Monday, June 2, 2008

Cheese souffle

I made a souffle! All by myself, I made a souffle! I feel like I just climbed Everest, except a lot less exhausted.

First of all, souffles are french. French cooking is a category that scares me entirely. Crepes are about all I can handle, and that's only because I try to convince myself that they're just really skinny pancakes. Everything else just seems impossibly complicated or difficult.

And souffles aren't just french -- they're souffles. Magical cooking. They deflate if you so much as think a doubtful thought towards them. The slightest whiff of air causes them to collapse. They actively resist your best efforts to bring them into this world!

Okay. So maybe none of that is true. But it sure felt like it... and I managed to make one anyway!

Now, I don't believe that I've ever in my life eaten a souffle. If I have, I've forgotten. So I don't really know what they're supposed to look or taste like... frankly, I didn't even know what they were, except prone to collapsing. All the same, mine tasted good and had lots of air in it. That's the goal, right?


I followed a recipe from Orangette in her column in Bon Appetit. Unfortunately, in the online version you don't get the rest of her column, which in a very comforting tone told me that it really would be okay. Souffles are easy to make! They won't collapse unless you're mean to them! Just don't open the oven door and everything will be okay.

So I took a deep breath and put my faith in Orangette. And even though I have no souffle dish, and even though I had no whole milk, and even though the recipe involved folding egg whites and I'm kind of rotten at that, I gave it a shot.

And I think it turned out okay. It was a little gooey in the center, but not omg-we're-gonna-die-of-salmonella gooey. Okay, so it was too gooey in the middle. I think. I don't know. I think it should have been less gooey -- but no matter. It was a souffle! I was so proud of myself. I'm still really proud of myself. I'm embarrassed that I'm this proud of myself.

In case you can't tell, I baked my souffle in a straight-sided saucepan with the handle broken off. I didn't break off the handle just for the souffle, though. The handle broke ALL BY ITSELF while I was holding it a month or two ago. As I put the pot away, I thought to myself, "Why am I saving this? I should just throw it out! A handle-less saucepan is no good to me!"

And the packrat in me wins again!

1 comment:

andrew david said...

I like how everything french has its own pan, and by that I mean, I do not like it. There is something called a crepe pan too, and you can't cook it without making clarified butter apparently, which just makes things take a long time. I was reading a crepe recipe and it said to pull out my crepe pan and I was thinking, how much cupboard space do they think I have to have a pan I will only use 3 times a year?