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Enjoy good value gourmet food this Christmas

14th December 2011 Print
Perl Las souffle

You may have Christmas dinner all wrapped up but if you’re looking for a starter to impress your guests or perhaps a lighter bite for Boxing Day, why not try this great value recipe from Carden Park’s executive head chef Graham Tinsley.

Perl Las soufflé with a warm pear and walnut dressing

Graham says: “It’s the perfect starter or lighter dish to impress your dinner party guests this Christmas. It’s got a festive feel and it won’t break the bank as it’s based on seasonal ingredients that can be sourced locally. So if you’re watching the pennies this Christmas but still want to enjoy gourmet food, why not give it a try.”

Ingredients (makes 4 soufflés)

60grms butter
60grms flour
250mls milk
1/2 onion
1 bay leaf
2 peppercorns
Grated nutmeg
150grms grated Perl Las cheese or any soft blue cheese.
4 egg yolks
5 egg Whites
Chopped chives


1. Bring the milk to the boil with the onion, cloves, bay leaf and the nutmeg.
2. In a separate pan make a basic white sauce (a roux) by mixing the melted butter and flour into a smooth paste.
3. Remove the onion, bay and peppercorn from the milk and gradually add the milk to the roux to form a thick white sauce, make sure you cook out the flour.
4. Take the sauce from the heat and stir in the cheese, chives and the egg yolks.
5. Whip up the egg white and fold into the soufflé mix in three stages so as to not knock out the air.
6. Pour the mixture into buttered ramekins lined with grated parmesan.
7. Bake in a Bain Marie (a roasting tray with an inch of hot water in the bottom) at 150 degrees c for approx 20 mins.

1 Pear
40grms Broken Walnuts
20mls Sherry Vinegar
80mls Olive Oil
Good Pinch of Sugar
Salt & Pepper
1 Teaspoon of Chopped Chives

1. Peel and core the pear and cut into 1cm dice.
2. In a hot frying pan, add the pear and the sugar and cook until the pear starts to caramelize.
3. Add the sherry vinegar and take off the heat.
4. Add the olive oil, walnuts and chives and season with the salt and pepper.

To Serve
Place a few rocket leaves in the centre of the plates, place the soufflés on top and pour the dressing around.

What Could go Wrong
1. Timing - As soon as the soufflé is ready it must be served, therefore the plates with rocket on must be ready and the dressing finished.
2. Add the egg whites in three stages - If you divide your whites into thirds, the first third can be added to the cheese mix using some force to loosen the mixture, the second and third lots of egg whites can be folded in more gently thus making sure your soufflé rises.
3. Always use softened butter to grease the ramekin’s never melted butter because it doesn’t allow the soufflé to slide up the ramekin as it rises.
4. Bain Marie must always be filled with hot water not cold and must come half way up the ramekin. Putting cold water in the Bain Marie will reduce the cooking time.

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Perl Las souffle