There is something about eating a really good cheese ball with crackers during the holidays. Cheese balls are not always the healthiest but I say once in a while is ok. Lets be real here! Who can eat healthy all the time? I was at a local bulk food store the one day and I came across a seasoning called “Hickory Smoked Salt.” I had never heard of this before (I don’t get out much). Maybe you have had it before. I purchased it thinking that my husband would love this. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to use it in but I thought I would figure it out later. I did figure it out. I used it to make my own barbecue sauce. It was a hit! Then, later down the road I thought I would play around with it and make a cheese ball. My dad loves dried beef, so I figured why not give it a try for our Christmas gathering. I messed around with the measurements until I got it just right for our family. Just like I suspected, it was a hit! I made it so it’s quick and easy. Seriously, it’s so easy that anyone can make it. If you make this for you family, you may need to change the amount of Hickory Smoked salt. Every family is different so you may not want 3 tsp in yours. It may be too salty or smoky for you. We love it this way. You can play around with it. I would add 2 tsp and let it set for an hour and then taste. You can always add more if needed before you put into a ball.
You only need 4 ingredients! That’s it! Simple, right?
1 8oz Cream Cheese
2 Tblsp Onion (Chopped Fine)
1 2oz. Package Dried Beef (Chopped fine)
2-3 tsp. Hickory Smoked Salt (Amount depends on your family’s taste)
Set cream cheese out to soften at room temperature. It will be easier to work with. It’s too hard right out of the refrigerator. Once it’s softened enough, place in a bowl and mash up with a fork.
Next, chop the onion and beef. Add both to the bowl along with the Hickory Smoked Salt.
Next, mash it all up using the fork until it’s all mixed in really well. If you are testing the taste, let sit for about an hour, then taste. Add more Hickory Smoked salt if needed.
Next, with a rubber spatula, scrape the sides and form a ball.
Prepare a piece of plastic wrap and set it down. Put the ball onto the plastic wrap.
Wrap the plastic wrap around the ball and squeeze gently for form an even ball. I recommend making this the day before. The flavor gets better with time.
When you are ready, unwrap it and place on your plate of choice and place crackers around the ball.