Monday, June 3, 2013

BLT Cheesecake

Surprise-- cheesecake can be savory instead of sweet.  You're going to love this!  Taste of Home magazine recently sponsored a cheesecake contest, and this won 1st Place! (See photo below recipe).  I got the idea from all the wonderful, savory cheesecakes out there (crab is my favorite).  Yes, we've all enjoyed cheesecake as a dessert forever, but they can be a savory appetizer as well.  It's like a big, soft, killer-delicious cheese wheel, loaded with yummy herbs and rich creaminess that you slice and spread on a cracker.  This one features bacon, lettuce and tomato-- an American favorite!
Here's what you'll need:

1 & 1/2 Cups bread crumbs (I used Italian flavored)
1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese from a chilled tub
6 Tablespoons melted butter

4 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese softened
4 eggs
1/2 Cup whipping cream
1 & 1/2 Cups cooked crumbled bacon
1 Cup sun dried tomatoes chopped
1 Cup grated Gruyere cheese (or your favorite cheese)
2 green onions minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 Boston lettuce leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix bread crumbs, Parmesan and butter; press onto bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 15 minutes.

 2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy, then beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in cream, bacon, tomatoes, grated cheese, onions and pepper. Pour over crust and bake on a baking sheet for 90 minutes. Cool, then chill. Run a knife around inside of pan, then remove sides. Place chilled slices on a lettuce leaf to serve. (Or top it with lettuce and tomato, as the photo shows)  Serve with crackers or slices of bruschetta.   Yield: serves 12 

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