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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheese

Cheese Ball

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 4 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pink peppercorns*
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Specialized Hardware

Electric hand mixer
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 2 cups

Procedure

  • Combine all the ingredients up to the dry mustard powder in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer. Beat for 1 minute until fully blended and somewhat smooth.
  • Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and form a loose ball. Spread a 12x24-inch piece of plastic wrap out on the counter and plop the mixture right in the middle. Gather up the sides of the plastic up and over the ball, twisting to remove any air bubbles. Place in a small bowl, to help hold the shape, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  • In the meantime, place a small skillet over medium heat and add the butter, almonds, and salt. Stir constantly and cook until the butter is foaming, and nuts are toasted and fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Combine the cooled nuts with the ground pink pepper and parsley in a small bowl, then spread onto a dinner plate. Remove the cheeseball from the fridge and discard the plastic wrap. Gently roll the ball in the nut mixture to coat.
  • Place the cheese ball on a plate or board and serve with assorted crackers or cover and refrigerate up to a week. (I personally think the flavors improve with time. Oh, and leftovers make fantastic cheese toast.)
  • *Pink peppercorns aren't related to black pepper but are the berries of several different bushes related to the cashew, including the Peruvian Peppertree and the Brazilian Peppertree. Although the flavor is somewhat similar to what most Americans refer to as "pepper" these dried berries deliver a bright astringency, and subtle fruitiness.
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