, New York City PHOTO CREDIT:Photo Credit: ALMOND BOARD OF CALIFORNIA

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