Smoked Cheese Balls

Today is National Cheeseball Day, so I figure it’s about time to share our recipe for smoked cheese balls! Cheeseballs are great… but SMOKED cheese balls are a whole other level of fantastic, after all.

My recipe is very basic, for a couple reasons:

1. I’m not a fan of chunky textures in a cheese ball, so I don’t include dried fruits, meats, etc.

2. For this specific type of cheese ball… even if I did like chunky textures, I don’t think the fruits, etc would work as well with the smoking. I think it would just be too much going on. Also, the “wet” texture of the cheese filling soaks up the smoke nicely!

So, it’s a nice, simple, but flavourful base that works well with smoke, without competing with it.

In terms of the cheeses used, you’ll want cheeses that grate well, not wet or crumbly ones. Also, I wouldn’t bother using smoked cheeses, as this provides plenty of smoked flavour on its own. Personally, I like using cheeses that you don’t normally see smoked – Mozzarella, Asiago, Parm, Edam, Swiss … either alone or in combination. Cheese balls – much like Fromage Fort – are a great way to use up odds and ends of cheese in your fridge!

Please note: This recipe requires a smoker that’s set up to do cold smoking. The cold smoking aspect is important, as your cheese balls will just melt if you don’t have a cold smoker attachment. I suppose this could work in a traditional smoker if you leave out the final smoking, though.

As with many of my recipes, part of this one is pretty open ended: “Stuff to roll them in”.

Nuts are common: Usually chopped pecans or thinly sliced almonds (as pictured). Fresh herbs are another option – one of these were rolled in fresh basil. For a nut free option, you can do crushed potato or corn chips, pretzels, or corn flakes. Sesame, sunflower, and/or pumpkin seeds! Finely chopped bacon – cooked crisp and drained well – is another great option, whether on its own, or in combination with nuts or herbs. Whatever you end up choosing to use, just be sure to have it very finely chopped.

In addition to the base toppings, you can add extra flavouring or texture if you’d like – a bit of citrus zest, some coarse ground black pepper, poppy seeds, and/or a small amount of dried pepper flakes.

Basically, just have fun with it!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Smoked Cheese Balls





Smoked Cheese Balls

Next-Level Scalloped Potatoes

Next-Level Scalloped Potatoes!

Today’s recipe has a bit of a weird inspiration/backstory – it all started with a Boxing Day trip to Walmart to snag cheapo gift sets for an upcoming party and gift swap.

It was early enough that the store was blissfully empty and quiet, but we were in a rush to get home and get to work. We decided to pick up a couple food items needed for the coming days. En route to pick up the cheapest, smelliest tuna they had (the cats prefer it that way!), I noticed something from the corner of my eye: Jalapeno cheddar instant scalloped potatoes. It kinda stopped me dead in my tracks- why hadn’t I ever thought to put jalapeno in scalloped potatoes. It was an epiphany!

We ALMOST bought it, but (at least!) one too many childhood experiences with dehydrated “Hamburger Helper” type potato products got in the way. Besides, we had potatoes and almost a litre of heavy whipping cream at home left over from other recipes, I’d just make my own from scratch.

After adding everything I wanted to it – beer, because I LOVE beer as an ingredient when it comes to cheese (even if I won’t drink beer as a beverage!), onions, garlic… it was amazing. The sauce almost didn’t make it to the potatoes, from uh.. “quality control”. 🙂

The smell coming out of the oven was maddening. Why is it that the recipes that put out the most tantalizing smells seem to start doing so the earliest in their cook times, and have the LONGEST cook times? I was very frustrated, and was pretty ravenous by the time it finished cooking – maybe not the best thing to make first thing in the morning, for breakfast!

Actually, I lie. It WAS the best thing to make for breakfast. SO GOOD. I love potatoes almost any way you could come up with making them (Yes, I live up to most stereotypes for my Irish heritage!), but this was WAY beyond any scalloped potatoes I’d ever had/made before. Hey, let me ask my husband for a 6 am, getting ready for work, several days after the fact food review!

“Well, they’re obviously much better than anything I’ve had from a box, all fancy and stuff. I liked the little bit of zip from the 2 large jalapenos – it was great heat level for breakfast or lunch. For dinner, I like this a little more spicy so would add more jalapenos.”

So there you have it. “All fancy and stuff”. 🙂

Enjoy!

Note: This site is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for the site to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites. While I’ll only ever link to items that I, personally, wholeheartedly recommend, I do need to put that disclosure out there!

Next-Level Scalloped Potatoes


Next-Level Scalloped Potatoes


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