Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Herb Spring Water and a Broccoli Souffle
The garden is coming together, little bits at a time. There has been a few setbacks and a lesson learned. Today I went to a plant stand in the town of Waldport to pick up some kale and chard. While there I met an interesting woman named C heart. She was tall and thin and wore a wonderful pink floppy hat. She helps run the community garden in town and was at the stand to help teach and advise. She had two large jars of spring water and in each jar she had different herbs and flowers. She would pour the water through a strainer and then hand you a little glass cup. The one I liked the best had basil, parsley, rosemary, nasturtiums, borage and a few other things. The borage flower (picture below) is edible, when eaten it taste like a cucumber and adds a crisp like taste to the water. Anyway, the jars were left a few hours to steep in the sun and then it was done, ready to enjoy. The smell was wonderful and the taste so fresh with delightful earthy tones. In the summer I will use citrus or berries in our water when we have guest over so this was different for me and a truly great find.
Last night I had dinner at a friends house and she made the most wonderful spinach souffle. The souffle was served with salmon that had been marinated in soy sauce and oven roasted. She finished the meal with homemade short cakes loaded with several types of berries and a dollop of whip cream. She is a exceptional cook and a fantastic baker. Today's recipe is my attempt to mimic her version adapting a Deborah Madison recipe from her cookbook "Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone". Here I substituted broccoli and cheddar cheese for her spinach and Parmesan cheese that she had in the souffle. The instructions were easy to follow and the recipe is such that you can completely change the flavor by switching out the veggies and complimentary herbs and spices. This was my first souffle and I was very pleased with the outcome. Though I do need to buy the proper pan.
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup finely diced broccoli (wash first)
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt, extra salt to taste and pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk, heated
4 eggs separated
Preheat oven to 375F. Butter a shallow gratin dish.
In a medium sized sauce pan, bring 4 cups water to a boil, then add broccoli, cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat, drain and then add cold water to stop cooking. Salt and pepper to taste.
Next is the batter, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir in the flour and cook about 2 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk and cook, stirring frequently until sauce has thickened about 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt. Add Dijon mustard and broccoli.
Place yolks in a bowl and whisk, add 1/2 cup of the sauce slightly to warm them. Then add the rest of the sauce and the cheese.
By hand or with mixer beat the egg whites until stiff. Stir in a quarter of them into the souffle base, then fold in the remainder, just until no white streaks show.
Bake on rack set in middle of oven until golden, until mostly firm, 25 to 30 minutes.