Delicious, easy and will rise to any occasion!
Roquefort Cheese Soufflé
This is such a classic recipe to master. It seems so complicated, when in fact, it really isn't. I use Roquefort cheese, which is of the blue cheese families or "parsleyed cheeses" (see Cheese 101:How Cheesy). The first soufflé dates back to the early eighteenth century, when French master cook Vincent de la Chapelle, became known for his fluffy, puffy, egg based dishes. Soufflé is to blow or "puff" in French, hence the puffed effect, which defines the dish. The principal is the same for all savory soufflés: a béchamel sauce, made of equal parts butter/flour and milk to which egg yolks are added, any of the secondary ingredients and in finale, the beaten egg whites. The air pockets of the beaten egg whites added to the Béchamel base sauce, causes the soufflé to rise when heated in the oven.
In this version, the sharp taste of the Roquefort Cheese really imparts a distinct flavor, as it is the main player in this dish. Even if you are not a Blue Cheese fan, you probably won't be able to identify the taste so easily once served. By the way, the blue veins which define this cheese is a mold addition or Penicillium Roqueforti as it is officially called.
Serves 6 people.
For the Béchamel Sauce
2 oz butter
2 oz flour
2 cups cold milk
Salt (6 pinches) & Pepper (to taste)
Fresh Nutmeg (to taste)
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, slowly melt the butter. Add flour little by little, stirring constantly. Let it cook a few minutes without changing color. It should remain light yellow. Add cold milk little by little, using a whisk, making sure to mix thoroughly. Once the 2 cups of milk are added and the sauce seems thick, it should reach boiling point but not over cook, in which case it will liquify. The test to find out if it is ready: lift a spoon out of the sauce and run your finger across the back of the spoon. The line should stay clear. Add salt (6 pinches) and pepper to taste. Finely grate the nutmeg into the finished sauce. Don't overdo the nutmeg, it should be subtle.
The Roquefort and Egg Yolks
4 oz Roquefort cheese
4 egg yolks
Soften the cheese in a small bowl with a fork. Add to the hot bechamel sauce. Stir in thoroughly. When the sauce has cooled a bit, add the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring each yolk in well.
6 egg whites - room temperature
Beat egg whites until frothy but firm. Do not over beat them or the soufflé will not rise well. Add just a bit of beaten egg whites to the cooled bechamel sauce, bit by bit, with circling and lifting motions, very gently to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
Once finished, ladle 2/3 of the mixture in little "ramequins" or individual dishes. It should be enough for 6 medium sized dishes.
Heat oven to 430°F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the dishes you use. Watch carefully, when the soufflés have risen, take them out of the oven and serve immediately.
Make sure to watch the video and contact me, if you run into any problems?