The Barefoot Blogger recipe for this Thursday is Ina Garten’s Blue Cheese Souffle. It was chosen by Summer of Sexy Apartment. You may want to visit her blog. She was just at an Ina book signing and I am happy to report that the Barefoot Contessa is aware of our little group. Yea! I made one change to the recipe. I am not a fan of blue cheese, so I just substituted an equal amount of gruyere cheese and the souffle was perfect. I served it in my favorite charlotte mold.
I remember the first time I made a souffle. My husband and I were spending the summer in Allentown, Pennsylvania because of his job. We had a second floor apartment in an old building with an antiquated kitchen. I had just taken cooking classes back home in Greensboro and was anxious to put all of my new found knowledge to the test. I cooked many things that summer in my less than stellar kitchen, but it is the souffle that stands out in my memory. I had no Kitchen Aid stand mixer to whip my egg whites and no beautiful souffle dish in which to display my triumphant billowy custard, but it was a beauty nonetheless. We sat at our 1950’s era chrome table in our vinyl chairs and dined on the most elegant dish I had ever prepared. The jug wine wasn’t bad either.
BLUE ( OR GRUYERE ) CHEESE SOUFFLE
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup scalded milk
Kosher sat and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
3 ounces good Roquefort cheese, chopped ( Or Gruyere )
5 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 40 degrees F.
Butter the insides of an 8-cup souffle dish (7 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 1/4 inches deep ) and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the cayenne and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thick.
Off the heat, while still hot whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the Roquefort or Gruyere and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, on medium speed for 1 minute, then finally on high speed until they form firm, glossy peaks.
Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into the souffle dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with the spatula to help the souffle rise evenly, and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (don’t peek!) until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.