We’re having relatives over for a birthday celebration, and J, who was confused about exactly what we’re celebrating, spent quite a bit of time making a lovely turkey garland for the occasion. The prospect of getting together has put me into the holiday spirit early, so I thought that I’d share my first holiday recipe.
Thanksgiving kicks off what I like to call Cheeseball Season. This most wonderful time of the year continues until New Year’s Day. It’s necessary to impose a strict parameters on the consumption of cheeseball because otherwise I would probably be about 4 sizes larger. Of course, it also makes this time of year even more special.
- 2 packages of cream cheese (8 oz. each–1/3 less fat is fine, fat-free is not as good)
- 10 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I like Cabot Extra Sharp)
- 2 T finely chopped green pepper
- 2 T finely chopped pimiento (roasted red pepper)
- 2 T finely chopped yellow onion
- 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- 2-3 t Worchestershire sauce
- 2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 2-3 t lemon juice
- 3-4 shakes of garlic powder
- dash of salt
- ¾ cups chopped pecan (approximately; to roll the cheeseball in)
- Let cream cheese soften to room temperature.
- Mix both cheeses.
- Mix in all the other ingredients (except second batch of pecans) and blend well. It’s much easier to combine everything with your hands than with spoons.
- Form into two balls and place them in rounded bowls.
- Chill in the refrigerator for about an hour (more time is okay).
- Remove, fix the shape, and roll each ball in chopped pecans.
I like to eat my cheeseball with stoned wheat thin crackers or plain crusty bread. Anything too complicated will detract from the carnival of flavors that are already cavorting blissfully together. Cheeseballs keep pretty well in the fridge, so it’s a good recipe if you have two close-together parties, although, of course, it’s a Festival of Allergens, so it depends on your crowd. Once refrigerated it firms up quite a bit, but one of those little spready utensils is still your best bet for serving. Yummy.