I know, I know. Who’s thinking about New Year’s Eve cooking when there is Christmas and Hanukkah cooking and baking before then? I’m guessing it isn’t many people. However, as I have the opportunity to share an assortment of sophisticated & simple appetizer recipes from some great chefs, it seemed a good idea to get started! This way, as you find the recipes that are pleasing to your palate, you can bookmark them for later in the month. Or perhaps, you might want to use them for another celebration during the month. Either way, there’s no harm in being early.
Today, I have two great recipes to share. One is a Goat Cheese Soufflé, and the other is a Roasted Beet Salad. Both will add a celebratory flair to your evening without too much effort on your behalf.
Lynn Sheehan of Sand Rock Farm, Aptos, CA
3 Tb. butter
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
3 Tb. cake flour
1 cup milk
10 oz. goat cheese
3 egg yolks
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup egg whites (about 7)
Preheat oven 325
Butter 12 5-ounce ramekins or standard muffin tin, fill with breadcrumbs and turn out.
Melt butter in stainless saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, add flour. Whisk in the milk and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes, until mixture has thickened like a thin pudding.
Crumble 3/4 of the goat cheese into a large bowl, reserving the remainder. Pour the hot milk mixture over the cheese, and mix well. Add the egg yolks and mix; season with salt and pepper.
Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/2 whites onto the cheese to lighten, then fold in remaining whites.
Divide 1/2 of the soufflé mixture among the ramekins. Crumble the remaining goat cheese among the ramekins, then top with the remaining soufflé mixture. Place the ramekins in a large baking pan and pour in boiling water to come
halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes or until the soufflés are golden. Remove from the oven and let stand, still in the water for 15 minutes.
Using a towel to hold the ramekins, run a knife around the inside rim to loosen. Turn out soufflés onto baking sheet. The soufflés may be held at room temperature for up to 6 hours before the final baking or individually wrapped and refrigerated for 3 days. If refrigerated, bring the soufflés out to temper 30 minutes prior to baking.
When ready to serve, bake the soufflés in a 425 oven for 4-5 minutes or until a deep golden brown.
Makes 12 soufflés.
Chef Micah Wexler of Mezze
3 baby red beets
3 baby gold beets
3 baby striped beets
1 Haloumi cheese
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp. mint, dried
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
Sea salt, to taste
Trim the beets of their leaves and stems. Place each type of beet in a separate foil packet with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar, and some salt. Place the three packets on a roasting pan and roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender.
Remove beets from oven and allow to cool. Using a dish towel, rub the beets to remove the skin and discard the skin. Cut the beets in halves and marinate in a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar.
Cut the haloumi into cubes and fry in a pan with oil until golden. Mix the yogurt with the lemon juice, dried mint, salt, and a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil.
To dress, place the marinated beets in a bowl, and garnish with the yogurt dressing and fried haloumi.