February 25, 2013

I recently wrote an article on making Cheese Balls, or making the cheese ball into individual cheese ball pops. Making a cheese ball is so simple. Select the ingredients for the flavor you want, mix it up and roll into a ball. Here is another way to use the cheese mixtures. Spread it onto large flour tortillas, roll them up and slice into individual bites. The tortillas can be spinach or tomato flavored or just plain, which varies the colors of the rolls.

When making a cheese ball, you want the ingredients to be dry enough to stay together, but other additions can be made if you are using the mixture for tortilla roll ups. Vary the cheese. Cream cheese softens nicely and makes a great base, but another cheese will vary flavors significantly. Use a log of soft goat cheese, or blue cheese as variations. Add vegetables like finely chopped cucumber, or shredded carrot.

Adding Chopped Rotisserie Chicken

Rotisserie chickens are a great help in any quick planning. Chop some of the rotisserie chicken and add to the cheese mixture. One cheese ball combination could be 1 pound of cream cheese, a half pound of grated white cheddar, half cup of mango chutney, 1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken, chopped scallions and 1 to 3 teaspoons of curry powder or garam masala. The addition of chopped cashews or unsweetened coconut would be fantastic, as would carrot or raisins. Spread thinly over a large tomato flavored tortilla, roll, and repeat, until the cheese mixture is gone. Wrap tightly and chill until needed. Slice into 1 or 2 inch sections, skewer with a toothpick or have toothpicks handy.

Adding Smoked Salmon, Dill and Cucumber

For a nice smoked salmon roll, combine the pound of cream cheese with an 8 ounce log of soft goat cheese. Add in 1 cup of chopped smoked salmon or lox, 1 to 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of finely chopped cucumber which has been salted and allowed to drain in a colander for half hour. Mince one or two tablespoons of drained capers and 2 tablespoons chopped scallions and add. Combine well and spread on large spinach flavored flour tortillas and roll, repeating until cheese mixture is gone. Wrap, chill and slice as above.

When in Doubt, add Bacon

One can hardly go wrong with bacon. Adding bacon to a cheese mixture is always great for flavor. To the pound of cream cheese, add in 8 ounces of grated cheddar or mild blue cheese. Fry 6 to 8 ounces of bacon until crisp, drain and chop finely. Add to the cheese mixture with 1 or 2 minced cloves of garlic and one half to one cup of chopped pecans. Spread this mixture over plain flour tortillas, wrap and chill.

Two Dessert Rolls to Satisfy the Sweet Tooth

Combine the pound of cream cheese with a half cup of honey. Honey will soften the cream cheese so be careful before adding more. Add in 1 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon to taste and a cup of chopped walnuts and combine. Additions of raisins or craisins would also be great in this mix. Spread onto plain flour tortillas, roll, wrap and chill as above.

Another dessert roll idea is to mix a sweet chocolate hazelnut spread with the pound of cream cheese, combine with 1 cup chopped hazelnuts and roll in plain flour tortillas. If this mixture becomes too soft, add in some unsweetened cocoa powder for a deeper chocolate color and flavor.

These are only some examples of ways to combine basic ingredients to make simple and quick appetizers for your party, whether for the Super Bowl or other. Think up more wonderful combinations and wow your crowd.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking and help pass along my love and joy of food. I would love to hear from you! Join my "e-family" and share recipes, stories and good times in the kitchen. Visit my Web site http://www.aharmonyofflavors.com/ my Blog at http://www.aharmonyofflavors.blogspot.com/ my Marketplace at or join me on Facebook. Let me know, and I will send you a copy of my monthly news letter full of recipes the latest tips.

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