Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cheese Soufflé

When I was a lad, oh so many years ago, cheese soufflé was not an uncommon meal in our house. I’m not sure where my mother got the idea but probably thought it would just be a nice change from the usual meat, potatoes, and vegetable dinner. And a low budget item too which was surely appealing.

It was only when I left home did I discover that a well made soufflé was considered the mark of an accomplished chef. At least it was for a while back then. But since I didn’t think it was anything special I took it with me as part of my very limited cooking repertoire. I have been making them now and then ever since.

The base recipe I use is from our 1967 copy of Joy of Cooking. I’m not certain it was my Mom’s recipe but most likely it was since she only had one or two cookbooks. However, I always think of recipes as a good place to start so it has evolved. I can’t help myself. Sometimes it’s a gift, sometimes it’s a problem. Either way it’s more fun.

I almost always include spinach. Precook 1 frozen box or use fresh if you have it. Mix in before the egg whites. Tonight’s version also included a small amount of diced onion, sun-dried tomatoes, and a big splash of habanero sauce. Cook these a little while in the melting butter before adding flour.

I make 3/4 the recipe, 6 eggs, as a full recipe overflowed my dish once. Butter your dish well and then coat with grated parmesan.

The recipe says:
1/2 cup sifted flour. Really? Who does the sifting? I didn’t.
8 egg yolks, beat until light. I went at ‘em with a fork for a while but I bet they weighed the same.

I followed directions and served with salad that included a perfect avocado.

A comfort food meal on a winter’s night. Had me thinking about Mom.

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