CHRISTMAS APPETISER- ITALIAN CHEESE LOG

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Kick off the holidays with this festive Christmas Appetiser – an Italian Cheese Log! It’s like an antipasto platter in dip form packed with minced salami, olives, peppers, green onions, a hefty dose of Italian seasonings, AND topped with sun dried tomato.

Welcoming on some Christmas cheer with this happy Italian Cheese Log!! It’s a long ways from your standard cheeseball with a small bunch of token flavorings. This one is jam loaded with flavor… . stacked with Italian flavors!!
The mysterious fixings in this are finely cleaved salami and sun dried tomato. Setting aside the effort to mince the salami truly has an effect since then everything’s all through the cheddar log – no one needs to be that individual who takes a monster scoop of plunge just to think that it is’ totally without salami!
Concerning the sun dried tomato – indeed, I considered placing it in the cheddar log, however I essentially couldn’t avoid how extraordinary it looks when heaped on top. Add a couple of twigs of rosemary, and it simply looks so spectacularly merry – it’s an ideal Christmas tidbit for sharing!! 🎄🎄🎄

QUICK FESTIVE LOOK
Decorating it is my favourite part – the beauty of it being that it’s so easy!! I literally just dump an entire jar of sun dried tomatoes over the top – oil and all.
The oil is infused with flavour and it’s part of the overall eating experience. So with every bite, you have crisp salty crackers, the soft flavour packed Cheese Log, some extra pops of flavour from sun dried tomato AND juiciness from the sun dried tomato oil.
Ahhhh, it’s the perfect bite!!!

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Looks so festive, easy to make and a flavour bomb inside! Terrific economical, make ahead alternative to expensive cheese platters. It’s like an antipasto platter in cheese log form! Adaptable and versatile! **Can freeform it instead of using loaf pan

Ingredients

CHEESE LOG:

  • 500g/ 1 lb cream cheese , softened (Note 1)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (Note 2)
  • 1/2 tsp EACH thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, black pepper OR 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp EACH garlic powder, salt, red pepper/chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
  • 2 cup cheddar or other cheese , freshly grated (Note 3)
  • 280g / 9 oz roasted peppers , drained and finely chopped
  • 180g / 6 oz salami , finely chopped (Note 4)
  • 3/4 cup green olives , finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion , finely minced (3 – 4 stalks)

TOPPING/SERVING:

  • 220g / 7 oz sun dried tomato strips with OIL , roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley , finely chopped (or chives)
  • Rosemary sprigs (decoration)
  • Jatz or other crackers , for serving

Instructions

  1. Spray a loaf pan with oil then line with cling wrap with overhang.
  2. Mix Cheese Log ingredients together. Taste and adjust salt if needed (bear in mind saltiness of crackers you are serving with).
  3. Scrape into loaf pan and level surface, pressing to remove air pockets. Smaller pan = taller loaf.
  4. Cover with cling wrap overhang and refrigerate for 4 hours+ (up to 1 week).
  5. Turn out onto platter, peel off cling wrap.
  6. Top with sun dried tomato and pour over oil. Garnish with parsley and rosemary sprigs to give it a festive look.
  7. Best to serve closer to room temp than fridge cold. Serve with crackers! Knives for smearing optional – it’s soft enough to scoop with crackers.
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Recipe Notes:

  1. Cream Cheese – I use Philadelphia blocks. In the UK and some parts of Europe, cream cheese only comes in tubs and it’s softer, like the spreadable kind. If you can only get the spreadable kind, skip the sour cream.
  2. Sour Cream – or yogurt or mayonnaise. Forgot to add it in the video, had to add it later off camera! It’s just to loosen the mixture a touch, makes it nice and easy to scoop with crackers.
  3. Cheese – use any flavoured, melting cheese you want, such as cheddar, tasty, Swiss, gruyere, pepper jack, emmenthal. For an authentic Italian experience, use Asiago which is an Italian cheese.
    Skip mozzarella – doesn’t have enough seasoning for a recipe like this. Best to freshly grate – strands are finer so they blend through better. Store bought tends to be chunkier grates – if you use pre shredded, give it a rough chop.
  4. Salami – I use hot! I buy the large round presliced salami from the deli, makes it easier to chop (see video). Salami packs a good flavour punch and is a key flavouring element in this recipe.
  5. Freeform – Scrape onto cling wrap, roughly shape into log. Roll up like a sausage and twist ends. Keep twisting ends to tighten the log – will smooth out the shape. Refrigerate, then once cool you can mould it more.
  6. Customise it! Switch out any of the add ins for whatever you want. To make it meatless, skip the salami but add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan (will give it a great flavour punch). Other ideas: artichokes, capers, any other type of olives you want, pickles/gherkins finely chopped, any other pickled vegetable or antipasto type things. Finely chopped cooked chorizo or crumbled bacon, even ham!
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NUTRITION INFORMATION:

Calories: 278cal (14%) | Carbohydrates: 6g (2%) | Protein: 9g (18%) | Fat: 24g (37%) | Saturated Fat: 12g (75%) | Cholesterol: 64mg (21%) | Sodium: 876mg (38%) | Potassium: 384mg (11%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin A: 1050IU (21%) | Vitamin C: 25.3mg (31%) | Calcium: 170mg (17%) | Iron: 1.1mg (6%)

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