⅓cupwalnuts, chopped(if omitting tempeh, double the amount of walnuts)
1packageNo Evil Foods Zapatista (vegan chorizo), sliced and pan fried
variety of apples and/or pears, sliced
firm raw veggies, such as carrots and celery
Pulse cashews in food processor three or four times into a rough chop. Transfer cashews to a small bowl and cover with approximately 10 ounces of beer. Let soak 2 hours. Refrigerate remaining beer.
Drain cashews and add to food processor along with nutritional yeast, vinegar, salt, smoked paprika, miso, oil, and 1 Tbsp of the reserved beer. Process until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
Line a small bowl with a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap around the cheese ball. Scoop cheese into the bowl and allow to cool, unwrapped, in the freezer for 10 minutes. Once cool, wrap completely and use your hands to further form it into a ball. Freeze for an additional 40-50 minutes.
While the cheese cools, if using tempeh bacon for the coating, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cut the tempeh strips into thirds and place in a single layer on a parchment- or silpat-lined pan. Bake 30 minutes, flipping at the halfway point. Allow to cool before chopping into bits.
When ready to serve, add coating ingredients to a medium-sized bowl. Remove the cheese ball from the plastic wrap and roll in the coating until fully covered. Serve with your favorite crackers, chips, fruits, and veggies. Sore leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
The cheese tastes great next day, which makes it a perfect make-ahead appetizer for a party or holiday meal. Store it in the refrigerator, without the coating, wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 days before coating and serving.
If you want to omit the tempeh bacon, plain chopped walnuts or sliced almonds would work well.
Due to the higher moisture content of this cheese, a pretzel coating works only if the cheese ball will be consumed immediately. Otherwise, the pretzels get soggy after 1 to 2 hours.