Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Recipe Review: Date, Walnut and Blue Cheese Ball

For Thanksgiving last year, I decided to switch up my family's standard appetizer of vegetable crudite and dip. I saw this recipe and figured I'd try it out. I wanted something a little fancier and this fit the bill. It was surprisingly successful, and I decided that this year I would double the recipe and serve it again.
Date, Walnut and Blue Cheese Ball
Source: Cooking Light, November 2010
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon powdered buttermilk
5 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons minced pitted Medjool dates (2 to 3 dates)
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted
1. In the large bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Beat until thoroughly combined and creamy.
2. Add the dates, shallots, lemon rind, salt and pepper. Beat to combine. Insider tip: Rub your knife down with a bit of cooking spray or olive oil when mincing the dates to prevent them from sticking to knife and getting all gummed up.
3. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap, and using a spatula, plop the cheese ball into the center of the plastic wrap. Gently wrap up the cheese ball, twisting the end of the plastic wrap together to help form a ball shape.
4. Refrigerate the ball for 12-24 hours.
5. When ready to serve, place the minced parsley and walnuts in a large bowl. Remove the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and roll it around the parlsey-walnut mixture to coat it. Serve with crackers or toasts.
6. Enjoy!
What's your favorite holiday appetizer? Let me know in a comment down below! :)