Green Goddess Cheese Ball is a spread you can win with every time on Game Day.  For me, game day is more like the holidays or the Oscars or any episode of Game of Thrones, but I know most of the country is inflates their balls for football.   This girl will be heading to Minnesota, with the boys, for a Goodell vice-grip handshake and some Aaron Rodgers abuse; more on that later.

I was tired of the same ‘ole cheese platter…wait, I’m never tired of a cheese platter, rather, I was wanting to round out a cheese platter display when I came across this winning recipe moments before Thanksgiving.  We all gave thanks for each other and for cheese and, because this pistachio-crusted spread was a smash hit, I made it for Christmas. Either my family was gracious or starving, but this appetizer nod to the Seventies disappeared as fast as shag haircuts.

It’s easy because you pulse the ingredients together in one machine and the do-ahead potential means having time for donning your favorite athlete’s jersey, which for me would not be Aaron Rogers.  Here’s why.

For the past few years, we have had the utter privilege of squeezing our humble selves into a few Super Bowl games.  It’s a job thing for my husband and an anniversary present (Feb 1) for me. Not really.

ingredients

There’s usually a concert party the night before.  In New Orleans, it was Justin Timberlake and in the bar area, Aaron Rodgers who, like a Kardashian, was taking photos with everyone.  Not usually a celebrity intruder, but my husband said “Packers quarterback,” so I’m thinking of my dad who did business with the Packers back in the day and knew Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi. He would appreciate a Pack pic, so I speak up in a most innocent Oliver manner ” please sir, may I have a photograph?” At least that’s how I remember it. Rodgers took a moment, like a fraction of a moment, looked at me and said,”no.”  Then, he turned his back and hustled away to take photos with others.  Dan and I laughed and nearly high-fived over the encounter becauseI was wonderfully and selectively dissed.

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Cut to Super Bowl XLIIX, New Jersey, Aaron Rodgers, alone in a fairly quiet hallway taking pictures with some kids.  Dan said, “it’s redemption time.”   I wait my turn and when Number 12 finishes with the kids, I said, “excuse me Lord Football, may I get a picture too?”  The one-time Super Bowl MVP said, “no, I’m only taking pictures with kids.”  Before we could go “awe that’s kind of cute,” we burst out laughing, requiring explanation so I said, “it’s just that you denied me twice.”  Then with an eye roll the size of Chris Christie, he said, “Alright, otherwise you’ll tell your friends I’m an asshole.”

packed in plastic wrap

Me? never. He did, afterall, kindly pose at a time when he’s just wishing he was down on the field rather than up in the stands with people like us.

crushed nuts

When I was planning this post, I had visions that a Green Goddess Cheese Ball was the quintessential recipe for a Packer Super Bowl contest.  I was certain The Pack would be in this year’s game, but like a eager girl just wanting a nostalgic photo for her aging dad to show him that she always loved the idea of his game and team, they were denied.  Take it from me, next year Aaron, you’ll get your shot even if it kills the other guy.

bart starr

gracious

Follow up note, Aaron Rodgers may be a cheese head, but he’s not a cheese body.  Would those kids you took pictures with appreciate that you have zero percent body fat?  I think not.

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are you ready for some cheese ball?

The ingredients should be at room temperature and you’ll need to refrigerate the cheese after mixing for at least three hours, so plan preparation ahead of time. It’s the perfect do-ahead appetizer, leaving just the nut coating until game-time. Using just a food processor for combining, you save the time of chopping watercress and herbs and for clean-up.
preptime:  20 minutes, hands-on                                                          servings: 8
1 hour, bring ingredients to room temp
3 hours, re-refrigerate mixed spread
Ingredients:
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, room temp
  • 4 oz.  goat cheese, room temp
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup watercress leaves
  • ¼ cup mixed tender herb leaves (mint, parsley, tarragon and/or cilantro)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup pistachios, toasted, chopped
  • Crackers (for serving)

 

  1. Process cream cheese, goat cheese, and butter in a food processor until smooth.
  2. Pulse in watercress, herbs, and chives; season with salt.
  3. Scrape mixture into a small plastic wrap–lined bowl; gather plastic around cheese, using your hands to shape into a ball.
  4. Chill until firm, 3–12 hours.
  5. Just before serving, unwrap cheese ball and roll in pistachios. Serve with crackers.

crecipe adapted from Bon Appetit and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

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