Off the Menu with Dara can be heard every Saturday from 11:00-Noon on News Radio 830 WCCO!
I think it is the time for all of us Northerners to embrace: The Cheeseball. Hear me out. The South has had a great and important time the last decade bringing the cheese-spread of the south, Pimiento Cheese, into fancy kitchens and “haute” environs. But we of the North have a cheese thing we do at parties—and it’s just as good! You know it as: the cheeseball. And I think we need to see them at restaurants. In joints with $14 cocktails. On magazine covers again. But until fancy chefs start inventing some new recipes, here’s what I say are the top 5 cheese-balls. Gentlemen, start your graters!
Stout and Aged Cheddar Cheese Ball
This one’s for all you craft-beer-fanatics in the house. Yes, you can use Guiness, as the lovely inventor of the recipe at The Fromagette has done, but you can also use your favorite dark stout from anywhere: Summit Oatmeal Stout, perhaps?
Caramelized Garlic and Aged Cheddar
The basic idea of a cheese ball, like we do up here is: Cream cheese, plus cheese, plus other stuff. I love caramelized garlic in the mix. It’s like garlic bread. Perfect and ready to go.
Feta Cheese and Pine Nut Cheese Ball
If you think cheese-balls can’t be fancy and appropriate for your snobbiest friends back from their most recent trip to Greece—guess again! Feta and pine nuts with fresh herbs—it’s wonderful. Serve with pita triangles and a big bowl of olives. Now you’ve got mezzes!
Pimiento Cheese Ball
Well, you have to give it to the South, in a general way: Cheese plus jarred pimientos and mayo is one of those wholes which is way better than the sum of its parts. Slice up some ham and serve with soft bread, and that’s a nice lunch.
Blue cheese Classic From Betty Crocker
Is the Betty Crocker the icon of the genre? I kind of feel that it is. I know families which have been making the Betty cheese ball since the 1970’s. I love the blue cheese tang, and the cream of the cream cheese. As a triple crème cheese is to brie, this cheese-ball is to blue cheese.