Sunday, October 24, 2010
Double-Baked Zucchini Soufflés
I'm feeling a little under the weather today - achy, a bit of a sore throat, and a stuffy nose. Not bad enough to make me want to lie around all day, just a bit frail and wanting to be pampered. Souffles are good comfort food, with their light fluffy interiors and cheesy goodness, just perfect for making me feel better mentally, if not physically.
This recipe is based on one from Laura Calder's French Food at Home. I think Laura Calder is my favourite cooking show host. She sashays around the kitchen in her pretty dresses and makes everything she cooks look simultaneously simple and marvelous.
A double-baked soufflé is a way to salvage a soufflé that may have fallen. But even if it rises perfectly high and golden the way these did today, a little extra cream and cheese makes them even more wonderful.
Double-baked Zucchini Soufflés
1 cup milk
1 bay leaf
3 Tablespoons butter
5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs, separated
1 cup pureed cooked zucchini (you could use leftovers, but I simmered one in a little water with two cloves of garlic, peeled, then drained the water off and mashed the zucchini - it wasn't perfectly smooth)
1 cup grated Havarti cheese
salt and pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 6 - 3/4 cup ramekins and dust with flour. Bring the milk to a simmer with the bay leaf. Let sit to infuse for 10 minutes or so.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, whisk in the flour and cook, while whisking for 1 minute. Remove the bay leaf from the milk and add the milk to the mixture, whisking until smooth over medium heat until it's thick. It won't take long because of the heated milk.
Whisk the egg yolks together and add a bit of the flour-milk mixture to it, then pour the two mixtures together and whisk until smooth. Add the zucchini and cheese and stir together. Season with salt and pepper. You'll want it quite highly seasoned.
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold them into the vegetable mixture. Fill the ramekins. Set in a baking dish and carefully pour around boiling water to come 2/3 up the sides. Bake until puffed up and golden brown on top. The center will still be slightly soft. It should take about 15 - 20 minutes.
Remove the soufflés from the water. Let cool for a few minutes. They will fall slightly. Gently remove them from the ramekins and place, golden side up, in a baking dish. Pour the cream gently around the soufflés, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
This can be done ahead and when ready to serve, place in a hot oven (400 F) until the cream is bubbly and the soufflés are hot.