Why is it I love to torture myself by trying recipes that I have never even tasted and many times never even seen?! I did that a lot with Jewish and Russian dishes back in the 1990s.
One day last year I decided, for some unknown reason, to do it again. I wanted to try a cheese soufflé. It probably started with Ken saying he really likes soufflés … that’s how a quarter of my culinary adventures start…like the time he mentioned quenelles. Not only had I not had them, I had no idea what they were!! Yet I went ahead and tried.
Back to the soufflé. I pulled out the Joy of Cooking, turned to page 203, and read through the recipe. Hmmm, not so difficult, from the looks of it and not too time consuming.
Now, a year later, I've made them 5 or 6 times. While the recipe is very good, the order of the things you have to prepare is not quite the way I need to do them. The one thing I have to remember is to beat the egg whites, shred the cheeses, AND THEN make the white sauce. You’d think I would remember those things…but alas, ‘tis not the case. Now I’ve written down 1, 2, and 3 in the cookbook so I remember.
Here's the best part for me though. The recipe itself calls for gruyere cheese and parmesan cheese which we both love. But the last time I made it, I found that there was no gruyere in the frig. Alors! Gasp! Ken had eaten the last few ounces for lunch the day before!
What to do…I had already started the white sauce and the eggs…see what I mean about not getting all ready first?! LOL. Anyhow, we did have some very good aged Gouda tucked away. We love aged Gouda for the flaky texture and deep nutty taste. I don’t cook with it usually as we feel it is too precious…we prefer to slice it and place it carefully on crackers and have it with a glass of my delicious home made wine.
Well, not wanting to waste the ingredients I had already started for the soufflé, I quickly scraped the aged gouda cheese on the microplane side of my shredder and put it in. I also did one other thing different. In the past when I have made soufflés I use Pam on the inside of the pan. This time I used butter (except I did use Pam on the inside of the foil collar) and dusted it with Kraft shredded parmesan cheese. But in the soufflé itself, I added freshly shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese just the way I usually do.
What a lucky mistake it was that Ken had eaten the gruyere! This was the best soufflé by far! We loved it so much we ate the entire thing!