How to make Mexican cheese balls

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Looking for a tasty, fun and quick appetizer recipe to share with your friends? This south-of-the-border Mexican cheese balls works for those watching a big game, an outdoor gathering or even celebrating Cinco de Mayo. The spicy chilis, dash of hot sauce and pepper jack cheese give the dish some Mexican zest while the luscious cream cheese provides the perfect balance to the heat.
The recipe creates traditional Mexican cheese balls, but feel free to personalize it to your tastes, using any of your favorite hot sauce brands, hot peppers or Mexican cheese blends. This no-cook recipe is so simple, all it takes is about 10 minutes of prep time and an hour of waiting so you can visit with guests instead of working in the kitchen.
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Cooktop Cove
Mexican Cheese Balls
4 to 6
10 minutes
0 minutes
70 minutes
1-1/2 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon homemade or store-bought hot sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
15 tortilla chips, finely crushed (use crushed Ritz crackers for a more "Americanized" version)
In a large mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese, pepper jack and cheddar cheeses. (The cream cheese should be close to room temperature to make combining the ingredients easier.)
Using a hand mixer, blend the cheeses together until thoroughly incorporated.
Add all other remaining ingredients, except the tortilla chip crumbs, to the mixing bowl. Carefully fold all the ingredients together until the cheese mixture is well blended.
Using clean hands, shape the cheese mixture into a bite-size ball shape. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Fill another bowl with tortilla chip crumbs.
Gently roll the balls in the tortilla crumbs. Make sure the crumbs fully cover the balls. Wrap the balls with plastic wrap before putting them in the fridge if they need help retaining their shape.
Allow the cheese balls to set in the fridge for one hour.
After one hour, remove the cheese balls from the fridge.
Place the coated cheese balls on a serving dish, garnish with extra green onions and cilantro, and serve surrounded by tortilla chips.
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