About the Soufflé is a project of a Finnish-Brazilian couple based in Helsinki, passionate about food, photography and cinema. We hope in our photos and videos we can deliver even a small bit of the love we have for food and other simple things in life. All photos are owned by us unless stated otherwise.
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Tuesday, June 26

Beetroot Risotto with Chèvre Mousse

First of all, thanks so much everyone for your comments on my posts! Today I prepared my second favorite noodles (after pad thai) for dinner, and found a comment in the recipe. This kind of advising and giving ideas and hints is so important when learning more about food and cooking (or about anything, generally). So please give more feedback and also share your recipes with me!

Yesterday at work I got involved with the topic of healthy eating. I am not so much of a healthy eater myself (I probably shouldn’t tell this but today I had an ice cream AND two teaspoons of Nutella, which is my weakness) but it was interesting to read about this new Swedish research that confirms the old facts already learned at school: the Scandinavian “plate model" is the healthiest way to eat. It’s similar to many international plate models I found, and close to the Harvard food pyramid, but stresses the importance of veggies on each meal (half of the plate should be those). The Scandi plate rarely includes fruit, but substitutes them with berries that have less sugar and that, of course, also grow here up North.

The plate model says 50 percent of the meal should consist of vegetables, 25 percent of protein, 20 percent of carbs (the more fiber the better) and 5 percent of unsaturated fats. You should also have a glass of low-fat milk and a slice of rye bread on your meal. The dessert is berries. In the era of diets, and especially low-carb diets this model seems somehow old, but seems to be the one that is scientifically proved to be the best. It’s funny, by the way to compare it to this old Finnish eating recommendation model, that contains way too much of carbs and starch. I’m curious to know how in your country people are advised to eat, what are the proportions, etc?

A curious detail, that I heard from a nutrition researcher yesterday was that Finns get 20-25 percent of their daily calorie intake from “empty eats”, like candies, baked goods and alcohol. There we still have a lot to learn - me included.

Anyway, the recipe I’m sharing today I tried last night. Beetroot is a veggie I like, but which I rarely cook. Maybe because during the winter time the roots are so hard that they take too long time to cook, eh. Now anyway I decided to do something out of beets, so here comes a beetroot risotto. 

It was very delicious, but also very sweet. I highly recommend you also prepare the chèvre mousse to serve with risotto, as it nicely balances the sweetness.

Beetroot Risotto with Goat Cheese Mousse

2 large beetroots

2 tablespoons dark balsamic vinegar

2+2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 dl risotto rice (I used Arborio)

650ml chicken broth

50g parmesan cheese, grated

1 teaspoon salt, or less to taste

freshly ground black pepper

150ml heavy whipping cream

200g soft goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 200°. 

Wash, peel, halve and slice the beetroots. Place them on a baking sheet over a parchment paper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, toss and roast for 30 minutes more. Let cool and puree with a stick blender or food-processor. Set aside.

Whip the heavy cream into a thick foam and let it wait in fridge.

Heat 2 remaining tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sautee for 2 minutes. Add the rice and sautee for more 3 minutes, until the rice starts becoming transparent.

Start adding the chicken broth 100ml at the time. Whisk constantly with a wire whisk or a wooden spoon, to create the crema. Then the liquid is absorbed, add the next 100ml.

When you have used all the broth (this should take about 15 minutes) the rice should be soft but not overcooked.

Stir into the risotto the pureed beetroots, grated parmesan and 3 tablespoons whipped cream. Spice up with salt and black pepper. Remember to taste the amount of salt, as the beets can give the food a very sweet flavor.

Keep the risotto over a very low fire while you prepare the mousse.

Using an electric mixer toss soft goat cheese to whipped cream. Mix well and serve immediately with the risotto.

Garnish the dish with some parmesan and black pepper.

If you want something green with your risotto, I have heard dill goes surprisingly well with beets. I should try that too!

Tags: Food Food photography Recipe Italian food Risotto Rice Vegetarian food Beetroot Goat cheese
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Friday, April 20

Penne with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Penne with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Even how much I try to keep myself away from the fast, bad carbs, this is where I always return to: pasta. Italian cuisine is my absolute favorite of the European kitchens and I totally, totally love pasta. I still have my pasta machine untouched on top of my kitchen cupboard, but I’m also intending to start practicing pasta-making…as soon as I get a little time to get my hands into it.

Usually I like my pasta most with something fresh, like tomato, spinach or asparagus. When I, however, spotted this incredibly cheesy and rich (in calories too) pasta recipe I just had to try it. In case I didn’t tell it yet, I am also a BIG fan of cheese. All kinds of cheeses, but flavorous and creamy goat cheese is one of my favorites. I took free hands with the cheese, and added more than the original recipe asked for (I also made a bigger portion of the pasta). And thought it was the best idea ever.

It was the first time I ran into this self-made onion-garlic puree. I thought it was genius and will definitely use it another time too. Another great thing in this recipe was that it did not use any butter or heavy cream. It’s so easy to cheat myself thinking it would be somehow lighter with all that cheese, and the Turkish 10 % fat yogurt I used… But when you taste it, you will forget about the cheese and the fat and everything that does not really matter. I could not find rigatoni pasta from the market, so I substituted it with penne. If you can get rigatoni, use it. It fills wonderfully with the goat cheese sauce and makes every bite totally irresistible. I also substituted goat milk gouda with regular gouda, but would encourage you to use the first one if you can have that at hand.

Penne with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Irresistible Goat Cheese and Rosemary Pasta (serves 4-6)

500g penne (or rigatoni) pasta

250ml onion-garlic puree (see the recipe below)

1 teaspoon mustard (I used my favorite, honey flavored Dijon and it suited perfectly)

200g soft goat cheese

100g goat milk gouda

250ml Turkish or Greek yogurt

handful of grated parmesan cheese

2 springs fresh rosemary

salt & pepper

Onion and Garlic Puree

1 big yellow onion

9 cloves garlic

250ml water

salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place the rosemary springs on the baking sheet with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes until crispy. Set aside.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add 1 tablespoon of salt and cook pasta according to the package directions.

Prepare the onion-garlic puree. Peel and roughly chop the onion and garlic cloves and place them in a micro-oven safe bowl with the water. Cover and microwave on high for 10 minutes until soft. Puree in a blender or such alike until smooth, and spice with salt & pepper to your taste.

In a big saucepan (I actually used a wok pan) bring the onion-garlic puree to a simmer. Add mustard and mix well. Add all the cheeses and mix well until fully melted and smooth. Lower the heat and whisk in the yogurt until combined. Season with salt and black pepper.

Drain the pasta and add it on the pan with the sauce. Stir to fully cover all the pasta with the sauce. 

Serve with roasted rosemary and a pinch of grated parmesan. (You might also want to add something fresh in your portion, my hubby preferred it with parsley.)

Tags: Italian food Food Recipe Recipes Pasta Cheese Goat Cheese Food photography
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