Goat Cheese Soufflé with Garden Salad for C.L.U.E.

Christy, aka the Culinary Diva, was my assigned C.L.U.E project for this month.   April’s theme was to be all about spring vegetables and Christy’s blog was full of possibilities.   (Christy is a banker by day but is also a “food enthusiast, wine aficionado, Food & Cooking Channel fanatic, and cookbook bibliomaniac,  who suffers from an incurable case of culinary wanderlust.”)clue

Cook, Learn, Undertake and EAT (also known as the C.L.U.E. Society) is a similar to the board game of CLUE.   It involves secrecy, fun, challenge and cooperation with the other game playing members. But don’t be alarmed, there are no murders in our society.  Each month our members receive the name of a food blog and a theme. We lurk and hunt through our assigned blog to find a recipe that we adore and that fits the month’s theme.   For April’s posting for CLUE, we were tasked to find a fresh and springlike recipe.

Did I hit the motherlode?  Yes, I did with Christy’s Goat Cheese Soufflé with Garden Salad.  Christy cautions to read the recipe in full before tackling the soufflé.  I am the world’s worse at jumping in with both feet and creating chaos and disasters in the kitchen simply because I didn’t read the recipe before I started.   Make sure you do it here.

Goat Cheese Soufflé 
from Confessions of a Culinary Diva

You will need 8 five oz. ramekins for this dish.

3 T.  butter plus extra for coating ramekins
1 c.  of breadcrumbs (make from day old bread in blender)
3 T.  cake flour (preferred because is lighter than all-purpose flour)
1 c.  milk
10 oz. soft goat cheese, divided
3 large farm fresh egg yolks
1 c. farm fresh egg whites (about 7 large eggs)
kosher or sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
hot water for water bath

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 F.  Butter 8  five ounce ramekins, making sure to coat them well.  Coat ramekins with bread crumbs then turn over and tap out any excess crumbs.  Keep remaining crumbs for later use in recipe.

Crumble 8 ounces of the goat cheese into a large mixing bowl.

Using an electric mixer with clean, dry beaters, beat the egg whites in a large clean, dry bowl until stiff peaks form.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a stainless steel skillet over medium high heat.  Whisk in the cake flour and cook for 20 seconds, whisking constantly.  Add the milk and cook for about 1 minute, whisking constantly, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of a thin, pourable pudding.

Pour the hot milk mixture over the goat cheese and mix well.  Add the egg yolks and mix again.  Season with salt and pepper.

Fold half of the whites into the goat cheese mixture to lighten mixture, and then gently fold in the remaining whites.

Divide half of the soufflé mixture among the prepared ramekins.  Crumble the remaining 2 ounces of goat cheese and divide among the ramekins, and then top with the remaining half of the soufflé mixture, dividing equally among the ramekins.  Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs over the top.

Place the ramekins in a large baking pan and pour in boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until the soufflés are golden.  Remove from the oven and let stand in their water bath for another 15 minutes.

Remove the ramekins from the baking pan and, using a towel to hold the ramekin in place, run a knife around the inside of the rim to loosen, turn upside down and gently release the soufflé onto a baking sheet.  When ready to serve, bake the soufflés in a 425 degree oven for 5-7 minutes until light golden brown.

The soufflés may be held at room temperature for up to 6 hours before the final baking, or cover well and refrigerate overnight.  When ready to serve, bake the soufflés in a 425 degree oven for 5-7 minutes until light golden brown.

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You can assemble the garden salad while the souffles are baking.

Garden Fresh Salad
from Confessions of a Culinary Diva

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 T. minced shallot
2 T. Champagne vinegar
1/4 t. kosher or sea salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 large head of butter leaf lettuce (aka Boston), red leaf, or a mixture, torn into bite-size pieces
1 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 c. fresh chives, about 1/2 inch long
10-15 cherry tomatoes halved (or if in a bind, use 1 medium tomato)

In the bottom of a salad bowl, combine the olive oil, shallots, vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Mix well with a fork or whisk.  Add the lettuce, parsley, and chives.  Just before serving, toss.

To serve, divide the tossed greens evenly among the plates, and either top or place alongside the hot goat cheese soufflés.  I printed Christy’s recipe verbatim from her site, but I did just use a packaged spring mix/spinach salad.  I added only fresh parsley and chives because that is all I had at this time of the season.

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Christy was inspired to make this dish after visiting Georgeanne Brennan, the author of A Pig in Provence.  Christy and a lucky friend visited Georgeanne at her farm and participated in a two day cooking marathon where she learned this recipe and many others.

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These were the creamiest and lightest soufflés.   You need to try them as soon as you are able!

April’s Blogger CLUE participants:

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