Prior to making this, I had never tasted a cheese ball. I had seen them at office parties and sweating in grocery store display cases, and they represented for me the worst of American cuisine, right up there with casseroles and vegetables "enhanced" with concentrated mushroom soup.
I basically made this as a joke, adapted to my taste from Internet research of the basic cheese ball, to amuse my sister over cocktails, and -- shame on me -- because this was delicious.
This will serve 4 to 6 people over drinks, depending on what else you are offering adn how greedy your guests are.
1 pound block of Philadelphia full fat cream cheese
1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar
2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
1 Tbsp rosemary needles, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsps crushed pink peppercorns
Mix the cheeses, Worcestershire sauce and mustard together in a bowl until completely combined and a homegenous color.
In a separate bowl mix the cranberries, the rosemary and the pink peppercorns. Set aside until needed.
Wet your hands and scrape the cheese mixture, forming it into a smooth ball. Lay it on a piece of plastic wrap and cover well. Refrigerate until about thirty minutes before serving.
Right before serving, roll the ball in the cranberry, rosemary and pink peppercorn mixture, ensuring an even coating.
Serve with crackers. I used rosemary ones.