Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Cheese, onion and tomato soufflé, right out of the oven!
I hadn't been to the store for a few days, our food supplies were getting low, and dinner time was fast approaching.  So I scouted around the kitchen a bit to see what we had on hand.

Eggs, check.
Cheese, check.
Part of an onion, a few tomatoes, check.

Hmmm... Hey, what about a soufflé?  I made one once, like 30 years ago, so I ought to be able to pull it off.

I went online and found a cheese soufflé recipe from the redoubtable Alton Brown at:

Well, I just had to try it; but I also had to make some alterations, not least because I was trying to use up that onion and those tomatoes!

Not only that, but Alton Brown's recipe calls for 4 egg yolks and 5 egg whites.  What the heck?

I don't know about you, but I just get mad when I see recipes like that.  What, exactly, is one expected to do with one extra egg yolk?  Are we just expected to say "oh, well" and throw it out?  Not cool.

So without further ado, here is my modified recipe:


Butter for greasing the souffle
2 tablespoons cereal crumbs (we had no grated Parmesan on hand)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (we were out of dry mustard)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/3 cups milk, hot
5 egg yolks
1 cup grated cheese (Cheddar / Colby mix was what we had on hand)
1/2 onion, diced small
4 tomatoes, diced small
5 egg whites
Scant 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 375F.
Greased soufflé dish and dusted with cereal crumbs.  Placed it in the freezer as suggested in the Alton Brown recipe, while mixing the rest of the stuff.  I don't know what this does for it, but I will say it didn't stick at all, so maybe making it cold enhances the butter-and-crumbs treatment?
Diced  the onions and tomatoes.  Sautéed the onions with some olive oil and salt until they were clear and set them aside.

Melted the butter in a pan and stirred in the flour and dry seasonings.  Meanwhile, placed a glass measuring cup with the milk into the microwave and heated it for 2 minutes until it was piping hot.  Then poured it in all at once into the roux and whisked over heat until smooth and thick.  Turned the heat off.

Added mustard into the egg yolks, whisking until smooth; then dribbled that mixture into the milk and flour mixture while whisking.

Stirred in the cheese, onions and tomatoes.

Added the cream of tartar into the egg whites and whipped with a handheld electric beater until very stiff.

Folded the rest of the mixture into the egg whites, pouring slowly and being careful to fold but not lose volume (no vigorous stirring, please!).  Note:  instructions in Alton Brown's recipe called for folding the whites into the other mixture, but I had the whites in a nice big bowl and the other mixture already half filled the saucepan they were in, so I just tried it the other way and it worked fine.

Removed the soufflé dish from the freezer and poured the mixture into it.  It was about 1/2 inch from the top of the dish, so that was perfect.

Popped it into the oven and checked after 35 minutes.

Soufflé with kale
It rose perfectly!  And it was mighty tasty, too!  We had steamed kale drizzled with a mixture of 1 part melted butter to 2 parts balsamic vinegar.

It was a very nice meal, very healthy and made from just a few things we already had on hand.  I would recommend using Parmesan for dusting the soufflé, if you have it; or very fine cracker crumbs if not.  The cereal crumbs were a bit coarse.  But that did not detract from the overall goodness!

Well, until next time,