Curried Cheese Ball

Jason Wyche
Some people think they don't like curry powder; they assume it's spicy--but it's spiced, not spicy. If you have those kinds of guests at a party, just call this a cheese ball and don't mention the curry until after they've eaten a whole bunch and want to know the source of the unbelievable flavor.

Ingredients
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sweet onion 
  • 1 tablespoon mango chutney (optional) 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder 
  • Pinch coarse salt 
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional) 
  • 1 cup chopped unsalted pistachios, toasted, for coating 
  • Crackers or crudités, for serving
Instructions

Using a stand mixer or a bowl and a spatula, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar, dates, onion, mango chutney, if using, curry powder, salt, and cayenne, if using, until combined. Form the mixture into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. 

Before serving, roll the cheese ball in the pistachios to coat. 

Serve with crackers or crudités.

Excerpted from Great Balls of Cheese, © 2013 by Michelle Buffardi. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Yield: 
Serves 15 to 20
  • Is the ability to cook what made us human?

    Richard Wrangham, a professor at Harvard University and author of Catching Fire, studies the role of cooking in human evolution. "Once you start thinking about the importance of cooking -- its supply of energy, its strange distribution compared to natural foods -- it's bound to have affected our evolution hugely, our behavior, our society, our cognition, all sorts of features about us," he says.

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