Every year my friend Kelly has an awesome Anti-Valentine's Day party. The idea is that everyone brings foods that are not usually associated with romance... dishes that are sour, bitter, stinky, etc. Check out her post about the year she made us kill our own dinner, and the post with a list of anti-valentine's day menu suggestions.
I have been wanting to make baked olive balls for some time, replacing blue cheese for the usual cheddar that I see in most recipes. Blue cheese is perfect for the party's theme with it's piquant moldy veins. I decided to add some sweetness by using figs instead of olives... cloying, gritty figs and funky, pungent blue cheese are beautiful together... a perfectly demented match.
Baked Blue Cheese Fig Balls
-1 cup flour
-6 Tablespoons butter, melted
-5 oz. pkg. crumbled blue cheese
-2 Tablespoons of shredded cheese such as cheddar or jack
-1/2 cup pecans, chopped
-9 dried figs, quartered (36 pieces)
-1/2 cup honey
-2 Tablespoons fig-infused vinegar or other sweet vinegar
-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Combine the flour, melted butter, cheeses and pecans in a bowl. Mix well. The mixture will be crumbly, but should hold together when pressed. Scoop about 1 Tablespoon worth of the dough and flatten into your palm. Put a fig piece in the middle and form the dough around it, rolling into a ball. Repeat with rest of dough and figs.
Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden. Meanwhile, make the Honey drizzle by simply combining the 3 ingredients in a small bowl and whisking. Serve balls warm with Honey Drizzle.
Related posts from the archives:
Black Sesame Salmon Balls
Blue Cheese Pecan Bread
Lamb Meatballs with Figs
Fig Pistachio Goat Cheese Spread