Stick with me on this one. This is a fun, cult appetizer. I’ve been making this for over 25 years because people won’t let me forget about it, even people who are suspicious of bologna (or any other processed food). Two vegetarians have actually fallen off the wagon with this slightly odd, but tasty recipe in the years I have been serving this.
This recipe requires no special skills or equipment. It goes together quickly. It’s fun to assemble and thanks to the culinary miracle of cheese in a spray can, it’s a snap to decorate. When sliced it looks very impressive…and darn it, people love it.
Buy a high quality pre-packaged bologna (I used Oscar Mayer here). Deli brands are fine if the bologna is perfectly round and if the meat slicing machine produces perfectly even slices. I never, ever use aerosol cheese for any other reason, but the decorator tip on the can is easy to use and makes this look as if you know how to decorate cakes. And, after a few glasses of wine, people don’t care that it came out a can.
A Bologna Cake can be made a day ahead, loosely covered with an upturned mixing bowl and refrigerated until ready to serve, or served right after assembly. It’s not fussy, it’s bologna. This is a unique appetizer your guests will have fun with. But be warned, your friends may insist you bring this to parties for the next 25 years. I make no apologies for this whimsical recipe. My friends on the other hand…..nah, they’re OK, too. (Hey Cissy and Sally, this is for you, you can make your own damn bologna cake now. Grin.) Thank you, Muriel Jones, wherever you are.
12 ounces good quality bologna, sliced
12 ounces room temperature cream cheese (one and one half blocks)
½ package dry ranch salad dressing mix
1 can aerosol cheese, sharp cheddar flavor
1 sliced pimiento stuffed olive, a few slivers of green onion tops or few parsley leaves
Buttery flavor crackers for serving
In a medium bowl and with a spatula combine the dry ranch dressing mix with cream cheese until well blended.
Place the first slice of bologna on a medium serving plate. Spread about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the top of the bologna. Place another slice of bologna on top and repeat until all of the bologna slices have been used.
Spread the remaining cream cheese over the top and sides, as if icing a real cake. Squirt dollops of the aerosol cheese around the base of the “cake” and around the upper rim. Garnish as desired with olives, parsley or green onions.
To serve, place a very thin, sharp knife on the plate for guests to slice thin wedges. Place on top of a buttery-style cracker (Townhouse or Ritz).