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.
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.
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!