8 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 ounces grated swiss cheese
2/3 cup chopped smoked ham
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
In a large bowl or a food processor, combine the cream cheese, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, the pepper, and salt. Beat or process until blended and smooth. Add the cheese and the ham and beat vigorously until evenly mixed.
If you are using a food processor, take care not to over mix; the ham and Swiss should retain some texture. This is a rather soft mixture, and will be easier to form if it is refrigerated for 2 to 3 hours first.
Combine remaining 1 tablespoon fresh thyme with the chives and spread on a large plate or sheet of waxed paper. Dampen your hands with water to keep the cheese mixture from sticking to them, then divide the mixture in half.
Pat and press each half into a ball about 3 inches across with a flat bottom; don’t worry about keeping the shape perfect. Roll each ball in the thyme and chive mixture, pressing so the coating adheres. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and chill until serving.
Yield: 2 cheese balls
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