Friday, October 23, 2015

Truly Good Spicy Cheese Ball

When I think of cheese balls, my thoughts go way back to middle school and home economics, way back in the early 70's. We made a cream cheese and cheddar cheese ball for Christmas that had red and green bell peppers. I have been tweaking that recipe ever since. Several years ago, I ran across Lisa Fain’s "Homesick Texan, Bacon-Jalapeno Cheese Ball" recipe. The first time I made it was for a Super Bowl Party. Oh my goodness, it was so delicious! It has been a favorite in my household since.

When I learned that we would be getting a variety of nuts/seeds from The Truly Good Foods Company, I knew that a cheese ball had to be one of my recipes. After sampling the four varieties of nuts they provided us - Praline Pecans, Butter Toffee Peanuts, Blackened Pumpkin Seeds and Buffalo Nuts - I decided the Praline Pecans would be great in a cheese ball, especially if I gave Lisa’s Texan cheese ball a spicy Cajun spin.

Since my husband and I are now empty-nesters, I focus on smaller portions. This recipe is the perfect size for two people and will make any Sunday super!

Truly Good Spicy Cheese Ball
by Linda M.  
4 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated American cheese
1 cube Dorot Crushed Garlic (or one clove of garlic, minced)
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, divided (I used Slap Ya Mama Hot)
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon grated white onion
1 jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, finely chopped, divided
6 slices of crispy fried bacon, finely chopped, divided
1/2 cup Truly Good Praline Pecans, finely chopped

1. Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, American cheese, 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, grated onion, half of the jalapeno and half of the bacon together in a large bowl.

2. Form into a ball, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

3. In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix Praline Pecans with 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning to coat well.

4. Mix remaining jalapeno and bacon with the seasoned Praline Pecans.

5. When you are ready to serve, pour the mixture onto a plate. Remove cheese ball from refrigerator and using hands, gently roll the ball around in the mixture. The cheese ball should be completely covered with the seasoned Praline Pecans, jalapeno, and bacon mix.

6. Serve with your favorite crackers or veggies.

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