Bacon & Jalapeño Cheese Ball
I’ve had this recipe from ’The Homesick Texan’ on my ‘wishlist’ for quite some time and I’m glad to say it didn’t disappoint. I’ll be honest, it’s hard to write about ‘cheesy balls’ with a totally straight face, but these retro orbs appear to be big business over the water. Whilst in America they are favoured for Thanksgiving & Christmas, I see no reason why these can’t enjoyed as alternative to our traditional after-dinner cheese and biscuits. They certainly didn’t hang around very long when I made them tonight!
I’ve adapted the recipe a bit to make it slightly healthier and suit my taste – the original can be found here. The crunch and saltiness of the bacon, perfectly compliments the creamy cheese, tangy lime and coriander – whilst the jalapeños give a fantastic warmth. Give it a go, it’s the perfect addition to a cheeseboard and dead simple to make.
225g philadephia light cream cheese
50g mature cheddar, grated
2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
12-15 slices jalapeños in brine, finely chopped (use 2 fresh jalapeños if you like it really hot)
6 rashers smoked bacon, cooked and then blitzed into crumbs
Salt to taste
50g chopped hazelnuts/brazil nuts, roasted
Crackers for serving
Mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, 1/2 the coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, jalapeños, half the coriander and half of the crumbled cooked bacon. Taste and adjust seasonings and add salt.
Place the roasted nuts and remaining bacon and coriander on a plate. Stir together so well mixed. With your hands, roll the cheese mixture into a ball (or several smaller balls if you prefer), then place on the plate and roll in the nut and bacon mixture until covered.
Chill covered before serving. Serve with crackers.