South San Francisco, & Modesto, CA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–January 16, 2008–Are you ready for some football — and some California cheese? The Super Bowl is the top at-home party event of the year, even bigger than New Year’s Eve. In addition, Super Bowl Sunday is the day on which Americans eat the second-greatest amount of food; only Thanksgiving is a bigger food consumption day. Tasty snacks are a Super Bowl party requirement, and you can kick off this year’s ultimate TV-watching event with a Monterey Jack and Blue Cheese Football and the Peppery California Ricotta and Sharp Cheddar Cheese Ball.
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) developed these delicious cheese balls as a way to score major points with guests. The Monterey Jack and Blue Cheese Football is a reinterpretation of the traditional cheese ball that blitzes the taste buds with three kinds of California cheese and a spicy mix of garlic and cayenne. This delicious football-shaped snack will leave your guests cheering for more.
If you feel like going for two, the Peppery California Ricotta and Sharp Cheddar Cheese Ball is another party pleaser, but without the pigskin shape. Featuring three kinds of flavorful California cheese and coated in a savory mix of chopped walnuts and green onions, this is a key addition to the playbook.
Quick to assemble and surprisingly versatile, cheese balls can be made ahead of time and set out just before your teammates arrive. Just shape the cheese mixture into a football or classic ball shape and refrigerate until ready to serve.
These appetizers can be paired with assorted crackers, breads and your choice of beer. No matter who you’re rooting for, these cheesy hors d’oeuvres give you a tasty home field advantage.
Each year the CMAB develops new Super Bowl party recipes featuring California dairy products. California is the nation’s leading milk producer and also produces more butter, ice cream, yogurt and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese and is home to more than 50 cheese makers who produce 250 varieties and styles. For more information on California cheese, visit http://www.RealCaliforniaMilk.com.
About the California Milk Advisory Board
The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s 2,000 dairy families. With headquarters in South San Francisco and Modesto, the CMAB is one of the largest commodity boards in the United States. The CMAB executes advertising, public relations, research and retail and foodservice promotional programs on behalf of California dairy products, including Real California Milk and Real California Cheese.
California Monterey Jack and Blue Cheese Football
Inspired by the traditional cheese log, this new take on an old throwback blitzes the taste buds with garlic, cayenne pepper and three kinds of California cheese. Easy to prepare and simple to serve, the fans will be lining up to grab a bite.
Yield: 1 football
Prep time: 20 minutes
2/3 cup (6 ounces) California Cream Cheese
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups (8 ounces) grated California Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) crumbled California Blue Cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2/3 cup coarsely crushed rye crackers
1. In a large bowl or food processor, combine Cream Cheese, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper. Beat or process until blended and smooth. Add Monterey Jack and Blue cheeses as well as walnuts, and beat vigorously until ingredients are evenly mixed. If using a food processor, take care not to over-mix; cheese should retain some of its texture. Chilling is not essential; however, the mixture will be easier to shape if refrigerated for 2-3 hours.
2. Spread rye cracker crumbs on a large plate or sheet of waxed paper. Dampen your hands with water to keep the cheese mixture from sticking to them. Pat and press mixture into a football shape; don’t worry about keeping the shape perfect. Pat on cracker crumbs, pressing gently so the crackers stick. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.
Decorate cheese football with laces made from sour cream. To pipe on sour cream, snip the corner of a plastic sandwich bag. Spoon sour cream into bag and gently squeeze out of the snipped end to pipe onto football shape.
Peppery California Ricotta and Sharp Cheddar Cheese Ball
This cheese ball is a classic party pleaser, featuring three kinds of flavorful California cheese and coated in a savory mix of chopped walnuts and green onions. Serve this cheese ball with sliced rustic breads or sourdough crackers.
Yield: 2 cheese balls
Prep time: 20 minutes
1/2 cup (4 ounces) California Cream Cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) California Ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups (12 ounces) grated California sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1. In a large bowl or food processor, combine Cream Cheese, Ricotta cheese, pepper and salt. Beat or process until blended and smooth. Add Cheddar cheese and 1/4-cup of the green onion and beat vigorously until ingredients are evenly mixed. If using a food processor, take care not to overmix; the Cheddar mixture should retain some of its chunky texture. Chilling the mixture is not essential; however, it will be easier to shape if refrigerated for 2-3 hours.
2. Combine walnuts with remaining 1/4-cup chopped green onion and spread on a large plate or sheet of waxed paper. Dampen your hands with water to keep the cheese mixture from sticking to them. Divide mixture in half, then pat and press each half into a ball about 3 inches across; don’t worry about keeping the shape perfect. Roll each ball in the nut and onion mixture, patting the coating gently onto the ball. Wrap each ball separately in plastic wrap and chill until serving.
Add 1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon (or bacon bits) to cheese mixture along with the Cheddar cheese.
Recipe provided by the California Milk Advisory Board
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