Chef Dario Cavaliere writes a weekly food column for the Waterford News & Star
GORGONZOLA is a semi soft blue cheese and can either be a sweet or spicy version, depending on the amount of blue in the cheese. This particular type is Gorgonzola ‘Piccante’ or spicy! It makes a wonderful souffle, which is a fantastic vegetarian main course. I like to serve this with a port and balsamic reduction which is a great sticky sauce that goes well with the rich creaminess of the gorgonzola cheese. Also it has the wow factor, because the souffle will rise nice and high, and will steal the show at dinnertime! Serve the sauce on the side so that it can be poured over at the end as you serve the souffles.
15g melted butter
30g cold butter
30g plain flour
125g gorgonzola cheese, either type
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites
Salt and pepper
Start by lining your soufflé dish with parchment paper. To do this fold a piece of parchment in half lengthways and fold it around the outside of a round 1.25 litre soufflé dish and then secure in place with kitchen twine. It needs to come at least 3cm above the rim of the dish, as the soufflé will rise in the oven and will need a wall to cling to. In essence you are simply making a small dish bigger with paper! Brush the insides of the dish and the insides of the paper with the melted butter and preheat your oven to 200oC.
To make the soufflé, begin by making a roux by melting the butter in a saucepan and stirring in the flour using a wooden spoon. It should take about 2 minutes over a low heat, being careful not to brown or burn the flour. Remove from the heat and gradually add the milk, stirring all the time so that no lumps form in the batter. Return the batter back to the heat, continually stirring until it thickens. Cook out the flour for 2 to 3 minutes then remove from the heat again.
Stir in the crumbled gorgonzola cheese a little at a time and then add the egg yolks, again one by one. Season with salt and pepper, and then pour the batter into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the egg whites using an electric mixer until they form soft peaks, then fold the egg whites into the batter, spoon by spoon, incorporating it completely. Use a spoon-fold action that is spoon in the egg white, fold it once and repeat until completely combined, but remains light and fluffy. This will ensure that your soufflé is light and not dense. Pour the mixture into the lined and buttered soufflé dish.
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the soufflé has risen and is wobbly.
Serve immediately with a delicious peppery rocket salad and port balsamic reduction… enjoy!
Port and Balsamic Reduction
50ml balsamic vinegar
100g caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. black peppercorns
pinch sea salt
Place all the ingrediets into a sauce pan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thicked and become syrupy.
Strain the reduction through a sieve into a sauce boat and serve immediately drizzled over the souffle.