Goat Cheese Soufflé with Fresh Herbs
Fresh, tangy goat cheese enhances a deceptively easy herb-flecked soufflé accented by tarragon, thyme and lemon. Serve it for brunch, or for a light vegetarian supper with a butter lettuce salad and slices of rustic bread.
- Unsalted butter for greasing
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese or dried bread crumbs for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 5 Tbs. (1 1/2 oz./45 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) whole milk
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) dry white wine
- 6 eggs
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
- 1 Tbs. fresh thyme or lemon thyme
- 2 1/2 tsp. minced fresh tarragon
- 1 1/2 cups (1/2 lb./250 g) crumbled soft fresh goat cheese
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).
Generously butter a 10-cup (2.5-l) soufflé dish or 12-cup (3-l) high-sided casserole. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir until the mixture bubbles, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk, then the wine. Cook, whisking constantly, until smooth, thickened and beginning to boil, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Separate the 6 whole eggs, placing the yolks in a medium bowl and the whites in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the 2 egg whites to the bowl with the other whites. Gradually whisk about 1/4 of the hot milk mixture into the yolks, then whisk the mixture back into the remaining milk mixture. Mix in the salt, herbs, cheese and a generous amount of pepper.
Using an electric mixer, beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Fold a quarter of the whites into the lukewarm cheese mixture to lighten. Fold in the remaining whites. Transfer the mixture to the prepared dish.
Place the soufflé dish in the oven and reduce the oven heat to 375°F (190°C). Bake until the soufflé is golden, puffed and gently set in the center, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh + Fast, by Kristine Kidd (Weldon Owen, 2011)