Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Festive Holiday Cheese Ball


It's the holidays and that means more than just Santa, presebnts, and cookies. It means ugly Christmas sweater parties filled with amazingly obnoxious outfits and an excuse to wear LED lights wrapped around my boots. Yes I have done this before. This year we found the mother load of sweaters, including my sequined menorah sweatshirt, which I'm hoing to get a lot of future use out of my $10 (score!) purchase. But let's get back to food shall we?

This bad boy is loaded to the max with flavor. It's got three different kinds of cheese. Toasted almonds. Fried Sage. And butter. That's right. I said butter. Oh, and then it's rolled in pomegranate arils. Super festive, right? My boyfriend and I attended a holiday party (not Christmas sweater themed, but we did it anyways) last weekend, and couldn't show up empty handed. So we came fully prepared with this since I figured most people would bring along their favorite holiday cookies. And not only is it beautiful, but it's absolutely delicious, and super simple to assemble. Want to switch it up for your next holiday gathering? I've got you covered.

Pomegranate Sage Cheese Ball

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 10 fresh age leaves
  • 8 oz. goat cheese, softened
  • 4 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 6 oz. freshly grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup pomegranate arils
  • water crackers for serving
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the butter to it. Once it's melted, add the sage leaves to the sizzling butter and cook until crispy on both sides, flipping and cooking on each side for 1 minute. Remove the sage leaves and place them on a paper towel to crisp up. Set the sage-flavored-butter aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese, mascarpone, and cheddar. Beat with a hand or stand mixer until combined. Add in the almonds, sage leaves, remaining butter, salt, and pepper. Mix on low speed until combined, just for a minute or so. Take the cheese mixture out of the bowl and mold it into a ball shape. Roll it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the arils on a paper towel and pat them completely dry. Let them sit out at room remperature while the cheese is chilling.

After 30 minutes, mold the cheese into more of smoothed out ball. Add the arils to a plate and roll the ball through them, using your hands to press the arils into the ball, covering as much surface area as you can. You may have press them firmly to the cheese ball to stick. You can serve immediately, or keep in the fridge until ready to use.


*Do ahead: Make the cheese ball 1-2 days ahead. Wait until just before serving to add the arils. Let the cheese come to room temperature before adhering the arils. Serve*

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