Monday, 25 April 2011

Cook to impress: Artichokes Souffle'

Easter is almost done... thank god! Too bad the holidays are over but at least it means all comes back to normal and that the city will be full of people again. What was I thinking to spend easter alone?! Ugh... definitely writing a reminder note in my agenda for next year. Thanks to technology I wasn't all alone, as I joined - in a computer shape - my family's easter dinner. And they actually made the traditional Asparagus, Eggs & Salmon dinner I posted the other day.

After several days of eating in big groups you are most likely to have leftovers... I see you nodding! I am also guessing that these leftovers are probably eggs, artichokes, milk, butter... and chocolate! So here I am giving you a recipe that can use up your leftovers. Who would have thought you can also impress big time with leftovers?? Well I certainly didn't, but this one proofs you can: Artichoke Souffle.

Souffles are known to be difficult recipes to make - hence the impressing part. But actually, Chef Stefano taught me that it's not that hard. The real trick is in using the right cups and the duration and heat of the oven. And the crucial secret is to NEVER EVER OPEN UP the oven while the souffle is in there. NEVER!!!!
Here is his recipe...

Ingredients: for 6 servings

  • 8 artichokes
  • 50gr white flour
  • 50gr butter
  • 300 cl milk - half fat
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • grated Pecorino cheese
  • grated moss walnut
  • grated breadcrumbs
How to make it:
Heat up the oven up to 175 degrees Celcius.
Clean the artichokes according to Stefano's tips posted earlier this month.
Cook the artichoke hearts in a big pan of water for about 40 minutes.
While the artichokes are cooking, melt the butter in a medium sized pan, add the sieved flour and stir for 3 minutes. Slowly add the cold milk and cook for another 3 minutes while continuing to stir. Add salt, pepper and the moss walnut to taste. Cool down the mixture - which is actually a Besciamella sauce!
Separate the eggwhites from the egg yolks. Whip up the egg whites into a firm foam. 
First you add the egg yolks to the besciamella sauce, and then you stir in the egg white foam.
Around this time, the artichokes should be more or less done. If they are, take them out of the water and squash them with a fork or chop them up using a kitchen aid. Make sure they don't get to squashy because you want to maintain the bite of the artichoke.  Add the artichokes to the besciamella mixture.
Now you are ready to prepare your souffle cups (one portion cups are best to use - comparable to muffin cups): butter them on the inside and add some grated breadcrumbs in order to prevent sticking. Pour in the mixture for 2/3 of the cup - as they will rise a lot, so you don't want them to be filled up too much.
Cook the one portion souffles for 40 minutes on 175 degrees. If you are using a bigger cup than add cooking time - circa 10 to 20 minutes depending on the size.
When it's done, take it out of the oven and take the souffle out of the cup by turning them upside down on a plate. Turn them again so that the golden brown top is heading up.
Serve the souffle with a fondue of pecorino (heating up milk and pecorino cheese into a creamy mixture) or a sheep's cheese that has been slightly warmed up.

Outcome: WOW! You will be serving a starter that will blow away your guest's minds! Do you have a good recipe that always impresses you guests? Please share!

Artichoke Souffle
Con Piacere
Chef Stefano


  1. Yummmm!!! Looks so good! Saw your comments! Thank you so much. I'm definitely up for your blog design once you're ready :)

    It's been a weird process to get used to. The "not working" full time thing. hehe But, it led me to open up that food blog and get involved with bettering my health. Which was my main priority.

    you're too sweet!

  2. I'm already thinking of a pimped version of the blog!!!! I am sure that together we can make something cool! I wish I could blog fulltime... and cook fulltime and earn lots of money with it!! sigh...
    about to pop over to you blog misssss Fiiii!!