When it comes to snacks and dinner party appetisers, sometimes the simplest things are best; this gourmet vegan cheese ball (hey, it looks gourmet, even if it's easy) is no exception. I feel like I've said that about something else recently. I get paranoid about repeating myself too much. Four gold stars to the person who can find where I've already said that. Metaphorical stars. Invisible ones. Use your imagination, okay?
You remember those containers of plastic cheese (yes, the adjective "plastic" refers to the cheese as well as its receptacle) your mother would pick up from Sam's Club or Costco, or whatever your local cash and carry megagluttony store might have been? Specifically, do you remember the port wine ones? Yeah, that stuff was pretty much one of the best tasting things ever. I mean, I don't even know how I didn't have a heart attack at age 11 based on how much of that I consumed.
Okay, so point being this non-dairy cheese ball is reminiscent of the port wine spread. I used sherry here, but feel free to use a port wine too for a stronger flavour (but don't expect that red and orange streaked nonsense without astronomical rations of dye).
This makes a great vegan cheese pasta sauce too! Just mix it with a bit of margarine and/or pseudo cream cheese to bulk it up and add an extra creamy texture (if that's your thing). Perfect with a side of garlic bread, but then again what isn't?
Sherry Vegan Cheese Ball in a Cranberry Walnut Shell
- Grind the cashews finely in a nut grinder or mini food processor and mix well with the vegan cheese, salt, sherry, and lemon juice. This will result in a thick paste that's very sticky, and it'll seem impossible to form it into anything other than a dip (which is fine; it's also good as a dip). To form a cheese ball, which I swear is doable, grab all of the mixture in your hands and sort of toss it lightly back and forth to form a spherical mass of cheeseless awesomeness.
- Chop the nuts and cranberries together into fine crumbs (a few larger chunks are okay) on a cutting board, and roll carefully roll the cheese ball around, pressing lightly so the coating sticks.
- If you want to firm this sucker up, pop it in the freezer for a little while! Serve with crackers, cut veggies, or even with pasta.