Break culinary taboos with savory seafood cheesecake
Consider the union of seafood and cheese unholy? This savory cheesecake shatters the myth that pairing these two ingredients can’t be a match made in heaven. The luscious filling is made especially decadent by the addition of creamy mascarpone cheese, the international cousin to our saltier, more tangy domestic cream cheese.
Truth be told, mascarpone is not a cheese at all. Rather, it’s a form of cream thickened with acid. It’s lightly sweet, soft, exceptionally creamy and very spreadable. Mascarpone’s fresh flavor and satin texture make it an ideal addition or substitution in both sweet and savory recipes.
So, break this culinary taboo and prepare this elegant dish for your next party. Slice it as a sumptuous appetizer or serve it alongside a crisp, tossed salad for an exquisite lunch or light dinner. It won’t fail to impress.
1 box cornbread crackers, regular or jalapeño
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1½ teaspoons salt
1 pound fresh shrimp, uncooked
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1½ pounds mascarpone cheese
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ pound lump crabmeat, cleaned
2 green onion tops, sliced thinly
Optional garnish, 1 bunch parsley, minced
Butter a 9-inch spring form pan. Place the crackers in a blender or food processor and pulse until they are finely crushed. Combine the cracker pieces, butter and salt in a bowl. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Peel and devein shrimp. Evenly coat the shrimp with salt and red pepper. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook shrimp until they turn pink, about 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a flat beater, beat the cream cheese on medium high until fluffy. Reduce speed to medium, add mascarpone cheese and beat for 1 minute. Be careful not to over beat mixture. Add eggs one at a time, beating in between additions to ensure mixture is thoroughly combined. Add flour and continue beating for 1 minute. Mixture should be very creamy at this point.
Coarsely chop shrimp. Using a silicone spatula, fold in shrimp, crab and green onions. Evenly spread mixture over crust and bake until the topped has browned and the middle has set, 50-60 minutes.
Cool the cheesecake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Remove from pan and slice into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.