Making my bones
I like to cook, and try to get better at it. Anyone can bake a cake from a mix or broil a steak, but there are definitely some things that can be quite a challenge to create. And the height of the chef’s art seems to be the soufflé, that heavenly concoction of eggs, cream and sugar that’s as light as air and bursts with flavor. Tonight, I made one.
Not, perhaps, the greatest of performances, but a decent first effort. The color was great, the flavor and texture were on target, but the soufflé didn’t rise the way one would want.
We had friends over for dinner, and enjoyed an interesting dinner while compulsively checking the basketball score. (Go Dubs!) A first course of shrimp sauteéd in oil and ancho chilies led to the main course of baked salmon, polenta and roasted veggies.
There were a few minutes of conversation, because it takes about 40 minutes to bake the dessert. There is a lot of old mythology about not walking heavily or making loud noises lest the soufflé falls, but in truth you just have to avoid opening the oven door to peek–the drop in oven temperature will cause a fall faster than anything else.
Bringing a special dessert to the table will excite a round of appreciation from your guests, even if it hasn’t risen as far as you would like. That’s the best part.
This was fun, and at least a partial success. Can’t wait to try another one.