From the Culinary Underground: Ask the magic cheese ball

by susan on December 6, 2012

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[This is the latest in an ongoing guest series brought to you by Southborough’s Culinary Underground. This week Chef Lori shares a recipe perfect for your holiday party.]

Are the holidays fast approaching? Without a doubt. Will you need a delicious party appetizer recipe? Most likely. Must this recipe be fast and easy? Yes – definitely. Do you have a delicious, fast, and easy recipe on hand? Sources say “no”.

Ah, the cheese ball! I had almost forgotten about it until last week at the CU Orphan’s Thanksgiving gathering. It was a potluck affair and Chef Heather contributed several different cheese balls as appetizers. She went with the classic single fastpitch softball size. Contemporary recipes favor two-bite single balls, overdusted with spices or herbs, and usually served in those twee amuse-bouche spoons. We’ll stick with the retro cheese ball size ‘n shape. It has a special appeal;will not be ignored. Resting in its collar of Wheat Thins, enrobed in nuts, the giant cheese orb is mysterious, knowing…magical.

The Magic Cheese Ball. Will your guests love it? Signs point to yes.

Mean Green Cheese Ball
(8-10 appetizer servings)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbed
4 scallions, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove mashed with ½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dried mint
¾ Cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the pistachios). Taste and adjust seasonings. Form into a ball and chill 15 minutes. Roll in pistachios to cover; press gently to make the nuts adhere. Cover and chill until firm, about 2 hours.

Culinary Underground School for Home Cooks is committed to furthering the art and craft of home cooking through engaging and educational hands-on and demonstrations classes. Using the best seasonal ingredients, mastering techniques, minimizing prep, and maximizing flavor are the focus of their classes. For more information and a class schedule, visit culinaryunderground.com.

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