• Lauren Palmeri

Spooky Sesame Cheese Brain

The cheese brain has been the centerpiece in my Halloween spread for years! Its a delicious, flavorful, unexpected crowd-pleasing giant cheese ball that makes a spooky statement - Happy Halloween!

2 pints (3 oz shishito peppers)

8 scallions, ends trimmed

4, 8 oz. blocks cream cheese, room temperature

1 lb. shredded, sharp, white cheddar

1/2 cup light mayo

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tsp salt, or to taste

green food coloring, to taste

2 Tbsp wasabi paste

2 Tbsp black sesame seeds, plus more

1 cup wasabi peas, finely chopped in food processor, separated

sriracha, to garnish

*special equipment: brain mold (sold @partycity )

Preheat oven to broil. On a baking sheet, add shishitos and scallions; drizzle lightly with oil and season with salt. Broil until just charred, about 3-5 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Remove stems from shishitos, finely chop all broiled vegetables.

Using an electric mixer, combine cheeses, mayo, oil, salt and food coloring until well mixed. Add charred veg, wasabi paste, sesame seeds, and half of the ground wasabi peas; mix to combine and adjust seasoning to taste. Spray brain mold with cooking spray and dust with remaining wasabi dust. Transfer sesame-cheese mixture to the brain mold. Cover with plastic and chill, upside down, for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Turn onto serving platter, I like to serve mine on a cake stand for dramatic effect. Garnish with more wasabi powder and sesame seeds, if desired. Drizzle sriracha down the center of the brain and then around it, to create a "brain design."

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