Cream cheese and sour cream are wonderfully versatile. Used in desserts or dips, they carry the day.
When I first thought of salsa in a cheesecake, my brain did a twisty thing trying to comprehend something that I only think of as sweet (cheesecake) with something that I only thing of as spicy (salsa). Then I figured it out — Oh. It’s like a spicy baked dip with salsa except that it’s made in a cheesecake pan. Cool.
The really cool thing is how great it looks when it is taken out of the cheesecake pan. It is perfectly formed, can be topped with salsa and sour cream and can be cut into wedges. I love that it can be made a day ahead and I love even more that in a world of a million dips, it is out of the ordinary.
The cheesecake base of cream cheese, sour cream and eggs can be taken in so many other savory directions.
- Turn it into a Tuscan-style cheesecake with the addition of sun dried tomatoes + Italian herbs + roasted yellow peppers + onions + garlic + mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. I have some ideas for the crust, but they are not quite yet worked out.
- Make a great herb cheesecake with your choice of fresh herbs + onions + roasted garlic + buttermilk (replace the sour cream?) + seasoning salt.
- There is a great savory cheesecake with bacon rumbling around in my head, but I can’t give away ALL of my secrets now, can I?
If you were paying attention to the bulleted area, then it may have occurred to you that a savory cheesecake sounds suspiciously like a cheese ball. True. Except for the eggs and the facts that it has a crust and is baked in a springform pan, it really is a cheese ball. I am giving you so many secrets today. I hope that you are having some terrific “a’ ha!” moments.
Speaking of cheese balls, they comprise some of my all-time favorite appetizer/dip selections. I have two of them on this blog, Party Cheese Ball and Ranch Cheese Ball (from my son’s in-law mom). There is a third cheese bally, dippy type of chip-n-cracker dunker that I really enjoy, Mexi Cheese Dip, but it defies categorization. Maverick.
The salsa for this recipe is easy to make, and in my personal private, biased opinion, is restaurant quality salsa. It comes together quickly in a food processor. Be sure to give it some chilling time so that the flavors can hold hands and come together for a kumbayah party before serving.