Sunday, July 5, 2009

A blog post inspired by a few of my favorite foods: mushrooms, shallots and cheese...

This is a savory cheesecake. It's more of a cheese dip, but holds together like a cheesecake. Talk about the perfect appetizer for cocktail hour? I needed to bring an appetizer to a dinner party - and decided to make this Mushroom and Caramelized Shallot Cheesecake with 4 cheeses and a touch of fresh baby spinach. It is out of this world! It can be a side dish, an appetizer, or a light meal with a salad and glass of wine.


So here's the recipe:
In a mixing bowl, combine 3 twelve oz. packages of room temperature cream cheese, 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Mix until creamy. Add 4 eggs, incorporating one at a time until combined.


Saute 4 large shallots until slightly browned. Add 16 oz. of sliced mushrooms - I used Cremini, but any will do. Add 1 teaspoon Worcestershire and a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper. Saute until they're all fragrant and caramelized. Remove a third of the mixture and set aside. Add 1 cello-package of fresh baby spinach to the pan and cover. Cook for a couple minutes and then remove from heat. Let cool a couple minutes.



Chop or shred 2 cups total of the following cheeses: white cheddar, Parmesan, Gruyere or Swiss, and Manchego. (the Gruyere or Swiss and Parm are a must). Add to egg/cheese mixture.


Fold in spinach and mix well.


Spray an 8 or 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray and coat lightly with breadcrumbs. Pour cheesecake mixture in and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Then add remaining mushroom mixture to the top, toss another handful of shredded parmesan and freshly ground pepper on top and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let cool for 1o minutes before slicing.

Serve with crusty bread or crackers and enjoy!

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