By William S. Gregory –
In my childhood when money got tight at the end of the month my mother would prepare cost-saving dishes. One of these the family called, “Mother’s Egg Thing”. It was easy to make, contained no meat (so was cheap), and she assembled it quickly, which let her to return to more interesting projects outside the kitchen.
When “Mother’s Egg Thing” appeared at the table we knew times were hard. It was not that it tasted bad, indeed it had a light, pleasing color, the soft smell of cooked parmesan cheese and eggs, and was warm and comforting to eat. However, since it arrived in times of privation, after a while it acquired, if not unpleasant, at least drab associations.
After college the first time I ate at a mid-priced, “Continental Style” restaurant I felt myself to be out in the larger world at last. I was dazzled by the cloth napery, the silverware, and the chandeliers. The menu thrilled me with the names of dishes I had so far only encountered in books.
I decided to order a soufflé. From my reading I knew this was a triumph of classic cookery, a dish of fragile mood, a rare and demanding treat. It required such a combination of skill, knowledge, and daring, that only the most masterful chefs attempted it. As I sat in the restaurant the cloth napkin on my lap, the cutlery gleaming beside my plate, the crystals in the chandelier tinkling in the soft air I felt a glorious new phase of my life was about to begin. At last the soufflé arrived at my table, presented in its individual soufflé dish. There, standing at my place, was “Mother’s Egg Thing”.
SOUFFLÉ KAYRIN (PDF)
(Kayrin H. Gregory, 2014)
6 Eggs, separated. Egg whites brought to room temperature
1/4 Cup Additions: cooked meat, cooked vegetable, or cheese, chopped fine.
¼ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Pepper
1. Pre-Heat oven to 350.
2. Heavily butter a 6″ soufflé dish or straight sided dish.
3. Place Egg Whites in mixing bowl, whisk until firm peaks appear,
approx. five minutes with an electric mixer.
4. Blend additions into egg yolks, add Salt and Pepper. Fold egg yolk
mixture into egg whites.
5. Bake undisturbed in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
After setting the oven to 350º, Sam began separating the eggs:
We added some grated parmesan cheese, a minced scallion, and some salt and pepper to the egg yolks.
Next beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and then gently fold in the egg yolk mixture.
Here’s the dish ready to go into the oven.
The finished dish. Delicious!
The happy chefs: Sam and James