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Soufflé Success!!!

Welcome to Plucky Thursday, the day where I attempt culinary feats that scare, daunt or otherwise befuddle me.

This week I faced the soufflé, that beautiful, airy dish whose very name causes me to inwardly tremble.

Naturally reticent to experiment before a crowd, I forced myself to make them not just for me, but for my entire Culinary Experimentation Group – a band of marvy friends who meet every Monday night to cook, imbibe and engage in lively conversation

I settled on Gluten-Free Spinach Goat Cheese Soufflés to accommodate the gluten-free diet of one of our members.

Arriving at Don’s house – the scene of our convivial evenings – on a particularly blustery night, I struggled through the buffeting winds, my arms loaded down with eggs, soft goat cheese and bags of spinach.

Greeting one and all I put on a brave face, calming myself with the familiar routines of chopping, steaming and grating. Finally the ingredients were assembled, hand-whipped egg whites folded in and I poured the mixture into twice-buttered ramekins and slid them into the oven.

I tried not to look for the first 15 minutes, and when the timer beeped I was appalled to discover the soufflés hadn’t risen a smidge! I paced to and fro in front of the oven, willing them to poof, PLEASE POOF!!! But they just sat there, in all their gooey, cheesy goodness, getting hotter but not bigger.

Mike and Darren hovered close by, ricing potatoes and stirring sticky lemon chicken.

“Just give it a little more time,” Darren suggested as we peered in through the glass door. We waited another five minutes. Nothing.

Mike urged me to do the “poofy dance”, sure that would do the trick. He obliged us with a demonstration which produced much hilarity but no poofing.

Another three minutes passed, then five, and then HUZZAH!!! Up they came! Golden brown and wondrously poofy!

Soufflés, you are my friend!

Gluten-Free Spinach Goat Cheese Soufflés

Ingredients:

Softened butter, to grease the ramekins
1 bag organic spinach, washed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tsp finely minced garlic
2 Tbsp sorghum flour
2 Tbsp potato starch
A pinch of Cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 cup milk
7 ounces soft goat’s cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
4 large eggs, separated

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Brush 8 ramekins with softened butter. (using upward strokes on edges “helps” souffles rise properly)
  3. Set ramekins on a baking tray, chill 5-10 minutes, then repeat with another layer of butter.
  4. Steam spinach over boiling water until limp and bright green. Remove from heat, then wrap in clean towel and squeeze out the excess moisture.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, chop fine and set aside.
  6. Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan and add onion and garlic. Stir over medium heat for 5 minutes until soft.
  7. Add the flour, potato starch and Cayenne pepper and stir over low heat for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer and stir for a few minutes until the mixture becomes thick.
  9. Transfer to a large bowl and cool slightly.
  10. Add goat cheese, Parmesan, salt and pepper and stir to mix.
  11. Stir in the spinach and and egg yolks. Set aside.
  12. Beat the egg whites with an electric whisk (or by hand for a VERY long time!) until they hold firm peaks, then fold into the spinach and cheese mixture until just combined.
  13. Spoon into the prepared ramekins then tap them gently on counter to get rid of any large air pockets.
  14. Run the tip of a small knife around the edge of each one.
  15. Bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden brown on top.
  16. Serve immediately.

 




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Krista - COMMENTS IMPORTED FROM ORIGINAL BLOG:

Amy said…
They were absolutely delicious and most certainly perfect!
November 19, 2009 1:05 PM

Clories said…
Ohhhhhhhhhhh! I’m always trying to find gluetin free recipes. THANK YOU!!!!
November 19, 2009 5:09 PM

Trish said…
Great post, Krista! Welcome to the blogosphere!
November 19, 2009 5:35 PM

Brooke said…
I don’t know if you remember me, Rachel (Bjorn’s) triathlon friend from North Carolina (now in GA). Love the explanation. I want to try this recipe 🙂
November 19, 2009 6:09 PM

Rambling Tart said…
Thank you, Amy!! I’m so glad I got to share them with you!! 🙂
November 19, 2009 7:32 PM

Rambling Tart said…
Thanks, Trish! It’s just as lovely as you said it was! 🙂
November 19, 2009 7:34 PM

Rambling Tart said…
You are so welcome, Clories!! 🙂
November 19, 2009 7:36 PM

Rambling Tart said…
Of course I remember you, Brooke! 🙂 I hope you like these – I absolutely loved them! So cheesy and savory and good. 🙂
November 19, 2009 7:40 PM

Kevin and Sheree said…
So can I substitute reg. flour for the sorghum flour? And what is potato starch? Would reg. flour take care of that? I am so not culinary as you can see… but i love to eat:) I can’t wait for market this week to pick up these items and try… looks SO YUMMY! for fun… check out our central market in Lancaster, PA… i think the oldest running market in the country.
http://www.centralmarketlancaster.com
November 20, 2009 5:53 AM

Rambling Tart said…
Absolutely, Reesha! The original recipe called for 1/4 cup regular flour, so that should work just dandy. 🙂 Might even poof easier!! 🙂
I LOVE that market!! Wonderful!! How fabulous and inspiring to be able to shop there. 🙂
November 20, 2009 8:30 AM

OssieDropBear said…
I’m sitting here, reading your Plucky Thursday blog, munching on a piece of overdone toast tortured to submission by my satanic and rebellious toaster, thinking what a bloody fantastic idea! I’ve resolved to face my toaster squarely on, seize it, pounce on it, swing it round and round by its frayed and ugly tail that passes for a cord, bashing it several times upon the floor till I’m sure it’s dead…then a few more swings just for luck. Dropping its shattered remains into the rubbish bin (trash can to people on the east of the Pacific) shall be my defiance to the satanic toaster God! No more shall I dine on its debauched sacrifices, for me every day will start with Plucky Thursdays. No more toast crumbs down the keyboard! No. From now on my keyboard will dine on excellent fare. A bon appétit la bonne vie bistro le something garlic sausage from now on! So bring on the Rambling Tart! Go Girl! My mouth waters, my tummy awash with anticipation. If I have breakfast, lunch or dinner for breakfast, that’s between my keyboard and me.
November 20, 2009 1:16 PM

OssieDropBear said…
Oh yumm bliss!
Yep! You’re right rambling one, I guess a roast dinner, and warm treasured times with friends and siblings hold a happy birthday merry christmas feel for most of us. Yeah…the knowledge that the last tasty morsel has my name inscribed boldly upon it. Yep, all mine, and what honour I do the hostess by selecting it, the special flavour of stolen fruit.
Yours, Ozzie Dropbear.
November 20, 2009 2:41 PM

Sweet and Savory said…
What an entertaining post. I would have loved to watch the goings on while the souffle took its time. Looks yummy.
November 25, 2009 6:58 PM

Rambling Tart said…
Ozzie, I love your crazy toaster story! 🙂 You crack me up. 🙂
“warm treasured times” are bliss indeed, dear friend. 🙂
December 10, 2009 8:55 PM

Rambling Tart said…
Thank you, Chaya – it was certainly a jolly evening. 🙂
December 10, 2009 8:55 PM

Rambling Tart said…
Thank you again, Ossie. 🙂 You are the best encourager. 🙂
February 26, 2010 10:35 PM

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