Roasted Red Pepper Cheese Ball

February 12th, 2019

 

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It would appear that I am on a roll with recipes with “ball” in the title.  While searching for a new appetizer to serve to company, I found this tasty cheese ball recipe on Cafe Sucre Farine’s website.  Chris always has terrific ideas for what to serve.  When I made it for friends everyone said it was a winner.  I have a confession to make.  Not sure if I have mentioned it before but I am not a cheese lover.  I love melted cheese but usually avoid cheese boards.

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But that doesn’t mean I don’t serve cheese to my guests.  This cheese ball is filled with goat cheese, cheddar, cream cheese, roasted red peppers and garlic.  The pecan and rosemary coating makes it interesting.  It is easy to mix all of the ingredients by hand if you don’t have a food processor. But I do miss my stand mixer here in Florida.

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We have many occasions for get togethers while in the Sunshine State.  High School friends from Michigan are in New Smyrna Beach for Race Week.  The beginning of Nascar’s Daytona Five Hundred is coming up this weekend.  After that New Smyrna Beach celebrates Mardi Gras with a parade on Fat Tuesday.  Then in March, Bike Week will bring our motorcycle group to our house for the event.  Lots of entertaining is in our future.  Glad I have this cheese ball recipe in my repertoire.

ROASTED RED PEPPER CHEESE BALL  (Cafe Sucre Farine)

Ingredients
For the cheese filling:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese regular or lower fat, not fat-free)
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded medium cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 ounce jar roasted red peppers
For the pecan coating:
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces fairly finely chopped pecans or pecan chips
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
Instructions
  1. Drain roasted red pepper well and then roll in several thicknesses of paper toweling to remove any excess liquid.

  2. Combine cream cheese, goat cheese, cheddar cheese, roasted red peppers, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and crushed red pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Line a medium-size bowl with plastic wrap then add the cheese mixture and pull plastic wrap over the top of the cheese. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or place in the freezer for 30-45 minutes.
  4. While the cheeseball is chilling, prepare the pecan coating by melting butter in a small non-sticking sauté pan until bubbly and beginning to brown a bit. It will have a nutty aroma. Add olive oil and pecans and stir to coat pecans. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4-6 minutes until pecans turn golden. Remove from heat and set aside to cool then add the 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary and stir to combine.

  5. Pull the cheese out of the bowl with the plastic wrap and use the wrap to help you shape the cheese mixture into a ball. Roll the ball in the pecan mixture and shape again by gently pushing the sides to form a rounded ball. Place on a serving tray and sprinkle with a bit more chopped fresh rosemary, for garnish, if desired. Serve with crackers and/or celery.

Printable Recipe

Sausage, Cheese Balls (Lower Carb)

January 30th, 2019

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With the Super Bowl approaching, I wanted to make an appetizer that my husband would enjoy on his low Carb diet.  Over Christmas I made sausage cheese balls the way most people make them with Bisquick, sausage and cheese.  We both love this old standby.  I decided to experiment with lessoning the carbs by using almond flour.  But almond flour does not have a leavening agent like Bisquick.  After several attempts, I settled on a combination of almond flour, baking powder and Bisquick.  I halved the amount of Bisquick and combined the baking powder with the almond flour for the other half of the dry ingredients.

IMG_8862I loved the results.  Another tip for mixing the ingredients is to bring the grated cheese and sausage to room temperature before mixing them together.  Then add the dry ingredients.  All of this should be done by hand.

Deland ShoppingA friend and I spent a day in DeLand, Florida, a small inland community about 20 miles from New Smyrna Beach.  It is a vibrant community with lots of shops and restaurants.  One of my favorite shops is Anna Bananas. The subheading of the shop is Recycled, Repurposed and Reclaimed.

Anna Bananas

The owners build furniture using antique elements and creative uses of old wood.

Deland Lunch

We had lunch al fresco at a delightful restaurant (BakeChop) in a spiffed up alley.  It was a warm and sunny day; one of few that we have had in Florida lately.   The BLT on sourdough bread was great, but the chickpea salad with Brussel sprout leaves, tomatoes and red onions was a real winner.  The chickpeas were crispy and the dressing light.  I will have to experiment with duplicating this take on three bean salad.

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Enjoy the Super Bowl.  Hope you give this adaptation of Sausage Cheese Balls a try.

SAUSAGE CHEESE BALLS (LOWER CARB)

1 Pound Breakfast Sausage (Hot or Mild or a combination)
8 Oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Bisquick Baking Mix
1 cup Almond Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

Grate the cheese into a large bowl and bring to room temperature.  At the same time, bring the sausage to room temperature.

While cheese and sausage are resting, combine the Bisquick, almond flour and baking powder in a small bowl.

With your hands, combine the cheese and sausage until well blended.  Add the dry ingredients and roll and squeeze until the flour is fully combined with the cheese mixture.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper or use a non-stick baking sheet.

Form mixture into about 1 inch balls and line baking sheet with them.  I can get 24 balls unto the pan.  The recipe makes about 48 balls.

Bake for 15-17 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Chateaubriand for Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2018

Chateaubriand

Our Thanksgiving dinner was a departure from the usual.  Our Son Michael loves to grill and decided to attempt a whole tenderloin cooked over indirect heat and then seared over the direct coals.  The inspiration came from Meathead Goldwyn in his iconic grilling book Meathead; The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling.  The beef was outstanding.  Served with mashed potatoes and an updated green bean casserole, we never even missed a turkey.

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A whole tenderloin requires a breakdown to get to  a symmetrical log from the center.  The tenderloin tips are cut from each end.  The chain along the side needs to be trimmed away and the silverskin removed.  The trimmings can be used as a few filet mignon steaks, stew meat, and/or ground with some of the fat into upscale hamburgers.

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You will need to fold over the tapered end and tie it with string to ensure even cooking.  Once the chateaubriand is ready, dry brine it in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.  The dry brine is just kosher salt.  Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound of meat all over the cylinder.  After the allotted time is up, remove the beef from the refrigerator and season it with a seasoning rub.

BEEF RUB
2 Tablespoons ground pepper
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

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Set up the grill in a two-zone configuration and get the indirect zone up to about 225 degrees F.  Place the meat in the indirect-heat zone.  It will cook slowly for about 45 minutes.  Check temperature with a meat thermometer.

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When the meat reaches 110 degrees F, move it to direct heat to sear.  Leave the lid open and roll the roast a quarter turn every 5 minutes or so.  When it reaches 130 degrees F in the center, move it to a cutting board.  Cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes or so.

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Slice into at least 1 inch steaks and serve.  Serves 6 to 8 easily.

Parsnip Soup

Earlier in the day Kristen made a delicious Parsnip and apple soup with smoked almonds and scallions.  I don’t have the recipe but anything you add to it is enhanced by using an immersion blender to meld it all together.  Here is a similar recipe.

Kale and Quinoa Salad

One of the most colorful dishes on our table was this fabulous Kale, roasted quinoa, purple sweet potato and apple salad.  It was such a seasonal delight that I would love to serve this every Autumn and Thanksgiving.  Kristen is so creative.  Remind me to get the recipe.  Will try to blog about this again or maybe Kristen will put it on her blog, Menubility.

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I made a Bourbon Pumpkin Pie from this recipe.  I add a Streusal Topping.  Recipe follows.

STREUSAL TOPPING

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Cool and sprinkle over cooked and cooled pie.  You will have extra for other purposes.

FAMILY CHRISTMAS 2018

We took some time over Thanksgiving to have photos taken for our Christmas cards.  We are lucky to have Christobal of Azul Photography as a family friend.  Let the Christmas Season begin.

Orange, Tomato and Broccoli Salad

June 27th, 2018

Orange, Tomato and Broccoli Salad

Our 4th of July celebration is set in stone.  It is a family event with three generations, water sports, fireworks and lots of food and drink.  I always have a container of chocolate chip cookies for the kids.  My Granddaughter requested two separate containers this year; one for the three girls and one for the three boys because in past years the boys have snuck too many cookies.  The girls will probably hide their cookies.

We will be grilling most meals with chicken, hamburgers, ribs and a smoked pork butt among the offerings.  But I do try to get creative with some of the side dishes.  This year I experimented with this Orange, Tomato and Broccoli Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette.  It is a winner.

Orange, Tomatoe, Broccoli Salad Alternate

Whatever your plans for the holiday, you can’t go wrong with this colorful salad.  Happy Independence Day.

ORANGE, TOMATO, BROCCOLI, AND SWEET ONION SALAD WITH ORANGE VINAIGRETTE

Ingredients: 

2 cups ¾-inch pieces broccoli florets

3 large oranges

2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 cup diced sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui)

¼ cup sliced fresh basil

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1½ tbsp red wine vinegar

1½ tsp grated orange peel

Preparation: Steam broccoli until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Place broccoli in large bowl. Cut peel and white pith from oranges. Holding oranges over small bowl to catch juice, cut between membranes to release segments. Cut each orange segment crosswise into 3 pieces. Add orange pieces, tomatoes, onion, and fresh basil to bowl with broccoli. Add oil, vinegar, and orange peel to bowl with collected orange juice; whisk to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour vinaigrette over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Bon Appétit, 2002.

Printable Recipe

Red Rice Salad and Florida Gardening

February 3rd, 2018

Red Rice Salad

We are cooking on the grill tonight.  David is making ribs.  I was excited about this rice salad from Giada De Laurentiis and thought it would be a great accompaniment.  One of the ingredients is radicchio.  I was having a hard time finding it here in New Smyrna Beach.  The local Publix did not have it.  I went to the local health food market, Heath’s Natural Food and, although they did not have radicchio, they ordered it for me.  It came within days.  I shared Giada’s recipe with them and they will display the recipe near the radicchio to encourage others to buy and use it.  I also bought Organic Madagascar Pink Rice from them since I could not find red rice anywhere.  The local businesses here in NSB are very accommodating.

Red Rice Salad

There is much to love about this rice salad.  It is full of flavor with fennel, radicchio, oranges, cucumber and fresh basil.  The whole-grain mustard vinaigrette ties it all together.

NSB Planters

I am hopeful that the days of freezing temperatures are behind us.  Everything that the owner of the house had in her outside planters was taken out by the freeze.  I have been busy for the last week trying to replace what she has lost.  This large planter now has Geraniums and  White Bacopa flowers.

New Smyrna Beach Planters

I bought this Dorotheanthus succulent that can withstand high heat.  It is also called Livingstone Daisy.  Hopefully it will make it through the summer.

NSB Planters

I also chose a native plant: the Dune Daisy, which is indigenous to Florida.  I am looking forward to more blooms.  With winter blanketing so many of you, I wanted to offer a glimpse of Spring and Summer.  It has also been  restorative to my well being to work on these planters.

Red Rice Salad

This may be too late for a Super Bowl side dish, but I am sure that it would be welcomed by anyone wanting a side dish for a Pot Luck or a crowd.  Enjoy and thanks to Giada!

RED RICE SALAD

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.