Sunday, March 20, 2011

Garlic Mushroom Souffle

Maybe it's the elegance of the word "souffle," but I had thought these would be very difficult to make. I didn't trust the simplicity of the recipe. But you know what? They took about five minutes to prepare and ten minutes to cook--and tasted so good! (And, yes, after realizing how easy souffle is to prepare, I now want to try several different variations!)

Allow me to apologize for not having a picture. I made two souffles, one for me and one for Ty, and laid them out on the table for a picture. Ty was at school all afternoon, though, so I decided not to wait on him and dug into mine. Then I liked it so much that I ate his as well and decided I'd just make more later if his feelings seemed hurt that I didn't share my new recipe. :) But here is a photo from of a souffle which looks very similar to what I made. The recipe featured on this site is almost exactly the same as what I used--except it lacks the two tablespoons of ground marjoram that made my dish so yummy!

This recipe comes from the Bible of vegetarianism, The Cook's Library Vegetarian--which, if you don't have, you must get now! It is great for advanced chefs to use, but there are also recipes like this which are quite simple, for newer cooks. And it's dirt cheap. You will never get tired of this cookbook.

I had wanted to try this recipe for awhile, but lacked souffle dishes. I searched websites and bakeware aisles of various stores, never finding a great deal of souffle dishes. Then one day, wandering in the clearance section of T.J. Maxx, I found a set of two white souffle dishes for $1.50, and a set of four very cute, modern orange souffle dishes for $4! Be weary if you purchase online, particularly if your souffle dishes are also being referred to as "ramekins." Anything holding less than 10 oz. is not going to hold even a mildly substantial appetizer.

The recipe I used said it made four servings in 5/8 cup dishes. I did not have enough to fill two of my souffle dishes. (Neither of my dish sets' packages indicated how much they hold, but I'm guessing they are 10 oz. cups.) So if you are cooking for a lot of people, definitely multiply your ingredients. I thought 3/4 cup of chopped mushroom caps (I used fresh baby bella caps) seemed rather scarce, but it was definitely the right amount. The only alteration I did was increasing the amount of flour, because after I added the eggs, I knew the mixture was just too damp to bake well. (And that turned out to be a wise decision.) I also added a pinch of black pepper, but next time, I would probably embellish it with some parsley and oregano.

It's a very warm, hearty appetizer, and would be perfect paired with a warm soup or a fresh salad before a meal. And think of how impressed your dinner guests will be if you serve it some attractive dishes. Souffle's on!

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