January 14, 2009

Smoked Salmon Cheese Ball

2 cups grated Cabot extra sharp cheddar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 oz smoked nova salmon
1 inch chunk of shallot, minced
1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley

Place the cheese, cream cheese, shallot, salmon and Worcestershire sauce in a blender. Pulse until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and chill for 30 minutes to an hour. Scrape it out of the bowl and shape into a ball. Sprinkle the parsley in a shallow bowl and roll the ball into the cheese until evenly coated. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

My thoughts:
Cheese balls were quite a hit in entertaining scene during the 1960s. They continue to be a favorite because they can be made ahead of time (in fact they are better made 24 hours in advance) and really, who doesn't enjoy spreadable cheese? This one has a slight pink tint and a wonderful smoky salmon flavor. Perfect to spread on crackers or even bread.

Note: most delis and grocery stores that sell smoked salmon also sell little tubs of "ends" leftover from cutting the big sheets of lox. Often they are half the price of the regular smoked salmon and the pieces are generally quite large. They are also perfect for something like this when you need just a bit of smoked salmon.