Do you ever Pinterest? Pinterest is like a brightly colored digital magazine with beautiful images and uplifting quotes, and if I'm not careful I can lose an hour+ scrolling through the poppy fields without blinking an eye. It is a fabulous resource for recipes though, and a valuable well of creative inspiration as long as I can maintain my boundaries. This recipe was deep, deep in the depths of lox recipes and sort of hit me like a ton of bricks when I came across it last year - why didn't *I* think of this?? Genius! Here is the original link to the source, and she has some really beautiful photos so do take a peek if you're interested. (I very lightly edited the ingredients to reflect my personal preferences.) And who doesn't love cheese balls?!
This recipe takes some time for chilling, (and after re-reading this phrase I think that we should ALL take some time for chilling, yes? ha!) but you can easily make it a day or two ahead - just wait to roll your ball in the topping until the party is close. Store the cheese ball in the refrigerator and the toasted 'everything' mix on the counter in a sealed container or ziplock.
- 8oz cream cheese block
- 3 oz (6 slices) cold smoked lox
- 3 minced green onions
- 2 T chopped sweet purple onion
- 1 T capers
- sprinkle black pepper
~ everything mix:
- 3 T sesame seeds
- 3 T poppy seeds
- 2 T onion flakes
- 1 1/2 T dry minced garlic
- 1 tsp coarse salt
Get out a medium sized bowl and plop in the cream cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds to soften, then add your chopped lox, minced green onion, chopped red onion, capers and a sprinkle of black pepper to the bowl. Stir to combine.
The original recipe writer suggests refrigerating for 45 minutes at this point, but I didn't worry about that and went straight for the plastic wrap to form my ball. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over your cutting board that's a little bit bigger than the board, then heap your cream cheese mixture in the middle. Carefully bring all edges to the center and give it a twist to seal. Pat it gently to form a decent round shape, then place it in a bowl and pop it in the refrigerator to set - about 2 hours.
While your ball is chilling make the 'everything bagel' coating and get it toasted. Turn your oven on to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil. Turn up the edges of the foil so your goodies don't spill off the side, and then simply pour and mix all of the ingredients (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dry onion, dry garlic and salt) right on the foil. Once the oven is preheated, bake for 5 minutes or until they're toasty brown - mine took exactly 6.
When the 2 hours is up, gently unwrap the cheese ball and roll in the mixture until it's well coated. Serve immediately (wait to coat the ball until it's within an hour of service or your crispy coating will get a bit damp and soften) with bagels or crackers. Enjoy!