Blue Valentine

A cheesecake recipe for all tastes

Admittedly, my husband and I have our differences. There is no month that illustrates this better than February. While my hubby eagerly anticipates the Super Bowl, I unabashedly hope for a gift on Valentine’s Day. Luckily, we can both appreciate blue cheese cheesecake, a savory spread that melds cream cheese and blue cheese and is garnished with roasted red peppers, caramelized nuts and a tangy tamarind sauce. It would pair perfectly with Potter’s Six Seed crackers and a bottle of beer for a Super Bowl snack, or make a nice accompaniment to a token Valentine’s Day gift—perhaps a glass of wine, a box of dark chocolates, a chunky necklace, a bouquet of fresh flowers and a cozy new robe?

RECIPE: Blue Cheese Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, finely chopped
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 lump blue cheese (try Roth Käse Moody Blue), about 1/2 to 2/3 the size of the cream cheese
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup tamarind concentrate (You may need to water down the concentrate; it can be like a jell. Just dilute it to make 1/2 cup. You want the flavor to be strong, but the consistency syrupy.)
1/2 cup caramelized nuts, chopped (almonds or pecans work nicely)
Cilantro, finely chopped
Crackers or bread

DIRECTIONS

Oil the inside of a mold with olive oil (try a small glass food-storage container or ramekin). Lay red peppers on the bottom of the mold. Mix cheeses together thoroughly and press into mold on top of peppers. Refrigerate an hour or so until cheeses firm up. Meanwhile, make balsamic-tamarind reduction by heating balsamic and tamarind in saucepan on stovetop until reduced to a syrup, about 15–25 minutes at a simmer. Slide a knife around mold and turn the “cheesecake” upside-down onto a plate. Drizzle balsamic reduction and chopped nuts over top of cheesecake. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with crackers or bread.

Recipe created by chef Lori Dumm of Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

Photo by Martha Busse

Otehlia Cassidy is a Madison writer and cook with a passion for local foods and culinary adventures. Check out her blog, Local Flavor, and find more recipes here.

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