Wow, that title is a mouth full, isn’t it? I tried to say it three times fast and didn’t make it through the second time. Seriously though, I wanted the title to describe every bit of deliciousness in this appetizer, even if it is a tongue twister. 🙂 This past holiday season, I turned one of my cream cheese dips into a cheese ball and it was a big hit. I plan to make it again very soon, maybe for the Super Bowl? The pistachio nuts are perfect and compliment the shallot and garlic so prominent in the cheese ball.
I don’t know about you, but I love pistachio nuts! I usually buy a few bags at a time, and somehow we didn’t get through all of them before they were almost out of date. I tend to try and use up food I have on hand, when I am hosting an event. It is a great time to go through the pantry and get creative. You know what they say…necessity is the mother of invention. Not that this cheese ball is an invention. OK, I am getting off track again. This is a delicious and unique appetizer. I hope you give it a try for your next event.
Pistachio Nut Crusted Shallot and Garlic Cheese Ball
1 cheese ball
8 oz. cream cheese
1 medium shallot
1 large garlic clove
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 cup roasted and salted pistachio nuts (about 1/2 cup shelled)
Dice the shallot and garlic. Heat up the oil on the stove over medium heat. Once heated, add the garlic and shallot, and let cook until the shallots just start to turn translucent and the garlic begins to turn golden (about 8 to 10 min). Let it cool slightly.
Break up the cream cheese slightly and place in a food processor, with the salt. Add the olive oil, garlic, and shallots, and mix until smooth. Taste and add additional salt if desired.
Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before forming the cheese ball. Take out of the fridge, and place in the center of a piece of parchment paper. Using the parchment paper and/or your hands, gently roll into a cheese ball. It will be soft, and can be touched up in the final step. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour.
Shell the pistachio nuts. Place them in a food storage bag, and crush them into small uniform pieces (I use a meat tenderizer).
Remove the cheese ball from the fridge and gently press the nuts all around the cheese ball, and continue to keep it formed into a ball. This cheese ball is soft, but will hold up. Just keep it shaped while working with it. Place it on a serving dish, and add additional nuts and reshape if needed. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight. This cheese ball creates a perfect spreadable appetizer.