Smoked Salmon Cheesecake
This delicious recipe was contributed by Chef Jeff Muldrow, owner of Va Pensiero, a fine Italian restaurant located in Evanston, Illinois. The combination of flavors is delicate and perfectly balanced. It makes an elegant first course for a sit-down dinner or a wonderful addition to a varied selection of hors d'oeuvres.
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1/2 pound cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces smoked salmon (cold or hot smoked)
- 3 ounces Crème Fraiche
- Fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon small capers, rinsed
- 2 teaspoons chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and just enough melted butter so that when pressed the mixture holds its shape. Season with salt and pepper and press into the bottom of a 4-inch spring form pan.
Sauté the onion in olive oil over medium heat for two minutes, add the garlic and sauté for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree the cream cheese until smooth, add the egg and cream and season with salt and pepper. Add salmon and process until smooth.
Add the onion and garlic and either process until smooth or mix with a spatula for a more rustic texture. Pour the cheese mixture into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or until set.
Remove from the oven and chill completely before cutting.
For the sauce mix the crème fraiche, lemon juice, capers and chives in a small bowl and season with pepper to taste. The capers are salty so season accordingly.
Slice the cake chilled and serve with the sauce. Add any accompaniment you like with smoked salmon ~ hard cooked egg, sliced onion, tomato, horseradish etc.
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