I tried a couple no-bake cheesecake recipes, but they either just didn't turn out good enough for the Crazy Cooking Challenge or were so appallingly bad that I can't bear to think about them. August 7 crept steadily closer and I was still without a recipe. So what to do?
I turned, as I always turn, to my library’s cookbook collection and Jacques Pepin's More Fast Food My Way was my salvation. I would make "Mini Savory Cheesecakes on Arugula or Butterhead Lettuce" and my taste buds would be so happy. Yes, I would still run my oven, but only for twenty minutes and I could live with that, because ... blue cheese. Le fromage bleu. Délicieux!
I know, you're thinking "Savory cheesecakes? What the heck?" Normally, we think of cheesecake as a decadent sweet to be enjoyed as a dessert, studded with chocolate or glazed with fruit. But, why not a savory cheesecake for a light lunch or appetizer?
If you're going to make this recipe, I strongly suggest watching the accompanying episode first as there are a few differences between how the recipe is written and how it is filmed. For instance, the video calls for adding about ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese to the cheesecake batter, plus some on top before baking and the written recipe just wants it on top. Claudine omits the bread crumbs (and I did, too). Also, the video says the savory cheesecakes can be served hot or lukewarm -- they fall as they cool, but they still taste good.
Boy, do the ever! Mine never puffed up as much as Pepin's, but they still taste outstandingly good. The strong blue cheese is tempered somewhat by the sour cream and cream cheese and the tangy salad vinaigrette partners well with it all. While I used reduced fat blue cheese crumbles and light sour cream in this recipe, the cheesecake still tastes rich and decadent -- also, unexpectedly light (almost fluffy) which it's squat, puck-like appearance belies.