Recipes for Shavuot
By Eileen Goltz
What better time to try out a new dairy recipe or two than Shavuot and of course, when I use dairy and Shavuot in one sentence, I usually come up with a cheesecake recipe or two or twenty.
The word cheesecake has most people thinking of a calorie laden, rich, creamy dessert served by the sliver at the end of a meal. However, in my house a cheesecake can also be made with herbs, spices, vegetables and salsas and served as an appetizer. In fact, one of this year's "in" hors d'oeuvre is a slice of savory cheesecake served with chips or toasted pita bread.
Whether you like it sweet or savory there are a few
basic tips you need to know before you start cracking the eggs and adding
Just before my cheesecakes go into the oven I give the pan a little tap on the counter top just to make sure I get all of the air bubbles out of the batter. If any bubbles are so rude as to float up to the top and don't immediately pop, I do the honors. It's very important to follow the baking directions exactly. IF they call for a water bath then use one. I just place a towel (to prevent splashing and help distribute the heat) on the bottom of a pan big enough to hold the filled spring form pan (sometimes I use the disposable kind). I place the filled spring form pan in the larger pan, on top of the towel, place both in the oven and then slowly pour water into the larger pan. You need to add enough water to come between half and two thirds up the side of the cheesecake. You don't have to go any higher than that or you'll just steam the cake. The cheesecake should be placed in the middle of the oven for cooking, not the top third.
Sometimes the cheesecakes I bake (usually the sweet ones) just don't look done when the recipe says they should be done. That's actually a good thing. Just like scrambled eggs, if a cheesecake looks done in the pan it's going to be overdone on the plate. You have to take carry-over into account. The temperature is going to continue to go up. So what I like to do is just leave it in the oven, turn the oven off, open the door for one minute to let the hot air out and then just close the door and leave it for about 30 minutes. I take the cheesecake out of the water bath while both pans are still in the oven so I don't accidentally slosh water into the pan. This is when I either serve it immediately or place it, covered, in the refrigerator to await my serving pleasure.
Of course, there is one problem with cheesecake other
than the obvious; you can't get enough of them. It's that they tend to stick
to the side of any knife that tries to cut it. I use the thinnest knife I
have and always dip it into hot water for a few seconds before cutting.
Preheat the oven to 350. In a small bowl, combine the
melted butter, egg white, and the bagel chips. Press them into the bottom of
a 10-inch spring form pan. Bake for 8 minutes to crisp up. Remove from oven
and cool. Reduce the heat to 250. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle
attachment, blend the cream cheese, cornstarch, salt, and sour cream. Once
this mixture is thoroughly combined, add the eggs, one at a time until they
are combined with the rest of the batter. Fold in trout and chives by hand
and then. Pour the batter over the cooled crust. Sprinkle the pecans over
the top of the cheesecake. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for 1
hour. Turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for an additional
hour without opening the door. Cool on a rack for at least 4 hours.
Carefully unmold. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Serves 8 to 10
Preheat oven to 350. Sprinkle tomato slices with 1/4
teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Drain on paper towels 10 minutes.
Process the pine nuts in a food processor until they are ground. Stir
together pine nuts, bread crumbs and melted butter. Press into bottom of a
9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325.
Cool in pan on a wire rack. Place the cream cheese in an electric mixing
bowl and beat at medium speed until creamy; add the ricotta cheese, feta
cheese and eggs, beating until blended. Stir in the spinach, garlic, flour
and dill, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper by
hand. Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Bake at 325 for 15 minutes.
Top the cheesecake with the tomato slices, and bake 30 more minutes or until
set. Turn oven off; leave cheesecake in oven 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack
10 minutes. Gently run a knife around edge of cheesecake, and carefully
remove sides of pan; cool 10 more minutes. Serve warm or cold. Makes 12
appetizer or 8 main-dish servings.
Preheat oven to 375. Combine zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir well. Let stand 15 minutes; drain. Roll zucchini in paper towels to squeeze out excess moisture; place in a bowl, and set aside. Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion, and butter in a large skillet; saute 3 to 4 minutes. Add zucchini, carrots, flour, garlic, basil, and oregano. Cook over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat; add parsley and lemon juice. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese and beat well. Add vegetable mixture and salt and pepper to taste and mix in by hand, stirring until well blended. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs over the bottom of a greased 10 inch spring form pan. Pour the vegetable mixture into pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven. Dredge the plum tomato slices in
remaining breadcrumbs. Garnish cheesecake with tomato slices and rolled
anchovies. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to 350 and
bake 30 minutes. Turn off oven, and open door; let cheesecake cool in oven
15 minutes. Remove from oven; cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Serves 8 to 10
Preheat oven to 325. In a large electric mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and sugar. Mix them together until smooth and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, and beating well after each addition. Add melted and cooled margarine, flour, cornstarch, and vanilla. Beat well. Fold in sour cream by hand. Pour the batter into an ungreased 9" spring form pan. Bake, in center of oven for 1 hour. The cake will be soft in the center. Turn off the heat.
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT open the oven door. Leave the
cheesecake sit for 2 hours. When the cake is completely cooled loosely cover
it and then let it chill for 2 hours. Remove the cheesecake from pan to
serving plate just before serving.
Preheat oven to 350. In medium bowl, combine crumbs,
cocoa and powdered sugar; Stir in the melted
butter. Press mixture onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of 9-inch spring form
pan. Bake for 8 minutes, remove it from the oven to cool slightly and
increase the oven temperature to 400. In large mixer bowl, beat cream
cheese, sugar; flour and pumpkin pie spice until well blended. Add pumpkin
and eggs; beat until well blended. Add the small chocolate chips and fold
them in by hand. Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Bake for 10
minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 and then continue baking for an
additional 50 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to a cooling
rack; loosen cake from rim of pan but do not remove. Cool the cheesecake
completely and then remove the rim. Cover and refrigerate. Serves 8 to 10.
Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the egg, one at a time and mix until blended. Stir in the rum... Arrange ladyfingers on bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate; drizzle with coffee. Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared pie plate. Bake for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Top with whipped topping, chocolate covered coffee beans and shaved chocolate just before serving... Makes 8 servings
© Eileen Goltz 2003