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