New Orleans and Halloween go together like macaroni and cheese. And since I love both Halloween and New Orleans so much, I'm going to share a very special recipe for your Halloweeny festivities tomorrow. 

It's really easy. And cheesy. It's a cheeseball. A pumpkin cheeseball. I'm sure the recipe could also be carried over to Thanksgiving since pumpkin stuff tends to stick around until the Christmas season.

Happy Halloween y'all! And stay safe out there.

Pumpkin Cheeseball

2 8oz packages softened cream cheese

1 quarter of 1 onion, grated

1/4 cup your favorite salsa

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons minced jalapeno pepper

1 1/2 cups shredded chedder cheese (or a mexican blend)

sprinkle of salt

crushed Doritos

top of a bell pepper

Mash up the cream cheese in a bowl with the salsa, onion and spices. I like to grate the onion just because I think the juicy onion pulp blends into everything better, but you can also dice it up finely. I actually mix it all up with a hand mixer and then stir in the shredded cheese just so everything gets blended nicely. Take a quick taste to make sure it's to your liking. If you want it spicier, add some more chili powder (I like to use ancho). You can even throw in a few dashes of hot sauce. If it needs salt, add a sprinkle, but a lot of salsas are salty enough that you won't need to add much, if any.

Then plop it all onto some plastic wrap and wrap the mix up to form a ball, or a shape resembling a pumpkin. Let it firm up in the fridge for a few hours.

Crush up some Doritos. I like to put them in a large freezer bag and mash them and dump the pieces on a crawfish serving tray (these things are great because they act as both a work station and a serving tray). Roll the firmed up cheeseball around in the Doritos and put some on the sides, making sure they get everywhere. Cut the top off of a bell pepper off and push it down on top of the beautifully formed pumpkin cheeseball.

Put tortilla chips around for serving.