SOUFFLE AU FROMAGE: Cheese Souffle

 

SOUFFLE AU FROMAGE (Direct translation)

Melt a pat of fresh butter the size of an egg over a low fire; add a spoonful of flour, mix well, add half a cup of boiling milk, and stir until you get a smooth sauce.

Continue stirring until the sauce sticks to the spoon.

Remove from the fire, and add four egg yolks, incorporating them one after another, and then add the four egg whites beaten into stiff peaks.

Add 150 grams of grated Gruyère cheese, and mix into the batter.

Pour into a well-buttered oven-proof cooking dish, which is deep enough so that the batter reaches only two-thirds of its height.

Cook in an oven that is not too hot; remove when your souffle has begun to rise, after about 15 minutes.

 

Cheese Souffle (a modern version)

 3-4 Tablespoons of fresh butter

1 Tablespoon of flour

1/2 cup milk

4 eggs, separated

150 grams of grated Gruyère cheese (It turned out to be about 1 cup finely grated and lightly packed)

A pinch of salt (not mentioned in the original recipe, but it would have been better with a pinch of salt,  in my opinion)

1.  To begin, butter an oven-proof casserole dish with fairly high sides (so the souffle won’t spill out all over the oven), and pre-heat the oven to 350 F.

2.  Separate the eggs.  Keep the egg yolks whole, but beat the whites up into stiff peaks and set aside.

3.  In a pot, begin warming the milk over a low fire.  In a sauce pan, melt the butter over a low fire and add the spoonful of flour.  Mix them into a smooth sauce called a roux.

4.  When they are well mixed (no lumps!), slowly pour in the hot milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.  Continue cooking and stirring constantly until the flour cooks and the roux will thicken and stick to the spoon.

5.  Remove the sauce pan from the fire, and stir in the egg yolks, one at a time.

6.  Now carefully fold in the egg whites, and then the grated cheese.  Now pour the batter into the buttered baking dish, and pop into the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes or so (my souffle actually took more like 20 minutes to fully cook).  The souffle will rise and puff up at the top.  The recipe didn’t mention it, but I have heard that opening the oven will make the souffle fall, so I kept the oven closed and checked on it through the window.

Serve right away!

{My grandmother, Claudia Meraud, was born in Nice, France.   She immigrated to the US after meeting my grandfather while he was stationed there as a US soldier in WW II.  We spent several summers together, just the two of us, living with her sister in Nice.  She passed along to me an old French cookbook titled  title is La Cuisine:  Guide Practique De La Ménagère by R. Blondeau, Chef de Cuisine.  It originally belonged to my great-grandmother, Lucie Thomas, who was a native of St. Marie-aux-Mines in Alsace.

This cookbook was published in the 1930’s, and was written as a practical guide for a household cook before the days of the fridge and the food processor.  The recipes are delicious, practical, and (of course) packed with good traditional nutrition.

I am creating translated versions of these antique recipes, re-written for the modern cook, and tested with home-grown and seasonal food.}

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