A couple years ago we stumbled upon The Village Cork. This quaint, French-inspired wine bistro has it all: atmosphere, genuine staff, and superb food. Chef Samir Mohammad is central to the restaurant, figuratively and literally. His entire kitchen is located behind the wrap-around bar that divides the two small dining rooms, making the bar seats best in the house. Watching him work is captivating, and I always learn something new while I am enjoying his locally grown and unique dishes.
Recently, the chef presented a lemony Chevre souffle as part of a vegetarian trio. It was so good, I was determined to replicate it to the best of my ability. While my version is not quite as good as the chef's, it is still delightful, and fairly easy. Getting a full rise is tricky, and mine could still use a little more height. While these are not that healthy, they are not that unhealthy either and provide a lovely treat as a starter, or make more for a main dish.
Some souffle tips and tricks:
- Allow eggs to come to room temperature
- After buttering the dishes, return to refrigerator while you cook
- Do not open the oven during the first 3/4 of the baking time
- Do not over-whip your egg whites, they will not be able to rise in the oven
- Pre-measure all of your ingredients, you will not have time to do this while you are cooking
- Have everyone seated, as the souffles will immediately begin to fall when they come out of the oven
Lemon Goat Cheese Souffles
Makes 6 1 cup Ramekins
Makes 6 1 cup Ramekins
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup (about) dry breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup milk
- 5 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (such as Montrachet), very coarsely crumbled
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 large egg yolks
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Rub inside of six 3/4-cup soufflé dishes or ramekins with 1 tablespoons butter. Coat with breadcrumbs; tap out excess. Set aside, preferably in the refrigerator.
- Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Add flour and cook 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk.
- Increase heat to medium. Simmer mixture until very thick, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Add half of goat cheese and whisk until melted and smooth.
- Mix in zest, salt and pepper. For a more intense lemon flavor, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
- Whisk egg yolks in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot soufflé base. Cool 5 minutes.
- Place egg whites in bowl of stand mixer and beat until foamy. Add cream of tarter and continue to beat until stiff but not dry. Mix 1/4 of whites into soufflé base to lighten. Fold in remaining whites. Fold in remaining goat cheese.
- Divide mixture among prepared soufflé dishes. Place in 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Add enough hot water to pan to come halfway up sides of dishes.
- Bake soufflés until puffed and golden brown on top and softly set in center, about 20 minutes. Serve soufflés immediately in their dishes.