Souffles are simple to make, but difficult to make exceptionally well. However, the beauty of a souffle need not necessarily reflect its flavor or exquisite texture, and if you don’t mind cheating a bit, you can make a fabulous souffle without any of the traditional fears.
Recipe:Serves 2 Prep: 30 minutes Bake: 20 – 25 minutes
- Egg whites, 5
- Oyster mushrooms, 1/2 package or about 4 ounces
- Shallot, 1, chopped
- Garlic, 1 clove, minced
- Butter, 5 tablespoons
- Cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon
- Pepper, nutmeg
- Flour, 1 tablespoon
- Milk, 2 cups
- Gruyere cheese, 1 cup, grated
Whip the egg whites until stiff but not quite dry.
Saute the mushrooms, shallot and garlic with 2 tablespoons butter until soft, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it melts, whisk in the flour until blended; then add the milk. Continue whisking until the milk heats through and thickens. Add the grated cheese and the mushroom mixture, whisking to blend — the cheese doesn’t need to melt all the way.
Allow the creamy-mushroom mixture to cool for about 15 minutes, or until nearly room temperature.
Butter two medium souffle dishes or about 10 small ones. If you want your souffle to rise high above the rim, use a single medium dish, but beware that souffles can be very fickle, and you may wind up with a mess in the oven. To prevent this, use two dishes — the souffles will rise up about an inch above the rim, but they will have less chance of falling and they will better retain that perfect airy texture.
Fold the creamy-mushroom mixture into the beaten egg whites, being careful to preserve as much air as possible. To fold, use a rubber spatula to scoop along the bottom of the bowl, pulling the creamy liquid up over the egg whites — very gently — until the mixture is mostly incorporated.
Pour the souffle mixture into the dishes.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until doubled in size and golden brown on top.