Southern Appetizers Cookbook Giveaway

A picture of a recipe from Southern Appetizers by Denise Gee

Charleston Cheese Ball
  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup mango chutney
  • ⅓ cup finely sliced fresh chives or green onions
  • 1 teaspoon Beau Monde or Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white Cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecan pieces, toasted
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur, such as Cointreau (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder (optional)
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 to 2 ½ cups (about 120), unbroken, equally sized pecan halves, toasted
  • Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, chutney, chives, and Beau Monde, and blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the Cheddar and chopped pecan pieces, and beat until just blended. Season with salt, if necessary, and the orange liqueur, curry, and cayenne (if using).
  2. Scoop the cheese mixture onto a plate lined with plastic wrap overhanging each side. Fold each side of the plastic wrap up to cover the cheese, and use your hands to press the mixture into a teardrop shape (it will be soft). Refrigerate the cheese ball for 8 hours to let the flavors meld and texture bind.
  3. Loosely unwrap the cheese ball, and let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. With the tip of the oval facing downward, work from the bottom up to place pecan halves in overlapping tile fashion to mimic a pineapple’s exterior. Garnish with rosemary sprigs for the “crown” before serving, if desired.
Can-Do Spirit
Old Bay Seasoning hails from Baltimore and was created in 1939 by German immigrant Gustav Brunn as the perfect spice-and-herb mix for accentuating, not overpowering, Chesapeake Bay blue crabs, scallops, clams, oysters, and other delicately flavored seafoods. On, modern-day owner McCormick & Co. attributes the seasoning’s success to eighteen ingredients, but only lists (in this order) salt, celery seed, and “spices” that include red pepper, black pepper, and paprika. I doubt we’ll learn the dozen or so other spices anytime soon.