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Southwestern Appetizer Cheesecake

3 packages cream cheese -- (8-ounce) softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 Cup roasted red pepper -- cut in pieces
1 package taco seasoning mix -- (1 1/4-ounce)
3 eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can diced green chiles -- (4-ounce)
Pineapple-Tomato Salsa
White corn or other tortilla chips for serving


In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the cream cheese and sour cream; process until smooth. Add the red pepper pieces and dry taco seasoning mix and process until smooth. Add the eggs and flour and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined. By hand, stir in the green chiles.

Turn into an 8-inch spring form pan, spreading evenly. Place the cheesecake on a vegetable steamer or other rack set in the bottom of a 5-quart slow cooker. Carefully add I cup hot water around the sides of the spring form to the bottom of the slow cooker.

Cover with the slow cooker lid and cook on the high heat setting about 2 hours, or until set (do not attempt to cook on the low heat setting for a longer time).

Turn off the slow cooker. With paper towels, carefully blot any excess moisture on top of the cheesecake. Leave the lid off the slow cooker and allow the cheesecake to stand in the cooker until the pan is cool enough to handle, about I hour. Remove and cool the cheesecake to lukewarm; then refrigerate 3 to 4 hours or longer, until cold.

Just before serving, remove the spring form side of the pan. Place the cheesecake on a serving platter and carefully spoon pineapple-tomato salsa on top. Serve with chips.

PINEAPPLE-TOMATO SALSA: Drain 1 (20-ounce) can unsweetened pineapple chunks well. Chop the chunks into smaller pieces. In a medium bowl, combine the pineapple pieces, 1 large tomato, chopped, 2 scallions, chopped, 1/2 of a small red or green bell pepper, chopped, 2 tablespoons canned diced green chiles, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, pinch of sugar, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, and seasoned salt to taste. Mix well. Refrigerate until serving time to allow the flavors to blend.

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