Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Gruyère and Parmesan Soufflés

I almost ate two! (shared the second one with my dad)
half-eaten deliciousness
I recently went home (again!) to play at a fundraiser in Houston. The fundraiser was for an organization called Musiqa. They promote new music and new composers and it was such an honor to play for a benefit to help them raise money. 

Of course, I do most of my best cooking when I'm home in Houston, due to the much larger and better stocked kitchen that is a part of my parents' home. I've been really craving cheesy soufflés as of late, but don't own the ramekins to cook them in, so going home was the perfect opportunity to try out a new soufflé recipe.
ramekins lined with parmesan...yum!

 I always hate directions for whipping egg whites. Stiff peaks, medium peaks, small peaks...it is so easy to go wrong and over-whip or under-whip. I'm almost too scared to try whipping the egg whites. This time around, my mom did the whipping part. This recipe called for medium peaks, and judging by how fluffy and light our soufflés were, I think my mom whipped the egg whites just right.
medium peaks

 The business of folding egg whites into other mixtures is also tricky. The whipped egg whites are so delicate and have to be folded in and handled incredibly carefully.

I love going home and being able to eat by the pool!
 Along with our soufflés we had salad and fresh watermelon. It was a perfectly light and lovely dinner. The beautiful Houston spring weather definitely helped!
my whole meal

Gruyère and Parmesan Soufflés
recipe from Cooking Light Magazine

2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
8 teaspoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 oz cave aged Gruyère cheese, shredded
2 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Coat each of the 4 soufflé dishes evenly with 1/2 teaspoon of butter. Then, sprinkle each dish with 2 teaspoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Tilt the dishes so that the cheese evenly covers the sides and the bottom.
Combine the flour, red pepper, nutmeg, and black pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add the milk and wine, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Cook for four minutes, or until the mixture is thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add salt and gruyère cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Spoon this mixture into a large bowl, let stand for 5 minutes, and then stir in the egg yolks.
Place the egg whites in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at high speed until medium peaks form. Gently stir 1/4 of egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Carefully spoon this mixture into the prepared dishes.
Place the dishes on a baking sheet and place them in the oven. Immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Bake the soufflés at 375 degrees for 17 minutes, or until they are puffed up and golden.
Serve and enjoy!

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