The recipes requests I get most often from family, friends and readers are for appetizers – “something different, that I can make ahead.” I have developed a host of recipes over the years that fit the bill, but people still seem to want more. So here’s another one. It’s a riff on the classic cheddar and pecan cheese ball so popular at parties, but this dish is amped up with tangy blue cheese and a nice hit of bourbon to round things out. Green onions and pecans create a nice texture.
I love to use a good Southern-made blue cheese when I can get it, like Shake Rag Blue from Sesquatchie Cove Creamery in East Tennessee or Asher Blue from Georgia’s Sweet Grass Dairy, but any really tangy blue will do. I’ve had great success with Buttermilk Blue from Wisconsin. This spread needs a hearty holder, so go for a sturdy cracker or sliced baguette. It is also good with nut thin crackers made with pecans.
- 1 pound blue cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons bourbon
- ¼ heavy cream
- generous grinds of black pepper
- 4 green onions, white and light green parts, cut into small pieces
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Place the blue cheese, butter, bourbon, cream and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to blend. Add the green onions, garlic, and parsley and blend until smooth. Add the pecans and pulse until they are mixed in.
- Scoop the spread into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors blend and to firm up. This can be made up to three days ahead and kept tightly covered in the fridge.