A chronicle of my life in recipes. I love to cook, but more importantly I love to eat. The food you cook and eat tells a story of where you were raised and the path you have traveled. This is my story . . .

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Goat Cheese Loli Pops

Not your mother's 1970 Cheese Ball!  This is a simple and quick appetizer with ingredients that you most likely will have on hand.  They are always a big hit and so easy to make.  The goat cheese is versatile so you can incorporate your favorite flavors and make them your own.  I have two variations pictured below.  Sorry there are no measurements listed, I usually just wing it, there is really no way to mess this up with some basics on ratio.

PICTURED HERE:  Cheese with Fig jam and rolled in crushed Pistachio & Cheese with Sun-dried tomato, toasted Pine nuts and rolled in minced Prosciutto

8 ounces Goat Cheese
8 ounces Cream Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Loli-Pop Sticks  (available at your local craft store)
Parchment Paper
As for the ratio:  you will  need about 1 Cup of TOTAL mix in ingredients(doesn't apply to fig jam, but to nuts and other additions)  You will need about the same to coat the outside of the cheese balls.

Flavor one:
Pistachios (shelled and crushed)
1 jar Fig Jam  Approximately 2-3 Tablespoons

Flavor two:
Sun Dried Tomato (chopped)
Toasted Pine Nuts

Allow both cheeses to come to soften at room temperature.  Meanwhile prep the mix in and coating ingredients. Shell and grind the pistachios, I use my mini food processor to get the pieces to the smallest size possible without turning them into powder.  Mince the sun-dried tomato, mince the prosciutto and set both aside.  Toast the pine nuts, cool and roughly chop.

To assemble, mix equal parts cream cheese and goat cheese combining well.  NOTE:  I use a little less cream cheese, just because I really like goat cheese.  Some people are not as crazy about goat cheese as 
I am, so use your own good judgement.  Season with salt and pepper.

For the FIG:  Spoon fig jam, a little at a time, into the seasoned cheese until you have the desired flavor. There is no right or wrong, just what you like, be a good cook, taste and trust your palate.
For the PROSCIUTTO:  Mix chopped pine nuts and minced tomato into the seasoned cheese.

Cover flavored cheeses with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two.  The cheese will be easier to scoop when firm.
You can also mix the day before your party and scoop the day of.  Scoop bite-size balls, I use a  100 scoop, (a variety of sizes are available at restaurant supply stores, I suggest at least one in every size, SO many uses!) and set aside on parchment.  Once you have scooped all of the balls, roll in the desired coating and place back in the refrigerator until ready to serve.  Before serving place a loli-pop stick in each ball and place on serving platter.

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