Soufflé au Fromage

The classic cheese soufflé. Commonly seen at bistros and cafes everywhere, you can serve this French baked egg and cheese dish as the main course or a side for any meal of the day.

Elegant, simple, and delicious, you can certainly impress with a well-baked soufflé. There are several imperative things to know when making a soufflé that I show you to prevent the usual first-time mistakes.

A soufflé or charlotte mold and hand mixer are useful for this recipe, but I’ll show you how to make a soufflé without any special equipment. Ready for brunch? The recipe is below so let’s get started!


Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 eggs separated (see #5 below before separating)
  • 1-1/2 cups of grated Gruyère or Emmental cheese
  • Salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add in the flour and stir for several minutes; do not let the mixture brown.
  2. Stir in the milk and water and cook on low for 5 or six minutes, stirring continually so the milk doesn’t burn.
  3. Remove from heat, season with salt, and let cool while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  5. Separate eggs by placing 3 egg whites in a clean mixing bowl. Beat with a whisk (or electric blender) until very firm.
  6. In a separate clean bowl, beat the 4 egg yolks. Stir into the béchamel. Add grated cheese and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  7. Using a rubber spatula, very carefully fold egg whites into the sauce. Over-mixing at this point will remove air in the egg whites and this makes a flat soufflé.
  8. Butter a 6 cup round dish with straight sides and gently pour the mixture until 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is browned. This can vary depending on what you are baking in (less for a smaller container, more time for a larger one). Serve right away.

Notes:

You can use any container for baking these, but a few things will help. Make sure the inside surface is smooth and has straight sides, and is taller than wide. Think of a coffee cup shape (which is perfect for this by the way).

Do not over-fill the baking container. If mixed properly, the soufflé will rise quite significantly, and if over-full, it may want to fall over (not good).

You must beat the egg whites vigorously to get stiff peaks and be very gentle when folding into the béchamel. You do not want to lose the micro air-pockets created – this is a common mistake and makes a less spectacular soufflé.

It is normal for the soufflé to deflate somewhat after it comes out of the oven. The difference between this and over-mixing is that it will not rise very much while baking and will be much denser if over-mixed, while the properly baked soufflé will have a very light and airy texture.

If you like this recipe, please let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! Enjoy!

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Croque Monsieur

Have you ever wondered what could make a ham & cheese sandwich better? Béchamel can do that.

The Croque Monsieur is the classic French café sandwich that is just that: Crunchy, buttery, cheesy, and a bit extravagant ham and cheese sandwich toasted to perfection. Caramelized cheese on top, melted cheese and ham with a rich buttery sauce in the middle, what’s not to love?

There are a few things you need to know to pull this one off without making a soggy mess, but trust me, it’s not hard. This is a staple that you will want time and time again once you experience it.

Ingredients for Béchamel:

  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of Port wine

Ingredients for Sandwich:

  • Brioche, Sourdough, or other high quality bread
  • Ham (must be of high quality)
  • Gruyère or Emmental Cheese, grated
  • Dijon mustard

To make Béchamel:

  1. Pour milk into a cold medium-sized saucepan and warm over medium heat until bubbling
  2. Once milk is bubbling, add butter to a large saucepan and heat over medium heat until it is completely melted, but do not let it brown
  3. Add flour and stir for 2-3 minutes to cook out the flour flavor
  4. Slowly pour in the hot milk into the butter mixture and stir constantly over medium heat. Stir in the Port. Stir regularly to prevent burning the milk. Sauce will be ready when it covers the back of a spoon when dipped, about 15 minutes total

To make the sandwich:

  1. Butter both sides of the bread and grill on both sides in a frying pan or skillet
  2. On one slice, spread a thin layer of dijon mustard, then add several slices of ham
  3. Spread a thin layer of béchamel on top of the ham, then cover with a layer of the grated cheese
  4. Place the other slice of bread on top, spread another layer of béchamel, then another layer of grated cheese
  5. Place in a 400° oven for 5 minutes to melt cheese
  6. Turn on broiler to brown cheese on top, 3-4 minutes total

I know this may sound confusing; the list below starts at the bottom (first piece of bread) and builds up

  1. Bread
  2. Mustard
  3. Ham
  4. Béchamel
  5. Cheese
  6. Bread
  7. Béchamel
  8. Cheese

Notes to make the perfect Croque Monsieur:

Make sure to toast both sides of the bread in the frying pan. This keeps the mustard, cheese and béchamel from absorbing into the bread and making it soggy.

You do not want to make this sandwich ahead of time for the same reasons above.

I find it best to either make the bread from scratch or buy an artisan loaf and cut it when you need it.

Don’t overload the sandwich filling with too much meat and cheese, as once this is melted, it can be very messy to handle. Usually, three slices of ham and a thin layer of béchamel and cheese are all that is needed. The Croque Monsieur is a calorie and flavor dense sandwich, so there is no need to make it any bigger.

This sandwich is easier to eat if you slice it in half.

This is a perfect brunch or lunch option. Serve with a side salad and vinaigrette, and coffee or wine.

Please let me know if you try this sandwich and your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! Enjoy!

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Sesame Cheddar Crackers

These cheese wafers have a crispy texture and savory flavor and make a perfect appetizer, snack, or addition to the charcuterie board. You will love how easy these are to make plus you only need a few ingredients and a great alternative to the store-bought processed cheese crackers. Give these a try, you won’t be disappointed!


Ingredients for about 40 Crackers

  • 4 oz. good quality cheddar cheese
  • 6 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 c sesame seeds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  1. Toast sesame seeds in a dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat until golden-brown, about 7 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix shredded cheese and butter.
  3. Mix flour, toasted sesame seeds, and Worcestershire sauce and mix with a spatula until a slightly sticky dough is formed. Add more flour in small increments if dough is still too wet.
  4. Cover dough and chill for at least an hour or up to overnight.
  5. Lightly flour your work surface, and roll out dough with a floured rolling pin until the dough is consistent thickness, about 1/8″.
  6. Cut with 2″ round cookie-cutter (or any size/shape cutter you like)
  7. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until the edges just start to turn brown

Notes

When rolling out the dough you want the consistency of something similar to cookie dough, so don’t leave it out too long before rolling or roll it out directly from the refrigerator. Also, make sure to keep a close eye while baking, as only a minute too much can burn them. You can easily make this dough a day ahead as well for convenience. Please let me know if you try this recipe, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! Enjoy!

Lemon-Curry Deviled Eggs

This recipe is adapted from “Feeding the Flock” published by Corinth Baptist Church in Monroe, North Carolina in 2001. There are endless varieties of new and old deviled egg recipes, but this one is a little different since it uses curry powder. I am a huge fan of curry powder and related spices, and this goes very well with the eggs to add a slightly different twist on an old classic. I think almost everybody loves deviled eggs, so you know these will be a hit at any party or holiday dinner!


Ingredients for 32 Deviled-Eggs

  • 16 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  1. Boil eggs, cool, peel, and cut eggs in half lengthwise. (see notes below for boiling eggs)
  2. Remove the yolks; set whites aside.
  3. In a bowl, mash yolks, add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spoon into egg whites. Chill until served.
Lemon-Curry Deviled Eggs

Notes

These deviled eggs were as easy to make as any other deviled egg, and the lemon and curry add a bit of interest without going overboard. If you don’t have a particular way you like to boil your eggs, I always use the same method and it works every time:

  1. Place eggs in a deep pan with a lid and cover with 1-2 inches of cold water
  2. Put the pan on high heat until it comes to a rolling boil
  3. Turn heat source completely off but do not remove pan, put lid on and leave for 12 minutes
  4. Immediately pour out as much hot water as you can without dropping the eggs, and run cold water in the pan for 2-3 minutes or until you can handle the eggs without burning your hands
  5. Peel eggs under running water

This method works every time to get a hard-boiled egg that is not overcooked and rubbery. If you like soft-boiled eggs, you can experiment with less time, maybe starting at 8 minutes instead of 12. These deviled eggs were delicious and I will certainly be making them again. Please don’t forget to share this with anybody that loves deviled eggs, and don’t forget to subscribe for more recipes like this. Enjoy!