Monday, February 16, 2009

Cheese Souffle



Sometimes a Sunday will just wear you out. Could be the anticipation of a Monday, a national holiday, that is not observed at your office, and you have a mental pity party for yourself all day. Or it could be that there is no beach in your back yard, which increases the effect of the mental pity party.

So, what do you do?

Eat cheese. The ultimate comfort food for me in this state. Any kind of cheese. Cream cheese, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, string cheese, Saga Blue cheese, parmesan cheese, sliced American cheese.
No cheese is safe.

These cheesy moods usually lead to a major caloric indulgence. It could be macaroni and cheese, an over the top cheese and cracker indulgence, cheese dip with the dreaded Velveeta (usually reserved for desperation induced pity parties) or cheese soufflé.

Cheese soufflé is the perfect antidote for a mental pity party. You have to pay attention to what you’re doing.

You can’t jump up and down and stamp your feet because then you won’t have a cheese soufflé.

It’s easy to make, goes great with a baby romaine, avocado and sliced Ruby Red Grapefruit salad with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette and you don’t use every bowl, pot or pan in the kitchen which would send someone else into a pity party.

It does help to keep the appropriate soufflé dish close by, instead of using it for, say, a dog water bowl.

Hence the fact that the above picture looks like the soufflé didn’t rise, which it did, beautifully, into fluffy, cheesy lightness. You just can’t tell because the non dog water bowl soufflé dish is too big.

A couple of bites into these mind altering dish and the Sunday pity party is a thing of the past. You’re rejuvenated, ready to take on the world Monday morning, while no one else is working.

But you’re okay with that.

Manchego Cheese Souffle
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume 1 by Julia Child and Simone Beck

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Grate about 3 tbs parmesan cheese. Butter a 6 cup soufflé dish well and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Set aside.

Heat 1 cup milk to boiling.

Melt 3 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add 3 tbsp flour and stir with a wooden spoon about a minute over the heat til thick. Remove from heat, add boiling milk all at once and whisk til smooth. Return to heat and stir about 2 minutes. Add a good pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a touch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. .

Separate 5 eggs. Beat 5 egg whites with a pinch of salt into stiff peaks using hand mixer. Use 4 yolks, adding one at a time to hot sauce and whisk til each yolk is incorporated. Then add about a quarter of the beaten egg whites into sauce and fold in well. Add 3/4 cup grated Manchego cheese. Then add the remaining whites, folding in carefully so the mixture remains light and fluffy.

Put soufflé into prepared soufflé mold and put in the oven. Immediately reduce the heat to 375 and cook for 35 minutes.

Do not open the oven door for at least 20 minutes. Do not put on dance music or allow a
Great Pyrenees to run through your kitchen during this time.

Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Serves 3 generously.

Click here for a printable recipe!

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6 comments:

Betsy Moore Conti said...

How 'bout adding some little lobster bits for some good ol' Lobster Mac Cheese?!

Marie said...

I ate cheese, too, for similar reasons :-)

Love cheese souffle...

cook eat FRET said...

oh my!
lobster AND white truffles !!!

i love this recipe...

cheese
so good

Mary Coleman said...

Betsy...leave it to you to shake it up!!

Marie: Hey there! I totally understand the need for cheese.

Claudia: Of course the white truffles. Leave it to you and Bets! lobster and truffles.

fluffernutter said...

The dog waterbowl souffle dish -- I got one of those as well. Somehow it's so tempting to use that 1-quart or 1 1/2 quart dish for other stuff. Just the right size.

Kevin said...

That looks really good!