Cheese Ball with Roasted Red Peppers
Sometimes, you have a lot of roasted red peppers on your hand, and you start experimenting.
While I was experimenting, I thought about that lemon cheesecake ball Em and I made and devoured in a single day of marathon cooking. That was so tasty, and I crave it on a regular basis, but I don’t dare make it because I might eat all of it by myself.
I thought that I might have a better chance of pacing myself with a savory cheeseball that incorporated roasted red peppers, and I was right. It lasted four whole days.
In many ways, this cheeseball is an homage to my childhood and family. With the roasted red peppers, it’s reminiscent of pimento cheese (my mom’s pimento cheese is better than your mom’s pimento cheese). Rolled in crumbled Wheat Thins, it also reminds me of my dad, from whom I have inherited an addiction to those yummy, salty crackers.
Because I never buy roasted red peppers, I almost always use the Smitten Kitchen method for roasting red peppers. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a pan with aluminum foil. Placed washed red peppers on the foil and place in the preheated oven. Cook for one hour, using tongs to give the red peppers a quarter turn every fifteen minutes. The red peppers will be blackened and blistery and smell delicious.
Let the peppers cool completely, then peel and seed the best you can, removing the very tops and bottoms of the peppers. I can never get all of the seeds out, but I do my best with a spoon that I scrape against the insides of the peppers. There will be lots of extra red pepper juice – discard this, so that your pureed roasted red peppers aren’t too liquidy. Then puree in a food processor.
You’ll need less than one roasted red pepper, pureed, for this dish, but having extra roasted red peppers is not something to fret about. If you make several roasted red peppers at once and puree them, there are plenty of other dishes you can use them in. I may be trying out some roasted red pepper alfredo soon – if I do, I promise to let you know how it goes.
I also crumbled the Wheat Thins in a food processor. I’m sure I could have placed them in a ziploc bag and used a mallet to crumble them, but that seemed like a lot of work. Crumbling the crackers did tire out my food processor a bit, but I bet it would’ve tired me out even more.
Cheese Ball with Roasted Red Peppers
Inspired by Annie’s Eats’ Lemon Cheesecake Ball
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4-5 oz log of goat cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup pureed roasted red peppers
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 dashes paprika (depending on your tastebuds)
- 1 dash cayenne pepper (again, depending on taste)
- 1 dash garlic salt
- scant cup of Wheat Thins crumbs (made using about 1/3 of the crackers in a 9 oz box)
Lay out some plastic wrap on the counter, so you don’t have to use dirty hands to mess around with it later.
Mix the two softened cheeses and the seasonings together in a medium bowl, using a spatula and some serious elbow grease or well-washed, unafraid-of-getting-food-all-over-them hands.
Add in the roasted red peppers and stir or mash until the red peppers are evenly incorporated in the cheese.
Transfer the cheesy deliciousness to the plastic wrap and shape into a ball the best you can (you can adjust later). Refrigerate for about three hours. If you weren’t able to make a “ball” when the cheeses were soft, take the mixture out of the fridge about an hour into the refrigeration and try again to shape it into a ball. After three hours of refrigeration, the cheese ball should be firm.
Roll the ball in the Wheat Thins crumbs.
If you are not serving right away, scatter any extra Wheat Thins crumbs in the bottom of a tupperware container and place the cheeseball on top.