World’s Best Pimiento Cheese Ball

That is the title of the recipe as it appears on an index card in my grandma’s recipe box. And while I haven’t tasted every pimiento cheese ball recipe in the world, this one is absolutely fantastic, so I definitely think the title is appropriate. I’ve had cheese balls here and there, but for as much as I love cheese (and cream cheese, at that), none really ever made me go back for seconds. Fast forward to Christmas Day at my grandparents’ this past weekend. I walked in starving, having fasted and not eaten breakfast in preparation for the two holiday meals I would be eating that day. It wasn’t looking like we were going to be eating right away so I headed to the snack table to see what I could get my hungry little fingers on. Enter the world’s best cheese ball.

Give me cheese, give me crackers, and I am a happy, happy camper. This cheese ball was heads and tails above just crackers and cheese though. It had cream cheese. It had pimiento. It had nuts. It was almost a meal in and of itself. Almost. I still ate plenty once we sat down for our Christmas lunch, but I think I’m definitely bringing the cheese ball back. SO freakin’ delicious.

Also, I wasn’t quite sure about the pimientos. My experience with them has pretty much been limited to green olives. And I hate green olives with every fiber of my being. I had already downed an entire plate of crackers slathered with the cheese spread when I asked my Grandma for the recipe and found out about the pimiento situation. At that point, however, I figured that my issue probably resides less with the pimiento and much more with the green olive, since I found everything in the cheese ball to be utterly delicious.

So if you’re still looking for something different to serve as an appetizer for New Year’s Eve, I highly recommend this baby!

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Cheese Ball Recipe

Ingredients:

½ cup mayonnaise

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 drops Tabasco sauce

2-ounce jar pimento, undrained

3 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese

Pecans or walnuts, finely chopped


Directions:

1. Put the mayonnaise, cream cheese, garlic, parsley and Tabasco in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth.


2. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the pimento and shredded cheddar cheese.


3. Form the mixture into a ball shape (or form into two smaller balls) and roll in the chopped nuts to cover the outside.


4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve with your favorite crackers. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped.


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