Northeast Times

Fresh herb cheese ball and mojitos

Cheese balls and moji­tos

Philly is a town that loves an un­der­dog but can’t stand a loser.

Rocky re­mains our per­en­ni­al ho­met­own un­der­dog hero, but losers are out­num­ber­ing un­der­dogs this sum­mer, and the case in point is the Phil­lies.

As an ar­dent fan, it is get­ting tough to watch them and hear them get booed. So, be­fore the Eagles blitz goes run­ning in­to the back­field and only memor­ies (err… night­mares) re­main, I’m of­fer­ing a few tips to save the Phil­lies sea­son.

I love the Phils, even if they can’t pitch, catch, throw or score runs. The team is wear­ing the right col­or shoes, but they might need to bor­row Dorothy’s ruby slip­pers this year, if they ever want to get home.

Ever the op­tim­ist, I’ve got “High Hopes” that with a last-ditch ef­fort be­fore the last pitch is thrown this sea­son, there is a win­ning solu­tion. I’m aware that our Phil­lies pitch­ers have tried to use the fast­ball, the split fin­ger, the curve ball and the slider without much suc­cess.

The Phils need to stop trad­ing good play­ers and fo­cus on tech­nique. What they need is the Cheese Ball!

Throw this “Cheese” over your plate and you will win every time. I’ve gathered some of my fresh herbs of sum­mer to give the Boys of Sum­mer a Fight­ins’ chance to score a good snack.

You don’t need a 100 mph fast­ball to “save” this re­cipe. Just use your scis­sors.

CHEESE BALL

Put in a Bowl:

12 oz. cream cheese – room tem­per­at­ure

1/3 cup but­ter – room tem­per­at­ure

3 cups shred­ded white ched­dar cheese

Beat cream cheese with but­ter then mix in ched­dar.

Add to Bowl:   

2 Tb­sp. brown mus­tard

1 clove gar­lic, minced fine

½ cup wal­nuts, chopped

2 Tb­sp. olives, chopped

3 drops Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

-Mix all in­gredi­ents to­geth­er well.

-Mix: 2 Tb­sp. fresh each or 1 Tb­sp. dried each of the fol­low­ing– pars­ley, oregano, basil and chives   

-Com­bine herbs and scat­ter onto large piece of waxed pa­per.

-Form cheese mix­ture in­to ball and roll and/or pat herbs onto ball. Mix­ture will be sticky. Chill to firm up the ball. Use roas­ted red pep­per cut in­to strips to form “P.” Chop red pep­per fine to form the base­ball seam.

-Spread ball onto quarter slices of rye or wheat bread. 

If you’re lucky enough to grow mint in your garden, here’s a good way to use some of it. Mint  is a pro­lif­ic herb that a neigh­bor or friend might want to share with you.

I like to use it all sum­mer in iced tea. Food stores also have an abund­ant sup­ply at this time.

MOJITO

3 sprigs fresh mint leaves plus one for gar­nish

¼ fresh lime

3 Tb­sp. simple syr­up*

Ice

1½ oz. rum

Club soda

-With the back of a spoon, gently crush mint leaves against the in­side of a large glass.  Squeeze lime and add to glass along with simple syr­up. Stir and add ice, rum and club soda to fill the glass. Stir and gar­nish with mint sprig.  

*To make simple syr­up: 1 cup sug­ar and 1 cup wa­ter   

-In a small sauce­pan, bring sug­ar and wa­ter to boil. Turn down heat and sim­mer for 2-3 minutes un­til sug­ar is dis­solved.  Re­move from heat and al­low to cool com­pletely.

-Syr­up can be made ahead and re­fri­ger­ated in a glass jar for a few weeks.  

-Ex­tra syr­up comes in handy if you want to make a pitch­er of Moji­tos.  

-Omit rum for a non-al­co­hol­ic drink that tastes both crisp and re­fresh­ing. Great for “sprig” train­ing.

The Cheese Ball and the Mojito re­cipe are a double­head­er that are sure to score cheers and rave re­views with fam­ily and friends. They’re a true home run. Like Harry the K used to say, they’re “OUTTA HERE!”

Eat well, live long, en­joy! ••

(Ques­tions or tips can be sent to Donna Zit­ter Bor­de­lon at Whats­cook­in­NEPhilly@gmail.com or in care of the North­east Times, 2512 Met­ro­pol­it­an Drive, Tre­vose, PA 19053.)

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