Herbed Goat Cheese Balls
February 3, 2010 § Leave a comment
I found this delicious appetizer over at “The Kitchen,” and just had to give it a try! Of course I changed a few things, to suit what I had in my own kitchen, such as leaving out pecans, and using wasabi cashews. Oh my.
I made my cheese balls a little smaller than they did, because it says it makes 16-20. My recipe made more than that. And I didn’t have enough coating to go around. No worries, I chopped up some leftover pepperoni really tiny, and coated the rest in that. It was delicious.
I changed the amounts for bacon, etc in this recipe for you, but you still might have to experiment a bit for yourself, to get it right. Go on, be brave, that’s what cooking is all about!
12 slices bacon
4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces cream cheese (not whipped, and do not use neufchatal cheese)
2 tablespoons chopped thyme or basil, divided
Cracked black pepper
1/2 cup wasabi flavored cashews. You can substitute whatever kind of nut you prefer.
1/4 tsp. dry garlic powder (i thought it needed it)
Place the bacon in a large skillet without overlapping the slices. Cook, turning frequently, until the bacon is quite crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Pat the slices to remove excess grease.
While the bacon is cooking, whiz the goat cheese, cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of herbs, the 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, and a few turns of cracked black pepper in the food processor. Whiz until creamy and well-mixed, then form small balls, using a teaspoon measuring spoon. This makes them about bite sized. (I know, they look tiny, but after you put the coating on, they are perfect.) Put in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up . They get a little sticky with the heat from your hands. (Don’t let them freeze all the way; just help them firm up. You can also place them in the refrigerator for a longer period of time, which I did, since I wasn’t in any hurry.)
Clean out the food processor. Crumble in the cooled bacon, the remaining tablespoon of herbs, and the nuts. Whiz until very fine and crumbly; it should be as fine as your food processor will make it.
Take the cheese balls out of the freezer and roll them in the bacon mixture, pressing it in with your fingers if it doesn’t immediately stick.
Place the balls in a container, and refrigerate until serving.
Extra-bacon option: If you aren’t content to simply roll these in bacon, then fry an additional two strips of bacon and crumble them into the cheese mixture itself.