November 18, 2010

a Thanksgiving appetizer: the cheese ball

The cheese ball has been a staple holiday appetizer at my aunt's house for as long as I can remember.  When Brian and I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time, I came up with a version of my own. It was a hit last year and has become one of Brian's favorite things.  It was a hit again this year, when we made Thanksgiving dinner in Venice

Holiday Cheese Ball 
printable recipe

makes 2 medium cheese balls

11 oz extra sharp white cheddar or sharp provolone, grated
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp grated onion
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
½ tsp cayenne
½ cup almonds

In a food processor, combine cream cheese, garlic, onion, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce. Blend well. Add grated cheese and process until the cheese is fine, but still visible. Shape the mixture into balls or logs. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

While the cheese mixture is in the freezer, process the almonds until desired consistency is reached (a coarse chop is best). Spread the chopped nuts on a plate. Remove the balls from the freezer and roll them in chopped nuts.

The flavor is best when allowed to ‘season’ in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 

Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.  Serve with crackers.


Maggie said...

Cheese balls are one of those things that just scream 'home' to me. Our family version is covered in pecans - namely because we grew them and always had more than we knew what do with. It's a happy, homey food - no doubt about it.

efm said...

I completely agree! I think my aunt's recipe may use pecans as well. Since Brian is allergic to pecans (one of the great tragedies of my life), we came up with almonds as an alternative. :)

That's so great that you grew pecans! I had almost forgotten that I gave my dad one as a Christmas present several years ago because he would always stop and pick up the pecans in the nuns' yard on our way out of church. (I'm pretty sure he had their permission.) The tree was just sapling then, but I think it should be producing by now, since that was about 10 years ago. I hadn't thought about that tree in forever. I'm excited to check on it when I'm home over the holidays!

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