Aged-Cheddar and Port Cheese Balls
Cheese balls aren't usually described as sophisticated, but this aged-cheddar version -- which reveals swirls of port inside -- is refined enough to fit right in at cocktail hour.
- 1/4 cup ruby port
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 ounces aged cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
- 1 cup sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely ground
Bring port to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until reduced by about half, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.
Pulse 3/4 cup cream cheese and the cheddar in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Pulse remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream cheese with reduced port in food processor until smooth. Gently stir port mixture into cheddar mixture using a wooden spoon until just swirled together. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Transfer almonds to a plate. Shape cheese mixture into 3 balls of various sizes; roll each in almonds to coat. Let cheese balls come to room temperature before serving.