With the winter holidays knocking on the door — or is that the guests arriving for the party! — our thoughts turn to festive holiday recipes to make the gathering special. How about a cheese ball to get the party started? Cheese balls are fun, fast, and versatile creations that can give your holiday spread a wow-factor without too much effort or breaking the bank.
Legend has it that the first cheese ball in recorded history was created by a Massachusetts farmer back in 1801 and presented to President Jefferson at the White House. And, it was said to have weighed 1,235 pounds! Wow, “go big or stay home,” right?
Of course, you don’t have to go that far in trying to impress your friends, just a few ingredients will get the job done quickly and deliciously. This variation has two flavorful cheese layers, and the fresh herbs will have everyone “yumming” in no time.
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 7 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
- 4 oz. blue cheese crumbles
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ — ½ tsp Tabasco or other hot sauce
- Few grinds fresh black pepper
- 3 Tbsp finely sliced green scallion rings
- Crostini and crackers for serving
- Divide cream cheese into 6 and 2-oz. portions. In food processor, combine 6 oz. portion with shredded sharp cheddar. Combine thoroughly, pulsing/scraping down bowl sides as needed. Add Worcestershire, lemon juice, a few grinds fresh black pepper and just enough hot sauce to boost other flavors without overwhelming.
- When cheddar mixture is thoroughly combined, place on a piece of plastic wrap. Gently shape into an even ball with one side slightly flat so it’ll sit on a platter. Refrigerate.
- Meanwhile, finely chop parsley. Place in a clean, thin dish towel, gathering up dish towel corners. Hold parsley under cool running water to rinse, squeezing the bundle as you go. After several squeezes of green parsley juice, wring bundle out and spread parsley on a paper towel to dry slightly. Set aside.
- Clean out food processor bowl and add remaining cream cheese and 4 oz. blue cheese crumbles. Pulse to combine into a creamy combo.
- Remove cheddar ball from the refrigerator. Gently unwrap, still leaving base on plastic wrap. Spoon ¾ of blue cheese mixture onto the ball and, using another piece of clean plastic wrap between the ball and your hands, carefully spread blue cheese onto the ball in an even layer. Use the remaining ¼ blue cheese mixture to fill in any blank spots, down to the flat base. Discard plastic wrap from the cheddar-forming and re-wrap the ball with what you used for the blue cheese layer. Put ball back in the refrigerator for about ten minutes to set a bit.
- Once blue cheese layer has sets slightly, unwrap cheese ball and gently pat parsley flakes all over it down to the base. Place the cheese ball on serving platter with crostini/crackers and sprinkle some green scallion rings on top and around it. Slice and serve.