A cheese soufflé is a comfort food, perfect in the cold weather we’ve had in New Orleans lately. What’s more, the ingredients are probably in your refrigerator—milk, butter, sharp cheese, bread, and eggs—so you don’t need to venture out to the store.
The word soufflé means breath, so named because it depends on the air in beaten egg whites to rise. It has a reputation for being difficult, which explains why the cheese manager at Whole Foods who recommended an aged cheddar for this dish, was impressed. “Wow, you’re making your grandmother’s soufflé? That’s really something.”
The one rule to remember is that eggs should be at room temperature when you begin working with them.
If the soufflé doesn’t rise quite as much as you’d hoped or falls before your guests get to the table, it will still taste delicious.
Serves two as a main dish, four as a side dish
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup milk
2 cups bread crumbs, grated fine
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
STEP BY STEP:
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a six-inch soufflé dish.
2) Warm butter and milk in a saucepan until butter melts. Add cheese and stir until cheese melts. Add bread crumbs and mix well.
3) Remove from heat and transfer to mixing bowl. Cool to room temperature.
4) Separate eggs. In one bowl, mix egg yolks, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper together. Add this to cheese mixture. Stir well.
5) Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold into cheese mixture and transfer to greased dish.
6) Bake for approximately 30 minutes until brown on top. Serve immediately.