Ever since I saw Meeta's invite to join the Savory Cakes Monthly Mingle, I've been planning. Savory cake is a brilliant idea, but difficult to pull off. How do you make a cake savory? Most savory cakes are biscuits or some kind of quickbread. Delicious to be certain, but definitely not cake. After a few days of wandering around the kitchen contemplating my savory cake options, I had a thought. What about a cheesecake with the spice of green chiles, but with the rich, creamy tang of goat cheese? I had combined these two favorites before in Chile Rellenos with delicious results, and the thought of making them into a cheesecake was calling my name. Cheesecake is still a cake, right? Maybe not the layered and frosted variety, but cake is in the name, so it must qualify.
I began the cookbook search, looking for inspiration. Sure enough, I found some in the Gourmet Cookbook (is there a ever a time when this book isn't useful?). Their recipe for Green Chile Cheesecake with Papaya Salsa, was the starting point I needed. As they did, I began with a crust made of crushed tortilla chips. But of course, I had to change it up a bit. I added goat cheese for its delicious creamy tanginess, tossed in a little cumin for its wonderful smoky flavor and baked the cheesecakes in large muffin tins to create individual servings. Rather than the papaya salsa, I decided on something a little more Southwestern. I put some tomatillos on to boil, diced them with a couple of Roma tomatoes and mixed in some roasted garlic and onion powder. As the cheesecakes baked, the kitchen was filled with the unmistakable aroma of green chiles, and I could tell that we were in for a treat. The cheesecakes were to die for! They were rich and creamy with a little chile bite to them. The tortilla chip crust provided a bit of a crunch, and the tomatillo salsa was mild and juicy. These made a fabulous dinner, but would be an elegant choice for brunch or could even be served cold on a buffet.
Check out Meeta's always wonderful Monthly Mingle Savory Cakes roundup at What's For Lunch, Honey?. And since this is really is a cheesecake recipe, join Peabody over at Culinary Concoctions, for Hey, Hey Donna Day, and the fabulous Cheesecake Competition! What fun to have one recipe to enter into two different food blog events!
Goat Cheese Green Chile Cheesecakes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
1 cup crushed tortilla chips
1 tablespoon of butter, melted
Mix together and press into the bottom of your muffin cups. Bake for about 10 minutes until the chips become golden and fragrant.
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 large eggs
16 oz cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter
6 or 8 green chiles, roasted, peeled, and diced (you could use canned if fresh aren't available where you are)
6 oz. goat cheese
6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend sour cream, eggs, cream cheese, butter and goat cheese in food processor until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in cheddar cheese, dill, cumin and salt. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake 30-35 minutes until the centers are set.
2 roma tomatos
1 tablespoon onion powder
3 cloves roasted garlic, mashed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Boil tomatillos until soft. Dice tomatillos and romas and toss with onion powder, salt and garlic. Serve over cheesecakes.
Makes about 8 large cheesecakes, depending on the size.