There are a couple of things that my employees do for me that may not have been listed in the employee manual. One is that they have to be able to read my mind. I have a bad habit of not finishing my sentences, or starting in the middle of a thought. Thankfully, I have a wonderful crew who just go with the flow and figure out what it is that I really mean, not necessarily what I say.
Another job skill not listed in the manual is posing for my photo manipulation hobby. When the store is slow, you might find someone pretending to lean on a giant muffin or perched on a ladder. I wonder if OSHA has any regulations against balancing my employees on a ladder. I should probably look that up.
These people are also very tolerant of me saying, “here, grate some cheese for me!” then I snap a bunch of pictures while they smile and grate…and grate…and grate. This week’s recipe is soufflé so we needed plenty of grated cheese.
We love the light airiness of the soufflé with it’s rich cheese flavor. I started out using a wonderful recipe from my hero, Alton Brown, but over time I adapted it. I especially wanted cheesier flavor, so I bumped up the cheese from one kind to three. If you like a subtle cheese flavor, then you can cut it back to 6 ounces, but with cheese, more is definitely better.
Please note: My oven at the store is a professional convection oven. No matter what I did, I couldn’t achieve the same lift on my soufflé that my oven at home does. Your soufflé will look a lot nicer than mine!
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
a pinch of salt
Dash of hot pepper sauce
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded Maasdammer (or substitute Swiss cheese)
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded Cheddar
1 ounce (1/4 cup) shredded Aged Gouda
5 room temperature eggs, separated
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1-2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
Brush butter in ramekins or soufflé mold (I use 4 ounce ramekins for single serve dishes or 16 ounce soufflé molds for family style meals). Add the bread crumbs to the ramekins and roll around so the butter and crumbs go up the sides. Place in the refrigerator.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour until smooth; cook one minute. Gradually whisk in the milk, dry mustard, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened. Reduce heat to medium-low; stir in cheeses until melted. Transfer to a large bowl.
Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks until light colored and a creamy consistency. Temper the yolks into the milk mixture, constantly whisking.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites with cream of tartar on high speed until stiff but not dry. Using 1/3 of the egg whites at a time, very gently fold the egg whites into the milk mixture.
Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and fill to ½ inch of the top. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Serve immediately.