11 April 2010

Food with Alcohol

The theme of this month's cooking club pretty much sums up a relaxing evening for me.  There's nothing better than a tasty meal with a glass of wine. However, the theme was more to do with putting the alcohol into the food which is what we all successfully did!
I was on starters, and I chose a dish I have been wanting to try for some time, a twice baked souffle.  I found the recipe on http://www.taste.com.au/ and was able to link it with the theme as there was wine in the tomato sauce.  The recipe was pretty straight forward, and what was fantastic was I was able to transport them very easily.  I made the tomato sauce and baked the souffles at home in the afternoon, keeping them in the moulds. I then drove them over to CookEl's home and simply turned them out into the sauce in the roasting pan, poured over the cream with a sprinkling of cheese and cooked them for 20mins.  They were so light and fluffy, definitely a recipe I will do again.  It is a recipe that has so much potential to play around with, next time I think I will use some blue cheese to give it a stronger flavour and I am still pondering on how I could tweek the sauce.  I chose to use dariole moulds instead of ramekins to give them more height.

Twice-baked gruyere soufflés with rich tomato sauce

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 85 mins

(Serves 6 in 180ml ramekins or Serves 9 in 125ml Dariole Moulds)

1 tbs olive oil
1 brown onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) white wine
2 x 425g cans diced tomatoes
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
125ml (1/2 cup) water

Melted butter, to grease
60g butter
50g (1/3 cup) plain flour
375ml (1 1/2 cups) milk
Pinch of white pepper
4 eggs, separated
80g (1 cup) coarsely grated gruyere
80ml (1/3 cup) pouring cream
Rocket leaves, ends trimmed, to serve


1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until soft. Add the wine and cook until almost all of the wine evaporates. Add the tomato, rosemary and water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. (I just used a Stick mixer)
2. Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush six 180ml-capacity ovenproof ramekins with melted butter to grease. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until mixture bubbles. Remove from heat. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly until smooth.
3. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes until mixture thickens. Season with salt and white pepper. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Whisk in the egg yolks and three-quarters of the gruyere.
4. Use an electric beater to whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until firm peaks form. Use a large metal spoon to gently fold the egg whites into the gruyere mixture. Spoon the mixture among the prepared ramekins.
5. Place the ramekins in a baking dish. Add enough boiling water to the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes or until puffed. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool (the soufflés will deflate).
6. Pour the tomato sauce over the base of a 30 x 20cm baking dish. Turn out the soufflés and place, upside down, in the dish. Pour over the cream and sprinkle with remaining gruyere. Bake for 20 minutes or until gruyere melts and soufflés are puffed.
7. Spoon tomato sauce among serving dishes. Top with soufflés and rocket. Serve immediately.


  1. CookA, those souffles were as good as any I've eaten in some top restaurants, and the sauce was divine on its own. You recall I took one home for my Mr P, but Miss Five spotted it the next morning and demanded a taste. Well. We fought about it but she scored the whole lot! It was sensational!

  2. A little hint I just thought of with the souffle's or for anything that is being baked in a water bath: Place a teatowel in the base of the baking dish, then place the filled ramekins onto this as it will stop them from slipping when it is filled with water. Before you put the boiling water into the pan place it onto the rack of the oven as it is difficult and dangerous to carry a pan of boiling water any distance!

  3. Sitting down to my entree at my first night of Cooking Club I was overwhelmed at the standard of the food in front of me. CookA's souffles were devine. I felt like I could of picked my plate up and licked it clean! Though that may not of created a very good impression. Mind you- a friend took another friend to a rather posh restaurant- and was mortified when her guest picked up her plate and licked it clean as she enjoyed every last drop of the meal. Word travelled to the chef- and he came out and said it was the biggest compliment he had ever been paid- and she could have the meal for free!!