Hot air balloon

Today I will tell of something that is full of hot air, and then comes down as it cools: Souffle.

I will start by emphasizing that what you think is souffle, is not souffle. Here people call everything that is baked on the spot souffle, and well, it is not. Souffle is puffy, airy, light, and yes, must be prepared on the spot (though you can prepare the base before hand).  I once actually gave the restaurant credit, and ordered souffle, thinking I would actually get souffle. I obviously got fondant, and when I complained, the waitress answered: ‘this is what we call souffle here’. Well, this answer is equivalent to having a Chinese tattoo saying ‘broccoli’ and claiming for you it means ‘love’. Souffle is french and you may not freely use french words to say what you want them to say (it actually means something like ‘puff of air’,’breath’ or something, which gives a slight clue what souffle, the food, should be).

So, lets start with something easy- cheese souffle. It should be light, and fluffy and warm, and you must serve it when it comes out of the oven. If you do it real good, it will stay high for a while… but usually it does not, so make the guests eat quickly.

  • 70gr grated Parmesan or a mix of Parmesan and some other yellow cheese.
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 50gr butter
  • 50 gr flour
  • 150ml milk

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the flout, mix well, and then add the milk while mixing. turn off the gas and add the egg yolks and Parmesan, seasoning (salt- if needed, and pepper). let it cool completely. this part you can do before service, even 1-2 days. when you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 200C. whip the egg whites until stiff, and mix gently with the cheese mixture (first on third of the whites should be mixed with the cheese, then the rest). fill 3/4 or less of souffle cups with the mixture and put in the oven for 30 min. do not open the door, just wait and pray.

Serve it right when it comes out of the oven.

So, yep, good luck.

Beet pasta with ricotta, spinach and peas:

Make beet pasta. My method is baking the beets A LOT, and then grinding it with the eggs, to get a very smooth beet colored pasta. Mix in the flour with the beet-egg juice, let it rest, and roll out the pretty pasta!

Sauce:

  • olive oil
  • spinach
  • fresh peas
  • ricotta cheese
  • nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

In a pan with some olive oil toss the spinach and let it soften, cook the fresh peas shortly in boiling water, and add to the pan with some seasoning. Cook the pasta in salted water to ‘al dante’, add to the pan along with the ricotta. adjust seasoning, and serve with Parmesan cheese.

What else?

Souffle:

  •  You can also mix only half the cheese mixture and less egg white, so you won’t have to make all the dishes at once.
  • If it’s your first time,  make sure you have a ‘just in case’ alternative.
  • It is really not as scary as it sounds.

Pasta:

  • It looks really nice dried, but it doesn’t taste as good. If you have leftovers of uncooked pasta, I recommend freezing it or keeping in the fridge.
  • Make sure the beet is thoroughly backed before grinding.
  • You can do the same with spinach, which takes much less time. Also tomato puree, which I personally don’t really like.
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