The days are winding down and the entries are flying in! It's great to see some familiar faces in this year's Appetizer Spotlight Contest. Today, we're welcoming back The Cookie Writer, with her Mini Mushroom and Beef Cheese Balls.
Kacey from The Cookie Writer here today to present my submission into the Appetizer Spotlight Contest.
Coming up with an appetizer recipe that was unique but still true to the classic was pretty intimidating, however, I wanted to think outside the box. With the help of my sister, we decided on mushroom and beef cheese balls (mini style!) Cheese balls are always a favourite at family parties, and what better way to use the blend and extend method. My sister had no shame inhaling these (I so wish I had made a vegetarian version for myself!) I wanted to showcase the cheese balls in different ways, but I have to say, the caramelized onion ones were definitely the hit! The little bit of extra effort makes all the difference!
16 oz (1 lb) cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 tsp. powdered ranch seasoning
1/2 lb button mushrooms, chopped finely or placed through food processor
1/2 lb ground beef
5 large onions, sliced thin
4 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. granulated sugar
If using caramelized onions (highly recommended,) set a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add butter and once hot and bubbling, add onions. Cook, stirring often, until beginning to colour. Add sugar and salt. Keep cooking, stirring often, until caramelized to your liking. Remove from heat.
Add beef and mushrooms to pan. Cook until meat is browned and cooked through. Drain excess grease. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and ranch seasoning. Once combined, stir in 1/4 cup of meat-mixture at a time until you reach your desired consistency (you may have leftover meat: we used 1 1/2 cups total but it is up to you!)
Measure out one tablespoon-sized portions and roll into balls. Roll in onions until coated. Place into refrigerator until ready to serve over crackers.
Makes 48 mini cheese balls.
FBC Members are encouraged to join the competition with their own blended recipe! Click through for full contest details.