Here we are again with the completion of one week behind us and a new week closely approaching on the horizon. I took a break this week from filming and had a great lazy weekend with my family as well as time to myself. I had time to think of what recipe I wanted to come up with this week and I wanted to continue with my theme from last week.
Sticking with my notion of using what we have at home. All Common Chef’s have at least a few of theses stashed way back in the back of there cupboards. I am talking about soup. Now I love soups and I have listed one great soup so far on my blog. But the question I had to ponder this week was “What do you do with the soup you don’t want to make into soup”?
I thought of this when I pulled a can of Cream of Asparagus Soup from my cabinet. God bless my wife as she tries to buy then things that she thinks I would like. Sometimes however she misses the mark. Don’t get me wrong I would probably love this soup but we eat a lot of asparagus during a week. So when confronted with this soup I wasn’t a huge fan. I started to think of what I could do with this can of soup that is a none traditional way of using canned soup.
First I thought of casseroles or other bakes over top of chicken or whatever. None of these were unique enough for me so I was stumped. Then I saw the three little yellow squashes that I still had from PC’s house. I remembered the delicious squash souffle that my mom makes and then it hit me. Why not try and make a souffle with this can of soup.
For those of you out there that are not sure of what a Souffle is (me being one of them) allow me to provide a little explanation. Since I am terribly lazy I found this from Wikipedia:
“A soufflé is a lightly baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert.”
So its basically a egg cake with different flavors added to it. Not to hard but a lot of people shy away from this dish because they think it is to complicated. Must the be the French name. I must admit I was drawn to try this as it is once again a fancy sounding recipe. So I started with my research and this is what I came up with. Once again before I go any further I must state that I really did want this to be a true souffle but there were some factors in my attempt that changed the dish and ultimately what came out was more of a Quiche rather then a Souffle.
First when it comes to making a Souffle, one must have the proper cooking dishes in order to prepare it correctly. I did not however have any Souffle cup so instead I used a 6 ½ x 8 ½ Pyrex baking dish. The second factor was the actual canned soup I used rather then creating a true béchamel. Although in my research it does frequently state that a béchamel can be replaced with other sauces as long as they share the same consistency. The canned soup I used could have been a tad bit to thick.
Lastly when attempting this recipe I did use egg beaters rather then saving the actual egg whites. These egg beaters did not foam up as much as real egg whites tend to yield. So the souffle actually broke before it even started. Alas I will try again as this was my first attempt and I was surprised at the results I did get.
A souffle is not a hard dish to create it is just one that calls for the right equipment in order to pull it off. Conquer this minor hurdle and you can easily have a better result then I.
Here is what you will need.
1 can of Cream of Asparagus soup (low sodium if possible).
1 small yellow squash
¼ red onion if not less
6 eggs (using both their yokes and whites separately)
¼ stick of butter
red pepper flakes
¼ cup shredded Cheddar/American cheese
3 tablespoons skim milk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Start by liberally coating your 6.5 x 8.5 Pyrex dish with some of your butter. Next pour your grated Parmesan cheese in the dish and shake, making sure all sides are coated with cheese. Next preheat your oven to 375 degrees. It will be ready to go by the time you get everything all mixed together.
Go ahead and cut up your onion and squash. You are going to want to mince up both of these vegetables to help get a nice smooth sauce. Take another bit butter and melt it down in a small saute pan. Once heated add the onion and squash and cook until clear and soft. Set aside and pour your soup in to a bowl and let warm up to room temperature. Now the soup I used was really thick so I decided to warm it up in the saute pan very quickly. This made it a bit more malleable but I also added about 3 tablespoons of skim milk to thin it even further.
With the soup warmed slightly transfer to a large mixing bowl and add your shredded cheese along with your saute vegetables, black and red pepper flakes. The next step is to separate your 6 eggs. Take another empty bowl and crack your eggs pouring them through your fingers. I found this to be the easiest way to separate your yolks from the whites. Be sure to look over how to do this so that you won’t waste your eggs.
With each egg that you separate you will add the yellow yolks to the bowl and stir it into the mixture. Do this one at a time. After adding all the yolks mix your concoction thoroughly to make sure you have a nice smooth sauce. You may have noticed that I have not added any salt to this dish as I found out first hand. The soup already has a hearty dose of salt in it and I even recommend trying a low sodium soup as mine came out somewhat salty. You could also add a bit of sugar to your mixture believe it or not to counter act the saltiness.
Once this is done set the sauce aside and whisk your collected egg whites until they are nice and foamy. Now this step is the big trick of the dish. Take some time and look at some other information to get a clear idea of how the whites should look before going any further. I whisked my whites for quite some time and when I thought I was done I still had a ways to go. Stop when you reach the stage at which the egg whites stands up in well defined peaks. The peaks should be soft so that when you lift the whisk the peaks drop slightly. Dry egg whip will look as if the eggs are starting to break down again.
Now when you have gotten your egg whites whisked to perfection it’s time to add them to the sauce. Your going to want to add about ¼ of your whip to the souffle base and mix it in rather thoroughly. Not ruff mind you just complete. With the remaining whip you are going want to fold it in to the base rather then mix it in. This means taking your spatula from the bottom of the bowl and folding the sauce on top of itself. Be gentle but also be thorough. Finally pour your mixture into your Parmesan dusted Pyrex dish and place in your already preheated oven. You should bake the souffle for about 40 to 45 minutes.
Try cooking it in 10 minute periods while checking. If you have been lucky enough to have created a great egg whip then your souffle will be very delicate. I recommend watching it cook through the oven window if possible. After about 20 minutes I saw it start to rise. I kept it in for another 20 minutes and made sure to take it out before it had a chance to burn.
The thing is with souffles is that when they are done right they rise and fluff up nicely while baking. When you take them out of the oven however that beautiful puffy look will deflate and fall. Admire it while it lasts and take a picture but do not be disappointed when it happens as it is a sign that you did everything right. Now my dish did rise somewhat but ultimately didn’t really turn out to be a souffle but more of a quiche. Still delicious even if a bit salty. Topped with a little shredded cheese and enjoy! This was a first time for me as I hope it will be for some of you that read my blog. Remember to have fun with your food and never be afraid to try new things.
Feel free to comment on this recipe and correct me where I messed up. Thanks again for your support and Feed you next time.