If you ever wonder what I think about, bigwig CEO that I am, when I'm not in meetings or taking care of things at home or planning my kids' schedules, well it's this: How do I make an organic cheese log?
Let me explain. Every year, around this time, I get a weird craving for a cheese log. And then I go to the supermarket, and the ones they have are never organic. Some years, I resist. Some years, I give in. Whenever I do cave, I'm disappointed because they're usually too salty or fake tasting, anyway. So every year, I say to myself "I am going to learn how to make my own cheese log, organically!"
But I never get around to it. I imagine this hugely complicated process involving heating and cooling and machinery, and I go, "Eh, I didn't really want a cheese log that badly." But this year, not only did I really want a cheese log, but also I was sick and tired of wondering and having it take up space in my CEO brain. So I looked up a whole bunch of recipes and realized people make it WAY TOO COMPLICATED. So I simplified it.
This is my totally basic recipe, from which you can feel free to get completely creative and expressive. But you never have to wonder about the mystery again, or do without an organic cheese log. And I don't either!
By the way, I made a ball instead of a log just because I felt like it. Making the shape is just like rolling out Play-Doh. Choice is yours. And the funny thing was my kids were like "Ew, cheese ball, we are not eating it!" But by the end of the day, that cheese ball was like an explosion with only bits and pieces left, and my littlest said, "No! Don't get rid of it. I want more tomorrow!"
And thus, a new generation of cheese ball/log lovers is born...
Organic Cheese Log or Cheese Ball from ScratchIngredients:
- 1 8-ounce box cream cheese (I used Organic Valley)
- 1 8-ounce block of cheese of your choice (I used half a smoky Jack and half cheddar)
- Pecans or other nuts of your choice, toasted or untoasted
1. Let the cream cheese soften, then put it in a bowl.
2. Grate the block cheese and add it to the bowl. Mix with your hands as if you are kneading dough--let your warm hands soften up the cheeses and mix them together.
3. Roll into a ball and cover with nuts.
Now...all those recipes online will tell you to put it in the fridge and roll it in the nuts right before serving. You can do that. But you don't have to. After all, all those prepackaged cheese balls in the supermarket already have the nuts on them. Whether you want to make it in advance or serve it right away, go right ahead and roll it until the nuts cover it evenly. You are the boss of you and your cheese ball.
Things you can chop up and add to the cheese: BACON. Chives. Onions and garlic. Parsley. Or other herbs. Spices. Fruit (fresh or dried)! Veggies...why not!? Honey. Hot peppers. Jam. Black pepper.
Things you can coat your ball/log in: Any kind of nut. Spices. Herbs. Candy. JUST KIDDING! Don't coat it in candy, please. I was just checking to see if you were still reading. Granola.If you are having a big party, double the recipe. Otherwise, this feeds a nice intimate gathering as part of an appetizer tray.
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com