Recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine

Goat Cheese and Walnut Souffles with Watercress and Frisee Salad

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 50 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 20 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
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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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Transfer a ramekin to each plate and serve the souffles immediately.
  6. 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.
  7. In a bowl toss the watercress and the frisee with the dressing and divide the salad among 8 plates.