Yes, I do love my cheese! During the busy holidays, when guests tend to drop in, I like to have a little something that I can put out at a moment’s notice, and so I make up a cheese ball to keep in my fridge, just for this! You can make one large ball, two or three smaller ones, mold the mixture into a cheese log, or press the cheese into a ramekin and serve it directly from there. The log is a really great choice, as you can cut off a section, serve it, and leave the rest intact for another day! If there is any of your cheese ball or log remaining after you serve guests, just press it into a ramekin, and top it with a garnish…Viola! repurposed snack!
The two items pictured here are a cheese ball with made with Parmesan, salt pepper and Frank’s Red Hot sauce, then coated in fresh chopped rosemary and pink peppercorns, and a cheese log made with Stilton, black pepper, coated in walnuts. I like to serve the Stilton with apples — it’s a really nice pair!
To create a cheese log, which can be cut into smaller portions for serving at different times, combine your ingredients, then scoop the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper. Fold the paper over the mixture, and using the back of a large knife or an icing spatula, mold the cheese into a log by pressing the blade into the bottom of the mixture and pulling on the bottom sheet of paper. when your log is formed, roll it into he rest of the paper and chill, then roll in your choice of coating. See photos below the recipe for examples of preparation and forming the cheese into a ball or a log.
Cheese Ball Master Recipe
- ½ cup grated or crumbled cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- Optional flavoring agents:
- 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh chopped herbs
- chopped dried fruit 1 to 3 tablespoons
- freshly grated zest ½ to 1 teaspoon
- Frank’s Red Hot Sauce to taste
- Worcestershire sauce ½ to 2 teaspoons
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped nuts or herbs for outside
- crackers or crostini for serving
In a food processor or mixer, combine cheeses. Fold in flavoring agents of choice, the season with salt and pepper. Scoop the mixture into the center of a plastic wrap square. Pull up the corners and twist the wrap to mold the mixture into a ball. Chill at least one hour.
Before serving, roll cheese ball in chopped nuts or finely snipped herbs.
Store wrapped refrigerated, in plastic wrap, up to 3 weeks