Big meals are great for the festivity and conversation, but quiet is nice too. More time for dwelling on food, drink and each other.
Here is our meal in photos.
|Cranberry Chutney cooking|
|Cranberry Chutney finished|
|Mashed Potatoes - a little lumpy unfortunately|
|Rustic Herb Stuffing|
|Goat Cheese Souffle|
|Yeah that was my plate - Yum!|
|Some of our favorite Belgian Beer to wash it all down|
|Mashed Sweet Potatoes for the Dessert|
|Coconut-Sweet Potato Pie|
Both the recipe for the Mashed Potatoes and the Rustic Herb Stuffing came from the November issue of Bon Appetit. I left out the celery and Swiss chard from the Stuffing because Partner in Crime wanted a standard no frills stuffing and I'm not a fan of celery.
The Coconut Sweet Potato Pie recipe came from the Minimalist on the NY Times. It was good, better cold in my opinion although it says to serve it at room temperature.
For our main dish I served a Goat Cheese Souffle. Souffles are a great entree for a special occasion at a vegetarian's table. Every time I make one I marvel at how simple it is to make and how delicious it is. The I wonder why don't I make these more often. I got my recipe from a vegetarian cookbook that I've been using for years, really since early college. It's one of those cookbooks that I'm pretty sure are sold off the bargain rack at Barnes and Noble. But it has done me well time and time again.
Here is the recipe.
Goat Cheese Souffle
Adapted slightly from Vegetarian: The Best-Ever Recipe Collection by Linda Fraser
3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 c milk
grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
1 1/2 oz herb and garlic soft cheese, like Boursin
5 oz firm goat cheese, diced
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
salt and black pepper
Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, stir to mix well, and the cook until sandy brown, stirring occasionally. Then pour in half of the milk, stirring vigorously until mostly smooth. Add the remaining milk, a pinch of salt and a few dashes each of nutmeg and black pepper. Reduce heat and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter a 1 1/2 quart souffle dish and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in both the goat and soft cheeses.
Separate eggs and place egg whites into a medium sized bowl. Beat or whisk until frothy. Then add cream of tartar. Continue to beat, increasing the speed. Soft peaks will form, beat just a little longer until stiffer peaks form that flop over a bit.
Take a large spoonful of the egg whites and mix in with cheese sauce. Then pour cheese sauce into bowl with remaining egg whites and mix with a spoon until just combined.
Pout mixture into prepared souffle dish and bake for 25-30 minutes until puffed on top and golden brown. Serve immediately.