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Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls

May/June 2011

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (111 votes)

These bite-size pimiento cheese balls from Jamie and Bobby Deen are a huge hit with kids (of all ages). They’re the perfect appetizer to bring to a summer picnic. Jamie and Bobby share a passion for great home-cooked food with a Southern flair with their celebrity-chef mom, Paula Deen. These brothers are following in their mom’s footsteps with their own TV shows, books and website. Our favorite part of what they’re up to: healthy makeovers of some of Paula’s recipes! Recipe adapted from The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up, by Jamie & Bobby Deen and Melissa Clark (Ballantine Books, 2011).


Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls Recipe

Makes: About 3 1/2 dozen balls

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened (generous 1/4 cup)
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 2 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons drained chopped pimientos
  • 1 teaspoon grated onion
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped toasted pecans (see Tip)

Preparation

  1. Process cream cheese in a food processor until smooth. Add Cheddar, Monterey Jack, mayonnaise, pimientos, onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper and pulse to combine. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  2. Place pecans in a medium bowl. Roll the cheese mixture into 1-inch balls and coat each ball evenly with pecans.
  3. Serve the cheese balls at room temperature or chilled.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1 up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate the finished balls for up to 3 days.
  • Tip: To toast whole nuts, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes.

Nutrition

Per cheese ball: 64 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 11 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 3 g protein; 0 g fiber; 81 mg sodium; 19 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 0

Exchanges: 1 fat



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