Have you heard the old saying: “what goes around, comes around”? It’s really true in so many ways ………. like names. Have you noticed how popular names are forever changing? I’ve worked for many years as a mother-baby nurse (taking care of new moms and babies right after delivery) and it’s always fun (and often surprising) to be “in the know” as far as the latest trends for baby names. What’s funny to me, is that these days, the “old” names are now “new”. Names like Violet, Betty, Lucy, Beatrice, Henry, Frank, Owen, Walter, etc were, when I was growing up, names relegated to old aunts, uncles and really old movie stars. Now, they’re new again as darling little babies are named with these same monikers and the outdated names take on a fresh life and become contemporary.
The same is true with food. They’re are always lots of new culinary trends but old classics will often reappear and, with a few tweaks, transform into the latest cuisine du jour. Like cheese balls. I remember my mom making cheese balls for special occasions and they were a standard item on party tables for many years. At some point their popularity seemed to wane as more current appetizers and snacks pushed their way forward.
I have to admit, I’ve NEVER made a cheese ball. Till now. They always seemed a bit boring and oldschool to me. Then one day a while back, I was perusing through Pinterest and saw this Bacon-Jalapeño Cheese Ball. There it was in all it’s glory; an old fashioned cheese ball, all dressed up in new clothes. Bacon? Jalapeño? Pecans? Yes and combined with a delicious list of wonderful Southwestern ingredients. It immediately piqued my curiosity and interest and next thing I knew, I stepped back into time and was rolling together a cheese ball.
I’m so glad I revisited this fabulous “blast from the past”. This Southwestern Bacon Jalapeño Cheeseball comes together quite quickly and is one of those recipes that starts out really good but gets even better as the ingredients have time to meld and get to know each other better. This is great when planning a party or get together as all the work can be done ahead of time. Actually way ahead, as cheese balls freeze very nicely though I would leave the bacon/pecan/herb coating off until just before serving to keep it fresh and crisp.
Have you got a brunch, lunch, dinner party or other event coming up? I got you covered with a fabulous dessert earlier this week. Here’s your new (old) go-to appetizer. We’ve got lots more fun, fresh recipes coming up, so be sure to stay tuned to The Café! Enjoy!
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 jalapeños stems and seeds removed, diced, divided
- 6 pieces cooked bacon crumbled, divided (about 6 ounces)
- ¼ cup chopped pecans roasted
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped bell pepper for rollng. Any color is fine, I used yellow bell pepper
Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cilantro, garlic, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, half of the diced jalapeños and half of the crumbled cooked bacon. Taste and adjust seasonings and add salt.
Place the roasted pecans, the remaining diced jalapeños and bacon along with the diced bell pepper on a plate. Stir together so well mixed. Line a small bowl with plastic wrap. Add cheese mixture and bring edges of plastic wrap together, forming a ball. Refrideratet for 30 minutes then remove from fridge and form into a ball. Remove plastic wrap and roll the cheese ball to coat with the bacon- jalapeño mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour. About 10 minutes before serving, removed from refridge.. Cheeseball can also be frozen, however do not roll in bacon-jalapeño mixture after freezing.
Chill covered for at least an hour before serving. Serve with crackers.
Adapted from The Homesick Texan