Spicy Spreadable Cheesecake

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Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups crushed Ritz® crackers
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

  • 6 ounces finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons TABASCO® brand Original Red Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon TABASCO® brand Original Red Sauce

Garnish

  • Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped green onions
  • Salsa (optional)
  • Crackers or tortilla chips

Preparation

To make crust, combine crackers and melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Press evenly into a 9-inch springform pan.

To make filling, combine Cheddar cheese, lime zest, flour, and cornstarch in a bowl and toss well; set aside.

Combine cream cheese and lime juice in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time while mixing on low speed. Add minced onion, horseradish, TABASCO® Sauce, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper and mix just until blended.

Fold in Cheddar cheese mixture, then fold in sour cream by hand. Pour batter into prepared crust. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour. Do not overbake.

Meanwhile, combine all topping ingredients in a bowl and mix well; keep refrigerated while cheesecake bakes. When cake is done, remove from oven and spread cold topping over warm cake. Return cake to oven, turn oven off, and allow cheesecake to cool in oven (oven door may be opened a crack to speed up the process); this helps prevent cake from cracking during cooling.

Refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours or overnight, then garnish as desired with shredded Cheddar, tomatoes, green onions, and, if desired, salsa. Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.

Makes 8 servings.

2nd Place: 2002 TABASCO® Cook & Ladder® Competition. Submitted by Firefighter Bill Hubbard Bedford Heights, OH Fire Department

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