From operatic solos to singing soufflés, Rebecka Evans of Danville knows what it’s like to be in the limelight. Evans wooed the crowds and the judges on July 30 when she won top marks in the Gilroy Garlic Festival’s Great Garlic Cook-Off challenge.
Evans, 56, competed against seven other finalists from all over the country to win first place and a $5,000 prize with her creation. Now, garlic lovers can try Evans’ recipe at home.
Garlic Goat Cheese Bacon Soufflé with Creamy Garlic Mustard Sauce
by Rebecka Evans
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
1⅓ 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
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
One 8-ounce package red and yellow grape tomatoes
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 bunch Mache or baby greens
Six ½-cup ramekins and a 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 of 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 ¼ 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.