Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What a cheese ball

Ok, I know this sounds so 1950s, but I make a great cheese ball. I used to make all sorts of appetizers for parties. It didn't matter how difficult the recipe was; now I have two kids -- two years old and 5 months. I still like to cook, but sometimes I have to think about the time it takes to make something. If I am going to spend a lot of time on the dinner and dessert, I have to cut back on the time it takes to make appetizers. Here is one of my go to appetizers that always gets lots of oohhs and yummms, but it is super easy.

Goat Cheese Ball with Pistachios

1stick of room temperature unsalted butter
1 10 oz stick of room temperature goat cheese
3/4 cup of pistachios (and a bit more reserved for decoration)
2 cloves of garlic (make a paste using some sea salt)
use fresh chopped scallions or chives to decorate the cheese ball the day you serve it

Whip room temperature butter, room  temperature goat cheese, and garlic/sea salt paste together. Then mix in chopped pistachios. Reserve some chopped nuts for decoration. Now for the cheese ball part -- it is really more of a half dome. Use a bowl that is the size of the half dome you want to create. Place plastic wrap in the bowl with enough extra wrap to over the cheese once it is in the bowl. Spray the plastic wrap with Pam Cooking Spray (this will help you invert the cheese dome and uncover it). Place cheese in the plastic wrapped bowl -- press cheese into bowl to insure the cheese takes on the form of the bowl. Cover the cheese with the remaining plastic wrap. Put in the refrigerator to set. This can be done the day before the party.

When getting ready for the party, invert the half dome (bowl) onto your serving platter. Take plastic wrap off. Use the remaining nuts to decorate the cheese ball. Lightly press the nuts into the cheese ball. Also use some chopped scallions or chives to decorate cheese ball and platter. Serve with crackers.

This is the key to the success of this cheese ball -- you MUST take it out 1 hour before you want to serve it. It has to soften or people will not like it as much. Trust me, it is the difference between having very little of the cheese ball leftover and having most of the cheese ball leftover.


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