|Pea and Creamy Goat Cheese Soufflee|
Soufflees are surprisingly easy to make so long as you have all the ingredients handy, like you would a stir fry and you follow some simple rules. The thing I probably find the most detracting when mulling the option, is preparing the baking dish(es). I don't know why but if a dish requires me to butter, flour or line the baking vessel, I shudder. When I want to do dessert soufflees, you should or rather I like to add a buttered parchment collar for nice lift. Of course, that means I haven't done a dessert soufflee in a year. :^D
Once you wade past that and have decided buttering a soufflee dish isn't so bad if it ends with a fluffly cheesey soufflee, remember a few things: 1. Butter the dish twice. 2. Place the baking rack near the bottom. 3. Do not open the oven door once you have put the Soufflee in for at least half an hour or at all. 4. Bain Marie (water bath) is optional.
I think my baking dish was too big but we only have the one. Why do I say that? Well, it did not rise very much and the top browned a bit too quickly. Oh well, I did have to put a bit of foil on top of the dish at the 30 minute mark to control the browning. I could have put it on earlier when I noted how fast it was browning before the lift but I did not want to open the door to drop the temperature which could cause deflation. The bain marie, does help stabilise the temperature as water does not lose thermal energy as easily as air.
Goat Cheese and Pea Souffle
4 Eggs, separated
1 Egg White
1/4 t Cream of Tartar (optional)
1/4 c +1 T Butter
1 Shallot, minced
1 c Peas
1/2 c Soft Goat Cheese
1/4 c Flour
1-1 1/2 c Milk
1/8 t Nutmeg
1/2 t Sea Salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 c Parmesan, grated (optional)
1/4 c Butter, melted for the dish
Brush the butter all over the inside of the soufflee dish. On the sides, sweep upwards. Place in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and then repeat.
Place the oven rack on the bottom level. Place a roasting tray on the oven rack and fill with enough water to reach 1 1/2 inch up the side.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Separate the Eggs carefully. I like to 'quarantine' the Egg Whites before adding them to the whisking bowl or Mixer. Have two bowls, one small and one cereal bowl to hand in addition to the mixer. Separate the egg white into the small bowl and place the Egg Yolk into the larger cereal bowl. Check that you have not accidentally mixed any Yolk into the White if you break yolk. Don't worry if you get a red dot as you sometimes do in an Egg, it is harmless. Place the 'clean' Egg White into your Mixer. Collect all the Yolks in the larger bowl. I keep the extra Yolk in the smaller bowl tighly wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge for future yolk needs.
I wait until later to whisk the Whites. You could do them now but you'll want to 'fluff' them again right before use. You're looking for stiff peaks but not dry. It should look like a Ice Cream swirl that stands up on the whisk when you turn the whisk upside down.
In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter on Medium heat. Add the Shallot. Sautee for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add the flour a Tablespoon at a time, whisking with a small whisk. It will look like playdough or biscuit dough. Stir and cook the flour for a few minutes. Add the Milk in a slow drizzle. You want the white sauce to be quite thick, thicker than cake batter. You may not need the last 1/2 c milk. You'll know when it won't continue to thicken when you add a splash more milk. Turn the heat off. You'll want to move the sauce pan on and off the extinguished burner as you do this because you do not want to scramble the egg but you want to cook them. Add the Yolks one at a time, whisking fast in between. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
Remove from the heat and add the Peas and Parmesan. Set aside to cool slightly. Make sure the pot is cool enough to touch with your hand. If not, move to a third LARGE mixing bowl.
Take the soufflee dish out of the fridge
This is when I whisk the Whites. You can add the Cream of Tartar to the whites before whisking. The acidic add is supposed to help add structure to the foam. It is not absolutely necessary but I like the insurance when making a Soufflee. Whisk on High for about 5 minutes. Check as you go so as not to get on the dry side. I like to use the Mixer bowl as the final mixing vessel but usually you go for a third large mixing bowl. Your choice. I do it this way because, I can avoid washing another bowl and more importantly for lil ol me, the mixing bowl has a handle for pouring later.
Using a BIG rubber spatula, take one big scoop of whites and mix actively into the Yolk and Milk sauce to lighten up the base before you add the rest of the Whites. Take the Creamy Goat Cheese, which comes in logs or pucks, and cut up into Cherry sized pieces or just pull it part with your fingers. It will be sticky no matter what. It's okay. It's a tasty mess. Drop into the Sauce base and stir gently. The reason, I want the pot cold is that I do not want to melt the cheese. I want to find chunks of cheese later.
Now fold all the Whites and the Sauce together. Gently. You want to be thorough but you do not want make more than a dozen turns really. Folding means, cut the spatula down the middle then scoop/sweep to the bottom of the bowl and up the side. Turn the bowl a quarter and repeat.
Fill the soufflee dish. Don't smooth or spread out. You can maybe jiggle it a bit but don't touch it. Place the dish in the water bath. Bake for 45-50 minutes.
Sooooo creamy and delicious. And what is most surprising, Soufflees are not very eggy. MMMMM Creamy Goat Cheese is surprisingly mild as well. Serve with a nice Riesling.
|Creamy Goat Cheese and Pea Soufflee|