This is the Maloufs’ homemade homage to shankleesh, a spicy, aged Middle Eastern cheese, and it works well if you can’t find the real thing. Coatings vary—from aniseed to bright red Aleppo pepper—but they are usually punchy.
- 3 ½ ounces French-style fresh goat’s milk cheese roughly chopped
- 3 ½ ounces feta crumbled
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon sumac
- 1 tablespoon za’atar
- 1 teaspoon Turkish red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 4 teaspoons dried oregano
- In a medium-size bowl, combine cheeses. Add the yogurt, sumac, za’atar, chili flakes, and white pepper and combine well. Cover and chill 12 hours or until firm.
- Transfer the mixture onto a work surface and divide into 4 even portions. With lightly oiled hands, roll each portion into a rough ball.
- Pour the oregano into a small, shallow bowl or dish. Roll each cheese ball in the oregano to coat lightly. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Adapted from New Feast: Modern Middle Eastern Vegetarian
Photo Credit: Image of cheese balls courtesy of Shutterstock.com