Friday, February 26, 2010

Basic Soufflé

For a long time I avoided making soufflés, assuming they were too delicate and difficult to bother with. Then I ran across a recipe in Ann Lovejoy's Eight Items or Less Cookbook. Really? That's all I had to do? Looked pretty darn simple.

Since then I've seen quite a few more complicated soufflé recipes, but the one I adapted from Eight Items is the one I always come back to. The only slightly tricky bit is folding in the egg whites. Just sweep a rubber spatula under and over the mixture, turning the bowl each time. And be patient. There's no hurry.

3 eggs plus one egg white (as fresh as possible, at room temperature)
4 oz. cheese, grated
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh herbs or 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup additional ingredients, cut into small dice and drained
Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate eggs, placing whites in a [grease free] mixing bowl and three of the yolks in another bowl. The extra yolk can be frozen for later use, made into mayonnaise -- or maybe your dog will think it's a way cool treat. To the yolks in the bowl add the sour cream, cheese, herbs, pepper and additional ingredients and mix together. Butter a small straight-sided baking dish, or a souffle dish. Beat egg whites to the soft peaks. Add whites all at once to yolk mixture, and fold in until no streaks remain. Gently pour into baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Tender, fluffy goodness.

Not only is this simple soufflé a way to showcase farm fresh eggs, it's also a great way to use up leftovers. This is intended for two people, though more often than not someone drops in when I'm making this and there always seems to be enough with a tossed salad and some chewy bread. And the recipe can be easily doubled.

The selection of cheese, herbs and additional ingredients are up to you. For example, the soufflé I made this week included Swiss cheese, fresh parsley, and a cup of bacon, red pepper and green onions combined.

The original recipe called for cheddar, tarragon, and cup of corn.

Another delicious combination is Monterey Jack, cilantro and roasted green chilis.

Or try Cheddar, sage and sausage.

Swiss, basil, and artichoke hearts.

And in the home crafting mystery I'm writing now, Sophie Mae makes one with Gruyère, lemon zest and asparagus.

You get the idea.

5 comments:

  1. This does sound simple and very good. I like using the herbs and being able to change some of the ingredients without causing any problems for the recipe. Please tell me, are the eggs in the basket from chickens you have or is it just a photo of eggs? I'd love to know what type of chicken lays a green (or blueish-green) egg.

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  2. Thanks for dropping by the zombie guest post today, Cricket. That was special!

    As for souffles, Sophie's gruyere and asparagus version sounds great. I've only made pure cheese souffles and love them (but haven't made one in years). I've become very lazy in the kitchen.

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  3. Unfortunately I don't have chickens anymore, Mason. Those eggs are from the CSA egg share. When I did keep hens, though, two were Aracuanas, or Easter egg chickens. They lay the pretty blue and green eggs. You really can have green eggs and ham!

    Patricia, I'm really looking forward to asparagus season!

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  4. oh my gosh...i was the someone who dropped in;and wouldn't leave!!:0)all i can say is that each bite of 'fluffy goodness' left me looking forward to the next bite,and the next...and to have your homemade bread and homemade butter and homegrown veggies...it was wonderful,cricket
    ..add two beautiful people,and the evening was perfect!!thank you.brian

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  5. Brian, glad we could talk you into staying!

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