Cheddar, Feta and Walnut Cheese Ball
- Yield: 12 servings
- Prep: 20 mins
- Cook: 0 mins
- 8ounces (2 cups) grated California Cheddar cheese
- 8ounces (1 cup) cream cheese
- 4ounces (3/4 cup) crumbled California Feta cheese
- 2cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4teaspoon salt
- 1/4teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1cup chopped California walnuts, toasted if desired
- 2tablespoons capers, drained
- 2tablespoons chopped, roasted and peeled red peppers OR 2 tablespoons chopped pimento
- 2tablespoons gin or vodka, if desired
- 1pinch cayenne pepper
- Combine the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, feta cheese, garlic, salt and pepper sauce and mix until blended and smooth. Add 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the capers, the red pepper or pimento, and gin or vodka. Continue to mix until the ingredients are incorporated and evenly blended. The mixture will be easier to shape if it is refrigerated at this point for 2-3 hours before forming.
- Add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the remaining 1/2 cup of walnuts and toss to coat. Spread the nuts on a sheet of waxed paper.
- With damp hands, divide the mixture in half. Pat and press each half into a ball about 3 inches across or into a log about 5 inches long and 2 inches wide; don't worry about keeping the shape perfect.
- If desired, roll each ball or log in the nuts, patting the coating in firmly. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until serving. Makes 2 cheese balls or cheese logs.
VARIATION: FETA AND FONTINA WALNUT CHEESE BALL. Omit the cheddar and cream cheeses and substitute 8 oz. (2 cups) grated California Fontina cheese and 4 oz. (1 cup) grated California Mozzarella cheese. Combine with the feta cheese and other ingredients as directed above. If desired, roll the balls or logs in a mixture of 1/4 cup chopped parsley and 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs or rye cracker crumbs.