One of my biggest challenges as a foodie is knowing my audience. I’m not talking about an audience like when I used to line up my stuffed animals and do stand up in front of them. (Betty Teddy never got my jokes.) I’m talking about making the right food for the people who will be eating it.
We were invited to a New Year’s Eve party this year with a newer group of our friends. Everyone was to bring some food and I was so excited to show off my mad skills. (Actually my “mad” skills were shown off earlier in the day when I had a tantrum about something and kicked the couch. Hello, anger management!)
The first request of our hostess was that we brought finger foods. Some of the people on the guest list (Mike) had dexterity issues so I knew that silverware was not going to be used. ( She didn’t want to make him feel out of place.)
I started looking at my cookbooks and came up with a fun list of miscellaneous tapas, amuse bouches and hors d’oeuvres. I was really getting excited and started to write down an email to the hostess with my thoughts…and then I saw it…the list of food other people were bringing.
Now I want to preface this next comment by saying there is NOTHING wrong with what I would call Man-Pub type munchies, I just don’t make it very often. I had my heart set on making some fancy little bites but I knew they wouldn’t work on the menu.
So I tried to think of things I’ve heard men talking about in pubs. Sports? Nope, that’s not food related. Women? Nope, that won’t work. Bleu balls? Excellent. I always hear guys making cracks about bleu balls so they must really be into cheese balls with bleu cheese. (This is where I may have been a little naïve.)
We walked into the party and my husband carried the plate. I announced to the houseful of people “Earl’s got the bleu balls!” A couple of the guy’s faces cringed (I guess they didn’t like bleu cheese) and some giggles were heard but overall they were well received.
¼ cup bleu cheese (or gorgonzola but gorg balls just isn’t as funny)
¼ cup cream cheese, whipped
1 Tbsp shallot, FINELY chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
A crank or two of black pepper
½ cup honey roasted cashews (Reserve about 16 for the top of the balls)
In a medium bowl, combine bleu cheese, cream cheese, parsley, shallots and pepper. Use a pastry blender so you don’t break up the cheese too much. Set mixture to the side.
In a small food processor (or plastic baggie that you can wallop with a hammer), add the cashews and turn them into crumbs.
Separate your cheese and form about 16 little round balls. Roll each ball into the cashew crumbs and top them with one whole cashew.
Place in refrigerator for at least an hour.
You can serve these with crackers or just alone. Maybe I just invented the next trendy pub food, Bleu Ball Poppers…maybe not.