Wow – do you realize we are over half-way through April? How the heck did that happen? Oh, I know – it’s flying by because March was unusually long. Am I wrong, or were there something like 200 days in March? I don’t know if time moving swifter is a good thing or a bad thing. I can’t tell anymore if we are running toward a bottomless cliff. Do we hit the breaks or keep on going? Your guess is as good as mine.
Anyway, April 17th is also National Cheese Ball Day. Another strange thing, since in America Cheese Balls are the things of Christmas Parties. Not really sure who decided to stick Cheese Ball Day in the middle of April. Nor do I can.
All I know is that this is the perfect excuse for those of us cooped up at home to play with our food. I don’t know about you, but I love getting creative with mine. And since today also happens to be Friday, a Fish Sculpted Cheese Ball seemed oh so appropriate.
Smokey Salmon Cheese Ball
16 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
6 oz Smoked Salmon, shredded
6 Green Onions, chopped
2 tablespoons Capers, drained
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Pinch Kosher Salt
Dash White Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Dash of Sriracha Sauce
1 cup sliced Almonds, toasted
1/2 Cucumber, sliced (decoration)
1 slice Cherry Tomato (decoration)
1 slice Green Olive (decoration)
1 slice Yellow Bell Pepper (decoration)
Ritz Crackers for serving
Remove cream cheese from the refrigerator and let soften. Shred the cheddar cheese from a block, set aside. Using two forks or hands, shred the smoked salmon into small pieces. Chop green onion, set aside. Drain and rinse capers.
Using a stand mixer or bowl and spatula, mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salmon, scallions, capers, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper paprika and hot sauce until fully combined. Form the mixture into a fish shape. Cover with plastic wrap and tuck into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Note: This is just as delicious rolled into the standard cheese ball shape, then rolled in the almonds just before serving. It’s just not as fun to create.
Before serving the sculpted fish, arrange the toasted almonds and sliced cucumbers as “scales,” slice a yellow bell pepper for “fins,” and a cherry tomato slice with an olive for the “eye”, held in place with a toothpick if necessary.
Serve on a platter surrounded by crackers.