For Valentine’s Day Jason made me an AMAZING meal.
- Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon with Port Wine Sauce
- Roasted Potatoes with Greens
- Easy Asparagus
- Strawberry Avocado Salad (not pictured)
Our wine was Catena, a Malbec from Argentina. For a $25 bottle (which is pricey for us), we both rated it an okay-good.
And the GRAND FINALE . . .
Jason’s Famous Cheesecake
Actually I really think he stole it from Tiffany since the recipe card I have in front of me says “Cheesecake by Tiffany.” But I could be wrong.
I have heard about this dessert and its many renditions (toffee, oreo, chocolate, etc.) but this was the first time I had it. He even had to be sneaky about it, making it over at Sally’s house so I wouldn’t suspect a thing.
And, just for me, he made it a little lighter, using 1/3 less fat cream cheese and fat free sour cream. It did taste a little less rich, but still very good. We had it with drizzled dark chocolate and strawberries.
- 1 1/2 c graham crackers, crushed
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/3 c butter, melted
Mix all ingredients together and press lightly into spring form pan half way up the sides. Bake just the crust at 350 F for 7-10 minutes until slightly brown. Take out and let cool completely.
- 3 8-oz pkgs softened cream cheese
- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 4 eggs
- 8 oz sour cream
- 1 T vanilla
Combine all ingredients in order, beating the eggs in one at a time. Make sure to scrap the sides of the bowl after adding the milk and mix thoroughly. Pour into pan, bake at 350 F for 50-55 minutes.
[This is Jason adding a little insight to help you with creating a better cheese cake. The above recipe will make a good cheese cake, but to make a great cheese cake takes patience and the right eye. It’s all about slow baking and slow cooling. Here is what I did for this one.
I covered the bottom, sides and outer top ring of the spring form pan with aluminum foil. This will insulate the pan. Then I baked it for about 1:30 hours, but I came up with the 1:30 hours because from 50 minutes on, I checked it every 5 minutes, shaking the pan slightly to see how watery the filling was.
When the cake was just slightly firm, I turned the oven off, opened the door slightly, and let the cake sit in the oven for 10 minutes, slowly cooling, then I took it out and set it on top of the oven to cool completely to room temperature, a couple hours.
I imagine some of you are thinking this is a lot of work. It is, but that is what it takes to get a creamy cheese cake that doesn’t crack in the middle. One other hint is that if you wait and take the cheese cake out of the oven until you think it is fully cooked, you have burned it. I usually error on the under cooked than over cooked side. Thank you.]
See Jason at work in the kitchen and others Valentine’s Day photos.