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Cheese Ring with Balsamic-Strawberry Preserves

Hands-on time 20 mins
Total time 2 hrs, 45 mins
Yield Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 (8-oz.) blocks sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated*
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup strawberry preserves
  • Assorted crackers
  • Garnishes: chopped toasted pecans, fresh strawberries, strawberry flowers

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 15 minutes.

  2. Stir together mayonnaise and next 2 ingredients. Stir in pecans and cheese.

  3. Spoon mixture into a plastic wrap-lined 4-cup ring mold with a 2 1/2-inch center. Cover and chill 2 hours.

  4. Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 18 to 20 minutes or until reduced to about 2 Tbsp. Let cool 10 minutes. Stir in strawberry preserves.

  5. Unmold cheese ring onto a serving platter. Discard plastic wrap. Fill center of ring with preserves. Serve with crackers. Garnish, if desired.

  6. *Sharp white Cheddar cheese may be substituted.

Ashley Mac's, Birmingham, Alabama