Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Richie and the Cheese Souffle

For the record: I've never made one; I've never eaten one. Souffles are just too iffy. Thus, when Richie announced that he was going to make a cheese souffle for dinner the next night, I feared for him. Calmly, I said, "That's nice" and turned the page in my book.
He got the recipe from a book by Jacques Pepin, his new hero. It's from "The Apprentice, My Life in the Kitchen."
Pepin writes that when his mother, age 17, married his father, age 22, she could cook bsic dishes but that was about all. But his father loved cheese souffles, so she asked around, got a recipe and made one. No one had bothered to tell her to separate the eggs, but -- the souffle rose beautifully and has been a family favorite ever since.
MAMAN'S CHEESE SOUFFLE (Richie halved the recipe)
6 T sweet butter plus butter to grease the gratin dish.
6 T all-purpose flour
2 cups cold milk
1/2 teas. ground black pepper
5 extra-large eggs (Richie used two)
2 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
3 T minced chives - he used green onions
Preheat the oven to 400. Butter your dish and set it aside.
Melt the butter, add the flour and whisk well. Cook for 10 seconds and then add the milk, whisking until it comes to a full boil. (It will get very thick; that's okay) Add the pepper and let it cool.
Break the eggs into a bowl and beat. Add the eggs, cheese and chives to the sauce and mix well.
Pour it into the buttered gratin dish and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until it's puffy and brown on top.

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