friends, souflees and grace

When we moved back into our home after the explosion,  the first people that we invited out were our dear friends Scott and Mary Jo.  I was still not in the best of shape, but wanted to bring some normalcy to our lives and much needed laughs.  I wanted our dinner to be special, so I chose one of my all-time favorite recipes; “Twice Baked goats cheese Souflee”.  I served it on top of a bed of fresh greens with a simple vinaigrette.  It takes no more that 15 minutes to prepare and it is a winner.  Chef Chris Squire of London developed this one.  I have included a “post-script” at the end of this post to sum up the evenings blessings.

2 TBSP unsalted butter
4 TBSP hazelnuts, finely chopped

5 TBSP bread crumbs
3 TBSP all purpose flour
2/3 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1/2 pound chevre
salt and pepper to taste
8 egg whites
1TBSP lemon juice

1. Butter eight ramikens
2. Combine the finely chopped(or grind them) hazelnuts with the bread crumbs and coat the ramikens
3. Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add the flour to make a roux(thickening agent) and cook for 2 minutes.   Add the milk and whisk to combine.
4.Remove the mixture from the heat and beat in the egg yolks…it will take on a nice glossy sheen

5.Add 3/4 of the cheese mixture and season with salt and pepper

6.Beat the egg whites with the lemon juice and gently fold into the mixture.
7.Half fill the ramikens.  Sprinkle the remaining goats cheese over the mixture.  Cover with the remaining souflee mixture.

8.Bake in bain marie(hot water bath) at 375 for 10-15 min…until risen and a light brown top forms.  Remove from oven, cool and un-mold….just take your time, use a knife to loosen and spatula to lift out.
9. You can either refrigerate to use the next day or, pop back in the oven and cook for another 5 will rise again in the oven.  Serve on a bed of greens.  Enjoy!

Substitutions: you can substitute almonds for hazelnuts and other cheese like blue or cheddar.  This recipe is best served as a light lunch.  For dinner I like to serve it with grilled lemon chicken.

We had a great dinner with Scott and Mary Jo, but it never occurred to me to offer anything else to eat; there were no hors d’oeuvres, nothing to accompany the soufflees!  Not even any dessert!  Many months later,  as my brain started re-booting, I realized that they certainly would have gone home hungry. Grace, that night, our hands held and heads bowed, delivered not so much for the food before us, though that is always a blessing; but Grace, that night, revealed by the presence of our friends.