Ireland—Stout Cheese Ball

 

Irish Appetizerstout cheese ball

Stout Cheese Ball
(Serves 8)

A delicious, savory ball of cheese, flavored with Ireland's most famous beer—Guinness.


2 pkg.8-oz. cream cheese (softened)
2 C sharp cheddar (grated, softened)
1 T scallion (fine dice)
1 T red pepper or pimento (fine dice)
2 T butter (melter)
2 T Guinness Stout or Killians's Irish Red
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 walnuts (finely ground, browned)
1/2 C fresh parsley (chopped)

Cream together cheeses till smooth. Add scallions and red pepper or pimento, blending well. Melt butter in small saucepan, add beer, paprika, and mustard. Add this to cheeses and mix to blend. Form mixture into cheese ball, wrap in plastic, and chill 2 hours.

Grind walnuts in a food processor. Heat small skillet, add walnuts and brown to release flavor, 5-7 minutes (stir frequently so as not to burn). Cool walnuts and add to chopped parsley. When cheese ball is chilled, roll in parsely/walnut mix. Wrap and chill again, or serve immediately with crackers.

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Tips & Glossary

A special note about these recipes: they came from my friend Nan who lived in Ireland for several years. She married an Irishman, and the two returned to the US with their then-young family. These recipes are some of the family standbys. Nan is both a discerning reader and a wonderful cook.

Irish cooking is quite familiar to many Americans, and so you won't find surprises in the ingredient or spice lists. You probably have much of what's called for in your pantry—or else it's readily available in any grocery store.

Root vegetables are a staple of the Irish: potatoes, carrots, and parsnips are particular favorites. In Ireland, vegetables are served simply, but with lots of butter.

Meats are subjected to the slow-cook method. That's because, historically, the Irish used less-expensive, tougher cuts of meat. Our Irish Lamb Stew, for instance, actually calls for meat from the lamb's neck, not exactly the most tender cut of meat.

 

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