Smoked Gouda Souffle with Chives

Few things will make my mouth water with anticipation more than the thought of a good cheese souffle. Even after Papa went through his “souffle phase” (cheese souffle every night until it was PERFECT), I still enjoyed it. The “cooking with beer phase” and the “cherry clafouti phase” did not fare so well… Souffles are notoriously fiddly, wanting cold mixing bowls of specific materials, and eggs the right temperature, and very careful mixing of ingredients or they will absolutely refuse to rise. Last year Papa found this recipe for a souffle which is practically fool-proof.

Recipe adapted from Saveur.

Ingredients:

1 oz of grated parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp pepper
pinch of ground nutmeg
4 tbsp of unsalted butter
1 1/3 c milk (higher in fat the better)
6 oz shredded smoked gouda cheese (about 1 1/2 c)
6 large eggs, separated
2 tsp minced fresh chives
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a souffle dish (2 qt) with vegetable oil and sprinkle with 2 tbsp of parmesan

Combine the flour, paprika, salt, cayenne, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl.

Heat the milk in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour mixture and cook for about a minute or until the flour smells faintly nutty and takes on a golden color. Slowly whisk in the warm milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is smooth and thickened, about a minute. Add the shredded gouda in batches, stirring continuously, until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining parmesan until melted and smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes and then whisk in the egg yolks and the chives.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip egg whites and cream of tartar on medium low speed until foamy, then increase speed to medium high and whip until stiff peaks form, 3-4 minutes. Add the cheese and egg mixture and continue to whip until fully combined, 15 seconds.

Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and bake until the top has risen above the rim, is deep golden brown, and registers 170 degrees, about 35 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  • The richness of the cheese is beautifully counterpointed with a simple green salad with vinaigrette. A glass of white wine will also cut through the fat.
  • You can use any cheese for the souffle. It’s typically made with gruyere cheese but comte, swiss, or sharp chedder work just as well. Gouda melts more stubbornly than the other cheeses which is why you leave the saucepan over the heat while stirring it in. Remove the saucepan from the heat if using a “meltier” cheese.
  • You can replace chives with any other herb you’d like – parsley, oregano, thyme…
  • Be careful not to over beat the egg white and cheese mixture. 15 seconds is really the perfect time.
  • An instant read thermometer is a great way to test for done-ness but be quick about it. The souffle is sensitive to temperature changes and will begin to collapse as soon as you open the oven.
  • Souffle reheats wonderfully in the microwave.
  • Take a picture as soon as it comes out because it will deflate rapidly!

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact Me

The Lisping What?

The Lisping What?

If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!

SHARING IS CARING!

Ham and Endive Gratin

This seems like an odd recipe to post in the middle of a brutal summer but we’ve been enjoying some unseasonable cool temperatures for a few days so I whipped out this family favorite. Belgian endives, part of the chicory family, are a cool weather vegetable so this dish was always served during cold days where the steaming hot endives, melt-y cheese, and sweet ham would warm you right up.  Finding decently sized endives (six or seven inches) has proven to be a challenge in the US so I frequently resort to buying small ones and doubling them up. Endives can be bitter so there are a few tricks for boiling them:

  • Always remove the core from the bottom; it is especially bitter.
  • Add a pinch of sugar into the boiling water.
  • Select endives with as little color as possible; the white is less bitter.

Ingredients:

8 large endives (or 16 really small ones), bottom cored
8 slices of boiled ham (no maple, no honey, no smoke… just plain boiled ham)
6 oz of swiss cheese, shredded
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375.

Place the endives in boiling water with a pinch of sugar, lower heat to simmering, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to cool to the touch.

Roll an endive (or two small ones) up inside a slice of ham; alternatively, roll the ham up and place it next to the endive in a casserole dish. Repeat with the remaining ham and endives. Season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle generously with swiss cheese and place dish in the oven on the middle rack for 30 minutes or until the cheese melts and is bubbly. Move the rack to the top and place the dish under the broiler for about two minutes to brown and crisp the cheese.

Serve and enjoy. Endives retain heat so take small bites!

Notes:

  • Reheats very nicely.
  • You can add a bechemel sauce to make it richer
  • The endives give off a lot of water so when you’re draining them, try to smoosh out as much water as possible without crushing them.
  • Don’t worry about any detached leaves; just plop them in with a whole endive.
  • The dish doesn’t need a side but if using a white sauce, a salad with a lemon vinaigrette can cut through the richness.

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact Me

The Lisping What?

The Lisping What?

If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!

SHARING IS CARING!

Your Basic Quiche

I’m always amused by people who are flabbergasted when they see me eating quiche, as if it were some exotic food that required hours of prep time and expensive ingredients. Maybe it’s the “qu”. I mean, who would name a simple egg pie using a “qu”?  A quiche is my standby when I’m lazy and don’t feel like being creative in the kitchen. It tastes great, is simple to make, and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. You can make a quiche fancy with interesting ingredients like seafood or unusual vegetables. The best part of a quiche is it’s flexibility. You can put in anything you want depending on what you’re craving. My basic is a quiche lorraine – swiss cheese, onions, and ham (or bacon). But I’ve made quiches with goat cheese and spinach, cheddar cheese with salsa, shrimp and scallops, blue cheese and chicken… the options are as endless of your imagination.

Ingredients
1 deep dish pie dough round (pre-made is fine)
3 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks
1 small container of greek yogurt
1 cup of milk
salt and pepper
Stuff (3 oz of cheese and 1 oz of meat or some variation thereof)

That, my friends, is your quiche. I love using yogurt because it gives it an extra bit of tang and gives it a richness. I use Greek yogurt because regular yogurt has too much liquid. If you don’t have yogurt, you can substitute it with a cup of cream or half-and-half. I use fat free yogurt and skim milk so that I feel less guilty about dumping in the rest of the ingredients.

Directions
Preheat your oven to 375′.  Put the pie dough in your deep dish pan and prick the bottom a few times with some fork tines. This keeps the bottom from poofing up too badly. Once the oven is preheated, put the dish in for 5-10 minutes. Not too much longer or the crust will start to shrink down the sides of the pan and you’ll have less room for your filling.

While the crust is par-baking, beat together your eggs with the yogurt and milk.  If you want a tall fluffy quiche, you can beat all your egg whites into a meringue-like stiffness and then carefully add your yolks and dairy. It’ll still taste great if you just beat all the whites and yolks together – it’ll just be flatter. If you are using cheese, grate it or crumble it into the egg/dairy mixture and mix it up.  I find that just putting the cheese in the bottom of the pan makes it kind of stay towards the bottom in a thick layer. Add a little salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

Pull your crust back out of the oven, place your other “stuff” in the bottom of the pan (if using things with a lot of water like spinach or mushrooms, make sure you’ve squeezed out as much moisture as possible before putting it in), dump the egg/dairy mixture on top, and put the pie back in the oven. Set your timer for another 45 minutes and sit back and watch your favorite TV show.

The quiche is ready when it’s golden brown on top and doesn’t jiggle in the pan. I’d recommend letting it sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving to give it a chance to cool and set. I enjoy serving mine with a simple salad with a red wine vinaigrette; the vinegar provides a nice balance with the eggy cheesey pie.  Quiche also reheats great in the microwave for the next day.

A single pie will serve four people as a main meal, quarter pie each. One hour, start to finish with minimal ingredients and no advanced culinary degrees required. Make one or two or three and impress you friends with your cheese pie spelled with a “qu”.

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact Me

The Lisping What?

The Lisping What?

If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!

Masher Cakes

If you should, by some miracle, find yourself with left-over mashed potatoes, this is a crunchy delicious way to finish them off. I’ll bet you could also make them with store-bought mashers like Yoder’s or Bob Evans.  I’ve made a similar dish frequently with Market Day’s frozen Mashed Potato Patties but this is the first time I’ve tried making my own. The crunchy breadcrumbs add a great touch; I much prefer these!

This recipe is from Alton Brown’s “Good Eats”, a great cookbook if you appreciate the science behind cooking. Alton calls for parsley, thyme, or green onions to season the mashers but you can put in any combination of spices you’d prefer (indian style with ginger, tumeric, and coriander?). I added garlic (of course) and some italian seasoning. No salt or pepper as they were already seasoned for their previous incarnation of mashers. I also had enough potatoes to at least double the recipe.

I often top the patties with Boursin soft cheese and some crumbled bacon. *drooling* Today, I changed it up with some sour cream, smoked salmon, and capers. Also delicious!

Ingredients
10 oz mashed potatoes (about 2 servings)
1 tbsp herbs (parsley, thyme, Italian herbs, garlic and/or green onions)
1 large egg
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions
Combine the potatoes, herbs, and egg in a bowl. Divide the mixture evenly. Flatten these gently into rounds approximately 3 inches in diameter. Set aside on parchment paper.

Scatter the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and coat the cakes one at a time. You don’t want to handle the fragile cakes more than necessary so it was easier to scatter more breadcrumbs on top of the cake rather than risk flipping them. Return each coated cake to the parchment (cakes can be refrigerated for several hours at this point).

Fry the cakes for 2-3 minutes per side (if frying in a pan with oil) or total if using a deep fryer. Remove carefully with large slotted spoon or flat spatula when they are golden brown.

Drain and let cool for 2-3 minutes before serving.

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact Me

The Lisping What?

The Lisping What?

If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!

Crab Rangoon Dip

Every once in awhile I get a huge craving for Chinese food. Not grocery store LaChoy or some healthy vegetables stir-fried at home, but real 7,000 calorie, MSG-laden, Chinese take-out. One of my very favorite things to order is Crab Rangoon, crunchy fried wontons filled with a crabby cream cheese wonder. Forget eggrolls; these little babies will make your tastebuds do somersaults and beg for more.
I found this simple recipe and now I can have as much crab rangoon as my congested heart desires. You can stuff the mixture inside of little wonton pouches to make “real” crab rangoon but I find it a lot easier to just fry the wontons and serve the mixure as a dip. Super easy, super yummy!
Ingredients
8 oz cream cheese
6 oz canned crab meat
1/2 tsp Worchesterhire Sauce
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp chopped green onions
square wonton wrappers
Cube the cream cheese into a microwaveable container and nuke it for 30 seconds to soften it up. Add the crab, Worshestershire, soy sauce, onions, and garlic, and stir to combine.
In the meantime, heat up a deep fryer to 375. Drop in the wonton wrappers for about a minute until the edges begin to brown and then pull out to drain on some paper towels. Make as many as you’d like… then dive in and devour.
The crab dip can be served cold, room-temperature, baked, or micro-waved and refrigerates well.

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact Me

The Lisping What?

The Lisping What?

If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!

Angel Food Cake with Berry Coulis

“Oh, by the way, can you bring a dessert?” Dreaded last minute words. A 4th of July celebration and you’re suddenly responsible with the part of the meal that will be the last thing on everyone’s tongue. And obviously, for this holiday it needs to be thematic. Red, white, and blue, pie, something – that box of brownies in the cupboard isn’t going to cut it.

This was my conundrum on Tuesday. I’d already been to the grocery store and really didn’t want to venture back out in the record-breaking heat-wave. So I desperately perused every red, white, and blue dessert on Pinterest to find something I could make out of my pantry.

Well, I didn’t find one thing but I did find about four. Put them together and you have the Almond Glazed Angel Food Cake with Berry Coulis! Luckily I had a fridge stocked with fresh fruit, a big plastic squeezy lemon, and a box of angel food cake, sugar, and almond extract.  The results certainly seemed to please the crowd – there was complete and total silence as dessert was devoured after a meal filled with conversation and jokes. I’m pretty sure you could make this for any event and it would make some people very very happy!

Ingredients
Angel Food Cake – pre-made or box cake (look, you can make it from scratch, too. More power to ya.)

Almond Glaze
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ tsp almond extract

Heat the sugar, the lemon juice and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract.

Brush all sides of the cake with the syrup.

Strawberry Coulis – raw
2 cups quartered hulled strawberries (about 12 ounces)
¼ cup water
3 tbls sugar
1 tbls fresh lemon juice

Combine strawberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice in blender. Purée until very smooth, then press through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Coulis can be prepared one day ahead.

Blueberry Coulis – cooked
2 ½ cups blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 tblsp lemon juice

Make blueberry coulis by combining the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries start to burst.  Cool slightly.  Pour into blender and puree until smooth.  Pour through a mesh strainer into a bowl to remove any little bits.  Cover and store coulis in refrigerator until ready to use.  This can be made several days in advance.

Drizzle coulis and extra fruit over the cake just before serving. Serve with additional coulis and vanilla ice cream on the side. (coulis is also excellent just served over ice cream or French toast)

About Me

I'm an internationally award-winning pet photographer, digital artist, and author. My chili has won a few trophies as well! I live in Grove City, Ohio with a multitude of pets and a very patient school teacher. I love meeting new people and am more than happy to chat about dogs and photography.

Contact Me

The Lisping What?

The Lisping What?

If you're curious as to how this blog got its name, check out the Model Spotlight post about Finch. He's The Lisping Dog!