Friday, May 25, 2012

Wild Blueberry & White Chocolate Cheesecake

Michael took me out to dinner for Mother's Day a couple weeks ago- I based my restaurant choice on my craving for desserts and chose the Cheesecake Factory. Food: meh. Cheesecake: delicous. We took a slice of white chocolate and wild blueberry cheesecake home to share (which I ate for breakfast by myself the next day).. It was delicious, but I couldn't get over paying $7 for a slice of cheesecake! It seemed so ludicrous. I decided to play around with a few recipes and created my own version. And you know what? I liked mine more- it had more blueberries, wasn't as dense, and golden oreos make a really delicious crust. I'll definitely be making this again.
 This is the Cheesecake Factory's version 
 This is mine.
I wish I had great photos to show off how lovely my cheesecake turned out, but... it was cut into, packaged into tupperware, handed out, and eaten before I had a chance. Just trust me- it was fabulous.

Wild Blueberry & White Chocolate Cheesecake
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla sandwich cookie crumbs (such as Golden Oreos)
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • wild blueberry sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole blueberries (can be frozen)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wrap foil around the bottom of a 9" springform pan. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, tablespoon of sugar and butter. Press into the bottom of the springform pan.
  3. In a double-boiler, melt the white chocolate with the half and half, stirring occasionally until smooth. Alternatively, microwave in 30 second intervals (stirring after each interval) until the chocolate and half and half is smooth.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and light. Add 1/2 cup sugar, beat until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Blend in vanilla and the melted white chocolate. 
  5. Pour half of the batter into the pan, then spoon 1/2 the blueberry sauce over the top. It's thick- don't bother trying to spread it. Sprinkle the whole berries over the top.
  6. Pour the remaining batter into the pan, and spoon the remaining blueberry sauce over the top. Swirl the jam with a knife to create a marbled-effect.
  7. Place the pan in a jelly-roll pan, fill the pan with some water to create a water bath. Bake for 65 minutes, until filling it set (it should still be jiggly in the center). Then turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an hour. 
  8. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 8 hours (overnight) before removing from the pan. 
  9. Garnish with extra blueberry sauce, fresh blueberries, white chocolate curls, or whipped cream before serving.  
Wild Blueberry Sauce
  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. 
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, allow to boil for one minute, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Cool before using in cheesecake recipe, but can be served warm with pancakes, waffles, crepes, or ice cream.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Carne Asada Tacos

Carne Asada Marinade
  • 2 lbs. skirt steak, or carne asada meat from a carniceria
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, minced
  • 1 large handful cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • kosher salt/ freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced & zested
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. Mash together the garlic, jalapenos, cilantro, salt/pepper until they form a paste (or use food processor). Put the paste in a glass jar with the remaining marinade ingredients; shake it together really well. 
  2. Place the beef in a large baking dish, pour the marinade over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-8 hours; do not exceed 8 hours (it could make the meat mushy).
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. 
  4. Pour the meat out of the marinade and grill for 7-10 minutes per side, turning once, until medium rare. 
  5. Place the meat on a cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice it across the grain.
  6. Serve with tortillas, pico, cheese, guacamole, extra lime, cabbage/lettuce, whatever you like on your tacos!