I couldn't resist - here's one more cheese ball recipe for your winter entertaining. This one is lighter and fresher, with a sharp garlic taste and soft chunks of Havarti blended into cream cheese. The taste of the cheese is a little milder, a little more subdued, so the bright flavors of garlic and parsley can lead out. I roll it in toasted pine nuts and serve with whole grain crackers.
A tip for rolling cheese balls into a nice shape: let the cheese mixture harden up in the fridge before you try rolling it in a coating. It should be very soft and runny after you've blended it in the food processor or with a mixer, and it will be hard to roll neatly. Let it firm up for about half an hour until it's the consistency of clay, then roll it.
Havarti, Parsley, and Garlic Cheese Ball
makes about 10 ounces
6 ounces of Havarti cheese
4 ounces (half a package) full-fat cream cheese
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and trimmed
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon horseradish (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
Let the cheeses sit out at room temperature for about an hour to soften. Whir the toasted pine nuts in a small food processor briefly, just until they are cracked into smaller bits. Remove and set aside on a large plate. Blend the the garlic, parsley and horseradish to a paste in the food processor, then add the cheeses. Blend until well mixed. Taste and add salt and pepper.
Let the mixture firm up the fridge then roll into a ball and coat with cracked pine nuts. Serve with whole grain crackers.