To make the massive 12-layer cheese ball, you’ll start with a small core of washed or bloomy-rind cheese, then layer around it mixtures of grated and crumbled cheeses whipped with cream cheese, coating each layer with a complementary crust of nuts, fruit, cured meats, or herbs. Make sure you’ve invited plenty of guests over to eat it: This appetizer weighs in at about five pounds.
What to buy: Spanish chorizo (not to be confused with its Mexican counterpart) is a dried, smoked, ready-to-eat pork sausage. It can be mild or spicy, and is found at gourmet markets or online. If you can’t find Spanish chorizo, you can sub in some andouille sausage.
Game plan: To serve the Turducken of Cheese Balls, we recommend cutting and removing a wedge so your guests can see all of the layers; then simply lay out some crackers and a bunch of knives so people can attack the cheese ball as they please.
For a behind-the scenes look at how we built the Turducken of Cheese Balls—including a nifty cross-section animation—… read more
- 1 (4-ounce) washed or bloomy-rind semifirm cheese (about 2 inches in height, length, and width), such as Bucheret
- 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons cream cheese (about 25 ounces)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup small-dice Spanish chorizo (about 1 1/2 ounces)
- 1 cup shredded Manchego cheese (about 3 ounces)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped dried figs (about 4 ounces)
- 1 cup shredded Emmentaler cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 5 ounces)
- 3/4 cup small-dice Asian pear (from 1 medium pear)
- 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 1 1/4 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (about 3 1/4 ounces)
- 1 1/4 cups chèvre (fresh goat cheese; about 9 ounces)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (about 2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (about 2 1/4 ounces)
- 3 slices cooked thick-cut bacon, small dice
- Crackers or sliced baguette, for serving
CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO GET INSTRUCTIONS ON PUTTING THIS TOGETHER! it is not for the weak of heart LOL!