Monday, April 23, 2007

Pantry Cooking

Hhhm, what to cook for dinner, since I haven't made it to the grocery store?

What's in the cupboard? Eggs. Cheese. Milk. And a secret ingredient that makes so many things taste better. Shhh . . . it's anchovies. Even if you don't like them (like me), they add an amazing depth of flavor to tomato sauces and souffles. They simply melt in and lose their anchovy taste.
I had some cheddar cheese that wasn't sharp enough for my tastes, so I decided to use it up in a souffle, and jazzed it up with some of those little fishies. I must say, the smell of this little golden marvel filled the house and wafted outdoors, much to the delight of Master Chow when he came home. "What is that?" he inquired. He soon found out. Just add a nice salad, and enjoy!

Cheese Souffle
Adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Butter, room temperature, to grease souffle dish
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 anchovy filets, packed in olive oil, minced
  • 1 1/3 cups milk, hot
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 5 egg whites plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

    Grease an 8-inch souffle mold with the room temperature butter. Add the grated Parmesan and roll around the mold to cover the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the freezer for 5 minutes.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

    In a medium bowl combine the flour, dry mustard, garlic powder, and kosher salt. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the butter. When the butter has stopped foaming, turn down the heat and add the anchovies, stirring them in. Whisk the flour mixture into the melted butter and anchovy mixture. Cook for 2 minutes. Monitor the heat because you don't want this to burn, or you will have a rather nasty mess on your hands.

    Whisk in the hot milk and turn the heat to high. Once the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks to a creamy consistency. Temper the yolks into the milk mixture, constantly whisking. Remove from the heat and add the cheese. Whisk until incorporated. In a separate bowl, using a stand or hand mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until glossy and firm. Start by whipping the whites on a low speed until they start to foam, and then increase the speed. Be careful - if you overbeat the whites, they will be unusable.

    Add 1/4 of the egg white mixture to the cheese base. Continue to add the whites by thirds, folding very gently. Pour the mixture into the souffle. Fill the souffle to 1/2-inch from the top. If you like, run a damp finger along the inside of the rim to give the souffle a "hat-like" appearance.

    Place on an aluminum pie pan. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes.


Anonymous Chris said...

This looks great! I make a baked omelet, but it is nothing like the airiness your souffle radiates. Yum!

April 23, 2007 9:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your souffle looks so nice and tasty. I love anchovies. I've looked over and over, just to make sure that I'm not going blind, and I can't find at what point you add in the anchovies. BTW, love your blog. -lance

April 24, 2007 5:18 PM  
Blogger Madam Chow said...

Oops! Thanks for pointing that out, Lance. I've corrected the post.

April 24, 2007 8:29 PM  
Anonymous rowena said...

The beginning of this post had me in such suspense that when I read the "Shhh" part, I thought it was going to refer to the fact that this is a souffle recipe, so better be quiet so as not to make the thing fall!!

I'm so gullible like that, and uhm, did you say anchovies? I loooove anchovies!

April 25, 2007 4:11 PM  

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