12 July 2010

Family recipe Monday: art of the soufflé

Cheese and leek souffle, from Elaine's British and Irish Food blog.

Soufflés are surprisingly robust, easy dinner preparations. They can turn leftovers or small amounts of ingredients into impressive meals. Have the ingredients at room temperature and the oven fully heated, then dare to experiment. The key is the stiffness of the egg whites: it's hard to overdo this. That's where the loft comes from. They do not keep, so have everything ready to serve. Don't let the hype deter you from trying your hand at these kitchen wonders.

Gene's mom Dolly had a couple of great recipes with careful directions in her files. Enjoy.

Dolly’s cheese soufflé and variations
Make Thick White Sauce: 4 tbsp. butter, 4 tbsp flour to 1 C milk, adding ¼ tsp. dry mustard, and a dash of cayenne pepper with salt and pepper.

Stir into the hot white sauce 1 C (¼ lb.) shredded sharp cheese. Remove from heat and stir in 3 egg yolks well beaten.

Beat until stiff 3 egg whites with ¼ tsp cream of tartar and fold into the cheese mixture.

Pour into ungreased 1½ qt. casserole (7½”). For High Hat Soufflé, make groove 1" from edge. Set casserole in pan of water 1" deep. Bake until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately. Can be served with crisp bacon, mushroom or shrimp sauce, etc.

Temperature: 350 degrees (F) Time: 50 to 60 minutes Amount: 4 servings

  • Tomato-Cheese Soufflé: Follow recipe above except use tomato juice in place of the milk.
  • Cheese-&-Corn Soufflé: Follow recipe above except add, with seasonings, 3/4 tsp dry mustard and, with cheese, 1 C drained cooked whole kernel corn and ½ C soft bread crumbs.
  • Cheese-&-Ham Soufflé: Follow recipe above and add, with the cheese, ½ C ground cooked ham.
  • Mushroom-Cheese Soufflé: Follow recipe above and fold in 1 C sautéed finely cut mushrooms into the Cheese Soufflé mixture at the last. Delicious with any seafood sauce.
  • All you have to do - For second servings bake Cheese Soufflé in two 5" to 6" casseroles placing one in the oven 10 minutes after the other and bake only 30 to 35 minutes.
  • For Individual Cheese Soufflés, pour into custard cups and bake only 20 to 25 mins.
--Dolly Shaffner Hess

Mushroom soufflé
24 large mushrooms
1 small onion, finely diced
¾ cup butter
2 T flour
1 cup chicken broth
4 eggs, separated
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Wash, dry and detach stems, but do not peel. Chop stems and 6 whole mushrooms and sauté with the onion in 4 T butter. Make a cream sauce of 2 T butter, flour and broth. Add sautéed mixture. Cool. Beat egg yolks and fold into cream sauce. Season with salt; add more if necessary. Beat egg whites stiff and fold into mixture. Place mushrooms into buttered casserole, hollow side up. Brush with butter. Pour soufflé over. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350* F until puffed and brown.

Happy Monday.

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