Monday, November 21, 2011

Parmesan Soufflé with White Wine Butter Sauce

I am not the only one who cooks in our family.  My beautiful wife, Clare, is also a great cook and a great baker.  Every once in a while, I ask my Angel to provide a guest blog post so that I can share some of the amazing and delicious things that she makes for family, friends and, of course, me.  She has already provided guest blog posts about Cuban Bread, Loyalist Bread, Salmon Burgers and Peach Cobbler.  So, without further ado,

A Guest Blog Post by Clare ...

As you may know, both Keith and I hosted a dinner for a Wine Club.  We both decided to cook a four-course meal using recipes from Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita.  Frank Stitt is a well known chef who owns a few restaurants in and around Birmingham, Alabama.  My parents took Keith and myself to one of those restaurants, Bottega, for dinner during the weekend that Keith met them for the first time.  Perhaps the most memorable moment of that dinner, apart from spending time with my parents and with Keith, was the Parmesan Soufflé that we had as an appetizer.

This dish was amazing ... as one can expect when Frank Stitt describes it as a "cloud-like" pudding.  The eggs, cream and garlic make for a rather light soufflé.  This lightness is contrasted with the richness of the white wine butter sauce.  The wine, vinegar, cream and butter are combined together in the sauce, which is then infused into the mushrooms.  The dish is completed with a garnish of a few strips of prosciutto. 

Looking back, this is a recipe that was easier than what I thought.  One bit of advice that I have learned from making this dish.  When you are baking the soufflés, you should make sure that the sides of the pan or baking dish are not that much higher than the sides of the ramekins.  I found that the best dish for baking the soufflés is a pyrex glass baking dish.  The soufflés seemed to set better in the pyrex dish than the other dishes that I used, such as a roasting pan.

Recipe from Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita at p. 40
Serves 6

Ingredients (for the Souffle):
8 large eggs
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic puree
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Dash of Tabasco Sauce

Ingredients (for the White Wine Butter Sauce):
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 shallot, finely minced
1 thyme sprig
1 1/2 teaspoons heavy white cream
1/2 pound of unsalted butter
Kosher salt
Freshly ground white pepper
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
Tabasco sauce

Ingredients (to add to the White Wine Butter Sauce):
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
2 cups quartered or thickly sliced cremini, oyster or button
     mushrooms or a mix of mushrooms
1 shallot, minced
2 thyme sprigs, leaves only
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
4 thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma, sliced julienne

1.  Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Butter six 6 ounce ramekins and place them in a large shallow baking dish or pan.

2.  Combine all souffle ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.  Fill the ramekins almost to the top (use 5.5 ounces in each ramekin).  Fill the baking dish with enough water to come up to about three-quarters the side of the ramekins.

3.  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour.  Uncover and bake until the souffles are slightly puffed, set and golden, about fifteen minutes more.

4.  Meanwhile, shortly before the souffles are done, prepare the butter sauce.  Combine the wine, vinegar, shallot, and thyme in a small heavy non-reactive pan, bringing it to a boil over high heat to reduce to a syrupy glaze.  This should take about twelve minutes.  Then remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cream.  Return it to a simmer and simmer for about 1 minute.  reduce the heat to low and whisk in the butter bit by bit, adding more only after each previous addition has been incorporated.  Regulate the heat so that the sauce stays warm but does not get too hot (otherwise it will separate).  Add the salt, pepper, lemon juice and hot sauce.  Taste and add a little more vinegar or hot sauce is needed.  Strain the sauce. Keep the sauce warm while you saute the mushrooms.

5.  Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat, and add the butter.  When the butter is melted, add the mushrooms and saute until the edges are golden, about 3 minutes.  Add the shallot and saute for one 1 minute.  Season with the thyme leaves and add the salt and pepper and toss for about 30 seconds.  Set aside, covered to keep warm.

6.  Unmold the souffles onto warm plates and ladle the butter sauce around.  Scatter some of the sauteed mushrooms and sliced prosciutto around each one and serve.

And, as Keith would say,


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