Ok, admit it, when was the last time you actually made a cheese ball? I hadn’t made one for ages but was faced with an upcoming potluck at work with little time to make anything. And after thumbing through a very old cookbook I noticed a recipe for a cheese ball and thought, I should make that. And, as with any recipe, I added my own personal touches.
The ingredients for this recipe are not all that complicated, cream cheese, scallions, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, worcestershire sauce, mayo, spices and some almonds. Easy enough.
My major concern was I thought people would think this was too much of an “old school” kind of appetizer and turn up their noses at it. To my surprise, quite the opposite. It wound up being the perfect compliment to the other things people brought to the potluck and it disappeared in record time. Being that this was a potluck at work, people not only enjoyed the taste of the cheeseball but the fact they could go into the break room, put a dollop of the cheeseball on a cracker and be off on their merry way. Once again this shows how one’s perceptions regarding food can be so off the mark. I was so glad everyone enjoyed it and would definitely consider making this again. It was that much of a hit.
So let’s talk cheese ball…
Lesson Learned 1 – Taste the mixture before forming it into a ball and adding the almonds: When I did that I knew the cheese ball needed some salt. So instead of just using garlic powder, I used both garlic powder and some garlic salt. That little addition made a big difference.
Lesson Learned 2 – Use shredded parmesan versus grated parmesan: Shredded parmesan cheese gives a richer much more noticeable flavor to the cheese ball. Grated parmesan seems to get lost in the shuffle.
Lesson Learned 3 – Make the cheese ball the day before your event: When I initially tasted the cheese ball I thought it was ok, but the next day after the ingredients really got acquainted in the refrigerator, the cheese ball tasted fabulous! I was not prepared for the difference in the flavor. Everyone raved at how delicious it was. This is definitely a recipe that tastes markedly different the second day.
Not too many lessons learned on this one. It really is just a recipe where you mix everything together all at once, roll it into a ball, cover it with sliced almonds and refrigerate it overnight. And with the holidays and holiday parties not too far in the distant future, this is a great little recipe to have in your hip pocket.
If you want something that looks impressive and tastes divine, make this one and bring it to your next party. I guarantee you it will be gone before you know it!
Easy Party Cheese Ball...
2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded medium sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup green onions, minced
1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 cup sliced almonds
crackers and fruit (grapes, sliced apples, etc., optional) for serving
Combine softened cream cheese and mayo until smooth. Add remaining ingredients except the almonds. Stir until well combined.
Spread almonds out on wax paper. Form the mixture into a ball (it will be soft and sticky) and roll the ball in the almonds until the ball is completely covered with the almonds. Transfer the ball onto some plastic wrap, wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Unwrap and plate the cheese ball. Serve with crackers and fruit.