In the eighties and early nineties I ate my fair share of cheeseballs. They were everywhere. My Mom made them. My friend's mother's made them. They were the "thing" to bring to a party or get together. Then somewhere along the way the cheeseball became out of favor and fell to the wayside. I'm not sure who decided to do away with the cheeseball, but I think it should make a comeback. Heck, the cheeseball deserves to make a comeback. A modern comeback, pumped up with all kinds of flavor.
Imagine cream cheese and cheddar cheese flavored with bacon, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, and Worcestershire all rolled into a ball and then rolled in toasted pecans, more bacon, and even more jalapeno. It's creamy, it's crunchy, it's spicy, and it's bursting with flavor. It's simply addictive. You might even make a meal out of it!
This is my first cheeseball, but it won't be my last. I highly recommend this for any occasion or absolutely no occasion at all.
Adapted from The Homesick Texan
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon lime juice (I omitted the lime juice)
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 jalapeños, stems and seeds removed, diced, divided
6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled, divided (about 6 ounces)
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped pecans, roasted
Crackers for serving
Mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cilantro, garlic, cumin, cayenne, lime juice (if using), Worcestershire sauce, half of the diced jalapeños and half of the crumbled cooked bacon. Taste and adjust seasonings and add salt.
Place the roasted pecans and remaining diced jalapeños and bacon on a plate. Stir together so well mixed. With your hands, roll the cheese mixture into a ball, then place on the plate and roll in the jalapeños, bacon and pecans until covered.
Chill covered for at least an hour before serving. Serve with crackers.