Saturday, May 16, 2009
Jalapeno Bacon Cheese Ball
I made this to take to a "Linger Longer" at our church on Sunday. Once a month, people sign up to bring edibles and we stick around after church and eat. There is a different theme every month. Once it was sweet breads; I brought banana bread. One month it was soups, and I made a delicious turkey vegetable soup. This month everyone was supposed to bring something to be eaten with chips or crackers. I thought about doing salsa or some sort of dip for tortilla chips. But I figured that lots of people would take that route, and decided to do a cheese ball instead. I made it similar to my jalapeno popper spread that I've made before, because I just totally love the flavor of jalapeno poppers!
This is actually the first cheese ball I've made. I love cheese balls, and they're one of the first things I go to at a party if there's one being served. I didn't use a recipe, I just made one up and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. Sauteing the jalapenos got rid of the spiciness, and there is plenty of bacon and cheese flavor. Yum!
Jalapeno Bacon Cheese Ball
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon
2-3 jalapenos, seeded and diced
Salt, garlic powder, chili powder to taste
Something to roll the ball in (I considered using bread crumbs, but decided on chopped walnuts)
Fry up the bacon until it's crispy. Crumble and add to cream cheese. Fry jalapenos in bacon grease until tender. Add to cream cheese and bacon. Add shredded cheese and seasonings. Mix together with fork (or your hands, teehee!) until well blended.
Form into a loose ball, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and chill.
Once hardened, take it out and pat it into a more perfect ball shape. Don't handle it too much or it will soften and you'll have to chill it again. Pour chopped nuts (or coating of choice) onto a plate, and roll the cheese ball in them until fully coated (This step was harder than it sounds. The nuts kept falling off. Just be persistent and keep pressing them into place). Wrap with plastic wrap. Chill until ready to serve (preferably overnight so the flavors have plenty of time to blend). Serve with crackers.
Isn't it pretty? Not bad for my first cheese ball!
If you want the cheese ball to be spicy, don't fry the jalapenos - add them raw. If you want it really spicy, you can even add more jalapenos. I wasn't sure how many people at church would appreciate a cheese ball that was super spicy, so I made sure to make it mild enough for everyone to enjoy.
Well, everyone except Jeff. He's in the process of being tested for food allergies, due to some very bad reactions he's been having. On the list are bacon and sausage and their various possible ingredients, and jalapenos. What terrible things to develop allergies to! So he won't be able to enjoy this particular cheese ball, but I'm sure there will be plenty of other things for him to eat tomorrow.
I mean, allergic to bacon? How unfair can life get?!
***Update*** Everyone loved the cheese ball! By the end of the Linger Longer, the entire ball had been eaten. Now that's what I like to see!