Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Prosciutto and Gouda Soufflés

I was inspired to try something new when Bunker came home late last Thursday night from the airport after a long week of work. He is a consultant and travels most weeks, all week, and works incredibly hard. He called when he landed at DFW and sounded just exhausted. He said he was rather hungry and craving something comforting but light. Poor Bunker! I just wanted him to come home and relax and not have to think about anything for a bit! I actually did not expect him to want dinner as he did not land until 9 pm, so I had not been grocery shopping and our fridge was embarrassingly bare.

I hung up the phone and the clock started ticking! I had about 40 minutes to whip up something tasty and fresh (it takes 40 minutes to get home from the airport). I was not sure what to make...I did not have a ton of things in the fridge...but I had a ton of eggs, milk that was about to go bad, and Prosciutto and Gouda left over from appetizers last weekend. So I decided to try my hand at soufflés! I decided that if it failed, I could use the rest of the eggs to make an omelet. I am delighted to report that I was actually successful with the soufflés, and Bunker loved the fresh and rather impromptu dinner at home.

This is the gazebo at one of our neighborhood parks. I thought it looked just beautiful with all of the flags up for September 11th...a day that I know we will never forget. 

This recipe is from Food and Wine, but I changed a few things due to my bare fridge. It is an easy recipe to follow, and the results were really phenomenal! But true form, the soufflés fell rather quickly, so bake them right before you want to serve them so they a presented in all their puffy glory!

PS: As I write this post...it is 105 degrees outside. Broke the record...70 days over 100 this summer.

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4 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 teaspoons of salt
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
8 slices of prosciutto, cut into smaller pieces
6 large eggs, separated
5 ounces of shredded Gouda
1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and gather your ingredients.

2. Spray four to six ramekins with a non-stick spray and coat with half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

3. In a saucepan, melt the four tablespoons of butter.

4. Add all of the flour to the butter, whisk and cook over moderate heat for about 1 minute. 

5. Whisk the milk into the butter and flour mixture over moderate-low heat for about 2 minutes, until smooth and thick.

6. Add the salt and cayenne to the mixture.

7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and in the egg yolks, stirring quickly to combine.

8. Stir in the Gouda and prosciutto. Set aside.

9. In your electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar until you get firm white peaks. To ensure firm peaks, make sure that you get as much of the egg yolk separated as possible and make sure that your equipment is dry and clean.

10. Carefully fold the egg whites into the soufflé base until the mixtures are fully combined.

11. Spoon the mixture into each ramekin to about 1/2 an inch below the rim.

12. Sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano onto the tops of the soufflés. Place the ramekins on a baking dish to make it easier to remove the finished soufflés from the oven.

13. Enjoy hot out of the oven!

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