Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Christine's Cheese Souffle

Souffles are out of my normal culinary reportoire, which is firmly esconced in the countries of the Pacific with a good touch of Americana.  I made individual chocolate souffles once to satisy a craving of my craving-driven daughter Christina, so I understand the appeal of their silky interiors and light, crispy shells.  Somehow flavor is magnified in those hundreds of trapped air bubbles.

I made this as part of a Snow Day Challenge, started by my friend Julia, who's been featured here before.  The challenge is to not make a panic run to the grocery store but to cook something creative with what you have in your pantries.  My friend Christine shared this recipe as a good one to make with pantry staples such as butter, flour, milk, eggs, and cheese.

I made 1/2 the recipe, used gouda and parmesan cheeses, and divided the batter among four individual ramekins -- it took only ten minutes in a 400 degree oven, and I had these lovely, fluffy, cheesey clouds of goodness.  I ate my souffle with a sliced granny smith apple, and it was divine.

If you wanted to read up on souffles and souffle technique, go to 101 Cookbooks.

Christine's Cheese Souffle
Adapted from the Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
Serves 4

6 T Butter
3 T Flour
1 C Milk
Freshly ground pepper
Pinch Cayenne pepper
4 Eggs - separated
¾ C Grated Gruyere or Cheddar
¼ C Grated Parmesan
Grated Parmesan & Bread Crumbs for dusting dish

1 Thyme sprig

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Generously butter 1-quart soufflé dish or 8 4-oz ramekins with 1 T butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs and grated parmesan
3) Melt remaining 5 T butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat
4) Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes
5) Whisk in milk little by little, whisking thoroughly between additions
6) Season béchamel sauce with salt, pepper, cayenne and leaves from one thyme sprig
7) Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly
8) Stir egg yolks into sauce and add cheeses
9) Whip egg whites into moist firm peaks
10) Stir 1/3 of whites into soufflé base, then gently fold remaining whites taking care not to deflate them
11) Pour mixture into prepared dish
12) Bake 35-40 minutes for large dish (or 10 minutes at 400 for individual dishes,) until puffed and golden but still soft in the center and jiggly when shaken gently


OohLookBel said...

Your souffle looks wonderful. I love that you used pantry staples for it, too.

Barbara Bakes said...

What a gorgeous souffle. I'm thinking this should be breakfast this morning!

Anonymous said...

Soft and fluffy cheese souffle. Yum!

Ben said...

This souffle look great!!