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Wednesday Food: Soufflé Snow Day

Perhaps you’ve heard about this week’s weather here in the Midwest?  It involved 20 inches of accumulation and this Californian’s first ever snow day.  Not particularly wanting to brave the elements for a grocery run I turned to the ingredients I already had on hand.

Gruyère, Parmesan, eggs, milk and a copy of Julia Child’s The Way To Cook, inspired me to combat cabin fever by making my first soufflé.  I have no recollection of eating or ordering a soufflé at anytime so I wasn’t entirely sure what results I was attempting to yield.  The recipe was easy enough: start with a béchamel, add egg yolks and cheese, then fold in stiff-peaked egg whites and bake.

The texture was incredibly airy, had no real weight or density.  But honestly the flavor did not exceed the sum of its parts.  A cheese soufflé, it tuns out, is just an inflated omelet.  I enjoyed the technique of the dish but would incorporate more flavor next time– broccoli or crab from the variations.  A dessert variation– chocolate or the like– does not appeal to me because the egg flavor is quite strong.  Readers, what are your thoughts on soufflés?  Do they activate your gag reflex?  Are they outdated?  Should I have scrambled eggs and called it a day?

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February 3, 2011 - Posted by | Wednesday Food

13 Comments

  1. That looks beautiful!
    I have always been curious about souffles. They are so pretty, but haven’t had the confidence to attempt to make one. Are they supposed to be the main dish when they are of the savory variety? I don’t know why but seafood and eggs makes me a little queasy so I don’t think I would ever go that direction. As far as eggs in savory dishes, I think I will stick with quiche. I remember a good quiche for weeks!

    Comment by lisa | February 3, 2011

  2. Soufflés are great.

    Comment by ben | February 3, 2011

  3. That soufflé looks lovely, I suppose it was photographed soon after taken out of the oven, as soufflés use to ‘collapse’ with light speed.

    I prefer sweet soufflés, so – if I were to be your guest – you could have made scrambled eggs and called it a day.

    If you make chocolate souflee, then the egg flavour will keep ‘in the background’, as chocolate always wins (flavour wise).

    My grandma used to say one serves soufflés to guests just to ‘show off’ that one has servants, in the sense that you can’t be a host/hostess and serve soufflé, because, for soufflé, someone will have to keep in the kitchen all the time while the soufflé is made, and then serve it immediately when it is ready, which can take about one hour – with the 90% risk that it will collapse, in which case you can blame the servants.

    Comment by visitor | February 3, 2011

  4. Lisa, I think they’d be classically served with a green salad as a simple Frenchie meal. I totally feel that way about the prospect of salmon but somehow I thought crab…

    And Visitor, I did try to take that picture immediately upon pulling it out of the oven but it had already lost an inch of height. So you really don’t get too much egginess in a chocolate soufflé? Perhaps it’s worth a go then.

    Comment by ebolden | February 3, 2011

  5. Since these entries are always about home-cooking – I think – this feels a bit like sacrilege, but I like the souffles at Panera. I don’t think I know anybody adventurous enough to make them. Though I suppose my wife makes some souffle-like dishes in our springform pan. Anyway, my vote is “yay” to the souffle.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | February 3, 2011

  6. I’ve had a chocolate souffle at a nice three-course dinner, jazz club type place, and I don’t remember an eggy taste. I’d say give it a shot.

    Comment by Dave Mesing | February 4, 2011

  7. Holy heck, Panera serves soufflés?! I’ll have to test them out sometime. And you’ve all convinced me to try a chocolate soufflé this weekend. It’s on.

    Comment by ebolden | February 4, 2011

  8. I LOVE souffles! And I’m making a chocolate souffle for dessert as part of my Valentine’s meal. Nomm.

    Comment by Hill | February 9, 2011

  9. Someone is impersonating me, by the way.

    Comment by Hill | February 10, 2011

  10. 9. Does that mean that 8 is not you?

    Comment by jms | February 10, 2011

  11. Actually that’s my friend Hillary who I’m sure was unaware the username was taken. Will advise. Hill is your name Hillary as well?

    Comment by ebolden | February 10, 2011

  12. Ok whew… my name is actually Hill. I also have paranoia issues, btw.

    Comment by Hill | February 10, 2011

  13. 9, 12 = Hill of theoblog trolling fame.

    Comment by Hill | February 10, 2011


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