So my last post was moaning about the heat.......I'll resist the temptation to start complaining about the cold. I doubt you could hear me over the roar of the heatpump anyway.
Although it has turned a bit chilly recently I don't always want stodgy comfort food. Ok, quite often that's exactly what I want, but not every day, I don't really want to have to buy TWO plane tickets for my trip to New York in September (I know, wheeeeeee!!!).
My Outlaws arrived the other day, en route to the airport with fresh eggs from the farm. While this does not quite compare with two weeks in Fiji it is still a lovely treat to have in the fridge. A girl cannot live by omelette's alone, and fresh eggs and various remnents of cheese in the fridge says souffle. Now souffles do have a reputation (the dirty things!) but for the most part it is unwarranted. This particular recipe, adapted from the ever fabulous Delia Smith is cooked twice, is very user friendly, and means you can have the souffles ready to go in the fridge if , like me, you cant always be sure what time you will be eating dinner.
Rich but light, I like this with a fresh apple & lettuce salad. Cheese and apple are so good together, especially with a tangy mustardy dressing. Comfort without the stodge....although I may well have hot chips tomorrow
Twice-Baked Cheese Souffles adapted from Delia Smith
Make 4 souffles, serving 4 as a starter, or 2 for a light supper
1/2 cup milk
Thin slice of peeled onion
1 bay leaf
Fresh grated nutmeg
Fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 large fresh eggs, separated
1 tbsp of fresh herbs- I use chives, parsley or chervil would also work
1/4 cup Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup blue cheese
4 tbsp cream
Extra cheese to sprinkle
Heat the oven to 190C, and grease 4 half cup ramekins/tea cups.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan or a microwave jug until almost boiling, add the onion, bay, nutmeg & pepper, and leave to sit for 10 minutes or so.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat, then add the flour. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Add the milk and whisk together , the mixture will be very thick. Cook for a minute or so, and remove from the heat. Add the egg yolks and herbs, whisk together until smooth. Add the cheeses and whisk again, the cheese will mostly melt in the heat.
In a clean bowl whisk together the egg white until when the beater is lifted out a soft peak falls over. I recommend the old fashioned handheld beater in the picture, so easy and quick to use, check out Hospice or Salvation Army stores for these gems (I use one found in a cupboard when my in laws sold their Bach)
Using a metal spoon add a tablespoon of the egg white to the cheesy sauce and stir, this loosens the mix & makes it easier to add the rest of the egg white. Now add the rest of the egg white and using a twisting motion fold it into the sauce, quickly but gently. The aim is to keep all the air in the bowl, this is what gives you puffy cheesy gorgeousness for your supper.
Pop the ramekins into a baking dish, and pour hot water around (not over!) them, then carefully pop into the oven. Water can only heat to 100C so this stops the egg getting too hot and over cooking to rubbery toughness.
Cook for about 20 minutes until risen and puffy, then remove from the oven and put them onto a cooling rack. They will sink, dont stress, this is normal! When they are cool enough to handle, run a knife around the edge and flip out onto a baking tray
You can pop them into the fridge, pour yourself a vino (you Souffle Master you!) and when you are ready for dinner pull them out, top wioth extra cheese and bung back into the oven at 180C for another 20 minutes. Take them out, pour over a tablespoon of cream over each souffle and pop back into the oven for a couple more minutes
Serve with a crispy salad and a smile of satisfaction, no cooking version of craft fail for you, nailed it!
The Engine Room in Auckland does a wonderful twice baked Goat Cheese souffle, so if you happen to have goat cheese that would certainly be worth trying. And chedder would of course be just dandy also
It took me longer to type the recipe for these than it did to cook them, so please dont be put off, I just like to over explain everything see?
PS please excuse the orange tint to the pics, we are mercifully replacing our orange light shades in the kitchen renovation..........sigh