With Creole Mustard-Tomato Coulis,
from Emeril's Restaurant

Just one of the many culinary innovations created by Chef Emeril Lagasse (one of my heroes) is his penchant for taking sweet, dessert-type dishes and turning them into savory dishes. On his menu at Emeril's and NOLA, you'll see savory bread puddings, cheesecakes and sabayon sauces. Last time I dined at Emeril's I was hoping to see this dish on the menu, but I happily settled for the savory lobster cheesecake he offered that night.

I learned to make this by watching Chef Emeril make this on the brilliant "Great Chefs" TV show on PBS and taking copious notes, and lemme tell ya ... it's fantastic.

For the crust:

Combine the cheese, bread crumbs and Creole seasoning in a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix together just until the butter is evenly incorporated and the mixture is moist. Spread around the bottom of a 9-inch springform cake pan, and press down with your hands to form the crust.

For the filling:

In a large skillet, sauté the andouille until slightly browned. Drain off the rendered fat, and reserve. In another skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, peppers and garlic until the onions are translucent, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and sauté lightly -- the shrimp will bake in the cheesecake, and you don't want them overcooked and tough. Add the andouille and incorporate.

In the bowl of a mixer (a nice KitchenAid makes this easy), mix the cream cheese, smoked Gouda cheese and cream. Use the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the andouille-shrimp-vegetable mixture. Add the eggs and mix them in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple fo times during mixing. Add the salt and pepper.

Pour into the springform pan over the crust. Prepare a bain marie in a baking dish with 1 inch of warm water, seal the bottom and sides of the pan with aluminum foil to prevent leakage, and set the pan in the bain marie. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 65 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set. It should be browned on the top and feel firm to the touch.

For the coulis:

In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic and shallot until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the Creole seasoning and Creole mustard, stir. Purée in a food processor or blender, and strain. Let cool to room temperature.


Place a pool of about 1/4 cup coulis on each plate. Place a slice of cheesecake on the coulis. Sprinkle freshly chopped chives over and around the cake. Top the cheesecake with about a tablespoon of coarsely grated Parmagiano Reggiano cheese. Garnish the back of the cheesecake slice with an edible flower, and place a few smaller edible flowers around the coulis. Sprinkle Creole seasoning around the rim of the plate. Enjoy!!

Serves 12.


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Chuck Taggart   email chuck (at) gumbopages (dot) com