Tarta de queso , no sólo para el postre más !!

I was searching for something to make for a party last month, something different, something weird if you will.  I wanted to make something easy that everyone would love, and I ended up with the 12 step program of dips…..was a fun one to make though.  If you are a baker this is right up your alley. Cheesecake, America’s favorite dessert….evidently Mexico’s favorite savory dip.  Not much else I can say about this, you will have to be the judge for yourself!  Enjoy, Mexican Cheesecake!

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INGREDIENTS

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

2 tbsp. melted butter

3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese (softened)

1 cup ricotta cheese

4 eggs

10 oz grated cheese

1 can (4.5 oz) green chile’s

1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped ( I omitted this devil, blech)

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup salsa

salt & pepper to taste

HOW TO

I don’t know about your kitchen, but on the surface, mine seems to be in perfect order, but when you open the cabinets to find something, an explosion of epic proportion takes over.  I know I had a springform pan, and after turning my life around trying to find it (which I didn’t), I made my way to Macy’s to buy a new one, thanks Martha Stewart.  Make sure you have this handy device before you start cooking (just my 2 cents).

Pre heat oven to 350′. Crush tortilla chips, I put them in a bag and used a rolling-pin, I made mine a medium size, and mixed both flax-seed tortilla chips, and tostitos together.  The flax-seed chips gave the crust a little nutty flavor.  Combine chips with butter, and press neatly into the bottom of the pan, try to cover the whole thing, so nothing leaks.

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Beat cream cheese, and ricotta cheese with a mixer, so you get a smooth cheesecake like substance.

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Gradually adding in all 4 eggs, beating after adding each additional egg.

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Add in green chiles, cheddar cheese, and if your heart so desires, cilantro.  Season with salt & pepper.

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Add your cheesecake mixture to your prepared pan.

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I have an extremely old 1920’s oven, so I have to cook anything  3-4 times longer than it says on any recipe.  This calls for 45 minutes to 1 hour of cooking time.  I suggest you cook until the middle is set, stick a knife in, and when it comes out clean viola!

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Ok, here is where it gets fun!  The cake needs to set, so make sure you refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but if possible overnight.  When I made this, I combined the salsa and sour cream (this is your “frosting”) and put it on while it was setting.  BIG mistake, it got hard and I had to scrape it off and re-do it in the morning.  I suggest doing it right before you serve it.

Add toppings to, well the top….think of your favorite nachos and add whatever you would put on those, on the top of the cake.  There were going to be a lot of kids at this party, so I didn’t go crazy, just some more cheese and olives, but I would have used bacon, and jalapeno if it was an adult party.

Make sure you take this out of the fridge an hour or so before you serve so it can soften up.

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DIPPABLES

Tortilla chips worked the best, and we had some crackers too.  This also spread well on crusty bread, and some people ate it like a slice of cake.

HAPPY DIPPING!

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PINEAPPLE EXPRESS

After being in Milan at the end of January for 5 days, and eating and drinking my way through the city, I thought the next entry should be somewhat healthy.  When I got back, I literally couldn’t button my pants (unfunny), so I gave up booze, and bad food for 30 days, and then I no longer was in need of a new wardrobe.

In my group of friends, eating and drinking, is a huge part of our get togethers, we all stand around the food and talk for hours, while shoveling whatever goodness is in front of us, into our mouths….Superbowl was no different this go around.  Wings, ribs, grilled veggies, chili, dips, chips, dorks (if you get this reference then I love you more).  Stuffed  to the max…happy to have contributed in the health(ier) department this year.  ENJOY, Burnt Pineapple Salsa!

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INGREDIENTS

1 large pineapple

1/2 of a red onion

1 large jalapeno

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup chopped cilantro (I omitted, you don’t have to)

3 TBS fresh lime juice

salt & pepper to taste

This was definitely one of the easier dips I have made, and honestly one of the fastest.

HOW TO

Cut pineapple into 1/2 inch rounds (in case you need help, see link)

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 In a cast iron pan, or non stick skillet, char pineapple over high heat, I did this about 5-7 mins per side.

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Let the pineapple cool completely, and then chop in your food processor.  If you have knife skills, you can chop by hand, I do not!

Mince 1/2 of the red onion, garlic, and jalapeno, add lime juice, and place into a bowl.

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This is the time to add the cilantro (that evil evil herb) to your bowl if you so choose…..

Lastly, season with salt & pepper…and serve 🙂

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DIPPABLES

We used cucumber, endive, and nut thins (chia seed is the best)

Happy Dipping!