This is a great place to find simple, delicious recipes that you will use over and over, till you know them by heart.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Cheesecake

1 cup butter cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 (8-oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup ricotta cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pesto sauce (recipe below)
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, pureed and drained

Preheat oven to 325. Mix the cracker crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom of a 9" Springform pan. Bake for 10 minitess. Mix the cream cheese and ricotta cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the Parmesan, pesto sauce, and red peppers. Pour over the crust. Bake for 55 min to 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out dry. Run a knife or metal spatula around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake. Cool before removing from the pan. Refrigerate 4 hrs. or overnight. Let stand 15 mins at room temperature before serving. Serve with crackers.

Pesto Sauce

1/2 cup walnuts or pine nuts
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups (4 ounces) lightly packed fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Toast nuts in a dry skillet. In a food processor, combine nuts, basil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until nuts are finely chopped. With processor running, stream in olive oil and process till smooth.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

1 cup graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 ounces fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2 teaspoons instant coffee, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
3 packages (8oz ea) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a small mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, 2 T. sugar, and cocoa. Stir in melted butter. Press crumb mixture firmly into the bottom and ½ inch up the sides of a 9inch Springform pan. Bake 10 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325F.

In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips. Let cool. Stir in coffee. (Do not do this while the chocolate is hot or it will seize). Set aside.

In a food prosser, puree raspberries. Run through a sieve to remove seeds. Add 2T. sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl or standing mixer, beat cream cheese till light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add 1 c. sugar in a small stream until incorporated. Add vanilla and salt. With the mixer on low, add eggs one at a time.  Incorporate each egg before adding the next, but avoid overmixing. Fold in chocolate. Pour over cooled crust.

Spoon raspberry puree in dots over filling. Swirl with a wooden skewer or knife. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until set with a slightly wobbly center. Cool.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mango Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

2 large cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup diced mango
4 large red chili peppers
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 Tbs. cornstarch
4 Tbs. water

In a blender, puree together all the ingredients, except the last two. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer until the mixture thickens up a bit and the garlic & pepper bits begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water. Whisk this into the sauce and continue to simmer one more minute.

Let cool completely before storing in a glass jar and refrigerate. Makes about 2 1/3 cups sauce.