Dukkah Cream Cheese Balls

10 Aug
Delicious Dukkah and Beautiful Bottle

Since discovering you can make yogurt and cream cheese from UHT (long life) milk, my life has changed!  I´m making them both all the time now and enjoying experimenting with flavours and textures.

Sawsan over at Chef in Disguise commented that in the Middle East they would strain the cream cheese for even longer then roll it in zaatar and drizzle with olive oil.  I decided to give this a go but inadvertently used dukkah instead.  A lucky mistake!

The cheese was drained for 3 days and was pretty firm and easy to handle.  I added salt to it and then made balls about the size of small walnuts and rolled them in the dukkah. Having said that, they look the size of tennis balls in the photo!

I served them with a delicious chilled Manzanilla which comes from the area which produces most of Spain´s dry “sherries” (as we would know them), around Jerez and Cadiz.  The gorgeous bottle which you see in the photo comes from a town called Sanlúcar de Barrameda which is famous for hosting horse races on its long sandy beach during August over two weekends.  The very low tide which happens at this time of year allows the horses to thunder down the beach over a couple of evenings.

Horses racing along the shore line

Big Man and I went last year for the first time.  It´s all very exciting and the best bit for me was to see all the young children on the beach in makeshift huts which they decorate themselves, taking bets!  I´m sure it wouldn´t be allowed anywhere else, but it´s all good fun with plenty of eating and drinking going on all day before the races, and long into the night afterwards.

Kiddies taking bets!

We didn´t make a fortune, in fact we lost, but we had a fantastic time.  The photos aren´t great as it all happens so very quickly, but you get an idea of the atmosphere.

If you can´t make it to Sanlúcar, make yourself some of these tasty little appetisers, pour a glass of something cool and delicious and put the horse racing on the tv!


32 Responses to “Dukkah Cream Cheese Balls”

  1. chaiselongue1 August 10, 2011 at 00:49 #

    The cheese looks wonderful. What’s the difference between dukkah and zataar? I’ve bought zataar from Palestinian stalls here, but haven’t seen dukkah. I’ve always loved manzanilla from Sanlúcar de Barrameda – now on the rare occasions when I can get hold of it (not easy here) I can also imagine the horses racing along the sands!

    • chicaandaluza August 10, 2011 at 09:48 #

      Good question! The big difference (I believe) is that dukkah contains hazlenuts and zaatar contains sumac. Both delicious with just subtle differences. We´re hoping to go again this year ro Sanlucar but are currently struggling to find a hotel!

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide August 10, 2011 at 01:24 #

    That looks so cool. The horse racing in particular. The cheese also looks great.

    • chicaandaluza August 10, 2011 at 09:49 #

      It´s such a beautiful town with a long sandy beach and very exciting to watch the horses thundering down the shore. The cheese is good too!

  3. ChgoJohn August 10, 2011 at 01:45 #

    About a dozen years ago, I drove through the Costa del Sol, spending about a week in Torremelinos, near Malaga, before going onto Gibralter, Cádiz, and Sevilla on our way to Madrid. I only wish we had known about Sanlúcar for we surely would have stopped there. Such a beautiful country!

    • chicaandaluza August 10, 2011 at 09:50 #

      We´re not so far from Torremolinos (less than an hour) although we´re inland. Sounds like you covered a lot of km! Glad you made the most of your time here, there´s so much to see and enjoy.

  4. TheDorsetFinca August 10, 2011 at 08:44 #

    I love the horse racing on the beach. I am definitely going to time my next visit to coincide with seeing one of those. We have the sand polo which is held quite near to us, it is wonderful to watch the horses with the sea as a backdrop.

    • chicaandaluza August 10, 2011 at 09:51 #

      I´d forgotten about the sand polo – have only ever been to a couple of polo matches in my life but my are they fast and exciting!

  5. Tandy August 10, 2011 at 10:08 #

    the cheese balls look great and I have some dukkah at home waiting to be used 🙂

    • chicaandaluza August 10, 2011 at 15:13 #

      They were such a lovely and different appetiser/canapé!

  6. thefooddoctor August 10, 2011 at 10:28 #

    Your cheese balls look amazing
    Thank you kindly for the shout out..I’m really glad you liked them..

    • chicaandaluza August 10, 2011 at 15:13 #

      Well thanks for giving me the idea in the first place 🙂

  7. florence and freddie August 10, 2011 at 13:27 #

    Hi Chica. The cheese balls look great. Super photos. Thanks for sharing.
    Regards Florence x

  8. spicegirlfla August 10, 2011 at 14:22 #

    Great beach shots…wish I was there! Clever twist to these cheese balls; sounds like a really nice appetizer idea!!

    • chicaandaluza August 10, 2011 at 15:14 #

      Thanks so much – it is a lovely beach (and normally much quieter!).

  9. Rachel August 10, 2011 at 14:31 #

    Mmmm… yummy! Now, do you make your own “dukkah”? Zaat’ar I know, but I’ve never heard of this! Oh boy, something new to play with… am I seeing sesame seeds in the mix? Hard to tell exactly but it looks awfully good!

    • chicaandaluza August 10, 2011 at 15:16 #

      I have a lovely mum in the UK who makes them both fo me. I don´t know her secret recipe, but yes, there are sesame seeds. Try this link to start with!

  10. foodblogandthedog August 10, 2011 at 19:00 #

    I’ve bought some goat’s milk because I’m going to try to make the yoghurt cheese with that instead. I don’t have dukkah though I’ll use sumac, chilli & mint I think, when I get around to it!! The horse racing on the beach sounds amazing, I didn’t know about that,when is it?

    • chicaandaluza August 10, 2011 at 19:51 #

      It should be delicious with goat´s milk (we sometimes get given some by the local goatherds – so fresh!). And the mix you suggest sounds wonderful! The horse racing actually starts today 10th and is on 11th and 12th and then the second round is 25th, 26th and 27th Aug. We really wanted to go on a Fri or Sat but are having no luck finding a hotel 😦

  11. JamieAnne August 10, 2011 at 21:16 #

    Those look amazing! Very yummy. The horse races sound like a ton of sandy fun! 🙂 You have the best stories and pictures.

    • chicaandaluza August 10, 2011 at 23:15 #

      Aw – thanks so much, you say the nicest things! And the horse races are fabulous…we want to go again this year (if we can find somewhere to stay).

  12. Karen August 11, 2011 at 04:51 #

    Horse racing on the beach sounds so exciting. I love when you are at a polo match and you feel the earth trembling beneath your feet as the horses pass by.

    • chicaandaluza August 11, 2011 at 09:55 #

      I know what you mean – in this race you can´t see the horses at first but you hear and feel the rumble of the hooves on the sand. Very exciting!

  13. Fired Up Cooking SA August 11, 2011 at 11:19 #

    What a fun day!! And I love your photos, they’re beautiful, Chica. I am going to have to follow your example in making my own cheese 🙂

    • chicaandaluza August 11, 2011 at 13:53 #

      It was fun – and very different! Let me know how the cheese making goes….

  14. ambrosiana August 12, 2011 at 12:00 #

    Being a third generation Palestinian immigrant in Honduras, I grew up with Dukkah, zataar and Labneh (strained yogurt). Your lovely post just sent me back to those good old times!

    • chicaandaluza August 12, 2011 at 15:42 #

      What a fantastic background – a bit practically from every culture and now married to an Italian…you lucky lady! Glad I could bring back a few happy memories 🙂

  15. Michi August 13, 2011 at 16:48 #

    I had to look up and see what dukkah was, and oh my, this recipe sounds like it would be one of my major weak spots (I’m a sucker for anything that includes cheese and plenty of tasty herbs and sprices)! Anything that has a strong flavor (Indian food, Persian food, pesto cheese, aged cheeses, etc, etc) is number one in deliciousness in my book. 🙂

    • chicaandaluza August 13, 2011 at 21:28 #

      Sounds like we have very similar tastes in food!


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