As our week of cheese ball recipes comes to a close, we wanted to share a few final thoughts. First, and most importantly, is that we hope our enthusiasm for the oft-maligned ball has inspired you to brush off your old recipes and revive this classic holiday party dish.
Second is that ingredients do matter. No, you probably won’t want to use your $50/lb. Hook’s 15-year cheddar, but there’s no excuse to use a processed cheese food product, either. This week I spotted a recipe that called for “a jar of Kraft blue cheese.” I can not imagine an occasion for which it would be appropriate to buy blue cheese in a jar. And you won’t see me reaching for the mayo jar either, even if the Queen-of-Butterfat herself recommends it. You can make a perfectly delightful ball with the better cheddars available at your local grocer, or even mix one “budget” cheese with something a little nicer.
Finally, get creative! The flavor combinations are nearly endless. We drew from popular dips, onion and pimento, for two of our balls. You can go spicy with smoked paprika, sweet with cinnamon and pumpkin, or add a Mexican flair with cumin and jalapenos.
Cheese + Champagne Original Cheese Ball Recipes
- Chip-Crusted Onion Cheese Ball
- Tomato, Basil and Chevre Cheese Ball
- Cocoa-Lavender Cheese Ball
- Pimento Cheese Ball
- Old Bay Cheese Ball
We’re also tickled to see cheese ball love spreading around the Web:
- Kirstin of It’s Not You, It’s Brie wrote about modern cheese balls last year at NPR’s Kitchen Window;
- Babble’s Family Kitchen presents a family-friendly snowman cheese ball; and
- Madame Fromage prepared Amanda Hesser’s mother’s cheese ball for Ms. Hesser herself. (Incidentally, Mme. Fromage reports that there were three, yes three, pimento cheese dips served at that Philadelphia potluck last week. Trend alert?)