✯ Day 355 of Vintage 365 ✯
On this, the third day in our five part series of treasured family Christmas recipes (and, interestingly, also the tenth to last day of 2011), I wanted to share with you a recipe that I think I could, gleefully, eat every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of.
One might think that's mighty high praise for a simple cheese ball, and indeed it is, but to my mind at least, this is the best such cheese spread I've ever encountered, and I have my mom's beloved holiday recipe collection to thank for it.
Utilizing a mere handful of ingredients, this fabulously yummy spread (or dip, if you have sturdy foods to dunk into it) is on that I make religiously every holiday season. In fact, I adore it so much, I sometimes can't wait a full year to enjoy it again and whip it up for parties, special occasions, or simply when the mood strikes in between Decembers.
It pairs terrifically with a wide host of crackers, breads, flat breads, and also melba toast. You can certainly use it with raw veggies, too, though I feel it shines best when paired with crackers and breads.
Triscuits, Ritz, Sociables, (Christie's) Swiss Cheese, Vegetable Thins, and Wheat Thins rank highly amongst the most popular crackers, in particular, amongst my family when serving this awesome cheese ball.
-1 package (8 ounces/225 grams) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
-2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
-3 green onion stalks (green and white parts), finely chopped
-1 jar (2 ounces/55 grams) diced pimientos, well drained
-2 tbsp butter of margarine, melted
-1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
-Pinch of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-Assorted crackers and/or breads to serve with cheese ball
In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until fluffy. Add in all other ingredients and continue to mix until everything is well combined.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon, press mixture firmly into the bottom of the bowl; smooth top. Cover and refrigerate for at least five hours before serving (if you can refrain yourself from nibbling a bite of two for that long).
Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before unmoulding. Turn out cheese ball mixture onto a serving plate, or shape into a ball with your hands and serve surrounded by crackers on a platter.
Yields one cheese ball (approx. 2 1/2 cups of spread), that will keep (if covered) in the fridge for up to four days. You can (and should!) multiple this recipe to your heart's content.
A culinary magic of sorts tastes place when the abundance of green onions, nippy cheddar, pimento, and seasonings combine in a blanket of cream cheese in this marvelous, totally 1950s worthy holiday spread, that endears it to my heart year after year, decade after decade.
If I was hosting a holiday cocktail party and could (for whatever reason) only make one dish from scratch for my guest to enjoy, this would definitely be it.