A holiday is not a holiday without a cheese ball.
The love for a good cheese ball is something that a lot of people don’t declare publicly. Personally, I think of the cheese ball as a strange creation from the 1970’s Betty Crocker recipe cards. A big ball of cheese really is not the most attractive creation no matter how you dress it up. Then why is it still strangely irresistible? Because, well, it’s a big ball of cheese! Mmmmm, cheese. (Perhaps the bulk of the cheese ball creates it’s own tiny gravitational field which pulls us in?)
In my hunt to find a new cheese ball recipe, I was thrilled to find that Amy Sedaris (one of my favorite humorists) had her own. It was my lucky day because I also found this great clip of Amy making the cheese ball on the Martha Stewart show. The is truly a classic interaction between the often humorless and staid Martha and the acerbic and upredictable Amy.
I adapted the original recipe a bit. First, I cut it down so that it only made one ball. (I call this the “Lance Armstrong Adaptation”.) Also, Amy used A1 Steak Sauce known to her as “bong water”. I normally don’t have A1 hand, so, I instead used an organic chimi churi argentine vegetable/steak sauce from interuppcion organic fair trade. I think it was a good substitution.
Lil’ Smoky Cheese Ball
Adapted from I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese, room temperature
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoons steak sauce (or smoky hot sauce)
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts or pecans
Crackers, for serving
Place the Gouda, cream cheese, butter, milk and steak sauce in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (As I am sans mixer with paddle attachment, I had to stir by hand until the mixture became creamy.)
Mix until well combined. Transfer mixture to refrigerator. Let chill overnight.
Roll cheese mixture into a ball.
(Oh my! Cover thyself nekkid cheese ball!)
Place nuts in a shallow dish. (Note: I toasted the pecans in the toaster oven at 300 degrees until they became fragrant. I let them cool a bit, then placed them into a bag. I hit them with a mallet to crush them into little pieces.) Roll cheese in nuts to fully coat.
Serve with crackers.
There you have it! What are you waiting for? Push up those sleeves and enjoy making this easy retro, and crowd pleasing, snack.