This spread is irresistible not only for its near-life-size football shape, but for its creamy fluffy texture and bright herb flavor. A layer of ground toasted walnuts and some sour cream stitching complete the look, making this the world's most delicious football.
- 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley and dill
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup walnut halves, very finely chopped
- Assorted crackers, for serving
Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly beat in the heavy cream. Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. Beat in 1/2 cup of the sour cream. Beat in the herbs, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Line a medium strainer about 7 1/2 inches in diameter with a few layers of cheesecloth, letting the ends hang over the edges of the strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the strainer and fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the top. Gently flatten with your hands and shape into an oval football. Gather the edges of the cheesecloth up and twist until tight, trying to keep the oval shape of the spread. Place the strainer and bowl in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
To serve, unwrap the spread and invert onto a serving dish so the rounded side is facing up. Use the cheesecloth to gently reshape the oval and taper the ends to look like a football, then discard the cheesecloth and any liquid in the bottom of the bowl.
Put the walnuts in a medium skillet set over medium heat and cook, stirring, until they are toasted, about 5 minutes; watch carefully so that they do not burn. Remove from the heat and cool. Sprinkle and press the nuts into the spread so it is covered. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons sour cream in a small resealable plastic bag and snip about 1/8 inch off the end of one corner. Pipe the sour cream over the spread to create the laces of a football. Serve with assorted crackers.
- Copyright 2012 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.