|Twice Baked Spinach Souffles|
I think the last time I made a souffle I was in my teens. It is not that it was a culinary failure but the success of a souffle is fleeting. It rises to flamboyant heights and then collapses before you present it to your guests. It has always seemed like a lot of work for what I considered the inevitable let down. Souffles take practice. But what if you keep on practicing, and perfection escapes you? Your cheese deflates, your desserts are dense? It seems the oven door has slammed shut on your dreams? I am here to tell you that even the inexperienced among us can turn out a delicious, light airy souffle with great success and very little effort if you follow this recipe for a twice baked souffle. These were light as a cloud and cooked to perfection!!
Souffle means "breath" in French, and that's just what you want to give your souffles. A little breath of air. The key to having enough air in the souffle to allow it to rise to delicate, puffy heights, is gentle folding. Folding is the culinary technique in which two ingredients of different densities are carefully combined together to lighten the heavier of the two.
The halls are decked and the holiday spirit is alive and well here at More Than BurntToast. One of our simple pleasures in life is navigating the blogging community, participating where we can and sharing those recipes with you. It keeps our spirit of generosity alive, and not just for one season. Did I mention the holiday season is here!!!!!!Our group has now passed the halfway point on the list of Gourmet Live's 50 Women Game Changers. The past few months have flown by as we experiment with dishes from each of the 50 influential women on "the list." Whether you agree or disagree with the authors chosen fifty and their order it has been an enjoyable and creative outlet to cook from the masters and those we admire. There are even a few bloggers on the list. We have checked out books from the library, borrowed cookbooks from friends, surfed the Internet and browsed our own cookbook collections seeking that one recipe that will highlight that weeks outstanding woman. This group is spearheaded by my favourite well-travelled blogger Mary of One Perfect Bite who back in June invited bloggers to travel along on a culinary journey throughout the year. It is still not too late to join in so if you would like to do so contact Mary.
This brings us to #27 on the list...Anne Willan. Born in Newcastle, England, Anne received her Masters degree from Cambridge University, then studied and taught cooking in London and Paris before moving to the United States where she has been a citizen since1973. Anne is one of the hardest working individuals on the planet and her drive for perfection has long been an inspiration.
Anne founded La Varenne, her famous French cooking school, in 1975 and directs its culinary programs. She is well known on both sides of the Atlantic as a leading authority on cooking, with over 35 years' experience as a teacher, cookbook author and food columnist. Named teacher of the year by Bon Appétit magazine, and a recipient of awards in the USA, Britain, France and Australia, Anne has written a wide range of internationally published cookbooks whose worldwide sales run into the millions including two that have become culinary bibles: "La Varenne Pratique" and "French Regional Cooking." Each of her books have been published in 24 countries and translated into 18 languages. I enjoyed this article from the L.A. Times. She divides her time between Santa Monica, California and Burgundy, France.
Val of More Than Burnt Toast - Twice Baked Spinach Souffles
Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed - Italian Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Tomato Salpicon
Heather of Girlichef - Brioche
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney -
Jeanette at Jeanette's Healthy Living - Minestrina Soup
Kathleen Van Bruinisse at Bake Away with Me -
Sue of View from The Great Island
Barbara of Moveable Feasts - Tomato Tart Tatin
Nancy of Picadillo - Wild Mushroom Risotto
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits - Drunken Chicken
Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen - Wild Mushroom Scrambled Eggs
Annie at Most Lovely Things - Honey Madeleines
Claudia of Journey of an Italian Cook - Parmesan Balls
**Twice Baked Spinach Souffles**
Anne Willan From My Château Kitchen
(Clarkson Potter/Publishers. April 2000) www.randomhouse.com
- 1 lb/500 g spinach
- 1/3 cup/75 g butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup/30 g flour
- 1 1/2 cups/375 ml milk
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 5 egg yolks
- 6 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups/375 ml light cream
- 1/2 cup/50 g grated Gruyère cheese
- six 1-cup/250-ml ramekins
- six 6-in/l5-cm gratin dishes