A meal to please the need for cheese, a delicate melting mouthful of meditation for your palate . . . go make one and see what I mean. It’s not so difficult.
A goat cheese or any-kind-of-cheese soufflé, with a seasonal vegetable and some good bread can be a mostly local meal. Rev it up with Rhubard-Thyme Jam on the side or as an appetizer with cheese and a cracker. I made it, I ate it, took it to a party, actually several parties, and as my sister-in-law says about anything she loves, ‘It’s beyond’.
Rhubarb is currently available at Farmers Markets and in some backyards.
Rhubarb-Thyme Jam Recipe
Recipe created by Becky Selengut at Cornucopia.
Ingredients: 3 C rhubarb, medium dice from about 3 large stalks/ 1 T ginger, grated/ 1 stick cinnamon/ 1 T fresh thyme, chopped/ 10 grinds black pepper/ 1/2 t salt/ 1/3 C champagne vinegar/ 1/4 C honey, or more to taste/ 1 t lemon zest
Directions: Put all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, for about 30 minutes until thickened. Remove cinnamon stick and cool the jam in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with a selection of local cheese.
Alice Water’s Goat Cheese Soufflé Recipe
From The Art of Simple Food, it was quick and easy to follow, each batch was mixed and in the oven in under twenty minutes. I made the full recipe, then cut it in half, used various cheeses in addition to goat, added a pinch of this and that on a whim – it all worked. Make it local: Port Madison Farm goat cheese (firstname.lastname@example.org), Beecher’s Flagship cheddar, Mt Townsend Cirrus or Trailhead, Rogue River Blue, each was delicious; Stoney Plains Organic Farm eggs, Organic Valley milk.
Goat Cheese Soufflé, 4 servings
Melt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat:
5 tablespoons butter
Stir in and cook for 2 minutes:
3 tablespoons flour
Whisk in, little by little, whisking thoroughly between additions:
1 cup milk
Season the béchamel with:
A pinch of cayenne
1 thyme sprig, leaves only
Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Separate:
Stir the yolks into the white sauce. Add:
4 ounces soft, mild goat cheese
Stir in and taste for salt. It should be ever so slightly too salty to make up for the unsalted whites, which will be added later.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Butter a 1-quart soufflé dish, or another baking dish such as a gratin dish, with:
1 tablespoon soft butter
Whip the egg whites into moist firm peaks. Stir one third of the whites into the soufflé base. Then gently fold the base into the rest of the egg whites, taking care not to deflate them. Pour the mixture into the buttered dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until puffed and golden, but still soft in the center and jiggly when shaken gently.
Note: Fill baking dishes about ¾ full, bake large soufflés in a 375ºF oven for 35-40 minutes; bake individual smaller soufflés at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Resist the urge to peak while they bake.
I’m a little smitten over soufflé now that I’ve made these few. It took a long time for us to get together, but I think it’s going to work out.
I happily share the infatuation.