I am a clutter-hater at heart, so rather than hold on to the tons of food magazines I receive, I usually just tear out the interesting recipes and recycle the rest (yes, I know many of you hold on to them forever, and consider it terrible to just rip stuff randomly out of my periodicals, but what can I say: this is my OCD coming out).
25 February 2008
Anyhoo, because of this I own a folder stuffed to the gills with torn-out recipes, just sitting on my cookbook shelf. I flip through it occasionally, although I've received/bought so many new cookbooks lately that it's gotten quite neglected. This weekend I pulled it back out, dusted it off, and found the perfect little appetizer for my Oscar party: mini stilton cheesecakes. Very easy to pull together, no baking involved so it freed up my oven, and they can be made far ahead of time. Perfect!
I didn't have the 2X2-in. ring molds, so I used cookie cutters instead. Still, they were amazing – the cream cheese mellowed the flavor of the stilton just enough, and the bacon and walnuts are perfect with the stilton. I served mine with salad greens and a nice drizzle of honey. Mmm. One warning though: these are very, very rich. I couldn't even finish one on my own, so I'm very glad I decided to halve the recipe.
Stilton and Bacon Cheesecakes
(from Saveur magazine, recipe by Linda Ellerbee)
4 Tbsp. butter
1 c. finely crushed digestive biscuits or graham crackers
6 strips bacon, finely diced
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. stilton, softened
1⁄2 c. shelled walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
2 strips cooked bacon, broken into thirds
For the crusts: Grease six 2" × 2" ring molds with 1 Tbsp. of the butter; set molds on a cookie sheet. Melt remaining 3 Tbsp. butter and transfer to a small bowl. Add biscuit crumbs and mix well. Put equal amounts of the crumb mixture into prepared molds, firmly pressing on crumbs to form an even crust at base of molds. Chill crusts in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
For the filling: Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels. Using a fork, mix cheeses together in a medium bowl. Add bacon and walnuts (if using) and stir well. Pack equal amounts of the filling into molds, smoothing tops with the back of a small warm metal spoon. Cover cheesecakes with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
Run a small knife around inside of molds and slide cheesecakes onto six plates, crust side down. Serve cheesecakes at room temperature, garnished with a piece of bacon, with lettuces and fruit chutney or honey on the side.