VDP: Cheese Soufflé and a Mixed Lettuce Salad

Monday, April 14, 2008

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cheese soufflé? No, not that it’s tricky or tough to make or sensitive to vibrations in the kitchen. All of which are not true by the way. Cheese soufflé is very simple to make, requires little to no advance prep and is not as fragile as you might believe.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this classic French dish is the grand American dame of French cuisine, Julia Child. More than any other dish, a cheese soufflé just instantly brings to mind her high-pitched “Bon Appetit!”. Besides being damn tasty, a soufflé is a good way to use up an end piece of Gruyere cheese I had in the fridge and to showcase more of those lovely yard eggs I pick up from a lady in my neighborhood every other week.

The only advance prep I did for these is to set my oven to preheat starting at 5PM. This way when I get home it’s ready to bake the soufflés. The base is made from a simple butter roux, milk and egg yolks. Into this mixture I folded whipped egg whites and cheese. That’s all. I made individual soufflés because I do not have a large soufflé dish. In hindsight I should’ve used four white ramekins instead of 2 white and two larger blue ones. I figured I had more batter than I actually did. What recipe did I use? Well, of course the one from Julia’s masterpiece ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking‘ Volume 1.

Along side the soufflé I served a simple green salad, made almost exlusivly from lettuces I picked from my garden. I say ‘almost’, because I had a little mixed greens left that needed to be used so I added them. The dressing is a Dijon vinaigrette (Dijon mustard, sour cream, vinegar and olive oil). Now go make a cheese soufflé.

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