Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Monday, March 19, 2012

One More European Cheesecake

Savory cheesecakes might be my new favorite savory appetizer. I guess you could say they're the more upscale version of a cheese ball! After great success with the Cheddar, Bacon, and Chive cheesecake, I was anxious to try a new version.
This was definitely one of the most talked about recipes at the Cheesecake Extravaganza. Eaten with crackers, you could definitely taste each of the "Greek" ingredients--including olives, artichokes, red peppers, and of course, feta. Don't skip out on garnishing this cheesecake--not only did they add aesthetic appeal, but also the red peppers and olives on top were scooped up by everyone along with the chunks of cheese.
Note: Rather than make one giant cheesecake, I opted to make 1/3 of the below recipe and divided it between two 4-inch springform pans (which baked for less time). This made them a MUCH more manageable size for the party...they were both easier to serve and we weren't left with massive amounts of leftovers. Depending on how many you want to serve, this might be a good option. Also, I made the cheesecakes a week ahead of time, carefully transferred them (once cooled) to cardboard cutouts, and froze until the day before the party. They thawed perfectly!

Greek savory cheesecake

Greek Cheesecake
2 tbsp. butter, softened
¼ c. fine dry seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
32 oz. cream cheese (1/3 less fat can be used), at room temperature
1 c. feta cheese, crumbled
4 large eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 (14 oz.) can artichokes, drained and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can black olives, drained and chopped
1 large clove garlic, pressed
2 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
Garnish:
Red Bell Pepper, Feta, and Olives chopped
Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter. In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Coat the bottom of the pan with the mixture and set aside.
In a mixer or food processor, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in feta, eggs, and sour cream, until smooth. Fold in chopped bell peppers, olives, garlic, and basil.
Pour half of the cream cheese mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Layer the artichokes, and then pour the remaining half over the artichokes.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating. Chill for at least 8 hours before serving.
When ready to sere, garnish the top with chopped peppers and olives. Serve with sliced baguette, crackers, veggie slices, and apple wedges.


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