Sunday, February 12, 2012

Poof! Julia Child’s Cheese Soufflé

Life’s been complicated lately. No doubt about it. I haven’t had much inspiration, time, or inclination to cook.

So, what was I thinking, getting back into the game this weekend by attempting a Julia Child Gruyere-cheese soufflé? For starters, there were a surplus of eggs in the refrigerator, and this seemed like a good use. But, maybe I was craving a little focus and discipline. Maybe I needed a kitchen project that would not tolerate showmanship, laziness or improvising. Perhaps order, rhythm and following the rules were needed.

One can’t help but appreciate the wisdom that is whisked into a Julia Child recipe. It’s never about short cuts, rushing or instant gratification. It’s all about patience and proper technique rewarded. Here’s my favorite quote from the recipe head note in the collection Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, where this recipe can be found:

“If you have never made a soufflé before, you may feel that the dramatic rise of a soufflé is depended on skills or a magical touch that is beyond you. But you needn’t hold your breath worrying about what is happening behind the oven door – remember that souffler means “to blow” or “to puff.” When you have made your soufflé mixture properly, as we show you in these recipes it will rise, automatically.”

No magic was needed. I followed Julia’s directions, and I waited patiently for the timer to go off.

That French Chef sure knew a lot about life.

©2012 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

19 comments:

lostpastremembered said...

Perfect. The thing I love about the film about her (and Meryl Streep) is the way she worked to get it right and describe it well. Her recipes work. I just made her chocolate mousse last week... my favorite recipe still. Works like a charm... light as a feather. I may add a drop of flavor (rose or orange) but her recipe is just great. That souffle looks amazing.

ps.. just joined a CSA... wow.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Yes she did know a lot didn't she? I'm always amazed as I re-read her books how much she really did know and how she made it sound easy. I think we're all in a hurry today, myself included, and sometimes we should just relax and enjoy a perfectly made souffle such as this with a good friend and a glass of wine. Life is short. Eating well is the best revenge.
Sam

Maris (In Good taste) said...

This looks so perfect. I hope everything is going well for you.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Julia was wise, and serious about cooking, yet kept a sense of humor and proportion about it. I think what she taught us all more than anything was fearlessness. And how to make a souffle, too.

Gloria said...

absolutely beauty love souflée!!:)

Gloria said...

Hope all goes OK Thomas:) always the life is complicated:(

Kat said...

She sure did. I am embarrassed to say that I have never made, or ate a souffle. There, I said it! I am sure I would love it, as it has eggs and cheese in it! and, I just ate a plate of scrambled eggs and cheese!

Kalyn said...

Looks like it came out perfectly. I've never made a souffle even once.

Sophiesfoodiefiles said...

The soufflé sure looks great & well risen to me!

Yum Yum, too! :)

I hope you will be feeling better really soon,...;)

Barbara said...

She was the queen, no doubt. I don't have that particular book...would love it.
Your souffle is gorgeous...and it looks as though you enjoyed it to the end. :)
I had a cheese souffle recipe I made years ago and remember it was no-fail. You inspired me to look it up and compare. Not at all the same! Think I would prefer your cheese choices.

Linda Eatherton said...

It's a beautiful reminder that good things can't be hurried. And for those who have the patience to wait, good things will come to them (again). Thank you for sharing, TB

Fresh Local and Best said...

You attempted Julia Child's souffle? Wow! You make it sound like it just puffed up. I don't agree, there must have been some skill involved...I'm so curious now, I must try this recipe myself. Fingers crossed that it will puff up too.

veron said...

Ah, Julia Child, she has such kitchen wisdom. I have some of her French Chef dvds and I love hearing her voice in the background. That is a wonderful souffle, Julia will be proud!

Zany said...

I'm sure seeing this rise certainly helped to lift your spirits, too. What an amazing dish...and as another commenter pointed out, I can't help but hear Meryl Streep's voice playing Julia Childs as a I read the recipe header!

Catherine said...

Dear T.W., Well, I am sure this recipe was all about patience. Julia is a wonderful cook and you are correct. She is not to be hurried!
I hope that life unwinds a bit for you, but life sometimes has a way of winding tighter before it gives you a chance to breath. Be patient and kind to yourself.
As I write this I must read it and take my advice too. I think that the boat we are all in is getting crowded.
P.S. Your souffle looks beautiful and sure did poof!
Blessings my friend, Catherine

Mad Me-Shell said...

wow, this looks beautiful! A souffle is very intimidating to me, but I think I need to add this to my list to try! You make it look so easy...

Mary said...

It looks perfectly made. I hope your spirits rise as high as your souffle. Have a wonderful evening. Blessings...Mary

tasteofbeirut said...

I made my first cheese soufflé decades ago when I was teaching myself how to cook French food using (of course) Julia Child's paperback French Chef book. When I realized it was easy I stopped wanting to make it. Lately I have been thinking about a soufflé again, it is so FUN to eat that puffy, airy, thing! Yours look perfect!!!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

For all the cooking I have done...I have never made a soufflé.