I have a stack of food magazines that I’ve gathered over the years, a pretty decent collection of Cooks Illustrated, Cook’s Country, Gourmet, Saveur, and Bon Appetit. I love looking through them, even repeatedly, but I don’t end up actually making anything from them very often. But every now and then I make some kind of resolve to cook from a magazine once a week. Dust them off, put them to use!
Trying this soufflé was a happy result of one such resolution. I don’t think I would’ve thought to try a soufflé if I hadn’t been searching through this one particular magazine for a recipe I could fit into that week’s menu with the ingredients I had on hand. I think in my mind I had relegated soufflé to stuffy dinner parties or French restaurants, not weekday meals. Turns out, soufflé is simple enough for a weekday meal AND tasty enough to be gobbled down by kids and adults alike. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given the main ingredients of egg and cheese.
Seriously, this soufflé is delicious. Light as air but so flavorful. My kids go nuts over it. I always serve it with a crusty bread, vegetables, and a fresh salad. It's a light but immensely satisfying dinner.
simple cheese soufflé
From the Jan/Feb 2014 Cook's Illustrated Magazine, No 126
1 oz Parmesan, shredded
1/4 cup 1(1.25 oz) all purpose flour
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp dried parsley
4 Tbsp (2 oz) butter
1 1/2 cups (12 oz) milk
6 oz Gruyere, shredded
6 eggs, separated
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8 cup (2 qt) soufflé dish. Sprinkle with a quarter(about 2 Tbsp) of the Parmesan.
Combine flour, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne, and parsley in a small bowl. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour mixture and stir for about a minute. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring until uniform and smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for a minute until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in Gruyere and all but one Tbsp of the remaining Parmesan until melted and smooth. Let sit to cool for a bit, and then whisk in egg yolks.
In a bowl of an electric mixture, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar on medium slow until frothy. Increase speed to high and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Pour in cheese mixture and beat briefly until combined and smooth.
Pour mixture into prepared dish. Don't fill it too much or you'll have overflow - you want the batter to come to about an inch below the top of the dish. Sprinkle that last tablespoon of Parmesan over the top. Bake 30-35 minutes or until set an golden brown and an instant thermometer reads 170. Serve immediately.
I rarely if ever have Gruyere on hand, but I have used cheddar and Gouda with great success.
This always makes much too much batter for my soufflé dish. The magazine instructs you to just toss it but that offends the frugal saver in me. Instead I grease some ramekins and pour the remaining batter into those. They bake much quicker - maybe 20 minutes? Just keep an eye on them. Last time I got four extra ramekins and I can tell you the kids were thrilled about having their own personal soufflés.
Apparently if you don't have your timing quite right and your soufflé has to sit a bit before dinner and becomes a sad deflated version of itself (and don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong, all soufflés deflate!) just a few minutes back in a 350 oven should spring it right back up.