Monday, March 5, 2012

Cheese Souffle with sauted Leeks

OK, so clearly I am not cut out for daily blogging!! Tonight after much running around I whipped up some individual cheese souffles for my daughter and myself - served them with leeks sauteed in butter ...was going to make cheese and leek souffles but my daughter wanted her leeks on the side.

At any rate, these were fun and she enjoyed watching them puff, and later watching them fall...tasted really great too! I started the base early in the day, and cleaned and sliced the leeks also, then when we came home from her swimming all I had to do was cook the leeks, beat the egg whites, fold them in and cook the cheese souffle -

Individual Cheese Souffles

  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs unbleached flour
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 Tbs grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (or any hard cheese you like)
  • 1 tsp dried mustard
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

Melt butter in small sauce pan, stir in flour and cook over medium heat stirring constantly
for about 30 seconds. Add milk and keep stirring until smooth and thick, about 2 more minutes
Remove from heat, stir in Parmesan, spices and egg yolks - stir vigorously to incorporate eggs and not cook them. Add grated cheese. Let cool to room temperature, or refrigerate up to a day, covered.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter four small ramekins, coat with Parmesan if desired. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form (add 1/4 tsp cream of tarter if you have it, skip it if you don't). Add a few spoonfuls of egg whites to cheese mixture to lighten it and then fold cheese mixture into egg whites, gently. Spoon into buttered ramekins and bake for about 30 mins or until puffed and golden. Do NOT open oven door for first 20 mins of cooking. Serve souffles immediately with sauteed leeks.


Slice leeks in half lengthwise, discard top tough dark green parts. Thinly slice leeks into half moons, wash thoroughly. Melt 2 Tbs butter in a cast iron skillet and add leeks, stirring to coat. Cook over medium heat for 5 mins, add 1/4 cup chicken broth, salt and pepper to taste and stir. Continue to cook until chicken broth has evaporated, about another 5 mins.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1st - it snowed! Fast dinner needed

I am back, again, once again filled with resolve to actually do something with this blog!
Tonight for dinner I made a very simple chicken stir fry...which was ideal, because I was busy driving my daughter to her various activities and had very little time to get dinner on the table once we were finally home. By prepping some earlier in the day, it was really easy.

And yes, I forgot to take a picture!! Will do this tomorrow, I promise!
Here's my pseudo recipe -
get some nice veggies, i used broccoli and cut the florets fairly small so I wouldn't have to blanch them, some baby corn, fresh - but canned works too, some canned sliced water chestnuts, some snow peas, some carrots cut real thin, chunks of red onion and chicken, boneless, skinless breast sliced into strips about 1/4 inch thick. Oh the aromatics - a few cloves of diced garlic and a few chunks of peeled minced ginger. White pepper, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch and chicken broth.
Ok, marinate the chicken early in the day in a few Tbs of soy sauce in one of those wonderful plastic bags, i added some garlic and a few Tbs of rice wine also. Cut up your onion, broccoli and baby corn if desired, and carrots. Have everything ready to go in little bowls in your fridge. You can even mix up the sauce ahead of time and the glaze too.

When you walk in the door and want dinner in 30 mins, get the rice going first. I usually use basmati - 1 cup rice (rinse it please) to 1.5 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a bare simmer and cover. Leave it be for 25 mins. Heat your wok, use a flame tamer if you have one and add 1-2 Tbs peanut or canola oil. Now, add the chicken - do this in batches if you have more than 1 lb of chicken, and stir fry it for a few mins until no longer pink inside. Remove to a plate, wipe out wok and add 1-2 Tbs more oil, heat. Add onion first, then ginger and garlic, stir fry for a minute or two, next add broccoli and carrots, stir fry for 3 mins, if broccoli isn't cooking add a splash of chicken broth and cover the wok to let it steam for 3 mins. Next turn up the heat a little to evaporate any broth and add snow peas and baby corns. Some water chestnuts (sliced) are nice too. Return chicken to wok, stir, add a simple sauce of 1/4 cup soy sauce mixed with 1/4 cup chicken broth, 1/4 tsp white pepper and a touch of sesame oil. Stir. Add a glaze to thicken it all up - 2Tbs chicken broth with 1 Tbs cornstarch stirred in. Stir it all together until sauce thickens and everything is coated and glossy. Fluff your rice and serve the stir fry on top.