Tuesday marked a shift in the Sprague household schedule. Scott started classes again at Boise State, so our lives have become a bit more hectic. Monday through Wednesday nights will be taken up with his class time, and that means it's time for me to work on getting signed up for my correspondence classes. Accordingly, our time for cooking together will be greatly reduced. This is actually why we decided to start cooking through the book. It's an opportunity to make time for each other. Monday night was the last night before the big upheaval, so we had to have one last dinner. We used two recipes. The second (and savory) recipe will follow with a post later. Scott's more diligent about posting than I am. I still have two more to get caught up for the week.
I did two new things in the kitchen this week. I cooked chicken skins to render the fat for a Hungarian dish that wasn’t from the book but reminded me about how much I like paprika. I also made my first soufflé. For as much as I’d been afraid of making one, it turned out to be much easier than I expected. And absolutely delicious. I’m tempted to make another one this weekend, but I’ll do my best to resist. There are two soufflé recipes in the book. We started with the chocolate one, and I’m looking forward to the savory cheese one.
Chocolate is melted with cream and then egg yolks, rum and vanilla extract are stirred in. Egg whites are whipped into a meringue and folded in. I absolutely love having my Kitchen-Aid mixer. It makes whipping whites so much easier than it was using the hand mixer. The decadent looking concoction is then baked at 425 for about 15 minutes. All in all, not long at all to make a dessert for a Monday night.
Not having made a soufflé before, I’m not sure how it compares to others. The directions say to only cook it until the top is set but shakes when the dish is moved. The middle wasn’t entirely set up, but the differences in texture made the whole thing even more delicious. I’m still a little in awe of how easy and delightful it was. Perhaps it was beginner’s luck, but I’m excited to have a new trick under my belt. I cooked the soufflé for the middle of the time range because our oven tends to run a little hot. I might give it a minute or two more next time, but there were some dark patches on the top that were bordering on burnt. It might be just as well to leave it as we did it before. I’d rather have a rich molten center than a burnt top.
My only problem with this recipe, or perhaps the book in general: the two soufflés call for two different sizes of dishes. We had neither soufflé dish nor something straight-sided that could be used as a substitute. I had to purchase a dish for the chocolate soufflé and will have to buy another one for the cheese soufflé. If only we weren’t already overflowing in the kitchen already… I think it might be time to clear out a shelf in the garage for our extra goodies. I think have to put a Madeleine mold, Kugelhopf mold or tube pan, and a terrine mold on the wishlist. Fortunately, we have an ice cream maker, and I have a sneaking suspicion my little sister might let us borrow her deep fryer. One of these days, we’ll have enough kitchen space to contain all of our gadgets and equipment. A girl can dream, right?