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Goat Cheese Puff

This puff rises to an impressive height, thanks to the addition of beaten egg whites. To prevent the whites from deflating, fold them carefully into the cornmeal mixture. Spoon in one-third of the whites and, using a flexible spatula, slice down to the bottom of the bowl and sweep across it, gently "folding" the cornmeal mixture over the top. Repeat this circular motion to add the remaining whites just until incorporated.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 1⁄2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white and light
     green portions, rinsed well
  • 4 cups finely chopped Swiss chard
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped
  • 12 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 8 egg yolks, lightly beaten, plus 12 egg whites

Directions:

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F. Butter a 4-quart sauteuse pan.

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer, then whisk in the cornmeal and 2 tsp. of the salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 30 minutes.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the leeks, chard and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the leek mixture to the cornmeal mixture. Stir in the chives, goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, cayenne and egg yolks.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Fold one-third of the whites into the cornmeal mixture until smooth, then fold in the remaining whites.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake until the puff is golden, 40 to 45 minutes more.
Serves 8 to 10.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.