Cheese Balls

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/12/cheese-ball-trio-updated-retro-recipe-appetizer.html

Blue Cheese, Toasted Walnut, & Pomegranate
Feta, Sun-dried Tomato, & Toasted Pine Nut
Goat Cheese, Lemon Zest, & Herb

 

INGREDIENTS

For the Base:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature (675g)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (30ml)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (2g)
1/4 teaspoon pepper (1g)
1/4 cup minced fresh chives (about .25 ounces; 7g)

For the Goat Cheese, Lemon, and Herb Cheese Balls:
1/3 of base mixture (about 1 1/4 cups)
8 ounces fresh goat cheese (225g)
3/4 cup assorted fresh herbs such as chives, mint, basil, and parsley, finely minced (175ml)
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest (10ml)
Coarsely ground black pepper

For the Blue Cheese, Toasted Walnut, and Pomegranate Cheese Balls: 1/3 of the base mixture (about 1 1/4 cups)
8 ounces crumbled blue cheese (225g)
2/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (about 4 ounces; 115g)
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (about 2 ounces; 55g)

For the Feta Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Pine Nut Cheese Balls:
1/3 of the base mixture (about 1 1/4 cups)
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese (225g)
10 small sun-dried tomatoes (about 2 ounces; 55g)
1 cup toasted pine nuts (about 6 ounces; 170g)

DIRECTIONS

For the Base: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the cream cheese, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the chives and process again until just combined. Remove from the food processor and divide into thirds.

For the Goat Cheese, Lemon, and Herb Cheese Balls: Add 1/3 of base mixture to the bowl of a clean food processor. Add goat cheese and process until smooth and well-combined. Transfer mixture to a sealable container and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer mixture to the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the cheese firmly in the plastic wrap and use your hands to mold into a sphere. Place the plastic-wrapped ball back in the refrigerator and chill until firm again, about 1 hour.

Combine herbs, lemon zest, and plenty of ground black pepper on a large plate. Remove the goat cheese ball from the plastic wrapping and roll it in the chopped herbs until fully coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Blue Cheese, Toasted Walnut, and Pomegranate Cheese Balls: Add 1/3 of base mixture to the bowl of a clean food processor. Add blue cheese and process until smooth and well-combined. Transfer mixture to a sealable container and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer mixture to the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the cheese firmly in the plastic wrap and use your hands to mold into a sphere. Place the plastic-wrapped ball back in the refrigerator and chill until firm again, about 1 hour.

Combine chopped walnuts and pomegranate seeds on a large plate. Remove the blue cheese ball from the plastic wrapping and roll it in the chopped nuts until fully coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Feta Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Pine Nut Cheese Balls: Add 1/3 of base mixture to the bowl of a clean food processor. Add feta and sun-dried tomatoes and process until smooth and well-combined. Transfer mixture to a sealable container and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer mixture to the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the cheese firmly in the plastic wrap and use your hands to mold into a sphere. Place the plastic-wrapped ball back in the refrigerator and chill until firm again, about 1 hour.

Spread toasted pine nuts on a large plate. Remove the feta cheese ball from the plastic wrapping and roll it in the chopped nuts until fully coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve cheese balls with chips, pita, crostini, crackers, pretzels, or vegetables.

Cheesy Pesto Pull Apart Bread

Cheesy Pesto Pull-Apart Bread

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 baguette
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup pesto
  • 1½ cups Italian five cheese blend, shredded
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Using a serrated knife, make 1″ diagonal cuts across the baguette while leaving the bottom intact. Repeat by cutting it again in the opposite direction
  2. Pour the melted butter in between the cuts of the bread and distribute evenly
  3. Using a spoon of butter knife, spread the pesto along the cuts
  4. Transfer to aluminum foil and generously stuff the cheese in between cuts
  5. Wrap up completely in aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes
  6. Open up the foil to expose the bread and bake for another 10 minutes to make it crunchy
  7. Remove from oven and let it sit for 10 minutes
  8. Dish and serve hot

Garlic Knots

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/cast-iron-pull-apart-pepperoni-garlic-knots.html

Serious eats does pepperoni; here’s another way:

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 8 ounces sage sausage or breakfast sausage, removed from casings (see note above)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh sage leaves
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound homemade or store-bought pizza dough (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Procedures

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and mash with stiff whisk or potato masher to break up into fine pieces (largest pieces should be no greater than 1/4-inch). Cook, stirring frequently until only a few bits of pink remain, about 8 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic, and sage and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer contents to a large bowl and set aside until completely cool.
  2. While filling cools, make knots. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into two even pieces. Working one piece at a time, roll or stretch into an oblong strip about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide. With a bench scraper or knife, cut crosswise into 12 strips. Repeat with other half of dough.
  3. Tie each strip into a knot and transfer to bowl with sausge mixture. Toss and fold with your hands until every knot is thoroughly coated in mixture. Grease a 9- by 13-inch casserole pan with 1 tablespoon butter. Transfer the knots to the casserole dish in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, cover tightly with plastic, and set aside until doubled in size, about 4 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate until doubled in size, 12 to 16 hours.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425°F and adjust oven rack to center position. Unwrap rolls. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. When rolls are almost ready, melt remaining tablespoon butter in the microwave or stovetop. Remove rolls from oven and immediately brush butter. Serve with gravy and cranberry sauce on the side.