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There are some delicious party food dishes that just scream that it’s the holidays. Turkey, mashed potatoes, ham, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and so much more. Appetizers are one of my favorite things to make because appetizers bring people together. When everyone is congregating around the appetizers, it just feels welcoming and social.
One of the holiday party recipes that has always stood out to me as being an appetizer for the holidays is the classic cheese ball. I love playing with the flavors in classic recipes. Everything is better with bacon, right? And spicy foods are a mainstay in my home, so adding jalapeños and the addition of Green Tabasco Sauce melded with the flavors of taco seasoning and cilantro sounded like the perfect idea. Don’t worry, this recipe isn’t too spicy since we de-seed the jalapeños and use the mildest Tabasco sauce.
After making this version of a cheese ball, I want to experiment with making another one using the smoky flavor of the Chipotle Tabasco sauce. I love how versatile Tabasco sauces are! I use them as an ingredient in many recipes. When we were in Uruguay, Tabasco was pretty much the only hot sauce we could buy there (Uruguayans have a very mild palate), so we learned to use it in many different ways. Tabasco is awesome as more than just a condiment.
Jalapeno Popper Cheese Ball Recipe
- 8 ounces room temperature organic cream cheese
- ½ cup organic white cheddar cheese
- 8 slices cooked crispy uncured bacon, halved
- 2 green jalapeños, seeded and minced, halved
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons organic cilantro, minced
- 1 teaspoon organic lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Green Jalapeño Pepper Tabasco sauce
- 1 teaspoon taco seasoning (get my recipe)
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- Lightly toast the pecans in a small skillet, then set aside to cool.
- Mix the the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, half of the bacon, half of the jalapeños, the minced garlic, cilantro, lime juice, taco seasoning and Green Tabasco in a medium mixing bowl until well combined. Zoë and Kaylee took turns with this step and they did a really good job of combining everything.
- Next, using a dinner plate, combine the rest of the bacon, jalapeños and the toasted pecans.
- Using your hands (yes, this gets messy), shape the cream cheese mixture into a ball. Then roll the ball around in the mixture on the plate until all sides of the ball are well coated.
- Wrap the ball in plastic wrap, place in a bowl then refrigerate overnight or for at least one hour before you serve so it can firm up.
- It pairs perfectly with all sorts of crackers, but I used pecan flavored gluten free crackers to go with the flavors of the cheese ball.
- If there are leftovers, wrap them back up and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe for either a holiday party you’re hosting or attending. It’s easy to make and pretty tasty too!