Monday, July 07, 2008

Revolution Wines Recipe Contest

Mini Garlic Cheesecakes with Pancetta and Balsamic Reduction

I entered yet another recipe contest a few weeks back. Although I did not emerge victorious, I thought I would share the photo and recipe idea with all of you. It is my original recipe and it was initially inspired for another contest I wanted to enter, but I knew it would work perfectly for this one:

"CALLING ALL CHEFS--Enter to win a mixed case of wine for $5.00 BY WINNING OUR RECIPE CONTEST
Submit your recipe early!!!!

The last recipe contest was a huge success so we are doing it again. Submit a recipe that pairs with our 2007 Pinot Grigio by June 15, 2008.

We will select between 5 and 10 recipes. Each selected recipe will then be prepared by the chef on June 21, 2008 and served by the chef to all tasting room guests.

Guests will sample each recipe while savoring our 2007 Sacramento County Pinot Grigio. After deciding which dish tastes the best with the wine, each guest casts a vote. The chef with the most votes WINS!"

I still received a bottle of yummy zin for my efforts. Thanks to all the people at Revolution Wines!

Here is the recipe I served to the tasting room guests. Note: for the contest, I had to make 40 mini cheesecakes instead of three 6-inch:

Garlic Cheesecakes with Pancetta and Balsamic Reduction

Makes three 6-inch cheesecakes.
Prep & Cook Time: About 2 hours.

1 cup Ritz Cracker Crumbs
1 cup crushed Original Terra Chips
1 Tbsp. rosemary (crushed)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 Tbsp olive oil

Garlic Mash:
1 cup water
6 large garlic bulb cloves, peeled
3 Tbs. butter or oil
1/8 tsp. saffron
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

Carmelized Onion:
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup vidalia onion, diced

Cheesecake Filling:
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
3 pkg neufchatel cheese (8 oz. each)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp saffron threads
1 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. white wine (riesling or Gewürztraminer)
1 cup Sour Cream
4 eggs

1/4 cup raisins soaked in white wine (riesling or Gewürztraminer) (drained)
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1 cup crushed Original Terra Chips.
1/2 cup crisped Pancetta

1 cup feta cheese

Balsamic Reduction Sauce:
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 scant tablespoons sugar


1. Cover raisins with white wine and microwave for 30 seconds to let
them plump up. Drain and set aside.

2. Bring water to a boil. Add garlic cloves, oil, saffron, salt,
cinnamon. Cover and cook over medium flame about 7 minutes or until
garlic is easily pierced with a fork. Drain water and mash the garlic
with the back of a spoon or twines of a fork. Set aside to cool.

3. Mix the cracker and bread crumbs, and the crushed rosemary with the
butter and olive oil, press firmly onto bottoms of 3 6-inch springform
pans. Bake at 325°F for 8 minutes. (Bake at 300°F for 8 minutes if
using dark nonstick springform pan.)

4. Sauté the vidalia onion in the olive oil until caramelized. Place
onion in a small bowl set aside, and return skillet to heat to toast
the pine nuts. Be careful so that they do not burn. Remove the toasted
pine nuts from the skillet and return skillet to heat again to sauté
the pancetta until it is crisped. Remove from heat and set aside.

5. Blend cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, flour, white wine, and lemon
juice with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour
cream, mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each
addition just until blended. Fold in nutmeg and saffron threads, then
the raisins and pine nuts. Pour over crusts. Place in oven to bake.

6. Bake at 325°F for 45 mins-1 hour or until center is almost set if
using silver springform pans. (Bake at 300°F for 45 mins-1 hour or
until center is almost set if using dark nonstick springform pans.)

7. While cakes are in the oven, prepare the balsamic reduction by
placing vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer over
medium-low heat until reduced by half. Glaze will become thicker as it
cools. Set aside to thicken.

8. Crush 1 cup Original Terra Chips and mix together with the reserved pancetta.

9. When cakes are done baking, remove from oven and top them with the
crushed chips and pancetta. Grate desired amount of crumbled feta over
all cakes. and run a knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to
loosen cake; wrap bottoms in aluminum foil and cool in ice bath for 10
minutes to set before removing rims of pans. Remove from water bath
and remove rims of pans. Slice and serve warm.

10. To serve, drizzle the balsamic reduction over plates and place
slice on plate. Top with a little more balsamic reduction.

Original recipe "Garlic Cheesecakes with Pancetta and Balsamic Reduction" by Kristy DeVaney, copyright April 2007.

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