Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ultimate Superbowl Cheese Ball

Bacon Beer Cheese Ball
Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Cooling time: 1 hour

      The BIG Sunday is almost here and everyone should be prepared. Whether you're into watching the game or just there for the commercials the most important aspect is the food. The super bowl spread is filled with giant pots of chili, plates of nachos, and bowls of wings but what happened to the lonely cheese ball?Prepackaged cheese balls are now reserved to the dark corner of the dairy aisle with their red wine swirl and sliced almonds. Why not bring it back to glory? Add some creativity, fresh ingredients, and make this snack the centerpiece of your spread.

4 Slices Bacon, diced
1/4 up Beer
8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
4 o Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup chives, minced
1 cup Pretzels, crushed

1. Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add the diced bacon. Cook until the fat has rendered out and bacon is crisped, about 5 minutes.
2. When the bacon is cooked deglaze the pan by adding the beer. Simmer on low heat for 2 minutes just to cook off the alcohol and concentrate the flavor, Then turn off the heat and allow to cool.
3. In a mixing bowl combine the grated cheddar and cream cheese with a rubber spatula. Add the bacon and beer mixture, Worcestershire sauce, pepper,sugar, and chive and stir to thoroughly combine.
4. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap approximately 12 x 12 inches on the counter. Place the cheese mixture in the center of the plastic and wrap it by bringing all four corners together. Twist the plastic and use your hands to form the cheese into a ball shape.
5. Refrigerate for 1 hour until the cheese has hardened into the shape. Crush 1 cup of pretzels in either a ziploc bag with a rolling pin or a few pulses in a food processor.
6. Remove the plastic from the cheese ball and roll it in the crushed pretzels to create a crust. The wrap in fresh plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

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