Monday, January 07, 2013

January Jeliciousness: Cauliflower Souffle for One, Norwegian-style

This makes me happy. My mother who really is a very good cook (and comes from a long line of wonderful cooks -- read about my Norwegian grandmother's stroganoff here) but doesn't really cook as much any more, has been inspired by January Jeliciousness to share her recipe for Cauliflower Souffle for one! This arrived in my inbox first thing this morning. So you know, my mother is Norwegian, and met my father when she was an au pair for his older children. As rumor has it, he asked her to marry him every single day while they walked on the Common, at a particular gate near the beech trees. And finally, exhausted, she relented. She was twenty three years younger than him when they married in 1962. If you're trying to picture her, she reminds me a bit of the Patricia Hodge character on Miranda.  "If your mother is Norwegian" said my friend Alex when we were about 19, "why does she have such a ridiculously upper class English accent?" I suppose that's the way they learned English. My mormor spoke that way too, even though my father was convinced she was a closet socialist (oh no, not that!). I'm hoping to cajole her into sharing her recipe for fish ball, shrimp and cauliflower salad, cabbage stew, blotkake, egg mousse and even, perhaps, Pineapple Romanoff which I remember fondly from the Robert Carrier recipe cards she kept in the kitchen.

This is my mother's recipe, verbatim. I can vouch for its sublime deliciousness:

Small amount of white [*bechamel -- MsW] sauce (seasoned with nutmeg, salt and pepper).
Add yolk of one egg and grated cheese, whip eggwhite and *combine.
Parboil cauliflower fleurettes.
Mix and sprinkle with a little more cheese in a buttered ovenproof dish.
Cook in *hot oven (AGA) for 20 to 30 minutes (longer for a bigger souffle of course !!!)

My annotations:
*For bechamel, mix a little flour and butter in a saucepan in a roux and slowly add milk, stirring continually as it thickens.
*When you combine the stiff, whipped egg whites with the rest of the sauce, do so gently so that you don't lose the fluffiness.
*If you don't have an Aga, try a conventional oven at 425F.

My mother serves this with some simple steamed asparagus & butter and a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (see image below).
-- MsW

image by Bente Ward

I love this picture of my mother & Minky giggling


David Kirkpatrick said...

Gosh! That sounds so good it makes me want to learn hot to cook!

Wally B said...

Simply delicious. I love it that your mom tops off a single meal in style.