WHITEBAIT AND GOAT’S CHEESE SOUFFLE WITH VERY CRUNCHY WHITEBAIT and A FENNEL, PEA AND MINT SALAD

Serves 8

Whitebait fritters are our families go to Christmas Breakfast. This soufflé is super simple and means nobody has to wait around for that last whitebait fritter to cook before eating! The soufflé is soft, delicate and creamy and the crunch of the fried whitebait and crispness of the fennel salad are perfect palette partners. 

@Moana.co.nz whitebait is the star of the dish with very tasty supporting roles played by some of our favourite @Sabato.co.nz ingredients. Kaikoura Candy Goddess Goats Cheese, Pons wild fennel olive oil and Forvm Chardonnay Vinegar.

THE SOUFFLE

50 g butter plus extra for the pan
50 g plain flour
350 ml milk
5 large free-range eggs, plus one extra egg white
1 t Dijon mustard
150 g Kaikoura Candy Goddess Goats cheese, grated coarsely
350 g drained whitebait
1 T butter or oil for greasing the pan
30 g Parmesan for dusting the pan
Salt and pepper to taste

THE CRUNCHY WHITE BAIT

150 g drained white bait
2 T white flour
¼ c olive oil

THE CRISPY SALAD

3 fennel bulbs shaved
1 c fresh peas, lightly steamed and cooled
Large handful of mint, chopped
100 g goats cheese feta, crumbled
Zest of one tangelo
2 T Forvm chardonnay vinegar
2 T Pons Fennel oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

THE SOUFFLE

Melt butter and flour together over a medium heat and stir as it cooks for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk and whisk till thickened and lump free. Add grated cheese, mustard, salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.

Melt 1 T butter in your Ironclad pan and using a pastry brush grease the sides and bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan on the bottom and sides of the pan.

Whip egg whites till they form stiff peaks.

Stir egg yolks into the cooled roux, followed by the drained whitebait. Gently fold in the egg whites. Don’t over mix.

*To drain the whitebait I popped it in a sieve and sat it over a bowl until ready to use.

Pour soufflé mix into your prepared Ironclad Pan and bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 25 -30 minutes till just firm to the touch. Don’t over bake! And also don’t open the oven door too early or your lovely creation might sink! 

While that’s cooking put the flour in a plastic (reusable) bag with the drained white bait and shake to coat. Tip white bait into a sieve and shake out any extra flour.

Heat olive oil till moderately hot and fry off the white bait in 3 batches till golden brown and crunchy. Drain on paper towel.

THE SALAD

Toss all ingredients together.

TO SERVE

Remove soufflé from oven and serve immediately with crunchy whitebait and crispy salad AND a glass or two of bubbles! Happy Christmas!