I have this recurring fantasy, no, not that kind of fantasy. My fantasy is of a wonderful outdoor brunch. We would invite a few of our friends over to our backyard, it would be a lovely sunny day, the flowers would be blooming, the birds would be chirping, the bunnies bouncing around and the table would be laid with a nice cloth, and pretty dishes and stemware. There would be mimosa’s, and bloody caesar’s, coffee, croissant’s, a wonderful fruit salad and then the star of the show, the souffle would make it’s appearance! Everyone would “ooh” and” ahh” and then tuck into their plates full of food, laughter and good conversation would ensue and maybe a black capped chickadee would momentarily land on my shoulder just to say hello. No wait, that’s a Disney movie. Ah well, I continue to dream of this event and someday I will make it happen, chickadee or not.
I never even attempted to make a souffle until I was well into my forties, I mean why bother? Every television show you ever saw where some poor schmuck made a souffle, it fell! Why go to all the care and effort for such disappointing results? Because they are scrumptious, that’s why! And, as it turns out they are not hard to make at all, just a little organization and you’re on your way to your own oohing and ahhing. Oh, and I’ve made quite a few of these in the last ten years and I’ve never had one fall. I should knock wood now.
There are many different types of souffle’s but today I made one with bacon and cheddar cheese, here’s how it went:
Bacon and Cheddar Souffle – serves 2-3
Preheat oven to 400F
6 slices of bacon, cooked crisp, drained and crumbled
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
butter for souffle dish
1/4 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1/2 small onion finely chopped
3/4 cup milk, warmed
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of dry yellow mustard powder
Separate eggs, whites in to large bowl, yolks into a measuring cup (you will have 1 extra yolk, save it for something else or toss away)
Grate cheddar cheese, set aside
Butter a 7 or 8 inch round souffle dish and dust the bottom and sides with grated 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
In a sauce pan on med. heat, melt 2 tbsp. butter, add onion and cook until soft but not coloured, add flour and cook for another minute. Whisk in milk a little at a time, for a smooth sauce. Add salt, pepper and mustard powder. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese until melted and incorporated. Whisk in egg yolks one at a time working quickly so they don’t curdle, set aside. With a large wire whisk beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks, you can also use an electric mixer if you prefer, but I like the work-out. Mix one big spoonful of egg whites in with your cheddar cheese mixture to lighten it up, then very carefully pour the cheddar cheese mixture into the egg whites and gently fold them together by using a spatula and cutting into the centre of the mixture and bringing it up along the side of the bowl, continue to do this until fairly well incorporated, some white streaks are fine, keep as much air in the batter as you can. Pour into buttered and parmesaned souffle dish. Bake for 30 minutes, do not open the oven door! Serve and make yummy noises.