How great is Top Chef this year?!! There is a great mix of true talent, and the elimination challenges are bringing out the best (and worst) in the cheftestants. I am rooting for Stephanie to go all the way this year-it is about time a woman took the title of Top Chef. And well, if Richard wins, that would be great too. He’s got class, style and terrific instincts.
I was happy to see Restaurant Wars play out again with the remaining contestants. Antonia et al. were the designated dream team, and seemingly handled the challenge with aplomb. Let’s face it-they smoked their competition. I was especially impressed with Stephanie’s handling of the FOH, but what she did in the BOH was even better. Her pasta was singled out as terrific, and her dessert of agorgonzola cheesecake with a concord grape reduction sauce was tricky-but it worked. I was inspired.
Making a savory dessert can go wrong on so many levels. Making a souffle in itself can be daunting (remember TC’s Eric and his nacho souffle?). But Stephanie’s dessert scored big time, and made Richards banana scallops look trite and so yesterday. It was a bold move, and it worked.
So, that’s my inspiration to make a savory dessert with leftover Gorgonzola dolce I had on hand. With what was left from a bottle of pinot noir the prior evening, and some strawberries, I made a semi-sweet sauce that held over nicely for a few days in the refrigerator. I found the recipe for the souffle online from the San Fransisco Chronicle. The souffle was very easy to make. Basically you make a roux, a bechamel sauce, then a cheese sauce. The cheese sauce then gets the egg yolks tempered and added, followed by the whipped egg whites. Pour the batter into ramekins, make a bain marie and bake. While the souffle baked, I further reduced my pinot noir and strawberry sauce.
For the pinot noir and strawberry sauce, you’ll need 1 cup of pinot noir, 2 cups of sliced strawberries, and 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. Heat all of the ingredients in a sauce pan. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until it is reduced by 50%. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, or chinois. Spoon sauce over the souffles prior to serving.