Cheese Souffle

The word soufflé used to strike terror in the heart of cooks far and wide. I never got that memo, though, and one of the first things I ever baked was a chocolate soufflé when I was less than sixteen years old, from my mother’s copy of The Settlement Cookbook, the 1951 edition. The ingredient list is pretty concise; looking at the book now, there…

The word soufflé used to strike terror in the heart of cooks far and wide. I never got that memo, though, and one of the first things I ever baked was a chocolate soufflé when I was less than sixteen years old, from my mother’s copy of The Settlement Cookbook, the 1951 edition. The ingredient list is pretty concise; looking at the book now, there are two chocolate soufflé recipes in it – one with four ingredients and the other with six.

The author explains how to put the soufflés together with only four or five concise sentences. There are no mixing bowl or baking dish sizes given, and chocolate is just listed as “chocolate.” There’s no mention of whether it’s bittersweet, semisweet, or unsweetened chocolate. (There are also no substitutions for any ingredients offered, and storage instructions weren’t included, presumably because people just figured that out for themselves.) It’s fascinating how times have changed in terms of how recipes are written today.

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Salzburger Nockerl

When I saw the cover of Alpine Cooking, before it came out, it quickly rose to the top of the list of books I needed to get my hands on. I was fortunate to get a preview when I was asked to write a quote for the book jacket, and was thrilled to find the inside of the book was even more compelling than the…

When I saw the cover of Alpine Cooking, before it came out, it quickly rose to the top of the list of books I needed to get my hands on. I was fortunate to get a preview when I was asked to write a quote for the book jacket, and was thrilled to find the inside of the book was even more compelling than the cover. While it’s hard to compete with the Matterhorn, pictures of locals contemplating a melted cheese sandwich, or a wooden châlet terrace with place settings soon to be heaped with hearty mountain fare, brought the alps right to me.

Covering Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and France, author Meredith Erickson, takes us through cheese caves, ski slopes, restaurants, fondue pots, snow-caked ski boots, and villages, that are all part of the European alps. As Meredith noted in the book, in the winter, if you’re cooking in the alps, there isn’t a lot of fresh produce available in the winter. In fact, there may not be any at all. (Those who live in winter climates, who shop their local farmers market can relate to five months of squash, potatoes, and onions.) So jam fills in.

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