Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Savory Cheesecake

I have come to love making jam so that I can enjoy the summer bounty in the depths of winter.  They are easily turned into dessert (pop tarts anyone?), but can also make a perfect party appetizer on top of cheesecake.

While an herbed savory cheesecake was a perfect base to my tomato jam before, I wanted more of a blank canvas for a batch of strawberry rhubarb caramelized onion jam that I made this summer.  Pumpernickel pretzels and walnuts turned out to be a fabulous choice for this treat, and it's absolutely perfect for entertaining. 

Although, if you don't want to share, I won't tell ;)

Savory Goat Cheese Cheesecake
adapted from my PB Chocolate Cheesecake

You can make this in a regular 9 or 10" cheesecake pan for a party, or perhaps a few smaller 4" pans for a smaller gathering.  Prefer the individual size?  A mini cheesecake pan or a muffin tin work as well.

1c pumpernickel pretzel crumbs (could use any type of pretzel or cracker here)
1/2c chopped walnuts (or other nut/seed)
4T butter, melted
12oz cream cheese, RT
11oz goat cheese, RT
1/4t sea salt
freshly ground pepper
3 eggs, RT
strawberry rhubarb caramelized onion jam, peach jam with caramelized onions and basil, or tomato jam

Preheat the oven to 350deg.

To make pretzel crumbs, grind up pumpernickel pretzels in the small bowl of a food processor.  Measure out 1c of the crumbs and combine with walnuts (these could also be ground up/chopped in the food processor).  Add melted butter and stir until well combined.  Press into desired baking pans.  Bake 7-10min, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.  Turn oven down to 250deg.

While the crust is cooling, prepare the filling.  Cream together cream cheese and goat cheese in a stand mixer.  Add salt and pepper and mix well.  Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each is well combined.  Pour into cooled crust, be sure not to fill more than 3/4 up the pan.  Tap cheesecake on the table to allow any air bubbles to come to the surface.

Bake (30min for minis, 45 for 4" and 1 1/2-2hours for a 9 or 10", the top will be set and no longer be jiggly). Remove and place on a wire rack.  Mine had cracks, but I didn't mind since I was covering it with jam. Once cooled, refrigerate until ~1hr before serving.  Top with the jam of your choice and serve!

I know we just passed the holiday season, what was your favorite party food?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


While cleaning up my computer, I found some photos of recipes I had never shared here.  In keeping with the new year, I am going to share them now and start 2014 with a clean slate!

Black Bean Brownies

I haven't a clue what recipe I tried, but apparently it just wasn't quite as good as the real thing as they never made it to the blog.  Perhaps I'll stick to eating my beans everyday and keeping them away from desserts ;)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

I actually have blogged about this cake before, but I adapted it a bit when making it to serve a crowd and it came out even better.  The entire 3 layers-worth of batter got baked into a sheet pan, creating thinner, more intense layers.  A bit of salted caramel sauce was drizzled in between the layers, and I finished off the bottom of the cake with some chopped honey roasted peanuts.  I was brought to tears the first time I tried to do this and swore I would never make it again, but it's happened two more times since then!

Fish Tacos

All I can remember about these is that they were delicious!  I signed up for the Cape Cod Fish Share for one season and these tacos were one of the delicious creations they inspired.  Looks like the fish was seasoned a bit and topped with cabbage, an avocado-citrus salsa and...  something creamy.  They were delicious, I wish I had written down the recipe!

Gingerbread Almond Butter Bars

For a gingerbread lover, I tried no less than three times to make gingerbread almond butter.  Each time it would look so creamy until I added the molasses.  And each time I ended up with a crumbly mixture whose only redeeming qualities was that it tasted good and could be formed into bars.

Peanut Butter Granola

I had some jungle peanuts around and thought they would look neat in some peanut butter granola. What do know, they do!  I think this was Lauren's recipe?

Pumpkin Granola Bars

These were good.  Really good.  They were an adaptation of a Smitten Kitchen recipe (I think this one), and I wish I still had this recipe!  There's a chance it's in a pile...  on the floor...  in the corner.  Maybe some day I'll have time to go through them.  Don't hold your breath.

Sweet Potato Vichyssoise

Another one of Lauren's recipes, this is a great recipe to have in your back pocket for when you have excess zucchini to use up in the summer!

Tomato Ice Cream

After my success with basil ice cream, I got the idea to try making a tomato ice cream using a technique I probably heard on the Splendid Table.  I even topped it with tomato jam!  But it just didn't do it for me.  Make tomato jam with your tomatoes instead :)

White Chicken Chili

Everyone's probably got a recipe out there for white chicken chili, and I tried one of them!  I don't think it was my favorite, so I will have to come up with my own- I hear a storm is coming, that's perfect chili making time.

What are you looking forward to in 2014??

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