Soufflé Perfection…

Greetings Gentle Readers!

Is your life as hectic as mine is. Do you drag in from work at the end of the day with waning energy and do you then open a can of nothingness and make something less than satisfying for dinner? On the other hand, perhaps you stop at Mickey D’s and let them prepare your dinner? Or, do you take a page from my book and pour yourself a bowl of cereal because that is all the energy you can muster?

Well, stop the presses; I have an answer for the Work Day Cooking Blues!

I found this recipe at The Red Spoon Blog, and I must confess – I believe I have perfected her already perfect recipe!

Simple ingredients that you probably have in your refrigerator, with one or two exceptions and with a couple of additions to your weekly grocery list, you will be all set. The best part…you can reheat the soufflé in the microwave! Yes, I indeed said, reheat in the microwave, I kid you not! Add a fresh salad, a slice of crusty bread, and a nice glass of white wine and – voila! A good and healthy dinner for you, just what one needs to pamper one’s self at the end of a long day!

I can hear the collective groans out there, Gentle Reader – but trust me, making a soufflé is easy! If you can separate eggs, you can make an amazing soufflé!

Therefore, without further adieu – I give you my “go to” soufflé recipe…

Chèvre, Mushroom, and Shallot Soufflé

  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 C Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 Tbsp unbleached flour
  • 3/4 C Milk
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves – lightly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 – 8 oz containers of mushrooms – sliced, I like baby bella’s and oyster’s – however white buttons work just fine
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 5 large eggs – separated
  • 8 oz chèvre cheese – room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Pre-heat the oven to 375° and while oven is heating, brush the inside of 6 – 8 oz ramekins with 2 Tbsp of melted butter. Coat the buttered ramekins with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, making sure to cover the entire buttered surface. Set coated ramekins on a baking dish and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp butter. Once melted, add the shallots and sauté a few minutes. Add the mushrooms, the salt, and pepper. Continue to sauté until nicely browned and soft – about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the thyme leaves, stir, and remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add the chèvre cheese and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the last 2 Tbsp of butter and melt. When melted, whisk in the flour and cook one minute – it will be thick and clumpy, but that is okay. Whisk in the milk and cook until the mixture is very thick and smooth – it will almost look like paste. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks until they are well incorporated. Add the cayenne pepper and mix well. Add to the mushroom, shallot, Chèvre mixture and mix well, incorporating the chèvre well into the mixture.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer – beat the egg whites and the cream of tartar together on medium speed until frothy. Increase speed to high and beat until firm peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the mushroom mixture – keep adding egg whites until all have been incorporated to the soufflé base – the mixture will be light and fluffy.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins – filling each to 1/2″ below the rim. A helpful hint that really seems to work – run your thumb around the inside of the filled ramekin seems to help the soufflé rise evenly during cooking. Sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the tops and bake in the bottom 1/3 of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes – or until puffed and nicely golden brown.

I store the uneaten ramekins in the refrigerator, covering them after they have cooled with wrap. To re-heat, I loosen the wrap and microwave it for a minute. It is truly delicious re-heated and still quite fluffy!

Therefore, Gentle Reader, release your inner French chef and treat yourself to an easy and delicious meal.

Enjoy!

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