Goat Cheese & Thyme Souffle

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I’m always on the lookout for new side dishes and with this recipe from The Splendid Table I stumbled upon a sure winner. It is cheesy, flavorful and did I mention cheesy? I love cheese and if you do as well, you are sure to love this souffle. This souffle includes three cheeses, creamy and tangy goat cheese, mild Gruyere and a nutty Parmesan. I like this combination but I’ve also experimented with other combinations as well, a small amount of gorgonzola pairs well with mild and slightly firm fresh ricotta and a sharp cheddar is nice with Asiago. Feel free to experiment to find the combination you like best.

Souffles look and sound impressive but in reality they are such an easy dish to make. The key to a perfectly light souffle, however, is all in the timing. In order to be served at their most impressive best, you must serve them immediately. For this reason I like to serve souffles with grilled or roasted meat. While the meat is resting I put the souffle in the oven then begin carving minutes before I remove the souffle from the oven. This results in a perfectly executed souffle every time!

GOAT CHEESE & THYME SOUFFLE

6 tablespoons butter, divided

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup milk

2 baby carrots

1 small onion, quartered

5 black peppercorns

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

5 large eggs, separated

4 oz goat cheese,  crumbled

3/4 cup Gruyere cheese, finely grated

Parmesan cheese, finely grated

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter then generously brush it onto the bottom and sides of a 12 in shallow oval dish. Set aside.
  • Place the cream and milk into a saucepan, add the carrot, onion, peppercorns, and thyme.
  • Bring slowly to a boil, and then set aside to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain, discarding the solids.
  • Melt the remaining butter in a medium sized sauce pan.
  • Add the flour and cook for a two minutes.
  • Whisk in the strained cream and milk and gradually bring to a boil, whisking until the sauce thickens. Cool slightly.
  • Add the egg yolks, goat cheese, Gruyére, and most of the Parmesan.
  • Season with the salt, cayenne and nutmeg.
  • Place the cream of tarter and the egg whites in a medium sized bowl and using an electric beater, beat the egg whites until stiff.
  • Fold the egg whites into the cream and milk mixture, mixing gently until they form a loose consistency.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared dish, scatter the thyme leaves over the top and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until the souffle is puffed up and golden but the center is still creamy.

Serves 6

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