breakfast soufflé







New American Breakfast, 11th in a series. This time entirely French and adapted to suit our requirements, ingredients available to us, our equipment, our tastes, our own schedules. Thank you, France. We owe you so much, and while I'm on it, thank you for the statue too. It's lovely. Very popular.

The thing that the pictures do not show are the middle parts, because once you get going it's simply not possible to pick up the camera for every little thing. What? Do you imagine I have four hands?

* Vegetables heated in olive oil/butter, steamed with wine, cooked to soften, collapse, and release their liquid. We want them to do that now rather than when they're baked with the egg.

* Trois oeufs were used, les blancs separated from les jaunes into separate bowls. Les blancs whipped to stiff peaks bolstered with cream of tartar. Oh boy, I'm really into this now.

* A plain white sauce is prepared with a roux then tempered into the yolks. Discard the pan that cooked the sauce. The cooked vegetables are added to the yolks/sauce along with the grated cheese. The mise en place bowl is discarded, and the cheese bowl is discarded. Now we have two bowls along with the two baking bowls that are coated with butter and grated cheese.

In a good French novel, say Les Miserables for example, a lasso is cast around the principles and they're tugged together, as Hugo did so skillfully, so they finally all meet in one place. Likewise here is where the ingredients of the soufflé come together into one bowl, a portion of the whites are whipped into the yolks/sauce/vegetable/cheese mixture to lighten the contents of that bowl, the one that originally held the egg yolks, then that lightened mixture is folded back into the whipped egg whites. The messy sauce bowl is discarded to where the pan and other bowls went. Now you have one bowl with the puffy soufflé mixture and two smaller prepared baking bowls. It could have easily been one large straight-sided baking bowl. Spoon the fluffy mixture into the prepared baking bowls, discard the egg whites fluffy mixture bowl to where the other dishes went, and bake at 350℉ / 177℃ for 25 minutes or so.

I like to pretend I have a sou chef standing nearby to whom I hand off these vessels as they're used but in reality I put them in the sink and that's not nearly as romantic.

The baking dishes were prepared with butter and grated cheese as a first step. Doing that allows the egg mixture to rise up the walls as it bakes and it creates a wonderfully crispy cheese coating. To omit that step would be tragic. Look, we're pretending to be French over here today -- a bit of melodrama can be expected.

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