Feta Soufflé with Mastiha and Red Peppers

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp. flour

  • 2 cups milk

  • 4 tbsp. Mastiha liqueur or 3 Tbsp. dry white wine and 3 drops Chios Mastiha oil

  • 6 egg yolks, lightly beaten

  • 3 roasted red peppers, puréed

  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese

  • ½ cup grated ementhal or Greek graviera

  • Salt

  • 2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped

  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

  • 7 egg whites

  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Heat the oven to 450˚F (230˚C). Lightly butter a 2-quart (2lt) soufflé dish.

  2. Make a roux: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil until it sizzles. Add the flour and stir until it turns golden blond. Pour in the milk and Mastiha liqueur or the wine. Whisk the mixture continuously over medium heat until it begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk in the Mastiha essential oil if that is what you are using instead of liqueur. Remove from heat.

  3. Whisking all the while, pour the beaten yolks into the hot milk in a slow steady stream until thick. Mix in the roasted red peppers, cheeses, salt, and herbs.

  4. Beat the egg whites to make a stiff meringue. Quickly fold half the meringue into the milk. Fold in the remaining meringue. Season with pepper. Pour the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish and place on a rack in the center of the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 375˚F (190˚C) and bake the soufflé for about 35 minutes, or until it puffs up.

  5. The soufflé may also be baked in individual soufflé cups for a total of about 20-25 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.