Bailey decided he was going to whip up an asparagus and sun-dried tomato risotto for our main and we had a summery strawberry cheesecake waiting for us in the fridge so I thought I would try out a nice fancy but light starter for us - Courgette and Feta Soufflés.
As you, our faithful readers will know, I have only actually ever made soufflé once before when I made Cheese Soufflés last winter and they didn't turn out quite right due to not being left in the oven for long enough. However, this time, with thanks to my gorgeous new Hello Kitty kitchen timer that the lovely Jeni Hall bought me for my birthday, they came out absolutely perfect! Really yummy texture and flavour-wise - firmer on top and soft and just a tiny bit runny in the middle.
In fact we loved the Soufflés so much that we actually scoffed two soufflés each! A bit on the greedy / unclassy side but ho hum, that's what lazy Saturdays are for!
These soufflés were super easy to make and really fun for a number of reasons. Firstly, it required me to make a bain marie which I have never done before even though all the cool kids on Come Dine With Me seem to be doing it. Secondly, the soufflés rose right up just like they do on the telly which was exciting. Thirdly, the recipe required me to whisk eggs to soft peaks with my cool spinny whisk which I always enjoy. Finally, I got Bailey to go outside and get us some mint leaves from our nice mint plant that, despite not being very minty, I am proud of seeing as it survived the harsh winter in our wee yard.
Recipe (makes 6 soufflés):
3 courgettes, grated
Half an onion, chopped
6 eggs, separated
A handful of fresh mint, chopped
170g feta cheese, crumbled
Half a teaspoon of mustard powder
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C. Pour warm water into an oven tin and place into the oven to make a lovely bain marie. If your oven tin isn't gross and flaky like ours it probably helps but it won't make much difference if it is.
Heat up a frying pan and stir fry your courgette and onion until nice and soft with most of the water from the courgettes having come out.
Tip the courgette and onion mix onto some kitchen paper to dry them right off.
While all this is happening, to save time you could have been separating your eggs and whisking your whites up to soft peaks.
In another bowl, beat up the egg yolks and mix in the salt and pepper, mustard powder and mint. Then crumble in the feta cheese with your hands.
Then add the courgette and onion mix and stir thoroughly.
Once that's all mixed up, you need to fold your egg whites in using a metal spoon. I always used to wonder why it is you use a metal spoon then I read somewhere that metal doesn't break down the stiffness of the egg white. So this also means you need to be quite careful when mixing in to make sure you don't knock all the air out of the whites.
Once all folded, grease up six ramekins so that the sides are lubricated to allow the mixture to rise. I used good old Frylight but I guess you could use butter or oil? Add the soufflé mix to the ramekins.
Carefully place the ramekins into the bain marie and then transfer to the oven. Leave your soufflés in the oven for about 18 minutes. Feel free to sit by the oven gawping inside to see if they rise and getting excited when they do, but don't open the oven door. I don't know why this is but on Masterchef they never do or their soufflés collapse and it's all a big disaster.
Once the soufflés look sort of cooked and omelettey on top, take them out of the bain marie. Be careful as if the bain marie makes your oven gloves wet you could burn yourself. If you have a helpful Bailey equivalent around you could get them to do it for you like I did.
Place your soufflés onto a plate and enjoy!