California Walnut Cheese Ball

California Walnut Cheese Ball

Try this season’s retro holiday appetizer with crunchy walnuts. Serve with assorted crackers for the ultimate wine complement.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded old white Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp port or sherry, optional
  • 1/2-3/4 cups toasted California Walnut pieces

Directions

  1. In food processor, combine all ingredients except walnuts. Pulse until mixture is smooth. Remove to medium bowl; cover and chill until slightly firm. Shape into 5-inch ball or roll into 7 X 2-inch log.
  2. Roll in toasted walnuts to coat evenly. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill until firm. Allow to warm at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving. May be kept in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Toasted Walnuts:

  1. Oven: Spread chopped walnuts evenly onto a baking sheet or in a shallow pan. Bake at 350ºF for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir several times for even toasting. Be sure to keep an eye on them, they burn easily. Cool before using
  2. Microwave: In glass pie plate spread 3/4 cup walnuts in a single layer. Microwave on HIGH 5 to 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Cool before using.
  3. Skillet: In large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, heat walnuts until lightly toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes.