Nakládaný Hermelin is a type of cheese preparation that’s eaten in the Czech Republic. I won’t sit here and tell you that it’s a national dish, because it’s not. It’s something that’s eaten in bars most commonly. You order a beer and a round of cheese that’s been soaking in a jar of oil, peppers, and spices. It’s quite tasty and it also happens to be something that’s easily made here in the US to enjoy with just about everything you can think of.
The Hermelin bit of it refers to the cheese, which isn’t really something you can get here. But, you can easily substitute in any kind of softish cheese with a bit of a soft, edible rind to it like Camembert. Everything else can be easily gotten round these parts though and following is the closest approximation to the recipe we put together from this forum:
– 3-4 rounds of the cheese
– onion rings, garlic cloves, sweet red and green peppers
– olive oil, black peppercorns, paprika, red pepper flakes, and salt
– Peel the onions and cut them into rings
– Cut half of the garlic into slices/rings, leave the rest as whole clove
– Cut the cheese horizontally into 2 halves
– Sprinkle the inside of both cheese halves with red pepper flakes and paprika. Put on each half some of the onion rings, 3 slices of garlic, and – according to your own liking – also some grains of pepper
– Fold the halves back together again and pierce them with 3 tooth sticks to fix them
– After having prepared all the cheese halves like this, put them into the glass, adjusting them evenly in layers. While doing so, add garlic, onion rings, bay leaves, grains of pepper, grains of pimento and green pepper, and always cover with some oil.
After all cheese is finished, add oil up to the brim of the glass. Close it.
The pickled cheese has to “ripen” at room temperature. The duration is up to your liking, but the onions should become soft. In general, it may taste good even up to one week in the jar. As a rule, if you like the cheese less “ripe”, 14 days will do. If you like it a bit “riper” (i.e. also spicier]), give it at least 3 weeks’ time. If everything is starting to get kinda mushy in there, eat it as soon as you can.