I'm a leeeetle behind on posting this recipe.
You see, Chris and Shelly, our next-door neighbors, invited Shane and I for a backyard celebration. Excellent cooks in their own right, they had a full menu planned for their event, so I needed to find something I could bring that wouldn't interfere with thier impressive spread.
After thumbing through many, many pages of many, many cookbooks, I found the Lil' Smoky Cheese Ball in Amy Sedaris' I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. Not only did it work with Chris and Shelly's menu (Appetizer! And, après-dinner snacking!) but it appealed to my love of kitsch.
And my tastebuds, and everyone's tastebuds. The creamy, rich mouthfeel, the smoky taste, the nutty crunch. It's a winner, and perfect to pair with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine.
This recipe makes a GIANT cheeseball, so I separated it into two, smaller cheeseballs, both of which disappeared by the end of the evening.
Oh, and the event I made this for? Chris and Shelly's Fourth of July barbecue.
Lil' Smoky Cheese Ball (adapted from I Like You)
2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese, room temperature
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons steak sauce
1 cup toasted chopped almonds
Crackers, for serving
Place Gouda, cream cheese, butter, milk and steak sauce in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until well combined. Transfer mixture to refrigerator. Let chill overnight. Roll cheese mixture into two balls. Place nuts in a shallow dish. Roll cheese in nuts to fully coat. Serve with crackers.