Monday, June 10, 2013

Savory Mini Cheesecakes

These cheesecakes are kind of a cross between a cheesecake and a souffle. They have a wonderfully textured interior, and just enough crumb on the outside to hold it together. You can really get creative with the cheese you decide on incorporating into the batter, as well as what you serve them with. I was in a traditional mood when I made them, so I followed what the recipe recommended and used Roquefort. 


This recipe is from Jacques Pépin's More Fast Food My Way, which I love. I made a few adaptations since I didn't have a couple of the ingredients on hand, but they were still very good. I do recommend having company when you serve these, or you'll probably end up eating them all yourself. I had made these on my day off for my husband and I while the little one was napping. We housed 2 a piece. Then when little one woke up, she came into the kitchen, sniffing the air, saying 'num num!' I did feel a little guilty. But babies don't really like Roquefort, right?

INGREDIENTS                                                             

2 tsp unsalted butter, softened
4 Tbsp panko style bread crumbs
1 8 oz container whipped cream cheese,
   at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (I used Roquefort this time, but any fav crumbly cheese is good)                                                       

for the salad:
3 - 4 cups butter lettuce, or another tender,
   crunchy variety
1 scant Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pear, ripe yet still quite firm, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350*. Coat 4 ramekins with the softened butter. Divide the panko into each mold and turn the ramekins at an angle to coat all sides. 

Whisk the cream cheese, eggs, greek yogurt, salt and pepper very well in a medium bowl. Divide evenly among the ramekins and sprinkle the blue cheese on top of each one. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on them - depending on the size and shape of your ramekins, it may be a shorter or longer bake time. 

Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside and slice the pear. Arrange the lettuce on the plates, making a little 'bed' for the cheesecake. Place the sliced pear on top of the leaves and drizzle with the vinaigrette. 

Once the cheesecakes are done (they should still look slightly wet and soft in the center, yet set), let them cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Run a sharp paring knife around the edge of the cakes to loosen them from the ramekins. Invert each one into your hand, turn back up right and place on a prepared lettuce bed. Serve immediately.



This recipe has been adapted from More Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pépin

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