Thursday, June 21, 2018

Red Pepper Cheese Ball

Ahhh, the seventies! If you’re as old as I am, then you probably remember them as fondly as I do. One thing I remember in exquisite detail are the parties that my parents used to throw for their friends. My mother loved to cook, and made the most fabulous meals, but back then I didn’t care about wonderful dinners, I was all about snacks. 

One thing I remember particularly liking was her Party Cheese Ball, a recipe provided, back then, by Kraft Foods, in an effort to sell their cheese. You all know what I’m talking about — cream cheese, grated cheddar, seasonings, all rolled together and coated with crushed pecans. Allowed to come to room temperature, it is ambrosia on a cracker. 

I was thinking about her cheese ball the other day, wondering why I hadn’t made one in decades, firstly, and wondering, secondly, how much better it would be with bits of roasted red pepper scattered throughout. I was right, of course, red pepper makes everything better; it’s like the vegetable version of bacon. At any rate, thinking about my mom, I made this Red Pepper Party Cheese Ball. It is wonderful with any kind of cracker, delicious with crudités, and darned good when spread on wedges of apple. The fact of the matter is, with a cheese ball, you can never go wrong. Never!
Red Pepper Cheese Ball

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/2 tablespoon minced shallots
2 T. Melissa’s Fire Roasted Red Bell Peppers, minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne
1 cup finely ground toasted pecans.

Place all ingredients, except pecans, into a medium mixing bowl, and beat to within an inch of its life. (Or, you can do what I did, and toss everything into the food processor.) Scrape onto a piece of plastic wrap, and form into a ball as you are securely covering it. Place into the refrigerator for an hour to chill, then remove and roll in the pecans, pressing them firmly into the cheese ball, covering it completely. You can serve it at that point, or keep it for up to three days. If you’re having a larger crowd, you can double this recipe and make a cheese boulder. Either way, people are going to love it.

If you prefer your cheese warm and dip-able, try this Baked Pimiento Cheese. Heaven!

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4 comments: said...

Olla, I have intending to send this for ages. When i first started reading your blog (long ago) i kept reading about Millisa's this and that. I would say to myself "Olla surely has a good neighbor" Then one day I was reading another recipe and they too had a Milisa item.I thought that surely they couldn't have the same neighbor. Then the brain switch turned on..Milisa many items can be purchased in the supermarket. I was so pleased with my stupid 91 year old self,but knew not to confess to keep from getting "The old age label" However today I am confessing. Every time I read Millesa in your (or any other) recipes I laugh out loud at myself.I am a misplaced Texan stuck in Mississippi Milissa I do love your blog and I still love to cook. Jere

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Jere, you are so funny! I am glad that you finally figured things out because Melissa's products are THE BEST! Thank you for your sweet comment, and for being such a faithful reader.

The Gregor Family said...

Thanks so much for sharing at the Friday at the Fire Station link up! This looks amazing and I love the idea of the added red pepper! You will be the featured post this week! :)

Miz Helen said...

Great for a summer gathering at the pool! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday!
Miz Helen