"Stilton and Walnut Balls"
recipe excerpted from Christmas 101: Celebrate the Holiday Season from Christmas to New Year's Copyright © by Rick Rodgers. All rights reserved.
Makes 12 to 16 appetizer servings ---
Cheese balls aren't supposed to be classy, just delicious, but this recipe has a very sophisticated combination of flavors. It goes well with plain watercrackers, but it is also terrific spread on sliced pears.
Make Ahead: The cheese balls can be made up to 5 days ahead.
8 ounces Stilton or other blue cheese, rind removed, at room temperature
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons tawny port
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
Water crackers, for serving
Cored, sliced, ripe Bosc pears, tossed with lemon juice to discourage browning, for serving
In a medium bowl, using a rubber spatula, mash the Stilton and cream cheese together until smooth. Work in the port and pepper. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the work surface, and scrape the cheese mixture into the center of the wrap. Use the plastic wrap to form the cheese mixture into a ball (it will be soft). Refrigerate until the ball is chilled and firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, unwrap the ball and roll in the chopped nuts. Transfer to a platter and serve with the crackers and pears.
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