Friday, July 8, 2011

So Cheesy

I usually think of cheese balls as fall/winter party fare.  However, when I was looking for recipes to try for my friend's 4th of July party, I came across this version, in the January 2011 issue of Cook's Country magazine,  made with goat cheese and summery flavors of lemon and basil.  Don't let the goat cheese turn you off, it adds a nice tang, but not a lot of it's own flavor.  This is easy to make and serves a crowd, so I'll be keeping this in my spring/summer recipe file.

Someone on Facebook mentioned that it looks like a Chia Pet.  I can see the resemblance.  However, my cheese ball tastes MUCH better than a Chia Pet would (not that I've ever tasted one).

Lemon-Herb Goat Cheese Ball

1.  Combine an 11oz log of plain goat cheese (about 2 cups crumbled), an 8oz brick softened cream cheese, 1 minced garlic clove, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, and 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest in a food processor until smooth.

2.  Transfer the cheese mixture to the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tightly into a ball shape.  Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours or up to two days.  (I found that it helped to keep the ball in a reound bowl to help it keep it's shape.)

3.  Once the cheese is firm, reshape it as necessary to form a smooth ball.  Unwrap and roll in 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives.  Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

I served mine with round pita crackers from Trader Joe's.  They go really well with this spread.

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