See those ruddy chunks of melt-in-your-mouth goodness? When could bacon ever be a bad thing?
A little prep time is necessary, but worth the effort for this ball of salty, cheesy, peppery, bacon-y flavors. I made mine kid friendly with cheddar cheese and without spice, but feel free to work with the seasoning to fit your taste.
Roasted Red Pepper & Bacon Cheese Ball
Prep: Roast your red bell pepper – great instructions can be found here, How to Roast Red Peppers.
Prep: Toast 1/2 c. chopped pecans – place pecans on sheet pan in a pre-heated 350-degree oven.
Toast for 2-5 minutes, watching closely to make sure the pecans don’t burn.
Prep: Bake or fry 8-slices bacon
8-oz. cream cheese (I used reduced fat), softened
2-3 T. roasted red bell pepper, skinned and diced
8 slices of fully cooked bacon, chopped
1/2 c. toasted and chopped pecans
1 c. colby jack, monterey jack, jalapeno or medium cheddar cheese
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
A few shakes of liquid smoke
3 T. fresh cilantro, chopped finely
1/8 t. Mexican Oregano
1/4 t. cumin powder
1 clove garlic, minced finely
Salt to taste
Stir cream cheese, grated cheese, roasted red pepper, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, cilantro, oregano, cumin & garlic together. Add half of the pecans and half of the bacon. Stir and salt to your taste.
Lay the remainder of the pecans and bacon on a flat surface. Shape the cheese mixture into a ball and roll in the pecans and bacon pieces until covered. Allow to chill a couple of hours before serving with crackers or celery sticks.