September 1, 2011
I know Labor Day is traditionally reserved for barbecue, and if you know me, you know my husband and I love savory grilled food. Usually, we look forward to the “grilling-day” holidays (Memorial and Labor Day) and celebrate in classic style. That said, there are few things more relaxing to me than sipping champagne at a mid-morning brunch, so for this year’s Labor Day, I’m changing things up. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be the start of a new tradition at Casa Rice.
For the main course, I chose an easy breezy Soufflé adapted from Jacques Pepin. I have tons of chives in the garden right now, and I feel like this dish really shows off their flavor. Plus, it’s the perfect thing for Labor Day since it’s so simple to make and can be prepared ahead of time that morning. I like to do all my prep work, pour the ingredients into the cooking vessel, and let it sit at room temperature while I move on to other things. 30 minutes before we are ready to eat, I’ll pop it in the oven and be good to go. Lets brunch!
Adapted (just a tad) from Maman’s Souffle by Jacques Pepin (you know I’ve got a crush!)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional to butter a 6 cup gratin dish
6 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups of cold whole milk
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
5 extra-large eggs mixed with a whisk
2 1/2 cups grated Gruyère (about 6 ounces)
3 tablespoons of minced chives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Butter a 6-cup gratin dish and set it aside. Melt 3/4 of a stick of butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and mix in well with a whisk (I used my flat whisk). Cook for 10 seconds, then add the cold milk in one stroke and whisk it in. Keep stirring with the whisk until the mixture thickens and comes to a strong boil, about 2 minutes. It should be thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in salt and pepper.
Pour the white sauce into a large bowl to cool. After about 10 minutes it should be cool enough to proceed. Add the beaten eggs, cheese, and chives to the sauce, and mix well to combine. Pour into the buttered gratin dish. Set aside at room temperature until you are ready to cook.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until puffy and well browned on top. Serve immediately for best results.