Monday, November 18, 2013

Creamy Shallot and Manchego Soufflés

Soufflés Out of the Oven and Ready to Serve!
Let's just admit it. We all like to have our own teeny tiny personal servings of food. I'm not sure where this comes from - whether its that we don't like to share:) OR we like to play with our food. What ever the reason, when I start serving my guests in individual ramekins or pots, the oohs and ahhs are especially lasting and loud. And what's not to like about getting your own hot, cheesy and light, full of flavor soufflé? Nada.

You may have heard that soufflés are hard to make. That they are fussy and French and not worth the effort. Au contraire, mon ami! Some may be difficult, but not this recipe. You can watch them puffing up in the oven in just a bit - and even when they deflate as they cool - they are STILL just as yummy, light and savory. What's more, they are layered, so after you slide your spoon into the cheesy warm crust, you'll discover another layer of flavor - packed with the aroma and flavor gorgeous green basil and parsley. If you look closely at the tray coming out of the oven above, you can spy just a hint of color under a couple of the small dishes.

Most of the folks that I know serve a special appetizer or soup before the big Turkey Day dinner. Shake it up this year and WOW them all with these delicious little pots of goodness!

Creamy Shallot and Manchego Souffle

3 Large Shallots, Chopped
1 TB Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
1 ½ Cups Basil Leaves, Packed
½ Cup Parsley Leaves
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Garlic Clove
2 Cups Light Ricotta Cheese, Room Temperature
4 (8 Oz) Pkg Light Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
1 Cup Grated Manchego
3 TB Cornstarch
5 Large Eggs

Step One
Sauté the shallots until wilted.

Step Two
In a food processor, puree the basil, parsley, oil, salt, pepper and garlic until smooth.

Step Three
In a mixer, beat the ricotta, cream cheese, Manchego and cornstarch until smooth and light - about 5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Remove one third of the cheese mixture to a bowl.

Step Four
With a spatula, fold the basil mixture from the food processor and the sautéed  shallots into the two-thirds cheese mixture until well blended.

Step Five

Pour the basil cheese filling into the bottom of each ramekin, and spread an even layer of the plain cheese mixture on top. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature.

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