A soufflé can be sweet, it can be a main course, it can contain vegetables, meat, or fish. Soufflés lend themselves well to nearly every palate.
One thing they tend to have in common is they should be light and airy. Fluffy is a word often used to describe soufflés. To maximize on things in the light and airy department, take care when beating your egg whites. This is one of those times where it pays off to be scrupulously careful. Some chefs routinely use copper bowls to beat theirs in, because the copper helps in some cryptic way with the lightness. Other chefs routinely add a pinch of cream of tartar to their eggs for the same reason.
When it comes time to fold the beaten egg whites into the other ingredients, be very gentle. The point is to retain those zillions of tiny air bubbles inside the egg whites in order to elevate the soufflé.
This souffle makes chanterelles light as the breath of Spring!
2 c. Chanterelles, finely chopped
(other types of mushrooms work just as well)
3 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic
6 T. butter, divided
1 c. milk
4 T. flour
2 T. sherry
salt and pepper
½ cup Gruyere cheese, grated
4 eggs, separated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Melt 2 T. butter in a large frying pan. Add mushrooms, green onions and garlic. Cook until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are dry.
Melt remaining butter, add flour and milk to make a white sauce. Add sherry and cheese, and salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat, and add lightly beaten egg yolks. Add mushroom mixture to sauce.
Beat egg whites until very stiff and fold them carefully into the sauce.
Pour in ungreased 1½ qt. soufflé dish. Set dish into a pan of water. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes.
Open a bottle of your favorite Papapietro Perry wine and enjoy!