Cappello di Strega translates to witch hat in Italian, which I think is befitting this recipe as it is made with Italian and Mediterranean flavors. Cheese-balls are pretty standard fare for parties. Whenever I serve a plain cheese-ball, however, it just sits there next to all the more exciting food and never gets eaten.
I had created a really delicious cheese-ball made with pancetta, sun dried tomatoes and a bit of feta cheese and really loved the flavor. I wanted this cheese-ball to get eaten at our party, so I decided to dress it up. It was being served at a Halloween party after all, so why shouldn’t it be in costume like the rest of us?
4 ounces pancetta, sliced thin
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup creamy Feta cheese
6 oz. sun dried tomatoes
1 clove minced garlic
4-6 oz. blue corn tortilla chips
Optional: 1 thin bread stick and 1 sun dried tomato
Chop pancetta into small pieces. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook pancetta until crispy. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon. Place on a few layers of paper towels. Allow it to cool completely.
Put 11 ounces softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup creamy feta cheese in a mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to completely blend cheeses together.
Finely chop the sun dried tomatoes. Add tomatoes, garlic, and crispy pancetta to the bowl. Stir until well combined.
Line a 5″-6″ kitchen funnel with plastic wrap. Spoon cheese mixture into the funnel. Fold plastic wrap over cheese and press down firmly to mold the cheese.
Place blue corn tortilla chips in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to fine crumbs. Place crumbs in a shallow bowl. Unwrap the cheese and roll in the crumbs, leaving the bottom crumb free.
Cut a 5″-6″ round piece of cardboard. Cover it in aluminum foil. Spread the remaining sun dried tomato/pancetta cheese mixture evenly onto the cardboard. Attach the crumb coated cheese in the center of the round.
Sprinkle tortilla chip crumbs all over the rest of the witch hat. Set the hat on a serving platter. Optional decoration: Set a long thin bread stick on the plate. Cut some sun dried tomato to look like a broom and attach to the bread stick using a dab of cream cheese.
Place remaining 1 oz. cream cheese into a piece of plastic wrap. Roll it into a very long log. Cut off four small pieces to create a buckle. Wrap the long log around the brim of the witch hat. Add the buckle.
Chill hat until ready to serve. Will keep stored in the fridge for up to a week.
I would love to hear what you think about this recipe. If you make one this Halloween, I would really like to see your pictures. Send them to [email protected] Have fun!