I am eating soufflé and re-living my childhood as I write this post. I’m 7 years old at the dinner table. My father has just carried in a cheese soufflé with wild mushrooms that he collected in the woods of Silver Bay, Minnesota. We’re all waiting with baited breath as he serves it. We take the first bite, he quietly pulls a dusty book off the shelf, and reads: “There are strange things done in the midnight sun, by the men who moil for gold. The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold…”
I’m breathless. I’ve never heard such a fantastic tale, nor tasted such a delicious soufflé. It was a moment to remember, and we all knew it. After that day, whenever my father made soufflé, about once a year, we begged him to read a Robert W. Service poem.
Now about the soufflé. I still crave my father’s recipe, so I re-invented it Paleo and dairy-free. Instead of milk and cheese it uses coconut, nutritional yeast and lemon to simulate the taste. Try it, and you’ll be surprised. For the best eggs see my article The Best Eggs Are Pasture-Raised Organic. My father isn’t around anymore, but the tradition is still alive. If you like, read your favorite poetry aloud or listen to ours here. Makes two 12-ounce soufflés. Serves 2. Equipment needed: an electric mixer or a whisk and a strong arm.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small clove garlic, chopped, optional
- 2 ounces mushrooms, preferably Shiitake or Maitake
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons coconut or almond milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Unprocessed salt & pepper to taste
- 4 egg whites
- Preheat oven to 375º F. Grease two 12-ounce ramekins with coconut oil, and dust with almond meal, coconut flour, or arrowroot. You can also use one soufflé dish or baking dish that holds 3 to 4 cups.
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil. Sauté the garlic, if using. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to soften. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl or blender, add the egg yolks, milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix well until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer or a whisk to beat the egg whites. Add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Beat to stiff peaks, but not dry.
- Pour the egg yolk mixture into the beaten egg whites. Using a spatula, gently fold them together. Pour into baking dishes.
- Bake until the soufflés are tall and golden brown on top 24 to 28 minutes. Do not open the oven to peek, as they may fall. Soufflés are their most beautiful when served immediately, as they usually fall within a few minutes.