Monday, 30 November -0001

Recipes: Comté

Whip up these simple dishes using Comté cheese

Comté Souffles (pictured above)

Serves: 5

Ingredients
• 1 ½ cups whole milk
• 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter
• ⅔ cup (3 ounces) all-purpose flour
• 6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
• 6 ounces Comté, grated (about 1 ½ packed cups)
• 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Butter and flour 5 8-ounce ramekins by smearing the inside of the ramekins with softened butter then coating them with a thin layer of flour. Shake off excess flour. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of space between each.
2. In a small saucepan, bring the milk and butter to a boil. Whisk in flour. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes (the mixture will get quite thick).
3. Scrape the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. With the blade running, add the egg yolks, one at a time, through the feed tube. Scrape down the sides and add the Comté and salt. Process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and let cool slightly.
4. In the meantime, whip the egg whites to medium peaks. Fold ⅓ of the egg whites into the cheese base. Gently fold in the rest of the whites in two batches. Fill the ramekins with the soufflé batter, leaving a ½-inch rim at the top.
5. Bake 17-20 minutes, or until fully risen and golden brown on top (if the top starts to get too dark before the sides are cooked, gently set a piece of foil on top of the soufflés). Serve immediately.

Chilled Sweet Pea Soup with Comté Cream

Serves: 4 appetizer portions

Comte-May08-01-590

Ingredients
• ½ cup double cream
• 1 ounce Comté, finely grated (about ½ cup packed), plus Comté for shaving
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint
• ¼ cup white wine
• 2 cups defrosted frozen peas or blanched shelled peas
• 1¼ cups chicken stock
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• ¼ teaspoon sugar

Instructions
1. In a small saucepan, cook the double cream and Comté over low heat, stirring, just until the Comté melts. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover and chill until cold.
2. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the leeks with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the leeks are softened but not browned, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and mint; cook, stirring, 30-60 seconds. Stir in the white wine and reduce by half. Scrape the mixture into a blender. Add the peas, broth, lemon juice and sugar. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until cold.
3. Using a hand blender or large whisk, beat the chilled Comté cream until thickened with soft peaks.
4. Pour the soup into serving glasses. Dollop the Comté cream on top and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Using a vegetable peeler, shave Comté over each. Serve immediately.

Comté, Caramelized Onion & Tomato Tarts

Serves: 8-10

Comte-May08-02-590

Ingredients
• 1 ½ tablespoons butter
• 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
• Pinch sugar
• Salt and pepper
• 1 tablespoon water, plus additional for brushing pastry
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, plus extra for serving
• 1 sheet all-butter puff pastry
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 2 cups (4-6 ounces) grated Comté
• 2 plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Melt the butter in a large pot and add the onions with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until caramelized and golden, about 15 minutes. Add water and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan; cook until water is absorbed. Add thyme and transfer to a bowl.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pastry into a large rectangle, roughly 16 by 13 inches. Cut in half lengthwise. Transfer both pieces to the prepared baking sheet. Brush edges with water and fold over to form a ½ inch border. Using the back of a fork, press edges to seal. Prick holes in the bottom of the tart (not on edges) with the fork.
4. Brush the bottom of each tart with 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Divide the caramelized onions among each tart, followed by the shredded Comté. Arrange slices of tomato in an overlapping line down the center of each. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 22-25 minutes, or until golden. Cool slightly and sprinkle thyme leaves over the top to garnish. Serve warm or at room temperature.
6. Bon appétit!


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