Monday, February 9, 2009

Vegetable Cheese Souffle

To find a recipe that I know I want to make, but don’t have the recipe for, I can go through a number of different steps to finally arrive at the one I settle on.

Take for example, my process to find a soufflé recipe that I want to make. I’ve been thinking about making soufflé for a couple of months. I made one about 15 years ago when I was a young whipper snapper and just loved baking. We had all these Woman’s Weekly cookbooks and it was usually the picture that sold me. Now, with the internet, finding a recipe can go something like this:
  • Think that it would be interesting to make soufflé again.
  • Forget about it for several months and make easier stuff instead.
  • Watch Top Chef and see a soufflé is one of the challenges and think it’s time to investigate making a soufflé again.
  • Think that it would be nice to have vegetables in my soufflé. Oh and definitely cheese.
  • Get onto Google and search for recipes first, then almost immediately go to Google images (it’s all about how the food looks...) and look for an image that looks like the recipe worked out then go that page.
  • If it looks too hard (I think I’ll pass on making the 20 cheese soufflé) or I don't have the ingredients easily on hand - or that I would at least use again - pass on it. If it looks like I have to convert too many of the measurements, I’ll consider the rest of the recipe before deciding if it’s worth the time.
  • Smultaneously, I’ll jump on any combination of Tastespotting, Foodgawker or and search for Souffle. Repeat process until I’ve tracked down a recipe, then I’ll bookmark it and then return to it once I’m ready to go shopping.

I finally found this Vegetable Cheese Souffle recipe through Google after quite a research session but it was just right as it had mushrooms, brocolli and capsicums which I thought would be a nice combination. And just as important, it looked really simple to make. Interestingly enough, the end step is that you add icing sugar to the souffle! I decided I'd omit this step but if anyone decides to try it, let me know how it tastes!

It's not really a quick recipe that you could whip up after work as it had a few steps to complete. Also my souffle probably didn't rise as much as it could have as the top started browning too quickly so I took them out before they burnt which left them a tad too soft inside. It was nice and tasty but not something I'd make every week, just when I have a craving for vegetable cheese souffle again :)

Vegetable Cheese Souffle
From Qwerty Kitchen

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup milk
225 grams grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 egg yolks
6-8 sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons diced red bell peppers
1/2 cup diced broccoli or asparagus tips
2 teaspoons olive oil
6 egg whites
Icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 230C

2. To Make Roux: Melt butter, then blend in flour, salt, and cayenne pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat. Add cheese, and stir until melted.
3. Beat egg yolks in a separate bowl until thick and lemon colored. Slowly add to cheese mixture, stirring constantly. Reserve, cover and keep warm.
4. Saute mushrooms, red peppers, and broccoli or asparagus tips in olive oil, and reserve.
Beat egg whites to stiff peaks.
5. In a mixing bowl, add 2 cups roux to vegetables and fold in egg whites.
6. Pour into an ungreased souffle dish.
7. Bake in a hot water bath for 15-20 minutes or until top is slightly brown.
8. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve immediately.

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