Friday, December 13, 2013

Green Chili Cheesecake with Mango Salsa

This is one of my favorite appetizers.  It's a beautiful presentation and it's good all year around.  And it's very adaptable.  The original recipe was written to make one big 8-9" cheesecake, but I prefer to make individual cakes in cupcake tins.  The large cake will serve about 25 people, or you'll get about 18 individual cakes using the cupcake tins.  And the great thing about making the small cakes is that you can freeze each one and just pull one out when you need a little savory treat.

Also, you can adjust the heat in this.  This calls for 4 Tbsp chopped marinated jalapenos, but I halved this and there was still plenty of heat (and that's what the cooling mango salsa is for).  But for me, the best part is I always half this recipe, making just 9 individual cakes which freeze beaitufully.  They keep for quite a while in the freezer, I know I've had some in over six months which still thaw and dip beautifully.  Also, reduce the calorie/fat content by using reduced fat sour cream, cream cheese, shredded cheeses, and egg substitute for fantastic results.

I have always served these with the blue tortilla chips, but I notice the green and red chips in the store for the holidays.  What a great appetizer for Christmas, New Year's, or the Super Bowl.  Not but come summertime either served with a margarita.

GREEN CHILI CHEESECAKE with MANGO SALSA (serves about 25 or half the recipe making about 9 individual cakes)

1 1/2 cups roasted poblano, about 6 peppers
1 1/2 cups regular or reduced-fat sour cream
2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute
16 oz regular and reduced-fat cream cheese
2 Tbsp butter, softened
4 Tbsp chopped marinated jalapenos
1 Tbsp fresh minced fresh dill leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Mango salsa (recipe below)
blue tortilla chips

Roast and peel poblanos (line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Place peppers on foil and place in an oven with broiler set to HIGH.  Cook for about 10 minutes, turning 1-2 times, until black and blistered.  Remove from oven, place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let sit 10-15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.  Peel skin from pepper and remove stem and seeds.)  Finely chop.

In a food processor blend sour cream and eggs, add cream cheese and butter and blend until smooth.  Transfer mixture to bowl and stir in poblanos, jalapenos, cheeses, dill, and cilantro.  Pour into an 8" or 9" springform pan lined with parchment paper (or about 18 cupcake tins lined with cupcake liners) and bake at 325F for about 25 minutes (the cupcake-sized cakes also took about 25 minutes) until center is just set, but still jiggles.  Don't overbake or your chips will break when trying to dip.

Cool to room temperature and serve or refrigerate.  When ready to serve, take out an hour in advance.  Cut around the inside rim (if using the springform pan) and invert on a serving plate.  Top with mango salsa and serve with blue tortilla chips.

MANGO SALSA (makes about 4 cups)

3 cups chopped fresh mango (I use two 20 oz jars {found in the produce department} which each yield about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
3 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 red pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced, optional

Stir all ingredients together.

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