For the Love of Goat Cheese

Generally speaking, most people would expect to have a souffle for dessert, but we found a great recipe on Epicurious that we like to serve as a first course.  That is because the main ingredient in the souffle is goat cheese.  This souffle is a great starter to a main course of beef tenderloin or rack of lamb.  It is not as intimidating as a dessert souffle and can be made ahead and refrigerated.

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Goat Cheese Souffle – Ingredients

2 4-ounce logs soft fresh goat cheese

2/3 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)

4 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

6 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or custard cups.

Cut one 4-ounce goat cheese log into 6 equal rounds. Place 1 round in each prepared dish. Crumble remaining 4-ounce cheese log into large bowl.

Bring milk to simmer in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Continue cooking until mixture is smooth and resembles thick paste, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Pour mixture over crumbled goat cheese in large bowl. Whisk in Parmesan, yolks, herbs and pepper. Cool soufflé base to lukewarm.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites with 1/4 teaspoon salt in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Gently fold 1/4 of egg whites into lukewarm soufflé base to lighten. Fold in remaining egg whites. Divide soufflé mixture among prepared dishes. Transfer dishes to baking sheet and bake until soufflés are puffed and golden brown on top, about 22 minutes.

Place soufflé dishes on serving plates. Alternative: let souffles cool to room temperature and remove  from baking dishes, (slide a butter knife gently around the inside of the cup to loosen) wrap individually with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  To serve: preheat oven to 350, unwrap souffles and bring to room temperature on a cookie sheet.  Place in oven and heat through, about 10 minutes.  

Note:  We have served the souffles with mixed greens and Raspberry Vinaigrette, alongside a Caesar salad (middle picture) and with the Roasted Pear that we shared with you in a previous post. Obviously, it is very versatile and can be accompanied however you like!

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Mix 1 Cup fresh Raspberries with 1 tablespoon sugar.  Let stand for about 10 minutes then mash with a fork until juicy. Place in a salad dressing container and add 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey and salt to taste.  Shake, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Plating the Salad

Toss greens with desired dressing, add about 1/2 cup per serving to a salad dish and top with the souffle.  If serving directly from the oven, set the baking dish on a plate and add salad greens alongside.  The souffle will deflate quickly, which is why we like to remove them from the baking dish and place on top of the salad.  It still tastes just as delicious.

The Raspberry Vinaigrette recipe is from Allrecipes.  We use this cooking site and Epicurious  religiously as their recipes are highly reliable.  We often tweak, or create our own recipes, but for the most part, we use reliable sources.

 

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