Posted by Sep 6, 2013
in Chickens, Recipes
| 2 comments
It’s the end of my second day of work, and I’m completely exhausted. My brain is totally fried. But I love you, and I just couldn’t leave you hanging. I apologize for my potential incoherence.
When I originally conceived of this post, I wanted to talk about how exciting it was to have a new job and a grown up paycheck. I wanted to tell you that even though I’m still going to try to live off $20 a day, it’s a good idea to treat yourself every once in a while. You’re not a monk, after all. Sometimes you deserve something fancy and French. You’re worth it.
But then serving an egg-based dish took on a whole new meaning. One of our chickens became seriously ill over the weekend, and she passed away Wednesday night. This is the first pet I’ve ever had to watch die. We took her to the vet and got her medicine. We also started tube feeding her. I openly wept while holding our chicken down as my husband forced a long thin tube down her throat so that she didn’t starve to death. We struggled with whether or not to continue treatment in the hopes that she would recover, or to have her put to sleep. Ultimately, she died of natural causes before we could take her to her follow up appointment. It was heartbreaking.
Now we have to make the difficult choice of whether or not to rehome our remaining chicken. Hens are social and need a flock. We love her and want to keep her, but we can’t get another chicken, and it could be very unhealthy for her to be alone. She’ll have to stay with us at least for a little while, just in case whatever our other girl had was contagious, but soon our backyard may be empty.
I have absolutely loved having fresh eggs every day. They were the best tasting eggs I’ve ever had. It could be my imagination, but I just knew that my chickens laid the best eggs. Soon, both our girls may be gone, and I won’t have those gorgeous eggs anymore. Each of the eggs remaining in my fridge is precious to me now. I want to use them to make the most delicious dishes.
I hope you don’t mind my long sad story. Pets are part of our families, even when the species is slightly unconventional. This goat cheese souffle is an excellent showcase for beautiful fresh eggs. It’s subtle and delicate and sophisticated. Everybody will be so impressed and only you will know how easy it actually was. You can certainly buy the most expensive cheese in the store, but even if you look for the one with the lowest price, this will still be great. I already did that experiment for you.
Go hug your pets. Then make yourself some eggs. Or a goat cheese souffle. It will be heavenly.
Goat Cheese Souffle
Light and airy goat cheese souffle is impressive and indulgent and just plain awesome.
- 125 ml milk
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 25 grams butter
- 2-1/2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 egg yolk
- 100 grams soft goat cheese, crumbled
- 3 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
- 150 ml heavy cream
- 25 grams soft goat cheese, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons shredded Swiss cheese
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Heat milk in a small sauce pan with the onion, bay leaf, and pepper just until it barely starts to bubble.
- While the milk is heating, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan, then add the butter to make a roux. Use a whisk to combine them and cook for about two minutes. Strain the infused milk into the roux and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil and let it cook for a few minutes until it thickens up and becomes almost pasty. Remove from heat.
- Add the chopped parsley, egg yolk, and crumbled goat cheese. Stir to combine and season to your liking. Set this aside for now.
- Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Feel free to add a bit of salt. I use my stand mixer, and I always wipe down the bowl and whisk attachment with a bit of vinegar on a paper towel first, just in case. Gradually turn your mixer up to 8. Don't go too far. It only takes a few minutes.
- While your eggs are whipping (keep a close eye on them) you can prepare your ramekins (I've also made this in a casserole dish because I don't have a proper souffle pan). Lightly butter the inside then coat it with grated parmesan, just like you would do with flour for a cake pan. Put in a spoonful, then tap it around the sides and let the excess fall into the next buttered ramekin. Repeat this until all three are lightly coated in cheese.
- Stir in a dollop of your egg whites to your cheese mixture first, just to lighten it up a bit, then add the cheese mixture to the mixing bowl and gently fold everything together. Try to work quickly and gently to maintain volume.
- Gently spoon your souffle mixture evenly into the three ramekins. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until set. These are going to get another bake, so you can make them ahead to this point. You can turn them out, but I don't have another oven safe dish, so I just left mine in the ramekins and served them that way.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- When you're ready to serve, heat cream and remaining goat cheese in a small sauce pan until smooth.
- Spoon sauce over each souffle, and add grated Swiss cheese and a few grinds of pepper.
- Return souffles to the oven to bake for another 15 minutes. They will puff up again and the cheese will be lovely and brown.
- Serve immediately for optimum puffiness. Be careful, though, because they stay hot for a long time.
- Leftover goat cheese sauce is excellent on toast, topped with a soft boiled egg and a generous sprinkling of coarse salt.
Adapted from Good Food
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