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Lewes, Delaware
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April 11, 2008     Cape Gazette
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April 11, 2008
 

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"qt 92 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, April 11 - Monday, April 14, 2008 FOOD & DRINK Tender souffle is a frothy delicacy CAPE FLAVORS Denise Clemons The final step is to gently fold in perfectly whipped egg whites before baking in a high-sided dish. The primary reason souffles fail may be due to the nervous cook opening the oven door to check on progress, lowering the temperature and disturbing the ris- ing. Once removed from the oven, souffles immediately begin to sag, so you must be ready to serve quickly. You may notice that the recipe for the ham and cheese souffle calls for one more egg white than yolk. This is to compensate for Dish with French origin has sweet, savory options There are some dishes, like souffles, that seem so daunting they might as well have a warning label that reads Don't try this at home! While a successful souffle has a certain glamour, it also has an undeserved reputation for diffi- culty. SoufflE, French for "puffed up," has become the culinary term for a frothy delicacy just stiff enough to hold its shape. Whether sweet or savory, the secret to a lofty souffle is simply air. There are two parts to a won- derful soufflE: the base, which imparts all the flavor, and the egg whites, which do the work. Trapped air in the foamy whipped whites expands in the heat and puffs the dish into its familiar shape. And generously buttering the inside of the pan will allow the batter to slide up easily while ris- ing. Don't pour the batter into tile baking dish; to lose less air, gently fill the pan with large spoonfuls. The traditional hot souffle starts with a roux - a cooked mixture of flour and butter to which egg yolks and seasonings are added. Jack Clemona photos Trapped air in the foamy whipped whites expands in the heat and puffs the dish into its familiar shape, as illustrated in this chocolate souffle for two. the weight of the added ingredi- ents, a little more additional air to help the dish rise properly. In the lighter chocolate soufflE, which is not based on a roux, the number of yolks and whites are the same. When you beat the egg wliites, you'll get better results if you use the mixer's whisk attachment. Start with a slow speed and once the egg whites begin to foam, gradually increase your speed to fast. Watch carefully; you'll want to stop whipping when the mix- ture is shiny and soft peaks form; over-beaten egg whites will appear dull and grainy. It may come as a surprise to dis- cover (unless you're a fan of the orange boxes of Stouffer's Spinach SoufflE) that you can pre- pare souffle batter and freeze it to cook later. Once you've combined the beaten egg whites with the base and filled the baking dish, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer (keep the pan level). Once the batter is frozen solid, wrap in aluminum foil until ready to bake; it should keep for about a month. If you've used a Pyrex dish, you can skip the defrosting step; other- wise unwrap the pan and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Baking will take approximately double the amount of time than when you're cooking a souffle immediately after preparing the batter. For me, serving a souffle feels a bit destructive after all the effort to assemble this perfectly puffed creation. The proper technique to make sure each plate has some of the creamy center and the golden top is to insert two spoons verti- cally, splitting open the crust and lifting out tall, steaming sections. Go ahead, try this at home! CHOCOLATE SOUFFLI FOR TWO 2 T butter, pins extra for butter- ing the pan 3 oz chopped bittersweet choco- late 2 eggs, separated 1 1/2 T sugar I t confectioners' sugar Preheat oven to 375 E Butter the inside of two 1-cup ramekins or a 14-oz souffle dish. Place the butter and chocolate into a bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted, about 2 minutes. In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks with a fork. Remove the chocolate mix- ture from the heat and add egg yolks, stirring quickly to combine; set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, about 20 sec- onds on the highest mixer setting. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until soft, glossy peaks form. Gently fold in a third of the beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture until barely "incorporated. Add the remaining egg whites, folding in delicately without over- mixing. Spoon half the mixture into each of the two buttered ramekins. Bake until set, about 12 to 15 minutes; serve immediately dusted with confectioners' sugar. HAM AND CHEESE SOUFFLI 1 t butter 1 T Parmesan cheese 1 T sliced green onions 1/3 C minced ham 1/4 C minced mnshrooms 3 T butter 3 T flour 1 C hot milk 1/2 t salt 1/4 t pepper dash nutmeg pinch of cayenne 4 egg yolks 5 egg whites pinch of salt 1/2 C grated Swiss cheese 1/4 C plus 1 T parmesan cheese Preheat oven to 400 E Butter the inside of a 6-cup souffle dish; dust with 1 T of parmesan cheese; set aside. In a small skillet, saute the ham, onion and mushroom until wilted; drain and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for about 2 min- utes; do not brown. Remove from heat and add milk, whisking vig- orously until blended. Stir in sea- sonings and return to heat; bring Continued on page ,93 Dogfish brewery among top 50 in industry sales Based on 2007 sales data, Brewing Companies. Statistics California hosts eight top brew- Delaware's Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is the 25th largest craft brewery in the United States, out of more than 1,400 small, inde- pendent and traditional breweries. The Brewers Association, which tabulates industry growth data, announced its annual list of the top 50 brewing companies. Releed were both a Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies list and a list of the Top 50 Overall are based on sales in 2007. "The majority of breweries in the U.S. are independent craft brewers who continue to push the envelope in flavor and diversity and who continue to set the pace for the beer category," said Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association. "In 2007, 1,406 of the 1,449 breweries were small, independ- ent and traditional brewers." cries. Colorado and Oregon each host five and Pennsylvania hosts four top producers. The rest of the top 50 are Minnesota (3), New York (3), Wisconsin (3) Illinois (2), Massachusetts (2), Missouri (2), Vermont (2) and Washington (2). Alaska, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Ohio and Texas each host one. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery is among the top 50 brewing companies. WINE Horton a smash hit at wine dinner I had the distinct pleasure of attending a multi-course dinner with Barbara and some great pals, Steve and Suzi. We sat adjacent to two great guys but I failed to ask if it was OK to put their names in print so this is just a hello and we enjoyed the conversation. Thanks and good luck with your theatrical production. The dinner was organized by Teller Wine and orchestrated by Nage, Lesley Cowan and Ben King, last Monday. The wines being shown were chosen from Horton Vineyards in Virginia. Barb and I had the pleasure of tast- The thick- ing these last skinned autumn in Viognier is Salisbury, Md., shown just and I wrote of before har- them at that time. vest. Although they were enjoyable then, juxtaposing them with great food allowed the wine to show its true merit. The food at Nage has always been right on the money when we have been there in the past. Monday was even better than usual. Regulars will guess what aacted me to attend, when I tell you that the In'st two wines served were Viogniers. The Horton's Sparkling Viognier NV may have been the weakest on the list. It did go well with the appetizer of smoked salmon and orzo salad with carrot coulis. I think the wine exacerbated the slightly bitter fla- vor that carrot usually provides. Notes from last fall say the wine was served too warm for a sparkler and was very herbaceous. Perhaps that was what I detected. Next up was an impeccable combination of the Horton Viognier 2006 served with seared artichokes, pea shoots, rosemary popcorn and parmesan emulsion. Continued on page 93 1