Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided many of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.
After much research on various methods, I chose to create a savory soufflé using my utmost favorite ingredient: GARLIC. My Roasted Garlic and 3 Cheese Soufflé, which, after a few small tweaks to the flavor, came out absolutely beautifully! The process is fairly tedious but it helps if you create a clean and organized mise en place- plan, gather, and pre-prep. A key to a good soufflé is cooking in a state of constant readiness; this includes the guests! The best part of the soufflé is its glorious moment when it first emerges from the oven, that brilliant rise which every mouth must witness! Even on my second run I wasn't able to capture the full rise in time *ahem, Santa Claus please bring me a better camera pretty please? :]
To complete this recipe you will need: An electric mixer, whisk, saucepan with lid, skillet, and a deep 9-inch glass dish, or 7-8 oven-proof ramekins, or soufflé cups.
Roasted Garlic & 3 Cheese Soufflé
- 3 Whole Garlic Cloves, tops cut off
- 3 additional cloves, pressed
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 1/2 cups Milk
- 1/2 large Vidalia Onion
- 3 Thyme Sprigs
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1/2 tsp Whole Peppercorns
- 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 cup Herbed Bread Crumbs, finely ground
- 5 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
- 4 Large Eggs, separated, plus 4 Additional Egg Whites (room temperature!)
- 1 Cup Parmesan, freshly grated
- 1/4 tsp Apple Pie Spice
- 1 Cup Aged Swiss Cheese, freshly grated
- 1 Cup Beemster Cow's Milk Cheese, freshly grated
- 1 tsp Himalayan Crystal Salt
- 1/2 tsp Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- Canola Oil Spray
- Italian Seasoning
- Fresh Sourdough for serving
*Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bundle the whole garlic cloves in tin foil and drizzle with the olive oil. Wrap to seal and place in the oven for 1 hour. When finished roasting, uncover and set aside to cool. At this time turn the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
*In a saucepan, bring milk, pressed garlic, onion, thyme, bay leaf, cloves, and pepper to a boil. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes, covered.
*Lightly spray individual soufflé cups, or one large round 9 inch glass dish with canola oil. Add 2 Tbsp of Bread Crumbs to each individual dish, or 1/2 cup to the one glass dish. Shake to thoroughly coat the bottom. Set aside.
*In a skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour, 1 Tbsp at a time, to create a thick roux. Let simmer, whisking frequently over low heat until lightly browned.
*Strain the milk mixture through a fine mesh sieve and add the liquid to your roux. Bring to a soft boil and simmer, whisking frequently for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
*Vigorously mix in the 4 egg yolks (8 egg whites have been set aside) one at a time. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its skins and add. Next whisk in the parmesan and apple pie spice plus 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper.
*In a standing mixer or large bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
*Fold in the swiss and beemster cheese to your roux and milk base, alternating between folding in 1/3 of the egg whites. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites and quickly transfer to your soufflé cups or dish. Smooth tops and sprinkle with italian seasoning.
*Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until fully risen and golden brown.
To Serve: Remove from the oven and serve immediately before the center falls, with warm fresh slices of sourdough or crackers. I served my soufflés as appetizers but they can definitely constitute a meal if paired with a light salad, such as a frisée.
Wine Pairings: I suggest pairing with an American Cabernet Sauvignon, such as 2005 Ravenswood Vitners Blend ($12 bottle) which boasts unusually soft tannins, with a more generously round and juicy taste. Also, to play off the flavors of the cheese, you may like to try a 2004 Domaine Lorache ($25) Chablis.
As my guests commented, this soufflé had a distinctly "Christmas-y" "holiday" feel (definitely due to the apple pie spice!) which provided for a warm, cheerful belly and a nice segue into my main course of hanger steaks and matchstick frites! This dish makes a nice edition to any winter menu.