Friday, July 29, 2011

my first souffle

It seems only fitting that I take my first souffle recipe from Judith Jones, the woman who discovered Julia Childs, helped bring her cooking into our homes and served as her editor for years.

She's also the woman who rescued Anne Frank - The Diary of a Young Girl from the rejection pile.

She's number eight on Gourmet Magazine's list of 50 women game-changers in food history.

She's a careful writer of recipes, turning it into a genre of writing (Here are three recipe phrases she just can't stand).

And she's a New York City resident and part-time cattle rancher.

I think Michael Pollan and Judith Jones would get along, and perhaps they do. In his book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, Pollan lays out his guidelines for better eating. He tells the story of an elderly woman who has so much respect for herself and the food that she eats that she still sets the table each night even though she eats by herself. She will not so much as eat a carrot without first placing it in a cute little dish.

What better book to assist us in that process than Judith Jones with her book The Pleasures of Cooking for One. After the early death of her husband, Judith initially thought she wouldn't be able to muster the desire necessary to cook for one. However she quickly realized that eating well alone could be pleasurable.

Of the experience, Judith is quoted as saying: "Learning to cook alone is an ongoing process. But the alternative is worse."

This souffle comes from her effort to cook herself the foods she wanted to eat. After trying a cheese souffle at a restaurant, Judith rushed home, scaled back and slightly modified a Julia Childs' recipe, and created this treat. It is light and airy, and it's the perfect size for a dinner for one.

Be sure to visit all the other bloggers who cooked recipes by Judith Jones this week!

Val - More Than Burnt Toast Potatoes for Julia Child
Joanne - Eats Well with Others Vegetable Sushi Rice Salad
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef Zucchini Pancakes
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney Linguine with Smoked Salmon Sauce
Jeanette - Healthy Living Penne with Tuna Plum Tomatoes and Black Olives
April - Abby Sweets
Mary - One Perfect Bite Frenchified Meatloaf
Kathleen - Bake Away With Me Summer Pudding
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen Roast Pork Tenderloin
Sue - The View from Great Island Chicken Salad


Cheese Souffle for One
cover recipe from Judith Jones' cookbook The Pleasures of Cooking for One

While typing up this recipe, I just noticed that it only calls for two teaspoons of butter. If you're looking to make a much richer version, try two tablespoons, just like I did on accident. Oops.

2 1/2 teaspoons softened butter
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
Large pinch of coarse salt
Small pinch of paprika
1 large egg yolk
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup of a good grated cheese (Jones' suggests aged cheddar, Swiss or an aged mountain cheese).

Brush the inside of a 2-cup round baking dish with 1/2 teaspoon butter. Coat the bottom and sides with grated Parmesan cheese and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven.

Melt the remaining 2 teaspoons butter in a small saucepan over low heat; stir in flour. Let cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Add milk and whisk vigorously to combine. Return to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened; season with salt and paprika. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolk.

Place egg whites in a medium bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks. Add a dollop of egg whites to saucepan along with half of the cheese; stir to combine. Fold in remaining egg whites and cheese, and pour into prepared baking dish.

Transfer baking dish to oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake until top is lightly browned and souffle has risen, about 18 minutes. Serve immediately.


  1. I'm so glad you attempted this, I knew someone had to, it's such an iconic dish from Judith Jones. Looks wonderful, the first shot makes me want to dig a spoon right in.

  2. Yum, I could eat this for breakfast right now! =) Thanks for linking to the three things never to say...although I think I use all three all of the time...yipes!

  3. Looks delicious, Katie...such an attractive presentation, too. It's not easy to make souffle look exciting and glitzy, but you managed to do that! I enjoyed reading your post and learning about the chefs.

  4. Wow, I'm impressed that you tried a souffle - it came out beautifully! Judith Jones would be proud if she saw this!

  5. yes to setting the table just for yourself and nice recipe!

  6. You did a great job with souffle. JJ is such an interesting woman and your choice of recipe to feature her is wonderful. I'm so glad you've joined us on this 50 week journey. Ihope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  7. Such a good job making a difficult dish, at least I always assume souffles are difficult.

  8. What an accomplishment! A souffle! Kudos! Jones really is a remarkable woman isn't she? What an interesting life she's lead!

  9. Katie, This came out amazing! You did a great job! Judith is one of my heros...I really enjoyed her book "The Tenth Muse". It was fun to honor her!

  10. Mmmm...I absolutely adore cheese souffles! Congrats on your first time, it looks beautiful :D