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May 18, 2016

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National Cheese Souffle Day

It is National Cheese Souffle Day, a food holiday celebrated annually on May 18.  The word souffle is the past participle of the French verb, souffler, which means “to blow up” or “puff up”.   This is what happens when the egg whites are combined with the custard in the souffle.

Egg yolks and beaten egg whites, combined with various other ingredients make up a souffle.  It can be served as a tasty main course dish or it can be sweetened for a desert.

Each souffle is made up of two basic components:

  • 1.  a French creme base, flavored cream sauce or puree

  • 2.  beaten egg whites.

The base provides the flavor and the egg whites provide the “lift”.  The base is commonly made up  of cheese, jam, fruits, berries, chocolate, and lemon.  This day is dedicated to the cheese based souffle.

OBSERVE

Go out to a French restaurant and eat a souffle.  You can also try your hand at making one.

Post the photos on social media #NationalCheeseSouffleDay.

Enjoy this easy “tried and true” Cheese Souffle recipe below.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup hot milk
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
4 egg yolks
5 egg whites
1 cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter a 6-cup souffle or straight-sided baking dish with 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. Dust the interior of the dish with the Parmesan and knock out the excess.
In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the butter and flour foam and froth. Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the hot milk, then simmer over medium heat and stir slowly until thick, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the seasonings, then the egg yolks, 1 by 1.
Whip the egg whites to stiff, shining peaks, then whisk 1/4 of them into the sauce to lighten it. Delicately fold the remaining egg whites into the sauce, alternating with the grated Swiss cheese.
Turn the souffle mixture into the prepared dish and set in the oven. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees F and bake until the souffle has puffed 1 or 2-inches above the rim and has browned on top, about 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

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