Fast and Easy Cheese Ball

 

Need a last minute recipe for holiday noshing? This cheese ball takes less than half an hour to make – not counting chill time – and is the perfect “carry-along” for parties. I first had this cheese ball at a Christmas party in the 70’s and immediately asked for the recipe. It has been a part of our holiday get togethers ever since. If it happens that there are leftovers trust me when I tell you that, spread on hot toast, this is fabulous the next morning for breakfast. I will admit that I only make this once or maybe twice a year. It is NOT low in cholesterol and, even when you rinse the dried beef, it is far from salt free. But then again you don’t, at least you shouldn’t, eat this with a spoon. Spread on a cracker this is a treat worth having.

You will need:

1 pound cream cheese – room temperature – this recipe will not work with low fat cream cheese – it is too soft
4 oz dried beef – I find this by the tuna in the grocery store in 4.5 oz pkgs. or get it fresh from a good deli
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
Walnut or pecan pieces, chopped – approx. 1 cup – enough to coat the finished ball – optional
Your favorite crackers

Put the cream cheese into the bowl of a mixer – I use my Kitchen-Aide. You can mix this by hand but using the mixer is easier and quicker. Add the chopped green pepper and onion. I rinse the dried beef to cut down on the salt by separating the slices and laying them in a bowl of warm water. Swish them around for a minute of less. Drain them and lay them out on a paper towel. Dry them with another paper towel. Cut the slices into strips and cut the strips into small pieces. Blend on low until everything is well distributed. Cover the bowl and chill for a few hours or overnight. Form the mixture into a ball and pat on chopped walnuts or pecans – this is not necessary but gives the cheese ball a finished look and adds great crunch.

 

 
Cover and chill. Serve with your favorite crackers. Easy and sooo goood!!

Hey from the farm,
Fran The Country Cousin

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