Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Reinventing the Cheese Ball

We took an old recipe for cheese balls from the ‘70’s and turned them into modern cheese poppers by changing an ingredient. Substituting Monterrey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers for the normal sharp cheese gave it a new 2008 twist.  While we were flipping through old cookbooks, we came across one of Bisquick’s most popular recipes: Sausage Cheese Crumbles. It brought back fond memories as well so we made a batch and called them sausage poppers. Both recipes cook in a 400 degree oven, making them a good match. Serve these at your next party and watch them disappear before your eyes. Men love them.

Cheese Poppers

Be sure to grate your own cheese for this as the pre-shredded kind is difficult to work into a dough.

1 pound Monterrey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers, grated 
1 cup all purpose flour
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Large jar of medium sized pimento stuffed green olives

Grate cheese on coarse end of grater. Let cheese soften at room temperature until it resembles butter. Add flour and Worcestershire, put in a bowl of a food processor and pulse until it forms a dough. Remove from processor and press dough around drained olives. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven on a greased baking sheet for 10 - 15 minutes or until done, being careful not to burn. Serve hot.
Sausage Balls 

For a less spicy version, substitute mild sausage.

12 oz. hot sausage, such as Jimmy Dean
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups Bisquick

Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Add to a bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Remove and roll into bite size balls. You may freeze the individual balls at this point, thawed and bake later. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven on a baking sheet for 15 minutes or until done. Serve hot. As a variation, omit the cheese.

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