Dukkah Cream Cheese Balls

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 thoughts on “Dukkah Cream Cheese Balls

  1. 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!

    1. 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. 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!

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

    1. 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 😦

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  9. 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. 🙂

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