Here, on the last day of 2014, I am about to sing the praises of an old-fashioned party favorite. And, because you may just need something to nosh on later this evening, while you’re sipping that bubbly wine, why not this curry-scented, pistachio-studded cheese ball?
It’s a versatile and easy to make addition to tonight’s (or any night’s, really) snack tray. It also fulfills my requirement to offer cheese and crackers at every available opportunity. This is a keeper; it has a great balance of sweet and savory, with its curry seasoning and fruit flavors from dates and mango chutney. Texture and color abound with a generous coating of toasted and chopped pistachios. There’s still time, if you get to the supermarket pronto! And, remember to enjoy this evening; eat hearty, drink a toast to family and friends, and make all those wishes that you hope will come true. Happy New Year to you all!
Curried Cheese Ball
- 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup chopped pitted dates
- 1 tablespoon finely minced sweet onion
- 1 tablespoon mango chutney
- 1½ teaspoons mild curry powder
- Generous pinch of coarse salt
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup chopped, unsalted pistachios, toasted, for coating the cheese ball
- Assorted crackers and/or crudites, for serving
- In a large bowl, with a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon, mix together the cheeses, dates, onion, chutney, curry powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Form the mixture into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- When you are ready to serve, re-form the cheese into a smooth ball and roll it in the chopped pistachios to coat all surfaces.
- Set on a serving tray or board, with an assortment of crackers and fresh, crunchy crudites.
From “Great Balls of Cheese” by Michelle Buffardi.