Friday, January 9, 2009

Appetizer: Pistachio-Covered Cheese Log

Mr. Fritz and I had the pleasure of having dinner with some of our good friends tonight, and I volunteered to bring an appetizer. I was motivated, in part, because I had seen this recipe for a Pistachio-Covered Cheese Log in the December issue of Everyday Food when it first arrived back in November and had been thinking ever since that it looked like something I'd want to try.

This will probably sound strange, but I've never made a cheese log before. In fact, I can't even recall ever digging into one at a party. They never seem to appeal to me, probably because I had no idea what they were made of and they're usually bright orange which I guess I find off putting. Who knows? But when I saw this one and noted that it's made out of cream cheese, white cheddar, a little bit of Worchester sauce and some Dijon mustard (all ingredients I can abide by) and then covered in roasted pistachios (my favorite nuts), I thought it might be the cheese ball (or in this case cheese log) for me.

It really is simple to make. You grate 4 ounces of white cheddar, then mix the cheddar, 8 ounces of room-temperature cream cheese, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard and a teaspoon of Worchester sauce and salt and pepper together in a stand mixer until well combined. Transfer the mixture to waxed paper and roll it into a log shape. Then roll the log in chopped pistachio nuts that you've roasted on the stove for about seven minutes over medium heat. I cheated on the chopping -- I put the nuts in a Ziploc bag and pounded them with a meat tenderizer. Wrap the finished log in fresh waxed paper and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to a day. I'm pleased to say that it was a hit among our friends. I served it with sesame cracker rounds that I'd picked up at the Teeter, which I think enhanced the whole thing.

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