August 18, 2013
Individual Creole Avocado Cheesecakes
I have wanted to make a savory cheesecake for years, and I mean years. What stopped me?
I was concerned that all that cheese would not make a good dinner dish.
Oh, I pondered the idea of making it a savory spread for bruschetta or as past of a 7-Layer Tex-Mex Casserole but none of them made my skirt fly up.
Until I got an idea.
I was messing around with an avocado cheese spread for the California Avocado Sponsored Recipe Contest hosted my The Recipe Redux and I realized the recipe for the avocado cheese could be the base for that savory cheesecake I always wanted to make. I was halfway there, all that needed to be done was the flavor components.
Most people think of Southwest, Tex-Mex and Mexican when the avocado is mentioned. I wanted to go slightly east of those parameters and create one from another well known regional cuisine, New Orleans Creole.
While this recipe looks like it has many ingredients, every prep step can be done in a food processor, and wiped out between each step.
Like most sweet cheesecakes, these savory ones also benefit from a day of rest. Simply reheat for 5-10 minutes in an oven or just bring to room temperature, slide a knife along the edge and it pops right out. Perfect either way.
I served it with a light salsa and arugula as an entree for a baby shower I hosted. It was perfect.
“I received free samples of California Avocado mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am
entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Avocado and am eligible to win prizes associated
with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Individual Creole Avocado Cheesecakes
makes 8 (3/4 cup) ramekins
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/2 cup bread crumbs
* 3 tablespoons pecan or walnuts, minced
* 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
* 4 tablespoons butter, melted
* 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup red onion, minced fine
* 1/4 cup each of celery, green bell pepper and green onions, chopped fine
* 1/2 small jalapeno pepper, minced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 4oz Cajun chicken sausage, minced
* 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 cup grated smoked Gouda
* 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 avocados skinned and mashed
* 1 cup egg substitute
* 4 ounces fat free cream cheese
* 2 oz goat cheese
* 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
* 5 dashes hot sauce
1. In a blender or food processor, puree the avocados, cream cheese, goat cheese, Gouda, and teaspoon Creole seasoning.
2. Stir in the Parmesan, agave nectar, hot sauce and salt and pepper.
Taste and adjust for seasonings then stir in the egg substitute.
3. Saute the red onion, celery, peppers, garlic, green onions and sausage in the vegetable oil until they start to brown around the edges, about 7 minutes. Remove to cool.
4. In a medium bowl mix all the crust ingredients with a fork, until all the crumbs are moistened.
5. Preheat oven to 300°.
6. Spray each ramekin liberally with release agent and put 1/4 cup crumbs in one ramekin and twirl around to coat the entire inside (including sides), working over a sink, and dumping the remaining crumbs into the next ramekin to repeat with each one. Add more crumbs if necessary until all ramekins are evenly coated with residual crumbs lightly tapped out.
7. Spoon 2 level tablespoons bread crumb mixture into each ramekin and gently press with a spoon, a jar that fits into the ramekin or just your fingers until they are tapped down with no loose crumbs showing but not packed too tightly.
7. Bake the ramekins in a baking dish (9x13 works well) for 11-2 12 minutes. Remove to cool.
8. Add vegetable mixture to pureed mixture and spoon into cooled ramekins. Up the oven to 325°.
9. Pour hot water into the baking pan so it reaches up to the middle of each ramekin and carefully place in the oven.
10. Set timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove a ramekin and carefully shake. If the middle of the cheesecake jiggles bake for another 5 minutes more.
12. Remove and let them rest for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the sides, and invert onto a spatula, then slide onto your serving dish.
Nutrition analysis of this recipe: Calories 331g, Total fat 25.3g, Saturated fat 9.1g, Monounsaturated fat 22.5g, Polyunsaturated fat 4.2g, Cholesterol 38g, Sodium 959mg, Potassium 2063mg, Total carbohydrates 14.3g, Dietary fiber 4.5g, Total sugars 4.0g, Protein 14.1g, Vitamin A 32%, Vitamin C 20%, Calcium 17%, Iron 10%, Folate 51%, Omega-3 fatty acids 253mg, Omega-6 fatty acids 3886mg.