Mad Dogs, Englishmen and a Lump of Cream Cheese

Mad Dogs, Englishmen and a Lump of Cream Cheese

Back in my younger, unsupervised days, I lived a little too close to the fire. The weekend would hit, we’d scrape off the trappings of reasonable professional people, and we’d drink.

With friends in the bar business and friends in the food business… we used to drink…a lot. We’d begin the night with a late-ish dinner…and a couple of bottles of wine, head over to The Little 5 Points Pub, meander our way to the Star Bar, hit each of our own respective establishments, then out to Copperfield’s and invariably wind up at a Brit’s, named John, house (only because he could out-drink the British Army… and he had cool crap to play with..and some really comfy sofas to crash in)…trying to outdo each other in cocktail creations. Cocktails disolved into arguments, arguments eroded into a growling, drunken stupor…and we’d pass out.

good times…..yeah….

John was a gracious host, always accommodating.. so every Sunday morning we were there, he had his patented “after the fall” hangover cure / appetizer out…. a block of cream cheese slathered in Lea & Perrin’s Pick A Peppa Sauce.
I know, it doesn’t sound like much. But after a night of over-indulging, that combination of cool cream cheese with that slightly hot, overly spiced condiment on top always hit the spot – in no time we were human once again, the drunken mad dogs of the night before a swiftly fading memory.

Now, I don’t advocate serving anyone sauced cream cheese as an appetizer. But (as it happens) I do have a simple cheese ball recipe from my mom’s sister. Looking at the recipe, it’s pretty much the same sort of thing you’d find in John’s Glorious Remedy, but packaged nicer…. and more elegant….  and it’ll look like you actually put some effort into it.

Martha’s Cheese Ball
(no, it isn’t  that Martha. This recipe has been around since I was a wee little tot.)
Serves 15 or so
1 Cup Pecans – Finely chopped
1 Clove Garlic – Minced
8 Ounces Cream Cheese
1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
1/8 Teaspoon Salt
1/8 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce (or other hot sauce)
1/4 Cup Chili Powder
1 Medium Mixing Bowl
Plastic Cling Wrap

  • Place all the ingredients in the bowl and knead to combine
  • Form the mixture into a ball and chill slightly
  • Reform and adjust in case the ball warped while chilling
  • Place the chili powder in a medium sized bowl with the ball
  • Swirl the bowl to coat the ball with chili powder – continue to swirl until you get a fairly thick even coating of chili on the outside of the ball
  • Wrap with plastic wrap and chill overnight

*Makes for a great Game Day snack as well!

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