A Cheese Souffle

Cheese SouffleYou might not think of a Cheese Souffle as a 30-minute after work dinner, but after you've made a couple, you might think differently.

The tricks to making a perfect cheese souffle are described on the souffle page.  As for making a dinner of it, it helps to first get inspired by thinking of a nice wine to enjoy with the dinner. We like a light, structured red like  a good Chianti Classico or a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Eggs can be rough on wines, but the cheese helps, the side dishes do their part, and the wine is not completely powerless in this negotiation.

The dinner show here was ample for two and was made in about 40 minutes.

  • Steamed cauliflower with a smoked blue cheese sauce (a little extra white sauce with Rogue River Smoked Blue Cheese from Whole Foods)
  • Sauteed Summer Squash from the farmers market, with butter and the tiniest pinch of thyme from the garden
  • The souffle - this needs a little coaching:

The time-consuming part of making a souffle is the white sauce. But you can make a double or triple batch of white sauce the next time you need some, and store the rest. Take it out of the fridge and open it up the minute you get home to take the chill off. Better yet, call your spouse/SO and have the white sauce and 4 eggs out of the fridge before you ever walk in the door. Maybe have the wine opened too, depending on the level of trust in the relationship...

All you do with the souffle is whip the egg whites, and put them in a bowl, butter and crumb a souffle dish, heat the white sauce with some cheese and add the yolks, then fold the whites into the white-yolk mixture. then put it in the oven for half an hour.

Straightaway you put the cauliflower on to steam for 20 minutes  while you take off your shoes, kiss your SO, and get started on the wine. The summer squash is trivial.   

So yeah, you kind of have to jump to it to make it quick, but if you do it right, it's really easy and it's definitely worth it.