Updated 12/24/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Holiday Cheese Ball with Toasted Pecans and Port Wine
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one 1-pound cheese ball
8-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4-ounces blue cheese, room temperature
4-ounces cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1/4 cup Port wine
1 1/3 cup pecans (toasted and rough chopped)
2-3 tsp olive oil
salt to taste
crackers for serving
You can mix this by hand but it's easier to use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment so go ahead and add the 8-ounces of cream cheese to that, the 4-ounces of blue cheese, 4-ounces of grated cheddar and the diced cranberries and mix that on low speed, then add 1/4 cup port wine and mix that until it is nicely combined.
That will seem a little loose but that's okay. You'll want to use a spatula to scoop it onto a sheet of plastic wrap, then wrap the plastic wrap around it, shaping it into a ball. Then let it set up in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
Add a couple of tsp of olive oil to a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat and add 1 generous cup of pecans and toss those around and toast them until you can start to smell them toasting. Season them with salt and take them out of the pan to cool.
Before coating the cheese with the nuts, you'll want to rough chop the nuts a little bit so they adhere a little better.
Roll the cheese ball in the chopped pecans 1/2 hour or so before serving and leave out at room temperature to soften a bit.