Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Santa Fe Green Chili Appetizer Cheesecake... My Absolute Best Hors d'oeuvre

I wanted to be sure and get this posted before the holidays so that you can try this on friends and  family. Believe me, they will thank you for it. You can make one large cheesecake or two small cheesecakes, but you're on your own for topping adjustments. I tend to go overboard.

I've always been a stay-at-home mom by choice but back in the days when the kids were growing up, I was always looking for ways to make a little extra cash on the side. When I first found this recipe I fell for it instantly and would make one for every party we had. Our friends went as nuts over it as did I, and soon people began asking me to make one for this or that function and somehow, it turned into a small business. During the holidays I would get so busy that I'd have to make these around the clock. It was a good thing I had double ovens, but I could have used at least five.

Please ignore the position of the pictures, as they ARE in order. I just didn't have enough room to add them all through the recipe portion.

Anyway, I made enough money selling my cheesecakes to send both kids to camp every summer for two weeks, so it worked out to be a great deal. Eventually, I grew so tired of making the appetizer cheesecakes that I completely stopped making them. Honestly, just the thought of making another one seriously made nauseous. I make several others I feel the same about as well. I'll get to those at a later date.

So, fast forward to the present (15 years later) and I suppose it had been a long enough hiatus from cheesecake making, that I almost missed making them. Last night our best friends were having a cocktail party so I offered to make one and of course, they accepted with enthusiasm. Now that I've made one again, I can't believe I used to crank out something like 10 to 15 per day. However, when eating it again, I realized how much I've missed it. It's as amazing as it is festive.

This cheesecake is so delicious and always proves to wow the crowd. It's been tweaked so many times from the original recipe that I have the right to now call it mine, so I'm going to share it with all of you now.

Santa Fe Green Chili Appetizer Cheesecake:

Ingredients For Cheesecake:


1 cup of crushed tortilla chips

3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter (a bit more, if needed)


1 cup of cottage cheese

4 eggs

3 8-oz. packages of lite cream cheese, softened

2 small cans of Hatch (or other chile) chiles

2 large jalapenos, seeded and chopped

2 teaspoons Mexican cumino (ground)

20 ounces of sharp grated cheddar cheese

First Topping:

1 8-ounce container of sour cream

1 8-ounce container of cheddar-jalapeno dip (I use the Frito Lay brand)

Final Topping:

1 8-ounce container of sour cream

2-3 fresh tomatoes, diced

2 bunches of green onions, chopped

2 small cans of sliced black olives



1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place crushed tortilla chips in a bowl and drizzle the melted butter over the chips. Toss well to coat all. Press the mixture into the bottom of spring-form cheesecake pan, place in middle of oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

2. Remove from oven and set aside. After it cools, place in fridge so the butter can harden the mixture that will be the crust.


1. In a food processor, process the cottage cheese until smooth and creamy.

2. Next, add all four eggs, one at time, to the processor.

3. Add each of the three packages of cream cheese, one at a time, processing in between each addition.

4. Once it is all combined to a creamy smooth consistency, add the 20 ounces of grated sharp cheddar cheese. Process for a couple of minutes, or until cheese is nicely combined and almost smooth.

5. Last of all, add the chopped jalapenos and the cumino. Process until combined.

6. Take cheesecake pan out of fridge. Very carefully pour the mixture from the bowl of the processor, being careful to remove the steel blade first, since you don't want it to go splat in the middle of your lovely masterpiece.

7. To keep the weight of the filling from from disturbing the crust, I pour the mixture onto a rubber spatula, allowing it to drip slowly off that.

8. Place cheesecake in the center of the oven and bake for one  hour, or until it's just a little wobbly. You don't want it fully cooked yet.

9. While the cheesecake is baking, you can whisk together the 8-oz. containers of sour cream and cheddar-jalapeno dip until thoroughly blended. Place in the fridge until the cheesecake comes out of the oven.

10. When the hour is up, remove the cheesecake from the oven and top with the refrigerated sour cream and cheese mixture and return it to the oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes.

11. When you take the cheesecake out of the oven make sure that you can place it in a draft free area, allowing it to cool slowly. When cooled, wrap with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 10 to 12 hours. It can also be frozen for up to 2 weeks at this point.

12. After allowing the cake to chill, top the cheesecake with the 8 ounce container of sour cream, like frosting on a cake.

13. For the rest of the topping, sprinkle the chopped tomatoes first, chopped green onions second, and then add the sliced black olives. Serve on sturdy tortilla chips (Doritos won't be able to support it. You need a good thick tortilla chip.)

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is seldom, if ever, served like a normal cheesecake, although I've known some people to serve small slices of it on a salad plate with tortilla chips. The object is to use a knife to take a small slice and place on the tortilla chip (be sure to use thick, sturdy chips), being sure to get a bit of the topping as well. (Sorry, I forgot to photograph once we arrived at the party.)

I hope you enjoy it! I know your guests will...

I also meant to add that the cheesecake can be frozen for up to two weeks (without sour cream and toppings) and it will also accommodate two small cheesecake pans.