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.

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Chicken Kiev

http://food52.com/recipes/11471-chicken-kiev

 

Absolutely need toothpicks to do this. Easier to make a full batch (per the website recipe) of herb butter and freeze half – blend the herbs and butter instead of placing them separately. Make sure to sear as much as possible, these don’t need too much time in the oven.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • .5 handful Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, finely chiffonaded
  • 4 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • Flour
  • Olive oil
  • .5 white wine
  • Extra lemon juice for sauce
  • Lemon wedges

 

Directions:

  1. Pound and flatten the chicken breasts. Make the breasts as thin as possible, but try not to tear the breasts – 1/4-inch is a good thickness to aim for. You are going to slice each flattened breast in half.
  2. With the “smooth” side of the breasts down, lightly season the breasts with salt and pepper. Then, put 1/4 of the herb butter on each half chicken breast.
  3. Fold over the breasts on the sides first, and then top and bottom. Skewer with 2-3 toothpicks to secure. The goal is to not let the butter out.
  4. Dust the Kievs in flour, very lightly.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Using tongs, place the Kievs in the skillet and brown nicely on all sides, including the tops and bottoms of the Kievs. The browning may take about 15 minutes.
  6. Place the Kievs in a 300°F oven while you make the sauce.
  7. If you find that some of the Kievs have released their butter, that is fine – it happens all the time. To the skillet, add the wine and scrape all the good bits into the wine. If you need to add butter to the sauce, just a small pat will do. Reduce the sauce until it is nicely brown and shimmering. Taste — and for a little brightness, you may want to add a tiny bit of lemon juice. If the kievs release juice in the oven, pour into the sauce.
  8. Plate the Kievs and pour the sauce over them. Serve with lemon wedges. Make sure to reduce the sauce adequately.