I did it….after months of wanting to try to make a souffle, but admittedly being quite intimidated to do so, I finally got up the nerve and created my first souffle ever….and it worked ….and it was so good.
Maybe it was that I had been in the house entirely too much due to the arctic blast of 2011 last week, or that we had a crazy Thursday the night before at a blow out Super Bowl party, but something gave me the nerve to finally give the daunting souffle a try. And, since it was just the two of us if it didn’t work we could easily have chips and salsa and a salad….
We opened a bottle of Annika Syrah to pair with our cheesy, fluffy souffle. In 2009 Annika Sorenstan, renowned golfer and business woman, partnered with Karl Wente of Livermore’s Wente Vineyards, to create a label bearing her name. Using grapes from Livermore, California the duo has created a smokey, chewy Syrah/Cabernet blend filled with black fruit, spice and herbal aromas followed by coffee, plum and chocolate flavors. A big wine that we allowed to breathe for about an hour and a half before we drank it, softening out some of the big fruit flavors and allowing some of the herbal, spice notes to really come out when pairing with the flavors in the souffle.
Cheese and Herb Soufflé
One note, I just used 4 eggs in our souffle so the mixture didn’t quite come to the top of the souffle dish, so when it did puff it only puffed slightly over the top of the dish. Using an additional egg, with additional butter/milk/flour will likely make the souffle mix hit the top of the dish before baking, and allowing it to puff over the top when baked. Either way it was delicious. The addition of tarragon happened at the last minute and I am so glad I added it as it made the souffle. The flavor was amazing – nutty and toasty with a hint of licorice; and the texture was so light and fluffy! I was a bit nervous so I did spend the last 15 minutes of baking time watching it rise through the oven door….which though it was very cool to see, was a bit neurotic.
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons flour
3 + 1 tablespoons butter
8 0z guyere cheese – shredded
2 + 1 oz parmesan cheese – grated
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
2 teaspoons salt and pepper each
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare your souffle dish – liberally grease the dish with 1 tablespoon butter and dust the inside with 1 ounce grated parmesan cheese. Set aside on a baking dish. Separate eggs, placing yolks in a dish and whites in a mixing bowl. Pour milk into a small saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat. In a large saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour briskly to make a roux, keep whisking to cook flour a bit and ensure there are no lumps. When the milk is heated whisk in milk to make a white sauce, again avoiding any lumps, and cook for about 2 minutes. Turn heat off. Add cheese and herbs and stir together well. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside. Either by hand or with an electric mixer begin whisking egg whites until they are just set. Slowly begin folding the yolk mixture with the egg whites. Don’t beat them together, slowly fold them together to ensure that the whites don’t deflate, but the mixture is mixed through. Pour the mixture into the souffle dish and place in the pre-heated oven. immediately lower the temperature to 375-380 (our oven is a little tricky so I put it on 380, ideally a perfect 375 is good.) Bake for 30-37 minutes. Again our oven is a little tricky so ours was perfect at 37 minutes. Slowly remove and serve immediately with a green salad.
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