Friday, September 01, 2006

2nd Anniversary souffle with shallots and gruyere

Let me start by saying I've been remiss in my posting duties. I have a list of recipes I've been meaning to post here, but this has been a punishing week, workwise. I promise to do it soon, but tomorrow we leave for Santa Barbara and LA so all I have time for at the moment is a quick souffle recipe.

Much like my phyllo phobia, I've had a fear of attempting to make a soufflé. I always blamed it on having a windowless oven, but since we redid our kitchen and installed a mini Viking range, I have no excuses. The temptation to open the oven door to peek is now a non-issue, so we took the opportunity of our anniversary to attempt the light-as-can-be eggstravaganza. Surprisingly, it was a great success. I'm afraid the aerial view of the outcome doesn't do it's airy fluffiness justice because we used a larger-than-necessary ramekin. In my dreams, the pillow of egg would have billowed over the edge, so next time I'll have to downsize the crock.

In any case, it was a hit.

The one suggestion I'd add is that, while lovely and simple, this souffle is very basic. If I make it again, I'd add some veggies or mushrooms or crabmeat. Even herbs. I guess my recommendation is to use this as a base model and add your favorite ingredients to it.

Gruyere and Shallot Souffle

2 shallots, cut into fine rings
3/4 cup champagne (handy if you're celebrating an occasion)
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1/2 c milk, warmed
white pepper
pinch of nutmeg
4 egg yolks
3/4 c of shredded gruyere
5 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
1/2 c breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 375. Carmelize your shallots by sauteeing til translucent and then add champagne and cook down, scraping up any brown bits and stirring occassionally. Remove from heat. In same pan, make a roux by melting the butter and stirring in the flour. Whisk in the warm milk and cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and nutmeg. Add onions to mixture. Stir in the cheese. Whisk the egg yolks into the mixture. In a hand mixer or bowl mixer, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Pour into a buttered ramekin/souffle dish that has breadcrumbs pressed against the sides and bottom. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.


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