Riesling is one of the few wines that works well with eggs (see Wine note, below). A barely sweet version sets off this soufflé; just make sure it has good acidity to stand up to the tangy goat cheese. Prep and Cook Time: about 1 hour. Notes: Use a mild, fresh goat cheese such as montrachet or any of the ones sold in logs in good supermarkets.
Sunset APRIL 2007
1. Preheat oven to 375º. Butter a 2-qt. soufflé dish, then coat with 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add flour and cook, stirring often, until mixture begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Whisk in milk and continue whisking until mixture boils and thickens, about 5 minutes.
2. Remove pan from heat and stir in goat cheese, remaining 2 tbsp. parmesan, chives, salt, and cayenne. Stir in egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
3. In another bowl, with a mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Stir a fourth of the whites into yolk mixture, then gently fold in remaining. Transfer mixture to prepared soufflé dish.
4. Bake soufflé until it's puffed and well browned and jiggles only slightly in the center when you shake the pan gently, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately, scooping out portions with a large spoon.
Wine note: Riesling is one of the world's great white grapes. But early versions from the West tended to be simple, syrupy sweet, and flabby, and its reputation as schlock was sealed. The truth is, Riesling comes in a range of sugar levels, from bone dry to quite sweet. Those from Alsace, France, lean toward very dry; German bottles run the gamut. But the best have great acidity that keeps the wine crisp and refreshing, no matter how sweet. And stone fruit, apple, pear, and citrus flavors often come along with hints of flowers, minerals, and what can only be described as a haunting diesel-fuel quality--if you can imagine that as a good thing.
It's that acidity that makes Riesling a great food wine: Drier ones are wonderful with shellfish (the fruit picks up on the sweetness of crab and shrimp), sushi, poultry, pork, salty cured meats like ham, and--surprisingly--eggs; sweeter versions do well with sweet-and-sour dishes and spicy Thai or Southwestern food.
Our pick: Covey Run Riesling 2005 (Columbia Valley; $8). Peach nectar with a touch of sugar and great acid; good with the soufflé.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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