Sunday, March 18, 2018

Cheese Soufflé

Cheese Souffle Just Baked, Cut into 6 wedges
Six Sumptuous Slices

Recipe adapted from Simplicity from a Monastery Kitchen

Cheese! Does anyone in the USA not love it? I recently read that Americans consume most of their cheese on pizza. Yet a soufflé is a more effective and delicious cheese vehicle, delivering straight-on cheesey flavor with no distracting dough or veggies. Eggs lend a velvety texture to the dish, while adding protein to the mix. And despite looking complicated, soufflés are quite straightforward to make if you remember three things: Be patient making the roux; keep stirring and use low heat. Cool the roux before adding the egg yolks to it. And beat the egg whites thoroughly before folding them in. Voila! Cheese soufflé!

Individual Serving of Cheese Souffle
Adapted from an upstate New York monastery offering, this recipe is officially called Rocamadour Cheese puff, after a scenic mountainside commune in southwestern France. It features Swiss Gruyere and sharp cheddar, a delightful combination that works well with any sort of cooked greens on the side.

A soufflé dinner is especially satisfying in cold winter-to-spring weather. Soufflé also makes an elegant luncheon at any time of year, served with a classic green salad following a small bowl of creamy soup.

Plate of Cheese Souffle with Butternut Squash and Chard
Natural Sides: Winter Squash and Greens
Rocamadour Cheese Puff, or Cheese Soufflé
serves 4 – 6

3 cups milk
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. mustard or white pepper
½ cup wholewheat flour
½ cup coarse cornmeal
5 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated*
5 eggs, separated
1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Generously butter a 2.5 liter soufflé or casserole dish. Set aside.

Pour milk into large saucepan. Add salt and mustard or pepper. Heat over medium low. While heating, slowly whisk in wholewheat flour, whisking steadily. Then slowly whisk in cornmeal, whisking steadily.

Continue cooking and whisking till mixture achieves a thick, smooth consistency. Then add the grated Cheddar cheese, and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

When mixture has cooled, beat the egg yolks. Stir into the cooled milk mixture. Stir in grated Gruyere cheese, and mix until thoroughly blended. Pour mixture into the buttered soufflé dish.

Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. A little at a time, fold egg whites into milk and cheese mixture in soufflé dish,

Place soufflé dish in oven. Immediately lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for about 25 – 35 minutes, until top turns golden brown.

Cut into 6 slices and serve immediately.

*Vermont or Irish cheddar recommended

Roux in pot with whisk
First: Make Roux
Whisking Cheddar into Roux
Second: When Roux is Hot, Melt in Cheddar
Whisking Egg Yolks into Roux
Third: When Roux is Cool, Add Egg Yolks
Whisking Gruyere into Roux
Fourth: Roux Still Cool, Stir in Gruyere
Roux-yolk mix, whipped egg whites, and casserole dish, ready to combine
Fifth: Combine Cheesy Roux with Egg Whites in Casserole
Baked Cheese Souffle in Casserole dish
Sixth: Bake, Serve, and Enjoy!

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