Well, well, well. I appear to be operating at a sizzle these days, at least if this year’s Food and Wine Magazine Hot 100 list is anything to go by. Amongst mentions in the list for fellow bloggers Niamh Shields from Eat Like A Girl, Aoife Carrigy from Holy Mackerel and Joanna Schaffalitzky from Smorgasblog – lovely ladies all – I was very flattered to see this here blog listed for the second year.
And if, as the Food and Wine citation says, this is the place to come for potato recipes, then I’d better get some spuds on now, hadn’t I?
Cheese and Potato Soufflés
This recipe – marking not only the first known sighting of a soufflé on The Daily Spud, but the first attempt at same in my kitchen – is adapted from one by Stephen McArdle of The Arch Bistro which appeared in last week’s Irish Times Potato Special. You can find the original, along with plenty of other spud recipes, here – I added some garlic and rosemary, left out the spring onions which I didn’t have, and swapped the cream for milk. The result is composed entirely of ingredients which, in my house, I never don’t have, and which makes it all the more likely that I’ll make these again, especially as I’m always game for a bit of fluffy cheesy potato action, even if the soufflés did sink not long after emerging from the oven.
For the mashed potato, if you have some leftover mash, then by all means use that. Otherwise, either bake some potatoes and scoop out the flesh to use here, or boil or steam some potatoes as you would for regular mash.
For the potatoes:
- 250g plain mashed potato
- 5 tblsp milk, warmed
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1 small onion, about 100g, very finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 0.5 tsp finely chopped rosemary needles
For the soufflés:
- 50g butter
- 50g plain flour
- 300ml milk
- 100g mature cheddar, grated
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
You’ll also need:
- A whisk for beating the eggs, 6 large ramekins (around 250-300ml capacity each) and a baking tray to hold them.
- Preheat your oven to 200C and grease your ramekins with butter and lightly dust with flour.
- If your mashed potato is cold, heat it gently (either give it a quick blast in the microwave, place it in a bowl over some hot water or give it a few minutes in the oven, covered). Mix together the mashed potato and 5 tblsp of milk.
- Place a frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add some vegetable oil to coat. Add the chopped onion along with a pinch of salt and gently sauté for 6-8 minutes, until softened and translucent.
- Add the garlic and rosemary and stir and fry for another 1-2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Stir the onion mixture into the mashed potatoes.
- Place a small pot over a medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt, then add the flour and stir together.
- Gradually add the 300ml milk, stirring all the time, and bring to a gentle boil.
- Whisk in the mashed potatoes, followed by the grated cheddar. Add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and leave to cool for a minute or so, then beat in the egg yolks.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks (around 2 minutes). Fold approx. one third of the egg whites into the potato mixture and, once incorporated, fold the remainder in gently.
- Divide the soufflé mixture amongst the ramekins (each should be around three quarters full) and place on a baking tray.
- Bake for about 18 minutes, taking care not to open the oven during that time. Once baked, you can turn the soufflés out gently onto serving dishes or just serve as they are in their ramekins, along with some salad greens.
- You can vary the cheese and seasonings to your taste – perhaps try some goat’s cheese and thyme instead of cheddar and rosemary – or swap out the herbs for some warm Indian spices, like cumin or some mustard seeds perhaps.
- Make 6 soufflés