Thursday, October 22, 2009
Confession: I've never made a souffle. You know that fear I have of yeast? I also fear egg whites.
Egg whites are temperamental and high maintenance. If there's even the slightest dribble of yolk or the speckiest speck of dirt in the mixing bowl, the egg whites get cranky and say, "Screw you, lady--I'm not performing." Egg whites are like those bitches in high school who were only nice to you maybe once every two weeks.
Barefoot Bloggers is intent on tormenting me and making me face my fears. While I'm not going to blame them for picking a souffle recipe, I will admit that I was nervous about this one.
You can find the recipe for Ina's blue cheese soufflehere.
Not only was I nervous about a souffle, I was sort of thinking, "ewww, hot blue cheese?" Blue cheese is okay ice cold in my Cobb Salad, but in a hot, eggy mixture? Not sure about that one, Ina. Have you been into the Vicodin again?
And I thought I'd heard something about egg whites and weather...as in, sometimes if it's too damp or cold, the egg whites won't perform. Just like my other nemesis, yeast.
It was a miserable, rainy, dark day when I had to pony up for The Blue Cheese Experiment. Grrrrreat.
I did as Ina said and let the eggs come to room temperature...something I have a few issues with, but I was afraid to deviate from the recipe.
Well, not that afraid, obviously, because I was so dubious about the flavor of this dish that I sauteed up 3 slices of bacon and added them to the souffle. I mean, bacon makes everything better. Bacon deserves it's own cool cape and Batmobile, don't you think?
My husband pretended not to hear me cursing a blue streak as I attempted to scald milk, separate eggs, whip the whites on 3 different speeds and then fold them into warm, cheesy goo...all almost at the same time. I felt like I needed 2 more arms to get this dish into the oven.
Have I ever mentioned that I hate folding egg whites? It's too gentle for me. I wanna just muscle them into the batter and be done with it--but nooooo, you have to go low and slow or else your dish deflates.
By the time I had this sucker ready for the oven, I was truly cranky. In fact, I literally threw it into the oven, sloshing batter up the sides of the souffle dish and onto the floor.
And then, genius that I am, I slammed the oven door shut. Which was the one thing my mother told me not to do when making a souffle. Whoops.
I quickly threw together a simple salad (literally...this KitchenWitch was a bitch by now), warmed some bread and swilled some wine while the souffle baked.
Surprisingly, it hadn't deflated too much--even with all that abuse! I mean, the pan was a wreck from all that sloshing about, but I still had fluffy, brown, eggy stuff lookin' at me.
I plated it, poured wine, we sat down, took a bite. I studied my husband. "It's not bad!" he smiled at me.
"You lying lump of turd," I said to him. "This sucks. It tastes like sweaty gym socks...not that I've eaten gym socks..."
"I was trying to be positive."
"Feel free to lie when I cook something from my recipe files--in fact, I encourage it--but this is Ina's recipe. I don't give a rip if you like it or not."
"Good to know that distinction. Duly noted...now...can we order pizza or something?"
We ended up settling for frozen samosa and the salad. Sorry Ina...even bacon, the superhero of food, couldn't save this one.