Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cheese Souffle and Herb Salad - Tasty Tuesday!

I know, I know. You read the title and tried to run screaming from the blog, didn't you? Stop. Come back.

This was my lunch today. Lunch, because yes, it is actually that easy - and fast - to make a souffle. Granted, I do feel sorta decadent because it's a souffle and they're fancy and all.

Except that this takes just a handful of ingredients, all of which are in my house on a regular basis. And the salad is one of the fastest I can make. Because hey, I need to pretend like I'm eating healthfully when it's an egg and cheese lunch, right? Salad does that for me.

I had to make it today because it's 80 degrees. We went from way too cold and spring isn't coming in Chicago to full on summer. Very shortly, my oven will go off until fall. And oh did I have a taste for this today for some reason. In fact, I'm about to go back for seconds. Shhh, don't tell anyone!


Cheese Souffle and Herb Salad

Ingredients:
4 eggs, separated
1/4 t salt
2 T butter (plus more for the souffle dish)
1/4 c flour
1 c milk - room temp if you remember
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t pepper
3/4 c Emmenthaler or Gruyere cheese

Spring mix
Dill, chopped
Parsley, chopped
lemon juice
olive oil
salt
pepper

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Finely grate your cheese. I actually generally use Gruyere for the souffle and then some Parmesan for the souffle dish. Just wait - you'll see why.

Butter a large souffle dish. Well. Use real butter. I promise, it's worth it. You want to coat the butter in either grated cheese or bread crumbs. Hmmm cheese or bread. It's a toss up sometimes which is my favorite, but definitely go with the grated cheese if you can. Simply place some in the souffle pan and rotate it until it's coated in cheese. Gently pat some in place, if needed. Place the souffle dish in the fridge so that it stays cold until baked, which will help create a crust around the souffle so that it doesn't stick to the souffle dish after baking.


Place the egg yolks in one bowl, and the egg whites in another. Make sure the egg white bowl has no yellow in it at all, then add the salt.

Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, and cook for a minute or so, stirring regularly. Pour in the milk while whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Simmer until it's thick. Because there is so much flour relatively, this will only take a minute or two.

Remove from the heat, and add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Stir, and then add the cheese, again stirring until well combined. Add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring to combine thoroughly before adding the next one.


Beat the egg whites until medium peaks form. These are medium peaks, and yes, I beat them by hand. I wasn't thinking when I put the egg whites in the bowl and didn't feel like dirtying another one. Besides, it counts as my gym workout for the day, right? When beating your eggs, make sure you don't overbeat them, or they'll get grainy and icky.


Fold in the egg whites one-third at a time. You have to sacrifice the fluffiness of the first third of the egg whites to get the cheese/egg yolk mixture to accept the egg whites. It's ok. Just make sure you fold in the rest of the eggs gently. Check it out - I even vlogged a demo of folding.



Pour the mixture into your prepared souffle dish. Cut a circle in the souffle to help keep it from cracking and falling. The video shows it. Bake for 25-30 minutes until it's risen and golden brown on top. You don't have to be careful walking in the kitchen while baking it - contrary to myth - but don't open the oven door!


Serve it warm with the herb salad: Emulsify lemon juice and olive oil - maybe a 1:2 ratio, I never measure. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour over your spring mix with added chopped dill frond and chopped parsley.


Enjoy this and more with Tempt My Tummy Tuesday this week at The Well! I've almost finished my second helping now, and I can't wait to have leftovers for dinner. Too bad no one's close enough to come share, as this is a perfect light, fun lunch (or dinner).


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11 comments:

Liz @ Two Maids a Milking May 10, 2011 at 2:31 PM  

So, I get a semi cold ham and cheese sandwich and you get cheese souffle...so not fair!! People are still buzzing about the panel and I still can't believe you know Cris!! Small world!!

Susie May 10, 2011 at 3:58 PM  

Why would I run? That sounds and looks good!!!

ChefDruck May 11, 2011 at 12:31 AM  

Michelle, Cheese souffle and salad was always my mother's go to dinner when she was feeling uninspired on a weeknight. Now you've inspired me to whip it up later this week! You're so right, souffle gets a bad rap as tough to make, but it's such a great lunch. Great pic!

septembermom May 11, 2011 at 9:11 PM  

That's very pretty to serve. Looks good. I'm glad to hear that I could maybe tackle a souffle. Thanks!

Michelle May 11, 2011 at 10:17 PM  

Liz - So sorry :) But hey, now you can make it when you get home. Glad to hear the panel was well received. It was so much fun!

Susie - Well you wouldn't. But so many people hear souffle and don't think it's anything they could ever make. It's one of those mysteries that really isn't.

Vanessa - Too funny. Then again, your mom was French, and the French attitude towards food and cooking is so different from what it is in the States. But yes, go whip one up. Mine is - sadly - all gone now.

Kelly - It really is. I've made it for dinner parties before. It's a great light meal with some crusty bread and then a heavier dessert like ... molten chocolate cakes! ;)

Pat May 13, 2011 at 4:15 PM  

I am impressed that you can fold with your left hand and record a video with your right hand at the same time. Nice job! The souffle looks fantastic. You could have your own cooking show.

Pat May 13, 2011 at 4:19 PM  

You were definitely using both sides of your brain to do those two different things simultaneously. I bet men, in general, don't do that as well, just because they have a smaller bundle of nerves connecting the two brain hemispheres. I know...I'm off task here. :)

Heather E May 14, 2011 at 6:38 PM  

oh this sounds so delicious i am DROOLING over here! OMG yum.

Michelle May 16, 2011 at 10:38 PM  

Again, blogger ate comments. I'm so frustrated!

Liz - So sorry :) But hey, now you can make it when you get home. Glad to hear the panel was well received. It was so much fun!

Susie - Well you wouldn't. But so many people hear souffle and don't think it's anything they could ever make. It's one of those mysteries that really isn't.

Vanessa - Too funny. Then again, your mom was French, and the French attitude towards food and cooking is so different from what it is in the States. But yes, go whip one up. Mine is - sadly - all gone now.

Kelly - It really is. I've made it for dinner parties before. It's a great light meal with some crusty bread and then a heavier dessert like ... molten chocolate cakes! ;)

Michelle May 16, 2011 at 10:39 PM  

Oops - and Kelly (Septembermom) had said: That's very pretty to serve. Looks good. I'm glad to hear that I could maybe tackle a souffle. Thanks!

Michelle May 16, 2011 at 10:40 PM  

Pat - I hate to admit it, but I'm left handed, so that part was easy. All I had to do was hold the other hand still. Do you know how fun it would be to have a cooking show? Or just teach cooking classes? I'd LOVE to do that.

Heather - Drool away for now. And then come eat it when you can. I'm guessing this might be an early one for you since it's egg and cheese and milk with no bread?

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