My Communal Table


Feta Souffle with Blood Orange and Mint Hollandaise with Salmon Caviar

Food 52 is a food community blog that has come to mean inexplicable things to me over the few months that I have been traipsing through it. Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs started the blog with the idea that home cooks are practical and inventive, which lead to great recipes. Both are successful cookbook authors themselves and you might recognize Amanda from her cameo in “Julie and Julia”.

Every week, they post a challenge to the food community by category. (Ex. Best baked pasta dish, etc.) Lots of recipes are entered and then two finalists are chosen and the community votes on the winner. The winner will get their recipe published in their cookbook at the end of the 52 weeks. Thus, the name of the blog. Meanwhile, there are all these fabulous cooks spending time cooking for their families and serving fresh, unprocessed food.

I am so inspired by the fabulous cooks that I have met in this community. The exchange of ideas is thrilling, but what really is exciting is the way each recipe tells a story about the interesting family that contributes to this venue. I say, family, not cook of the family, because it seems like whole families have become involved in the process. I know that Gabriel, my almost 6 year old, is my big inspiration and hopes I win with every recipe that I enter. True cooking is a family affair.

So, this weeks challenge was a little different. Amanda and Merrill asked us to create a recipe using feta cheese, blood oranges, and mint. It came with instructions to think outside the box. Well, I decided that I would just see if something came to me and I was not going to spend much time brooding over it.

I literally was swimming my laps at the community pool, when the souffle idea hit me and Feta Souffle with Blood Orange and Mint Hollandaise topped with Salmon Caviar was born. I really had no idea how it would taste when I was finished, but in the end, I was quite pleased.

I love souffles. Not as hard as one would think to make. They are eye-catching with a rich flavor with a moist, tender consistency. My Gramma Beuker would make a souffle for my mother and her best friend, Carol, when they would come home for lunch during the school week. I was always so impressed with that idea.

The hollandaise sauce looks like it will taste sweet, but it is rich and subtle with the mint hitting you at the last taste. Frankly, the caviar really makes it that much better. This recipe serves four for lunch or six for a first course. It would be perfect before a fish course. Okay, I say four for lunch or should I really say two for a hearty lunch. My friend, Richard, and I sat down to eat and before we knew it, it was all gone. We were scrapping the sides of the souffle dish to get the very last morsel.

Well, I hope you try a souffle. I will keep entering recipes and hey, perhaps mine might actually be picked as a finalist. I will definitely let you know if it does.

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