BLT Cheesecake with Lemon Aioli
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground wheat cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 12 ounces bacon, chopped
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 15 ounces whole milk ricotta, well drained
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped chives
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup finely chopped oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, blotted with paper towels to remove excess oil 8 cups chiffonade romaine lettuce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- Lemon Aioli, recipe follows
- 1/4 cup finely diced fresh plum tomatoes
- Lemon Aioli:
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg yolks*
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Pinch cayenne
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup water
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In bowl of a food processor, combine the cracker crumbs and butter and process to combine. Press onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon, over medium-high heat, stirring, until crisp and brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels.
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, drained ricotta, sour cream, shallots, chives, salt and pepper until smooth. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well. Fold in the cooked bacon and tomatoes. Pour into the prepared crust and bake until set, about 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool for 1 to 2 hours.
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce with the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper, to taste. Divide among 12 plates.
Remove the outer rim of the mold. With a thin, sharp knife dipped in hot water, slice the cheesecake. Place the slices in the center of the salads. Lightly drizzle the greens and top of the cheesecake with the Aioli. Top each cheesecake with 1 teaspoon of the chopped tomatoes and serve.Lemon Aioli:
With the back of a knife, crush the garlic. Gradually work the salt into the crushed garlic to make a paste. Place in a bowl. Whisk the eggs and lemon juice with the garlic paste and incorporate. Add the cayenne. Slowly whisk in the oil, a little at a time, until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture emulsifies. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time to thin the sauce to drizzling consistency.
Keep refrigerated until ready to use. (Use within 24 hours.)
Yield: 1 1/4 cups
Contains Raw Eggs: The Food Network Kitchen suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served, use shell eggs that have been treated to destroy salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method.
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2003