Sunday, November 14, 2010

watercress and chive souffle

Do you feel as though you learn something new every day? I often look for something new and try to pick up a new word, or try a new thing at work, or a new idea through my cooking. Joining a few blogging events groups has helped me learn new things in the kitchen. Thinking back, I was really pleased to learn how to make different nut butters, sweet potato falafel, and tiramisu through the Daring Cooks and Daring Bakers. And souffle is surely a challenging new thing, so I was thrilled when Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge!

As it turns out, souffle is not that hard to make. It does deflate quickly after baking, but getting it tall and fluffy in the first place was not too difficult. So the toughest part of this month's challenge was photographing it quickly!

Watercress and Chive Souffle
adapted from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen
serves 3

1 T butter, plus more for greasing the ramekins
1/4 c (45 g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling in the ramekins
5 t plain flour
1/2 c (125 ml) milk
1/2 c (about 25 g) chopped watercress leaves
2 chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 eggs, separated
1/2 t lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
Use some butter to grease the ramekins thoroughly, including the rims. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese inside and shake out any excess. Place the ramekins in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
Melt the 1 T butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until combined and cook for about 1 minute. Add the milk gradually, whisking to make a smooth sauce. Allow to cook for a minute until the sauce is thickened.
Remove from the heat and add the 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, watercress, chives, salt, and pepper.

Fill another saucepan with water and bring just to a simmer. Place the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl and place over the saucepan. Whisk constantly, not allowing the water below to boil so the egg yolks don't cook. Heat for 4-6 minutes until the yolks are lighter in colour and creamy.
Remove from the heat and add to the watercress mixture.

Put the egg whites in clean bowl with the lemon juice and peak until glossy, stiff peaks form.
Add to the watercress mixture in three stages, folding gently to combine without losing too much air.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared ramekins and place on a baking tray.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or up to 40 minutes if you are using (a) larger ramekin(s). The souffle should be golden and puffed up.
Serve immediately.


Eat4Fun said...

Your souffle looks delicious!
I made a chocolate souffle which reminded me of an angel food cake. I think I'll try a savory souffle next, maybe a classic cheese souffle, but as it stands right now I don't know if souffles will become standard fare for me.

Anonymous said...

Are those little canning jars? Great idea.

Nora said...

What a wonderful couple of flavours for a souffle - I bet they went really well with the cheese. Yum! And they look just beautiful, so well risen and fluffy.

Mary said...

Your souffles are beautiful! I agree about the photography, which is why I resorted to oven pictures. I am now heading to your lightbox tutorial, as I badly need something now that the light is disappearing in Ottawa for the winter!

Sarah said...

Eat4Fun, your chocolate souffle sounds like a winner. I think I'll try lemon next. But I don't know if souffles will become "regular" fare, though I do plan to make more.

Climbhighak, actually they are small ramekins that are from a store-bought dessert. I don't actually own any real ramekins. I made the two small ones you see in the pictures, and just put the rest of the souffle in a small baking dish (which wasn't so photogenic!).

Nora, thanks! And I've recently enjoyed your Asian recipes. What will you cook next from the Jaffrey book? another friend mentioned it recently and now I'm intrigued.

Mary, let me know if you try the lightbox. It's revolutionised my blog photography.

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

Never tried souffles, I don't think I've either eaten them or cooked them. I suspect I haven't lived!

Sarah said...

Sarah, I've only had savoury ones so far. I am toying with the idea of trying a lemon one next. But the watercress one I made here tasted a bit like quiche, and I'm concerned that lemon quiche might be a bit odd. :)

azélias kitchen said...

Sarah - I like making souffles, I do not know why people think they're so difficult as I've never had a bad experience....ah shouldn't have said that...I'm going to pay for it now aren't I?

Yes you're right they don't look at their best for long, certainly not for posing.

azélias kitchen said... the way Sarah...just re-read my last comment and realised it sounded like I was implying your souffles didn't look good! Yikes! which is not at all what I meant! must read back my own comments more! :-)

Sarah said...

Azelia, thanks again for visiting. Don't worry, I didn't think you were criticising. It's just a fact that souffles deflate fast--you can see the difference between my first picture and the second. What kind of souffles have you been making?

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