Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Superbowl is Coming Again - More Party Food Ideas

Superbowl time is just around the corner again. Meaning of course, more parties. Appetizers are available in stores all over, from chips and dip to frozen "gourmet" items. Too many pre-made items out there are loaded with things that are unpronounceable and probably not very good for you.  So, why not make your own appetizers?

Cheese Ball and Cheese Ball Pops

I have been thinking up some interesting things lately. I made a Beet and Apple Relish recently, which is just a little sweet and a whole lot good. I made a Green Pea, Feta and Mint Spread, great on crusty bread. Today I made some little Antipasti Skewers and then a Cheese Ball, along with some Cheese Ball Pops. Cheese Ball Pops, you ask?

I figure that sometimes it is good to have individual things. You know how the Cake Pops have become the rage all over? Well, this is my savory version. One or two bites (depending on who is eating them) and no trying to cut into a cheese ball and leaving a trail behind. The cheese ball recipe is very flexible with ingredients. It is a real mix and match to your taste. Depending on how many additions go in, it could be a 5 or 6 inch cheese ball. If you want to make little Cheese Ball Pops, just take small portions and form them about an inch or more in size, then roll the individual balls into one of the toppings and skewer with a toothpick. Easy. Quick. Delicious.

Cheese Ball or Cheese Ball Pops

Makes two 4-inch cheese balls or one larger
Cheese Ball and Cheese Ball Pops

16 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces other cheese:
Bleu, Parmesan, Cheddar, Romano

FLAVORING INGREDIENTS, any single category or one of each:
½ cup of:
scallions, craisins, raisins, mango chutney, pistachios, pecans, walnuts,
almonds, chopped
½ cup of meat, if desired:
fried bacon, smoked salmon, prosciutto, dried beef - chopped
1 - 3 teaspoons of:
dried onion soup mix, dijon mustard, curry powder, Worcestershire,
fresh herb of choice, fresh ground pepper

½ cup of:
Chopped nuts of choice, chopped herbs of choice
One possible mixture of ingredients is the pound of cream cheese, softened, half pound of shredded sharp cheddar, half cup scallions, 6 slices fried crumble bacon, 1 clove minced garlic. Using a hand mixer makes quick work. Combine the ingredients. For normal cheese ball size, make into one large or two smaller balls and roll into nuts or chopped parsley. If making the Cheese Ball Pops, make one inch balls, roll into the coating of choice and skewer with a toothpick.

Another variation on flavors would be the pound of cream cheese, half pound of shredded white cheddar, 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill and a half cup of chopped smoked salmon. Roll the large or small balls into shredded Parmesan cheese or chopped pistachios.

Start with the pound of cream cheese and add a half pound of blue cheese of choice, 1 to 3 teaspoons of coarse black pepper, a half cup chopped craisins, half cup chopped scallions, then roll the finished ball or balls in chopped walnuts.

The variations are endless. Experiment using flavors that are ones you love. This takes an exceedingly short time to put together and can be made in advance.

Antipasti Skewers
The Antipasti Skewers I hesitate to call a recipe, really. We all know (to some extent) what an antipasto platter is. Lots of deli meats, cheese, condiments like marinated artichoke hearts, olives, pickles. Other things can be used like pieces of roasted red peppers, anchovies, fresh vegetables like cherry tomatoes, chunks of bell pepper, broccoli or cauliflower florets. 

What I did today was only what I had on hand, so I could demonstrate with a photo. For a Party I would use more variety. You will want larger skewers, like the 6 inch bamboo skewers for grilling. Another place to get really cool bamboo skewers is a website called "Pick on Us". I get all sorts of pretty picks with little colored balls on top, and they have them with little footballs or baseballs, too.

Make plans for some new appetizers for your Superbowl Party or to bring along, if you are a guest. You will be the MVP Guest!

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website, on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.