Souffles have easily become a favorite food group. Well at least a mash-up of food groups. These contain protein (eggs, bacon), dairy (milk, cheese), veggies (onion), and even fruit (apples). Bonus points: it's totally gluten-free!
When we found out my youngest sister was malnourished, I thought these souffles would be the perfect way for her to meet her two-egg-a-day requirement. When I asked her how she usually has her eggs, she replied, "Over medium." I might have even caught the tail end of an eye roll as if over medium was in fact the only good way to prepare eggs. But actually, I'd never heard of someone ordering eggs in this way. Over easy? Sure. But over medium? She explained that she doesn't like the yolks runny (I don't know how we are related :-p), and that over medium cooks the yolk all the way through. I sensed a challenge. One morning when she was over at my house, I decided to put my plan into action and combine two of her other loves, apples and bacon, into my new favorite egg dish... cheese souffles.
As luck would have it, I actually had a bacon gruyer... that's right, a wedge of cheese with bits o bacon... on hand. It was pretty amazing on it's own so I was surprised we had a good portion of it left. The teenager was surprised too. She loves bacon so much that for her birthday she received bacon socks... And band-aids shaped in little strips of bacon.
And while the idea of a souffle didn't immediately appeal to her, she agreed to try it. As long as it contained bacon. So I set about crisping the bacon, sauteeing the veg and apples, and melting down the cheese.
Then I carefully stirred the ingredients together, added some fresh herbs, and prepared the eggs. The egg process is kind of tricky in that you have to separate the yolks from the whites. You temper the yolks into the cooled cheese mixture. And whisk the whites (with a bit of tarter) until they have nice stiff peaks. Like this:
Some folding happens. Some buttering of dishes happens too, either a large 6 inch deep dish, or 4 to 6 ramekins. After the dishes are gently filled 3/4 of the way full with the souffle batter, they get baked until golden brown and puffy. We enjoyed our souffles on the couch, with pot holders on the coffee table, and oven mitts on our hands. I was eager for her to try it. Side by side we hovered over the souffles and gingerly dipped our spoons into the clouds of bacon, herbs, and cheese. I really loved the layers of flavors these souffles had. Especially the sweetness from the apples and onions. I thought these gluten-free bacon, apple, and gruyere souffles satisfied the challenge quite well. But since I can't feed the teenage souffles every day, what are your favorite egg dishes to make for a picky eater? Let me know in the comments!
gluten-free bacon, apple, and gruyère souffles
Recipe Type: brunch
Adapted from Samantha Seneviratne's leek and bacon souffle recipe in Fine Cooking magazine.