So the holidays are coming up. I wanted to try my hand at making "shaped" food. So I created my Turkey Cheeseball for Thanksgiving. It's chock full of bacon, Ranch, roasted red peppers, jalapenos, and cheese! Yum yum!
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1/4 C roasted red pepper slices from a jar, well drained (reserve two slices for the head and waddle)
1 packet Ranch dip mix
1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 T garlic powder
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2-3 T chopped jalapeno slices (the kind from a jar)
Oval shaped crackers (like Townhouse)
10 ounces pecan halves
Blend the cream cheese, roasted red peppers (not the two reserved), Ranch, parmesan, cheddar, garlic powder, bacon, and jalapenos in a food processor. Chop almost all of the pecan halves (reserve 6-10 for garnish). Using a piece of plastic wrap, spread the chopped pecans in a large circle. Spoon the cheese mixture on top of the pecans, making sure to coat all sides of the cheeseball with the pecans. Wrap it up tightly and shape into a ball. Stick it in the freezer if neccesary to firm it up so that you can shape it.
When it is mostly firm, stick the crackers in the back half of the cheeseball in a fan shape to create the tail feathers. Repeat, working your way to the back, to have about three rows (see the picture). Place whole pecan halves in front of the front row of crackers. Using toothpicks, stick the two reserved red bell pepper slices in the front to resemble the head and waddle (see the picture). Serve with additional crackers.