Friday, June 28, 2019

Soufflé For Breakfast.

I like a good breakfast.  And I love a soufflé.
What a wonderful way to start out the day!

Please don't be intimidated by a soufflé.
They're easy to make.
Simple in fact.
 Only one caveat:  Be careful when you separate your eggs.  Keep your egg whites clean.  That means not a trace of yolk in them.  And not a smidgeon of oil or water.  It works best to have your whites at room temperature.  You get more volume when you beat them.  And use a glass or metal bowl to whip the whites - not plastic.  Plastic can retain oil, no matter how well you wash it.  Any bit of yolk or water in the whites will keep them from whipping to the max.  That said, let's get crackin'.

1 TB unsalted butter
1 TB flour
1/2 cup skim milk
3/4 cup cream
2 egg yolks
3 egg whites, room temperature
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup + grated Swiss cheese
1-2 TB grated Parmesan cheese
1  5" diameter  2 1/2" tall casserole dish
Generously butter the casserole dish, then sprinkle the Parmesan on the sides.  The Parm gives the soufflé something to cling to as it climbs up the dish.

Heat oven to 325°.

In medium sauce pan, melt butter.  Add flour and whisk, over medium heat, for a minute or so, to cook the flour.  This is officially a roux.  Slowly whisk in skim and cream, cooking until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, and a fresh grating of nutmeg.  Remove from heat and let sit a bit to slightly cool so you can add in the yolks without cooking them.
After a few minutes, pour the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the yolks, one at a time, incorporating well.  Stir in most of the cheese, saving a bit (1-2 TB) for sprinkling on top of the soufflé.

In a perfectly clean bowl (I use glass.), whip the room temperature whites until stiff peaks form.
Take about a third of the whites and stir into the yolk mixture to lighten it.  Then gently fold in the rest of the whites.  Pour into the buttered baking dish.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

Being ever the optimist, I make a collar for the soufflé.  Take a long piece of aluminum foil, fold it over, butter it, then wrap it around the soufflé dish so when the soufflé dramatically rises out of the dish, it will keep rising upward, not outward.  Bake for 37 minutes.  Do not open the oven door during baking to check on the soufflé.  When done, serve immediately.  A soufflé waits for no one.

Now, for the step-by-steps:
Melt the butter, add the flour, and cook, whisking.
Medium heat.

You want to cook the raw out of the flour, but not brown it.
A light tan color is fine.

Slowly pour in the cream/milk, whisking and cooking over medium heat.

Keep cooking and whisking until thickened.

Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

I buttered the baking dish and sprinkled some grated Parmesan around the sides.
The Swiss is grated.

Beat the egg yolks and ...

... add them to your milk/cream mixture.
Mix well.

Add in the Swiss.

Beat the room-temperature whites...
...and beat some more...
...until you have stiff peaks.
And these are stiff peaks.

Now you're ready to combine.

Add in about a third of the beaten whites to the yolk mixture and stir.

This will lighten the mixture a bit.
Plop in the rest of the beaten whites and...

... gently fold into the mixture until evenly incorporated.
You do not want to deflate the whites, so be gentle.
Pour into prepared baking dish.
Wrap the buttered collar around the dish.

I usually run my finger in a circle on the top of the mixture.
Then sprinkle on the rest of the Swiss.

Ready for baking.

Carefully remove the collar.
Oh...  This is perfect.
A soufflé is a beautiful thing.

Scoop out a serving.
It's like a cheese-flavored cloud.

Now, go make a soufflé.

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