Goat Cheese and Walnut Souffles with Watercress and Frisee Salad

Total Time:
50 min
Prep:
30 min
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
8 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • For the souffles:
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted lightly, cooled, and chopped fine
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 large eggs, separated, the whites at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled mild goat cheese such as Montrachet (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon crumbled dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • For the salad:
  • 3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 to 4 large bunches watercress, rinsed, spun dry, and coarse stems discarded (about 5 cups)
  • 5 cups torn frisee (French or Italian curly chicory, available at specialty produce markets), rinsed and spun dry
Directions

To make the souffles: Coat the bottom and sides of each of 8 buttered 1/2-cup ramekins with about 1 tablespoon of the walnuts and arrange the ramekins in a jelly-roll pan. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small saucepan melt the butter over moderately low heat, whisk in the flour, and cook the roux, whisking, for 3 minutes. Add the milk in a stream, whisking, and boil the mixture over moderate heat, whisking, for 2 minutes, or until it is thick and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let it cool slightly.

Whisk in the yolks, 1 at a time, the goat cheese, the thyme, and salt and pepper, to taste, and whisk the mixture until it is combined well.

In another bowl beat the whites with a pinch of salt until they are frothy, add the cream of tartar, and beat the whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Whisk 1/3 of the whites into the cheese mixture and fold in the remaining whites gently but thoroughly. Divide the souffle mixture among the ramekins, sprinkle each souffle with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the remaining walnuts, and bake the souffles in the upper third the oven for 20 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden.

Transfer a ramekin to each plate and serve the souffles immediately.

To make the salad while the souffles are baking: In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, the mustard, and salt and pepper, to taste, add the oils in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it is emulsified.

In a bowl toss the watercress and the frisee with the dressing and divide the salad among 8 plates.


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