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Alice's Goat Cheese Souffle

Every other Friday I stop by Pinehurst, look for the cooler by the side door and pick up a couple of containers of fresh Sassy Nanny goat cheese from Michael. It even has my name on the tasty little packages. Yet another reason I love living in Bayfield— bespoke cheese. When I went to visit Michael last March (link here), I was in awe of the sheer amount of work that goes into a pound of cheese. It's truly a labor of love (or some other kind of madness) and the cheese that is waiting for me in the cooler is some of the best goat cheese I've eaten. Michael's goat cheese and Jennifer's eggs— a perfect match and a perfect Sunday brunch.

Goat Cheese Souffle (From Alice Water's The Art Of Simple Food)

6 tbsp butter (5 tbsp for souffle & 1 tbsp to butter souffle dish) 3 tbsp flour 1 cup milk salt & freshly ground pepper pinch of cayenne 1 thyme sprig, leaves only 4 eggs, separated 4 ounces goat cheese 1/4 cup parmesan, grated

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 1 quart souffle dish and then coat the sides with the parmesan cheese.

Melt 5 tbsp of butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in, little by little, the milk making sure to whisk thoroughly between each addition. Season the bechamel with salt, pepper, cayenne and thyme and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir the yolks into the bechamel and then add the goat cheese, stir to combine.

Whip the egg whites into moist firm peaks. Stir one-third of the whites into the souffle 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 - 40 minutes, or until puffed and golden, but still soft in the center and jiggly when shaken gently. Serve immediately.