Soufflé – sweet and savoury by Sara Lewis has been definitely flavour of the month chez Rowe…
Adapted from the recipe on page 17, for this showstopper Trota used 60g butter (plus some extra for greasing the baking dish), 50g grated Parmesan, 50g flour, 300ml milk, 4 eggs (separated), 50g chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 2 chopped spring onions, a few parsley leaves chopped, chopped chives, 1 large French shallot sliced, and 3–4 tbsp breadcrumbs.
The beauty of this recipe is that (within reason) you can tweak it to suit the ingredients in your walk-in larder…sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, capers, olives, etc – just make sure you have your selection all chopped, weighed and ready before you get started.
In a pan gently fry the shallots in a couple of tbsp olive oil until soft and golden then set aside. In a separate pan, melt the butter add the flour and cook for a minute or so, mixing well. Add the milk and continue mixing until it comes to a gentle boil. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens (you want it to stay smooth, so keep stirring). Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan, the egg yolks and the toppings of your choice. Season with salt and pepper, mix again and set aside to cool.
Now prepare the soufflé dish (we used one large 15cm Ø), greasing well with a knob of butter, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs and tilt the dish so that they coat the inside of the dish evenly.
In a clean bowl whisk the egg whites to form stiff peaks. The milk/flour/butter mixture will have cooled by now, so mix in one spoonful of the whisked whites to loosen, then add the rest and fold in gently to keep the air in.
Pour the mixture into the soufflé dish and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 20–25 minutes, until well risen with a golden crust, but still slightly wobbly in the middle. Serve at once.
Beautifully crafted, delicious and enticing: but enough about Trota! Who said that a soufflé was just a glorified omelette?