The Gilroy Garlic Festival is over for this year, but home chefs can bring some of the gourmet garlicky goodness into their own kitchens by preparing the winning dish from the 2016 Great Garlic Cook-Off, one of the nation’s most prestigious amateur cooking contests.
In 2015, Rebecka Evans from Danville, California covered the Great Garlic Cook-Off for her food blog “At Home with Rebecka” and was inspired to enter the contest herself in 2016. She was selected as a 2016 finalist and beat out seven other amateur chefs from around the country on Saturday, July 30 to claim the coveted garlic crown –and a $5,000 cash prize – with her original recipe for “Garlic Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflé with Creamy Garlic Mustard Sauce.”
Garlic Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflé with Creamy Garlic Mustard Sauce
by Rebecka Evans (Danville, CA)
Decadent goat cheese soufflés served with creamy garlic mustard sauce and blistered garlic grape tomatoes are a satisfying and delicious garlic-infused meal.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for buttering ramekins
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- 3 ounces mild fresh goat cheese
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1½ tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives, snipped
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- ¼ cup bread crumbs (for dusting ramekins)
- 4 large eggs, separated
- Boiling water
- 4 heads garlic (about 35 cloves), peeled and separated
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ pound bacon, drippings reserved
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 2 tablespoons Bourbon (optional)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 8-ounce package red and yellow grape tomatoes
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- 1 bunch Mache or baby greens
- 6 ½-cup ramekins and large shallow roasting pan
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter six ½-cup ramekins, dust buttered ramekins with bread crumbs, removing any excess by gently tipping upside down, and set them in a large roasting pan.
Make garlic paste: To a small sauce pan, add about 30 cloves garlic and about 1 tablespoon water. Cook over medium high heat until all water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and continue to cook until garlic is caramelized/roasted. Transfer garlic to a food processor. Add ½ tablespoon chopped thyme and a pinch of salt. Process until very smooth. Makes about 4 tablespoons of paste. Set aside until ready to use.
Chop bacon and fry until crisp. Remove bacon from grease and set aside. Turn off the heat and keep pan with reserved bacon grease. Cool bacon slightly and chop fine. Set aside until ready to use.
Thinly slice 4 garlic cloves and set aside until ready to fry. Mince 2 remaining garlic cloves. Set aside until ready to make blistered tomatoes.
Soufflés: Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook over moderate heat until lightly golden, 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer over low heat, whisking constantly, until the white sauce is thick and has lost its floury taste, about 4 minutes. Mixture will be thick and creamy.
Stir in the goat cheese, Parmesan, chives, thyme, 2 tablespoons garlic paste and season generously with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the egg yolks one at a time.
In another bowl, beat the egg whites at medium speed until firm peaks form. Stir one-fourth of the egg whites into the white sauce to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain. Add about ½ teaspoon crumbled bacon to the bottom of each prepared ramekin. Pour the soufflé mixture into the ramekins, filling them almost to the top.
Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden and firm. Remove the soufflés from the roasting pan using tongs.