Sunday, January 2, 2011

What's For Dinner?

Tonight's Menu: 

Caesar Salad with Baby Romaine

Home-Fried Potatoes with Smoked Paprika

Dessert: Individual Chocolate Souffles

Page 144 January 2011 Living Magazine

My heart was thumping even before I started cooking.  Yesterday, I planned on making this menu and was ecstatic when I saw chocolate souffles listed as the dessert.  In this months Martha Stewart Living magazine, you can find this meal and prep schedule on page 144.  I omitted the New York strip steaks with red-wine sauce (I'm a vegetarian, remember?).

Caesar Salad:  The creamy, rich, earthy tasting dressing is made with both egg yolk and anchovies.  I added plenty of freshly cracked pepper because, I'm a pepper person.  To me, you can't have too much pepper.  The dressing, made perfect with the homemade croutons, grounded the palate and prepared it for the earthy, down home fried potatoes. 

Who could resist the yummy can of anchovies?  I know I couldn't. 

Ummm....I changed my mind.  Plain anchovies are not my thing!

Home-Fried Potatoes- I'm not too sure what the pimenton was.  It was in the ingredient list for the dish and was listed as if everyone knew what this thing was.  In my opinion, it sounds like a type of vehicle.  Since no one was watching, I just pulled out the paprika shaker and sprinkled on about 8 good size shakes onto the potatoes.  They were really good!  It worked out OK and even the little kiddies (who are oh-so-picky) ate it up.  Of course, they had to have their ketchup squirted mile high onto their potatoes. 

The Lovely Chocolate Souffle- Doesn't she sound so beautiful? I have never experimented with the fabulous world of souffle making before.  A little nervous, was I indeed.  I did have to make two batches, but I feel like it wasn't really my fault.  Martha, FYI the directions were a little confusing here.  The preparation schedule in the magazine tells you to just go on ahead and make the batter ahead of time and then toast the croutons.  BE CAREFUL!  The thing I did here was make the batter and then it says to add the egg whites.  So I just tossed in three egg whites.  Mixed and started freaking out.  You were supposed to (in the previous step that was skipped) whisk the egg whites with cream of tartar and sugar and then add to the batter.  So what did I do?  At this point, I just plopped it all into the mixer and said, hell-with-it.  Here they are.

 And so it was a re-do.  They didn't rise up very much.  However, they did taste good.

Things were getting a little sketchy and a weird vibe was buzzing around me.  So, I got out the can of sea salt and sprinkled it over my left shoulder.  I think it helped!

Like a grumpy old man, I drove to the grocery store to grab two more bars of bittersweet chocolate.  Since I was not going to be defeated, this time was going to work, end of story.  I followed the instructions exactly and it turned out okay.  I think I added slightly too much milk and that caused the souffle to appear lighter in color.  Make sure to fill the ramekins 2/3 of the way full.  The instructions don't tell you this.  It felt like I was sitting in the wrong class wondering what the heck was going on. Overall, souffles are super easy to make.  Follow the instructions exactly, whip everything until it has peaks like the Himalayas and fill your ramekins 2/3 full.  Finally, sit down, close your eyes and enjoy!

Milk, Cornstarch and Salt

Milk, Cornstarch and Salt thickened.
Egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar
Egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar whipped and ready to go
The souffle batter
fill ramekins 2/3 full
Chocolate souffle

The best part!


suz said...

It's not just dinner, its an adventure!

Holman3 said...

This is great Morgan! Are you blogging your menus throughout 2011?

Arti said...

I love it, you seem like you're having fun while doing it. The pictures are amazing, not to mention entertaining. I especially like the " I changed my mind" bit!!! Your souffle looks great..yummy. The fam. seems to be enjoying the meal. You're starting the year with a bang...have fun and good luck.

Jenny Cave said...

Great photos and I love the text. I especially love the 'vegetarian' testimonial (lol)

The Green Mama said...

Stay tuned for more kitchen adventures and other escapades. Thanks for the comments, too! It's nice to know that I am not just typing into internet space...a signal has been detected. Thanks;)

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