April 15, 2013

Gorgonzola Chive Cheese Ball


8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup 1/2 inch pieces of chives
5 oz crumbled Gorgonzola
1 oz shredded Cabot extra sharp cheddar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 inch chunk of shallot, minced
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup minced flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup blanched, slivered almonds

Place the cheeses, chives, cream cheese, shallot, 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 and almonds in a shallow bowl and roll the ball into the mixture until evenly coated. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

My thoughts:

I don't think people make and eat cheese balls nearly as much as they ought to. Or maybe it is just the people we know (and we do seem to know an inordinate amount of vegans) but never do I see a cheese ball on the table. It is a shame because 1. it's cheese 2. it is pretty easy to make 3. it is always a crowd pleaser and did I mention 4. it's cheese! I know some people think of them and have '50s flashbacks to cheese balls that were made with waxy "nippy" cheese and rolled in salty nuts but cheese balls can be so much more. I like them made with strong tasting cheese like Gorgonzola and rolled in herbs in addition to nuts. You could just do herbs but if you are making it ahead of time, it does keep its shape better for longer when rolled in the almonds. I like to serve it with a variety of fun shaped crackers but you could go healthy and serve with crisp vegetables. Skinny radishes (with their tops left on as handles) are especially good with this one.