YIELD: 8 servings
1 slice light rye bread
3 oz. walnuts
2 oz. butter
12 oz. mild yellow onion
2 oz. vegetable oil
1 lb. cream cheese
⅓ lb. chevre cheese
2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
to taste, salt
to taste, white pepper
1. Remove crust from the rye bread and dry in a 200°F oven. Crumble into breadcrumbs. Toast walnuts in a 325°F oven for about 20 minutes. After walnuts have cooled, chop finely and toss with breadcrumbs. Butter a 9" springform pan and coat the inside with the crumb mixture.
2. Peel and thinly slice onions. Heat oil in a sauté pan. Cook onions over medium heat stirring constantly until the onions turn a rich caramel brown color. Allow onions to cool. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and chevre cheese together until smooth. Do not overwhip the cheese or the cake will crack. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg into the cheese mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
3. Mince the garlic and thyme and stir into the cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Pour cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan and arrange the onions on top. Bake approximately 75 minutes in a 310°F oven.
5. When cooled slightly, remove the sides of the pan and cut the cake into portions. If desired, garnish with minced green onions or chives, toasted walnut halves and crumbled chevre cheese. Serve warm.
Recipe and photo: National Onion Association & Aran Essig, executive chef, University of Northern Colorado Dining Services