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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Tasso and Smoked Cheddar Cheesecake

One of the best tasting, and most versatile, recipes in this book. This can be made four or five days in advance. Beautiful on a sideboard for a cocktail party, perfect with a salad for lunch, an excellent side item with an entrée for dinner. Country ham, chopped bacon, or cooked sausage can be substituted for the Tasso (Cajun-spiced ham).



2 cup Japanese breadcrumbs

1 cup parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp Fresh thyme

1 Tbsp parsley

1 /2 cup melted butter

1 tsp. black pepper



1 Tbsp butter

1 1 /2  cup tasso, diced

1 /2 cup onion, minced

1 Tbsp garlic, minced

1 /2  pound cream cheese, softened.

1 /2  pound smoked cheddar cheese, finely grated

3 eggs + 2 yolks

1 /4 cup sour cream

1 /2  tsp salt

1 tsp creole seasoning

1 /4 tsp black pepper

1 /4  tsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 /2  cup chopped green onions

2 Tbsp finely chopped red bell peppers



Preheat oven to 275

Combine all ingredients.

Press into a 9-10 inch spring-form pan, covering the bottom completely and bringing the crust 1 1 /2 inches up the sides. Bake crust five minutes and allow to cool.



In a medium sized sauté pan, melt butter and cook tasso, onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool.

While tasso mixture is cooling, beat the cheeses together until soft in a mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time allowing them to incorporate. Add remaining ingredients, and cooled tasso mixture.

Pour filling into par-baked crust and bake45-60 minutes.

Let cheesecake cool completely before cutting. Dip a clean knife into hot water to cut, wiping knife clean, and re-dipping into water after every slice.

Can be made two days in advance. Remove from refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving.

Serves: 10-12

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