I have two words for you.
No wait! Three words.
Epic. Cheese. Ball.
A failsafe way to provide good food at your party is to invite Paula Dean. If you can’t get her to accept your invitation, the next best thing is to make one of her recipes. Especially when the recipe involves the cheese trifecta of cream, cheddar and blue. Oh and bacon. Never forget the bacon.
This was honestly soooo delicious. It costs a few extra pennies to make (although in all fairness we landed up with leftover bacon, blue cheese, and pecans and we used the parsley in other dishes) but it comes together fairly easily and everyone truly raved about it.
Even though we served a full ham dinner after this, I sort of feel like this was the show stealer. But maybe that’s because I was in a delicious cheese haze.
Nutty Bacon Cheese Ball
adapted from Paula Dean
- 1 package (250 gram) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups old cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp diced pimento, drained (I found a tiny jar in the pickle aisle at my supermarket)
- 3/4 cup pecans, chopped, divided
- 10 slices bacon, cooked, drained, finely crumbled and divided
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (I didn’t have any and we didn’t miss them at all.
The original recipe says to use a mixer with flat beater but I was working on this at Michael’s and found using a hand mixer with regular beaters worked just fine.
- Place cream cheese in a bowl and soften with a mixer for about one minute. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to speed two and gradually add milk, mixing until well blended about one more minute. Stop and scrape bowl. Add cheeses, onions, pimentos, half of the bacon and half the pecans. Turn to speed three and beat until well blended, about another minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap. Form into a ball and wrap tightly. (This is a bit mucky but just get the basic shape and don’t worry about it being perfect or pretty.)
- Refrigerate (or freeze) at least 2 hours. If you opt to freeze, remove it approximately 10 minutes before moving on to the next step.
- Combine the remaining bacon and remaining pecans, parsley and poppy seeds in a shallow dish. Remove the plastic wrap and roll the cheese ball lightly in the bacon/nut mixture until evenly coated. Wrap it back up in plastic wrap and refrigerate again until ready to use or serve right away.
- Serve with crackers, fresh veggies and apple slices. Prepare to swoon.
* Note: I found this to be a quite large cheese ball, so divided it up and made one large for the dinner party and a small one for the freezer.