Friday, March 16, 2012

Falling for You: Irish Cheddar and Chive Souffle

It seems I've neglected the blog, and my kitchen, this past week. French Fridays with Dorie is already here again, and I haven't published a post since last week's French Fridays. I happily blame it in part on this attention-sponge, who eats three times a day and is already up to 43 pounds at just 12 weeks. We can't walk into the kitchen without him bouncing up, perking his ears, cocking his head, and then flying into the kitchen to see if he's getting another meal.

Trapper, drifting into puppy nap time

Not to say we haven't eaten quite well this past week - that's definitely not the case after making the rounds to three Coronado restaurants.

Last Friday, we sat out on the patio for a sunset Happy Hour at Saiko Sushi, sipped $5 glasses of wine, and shared a few of the happy hour and house specialities: Saiko Edamame (seasoned with celery salt and garlic), Saiko Roll (salmon, yellowtail, crab, wasabi, aioli, eel sauce, tempura fried), and the Rey Roll (seared albacore, tempura shrimp, crab, apple and mustard vinaigrette).

Saiko Edamame

Saiko Roll

Rey Roll

On Monday, Leroy's Kitchen + Lounge invited us to photograph a Wine Dinner featuring Fritz Underground Winery (Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, CA). The five course menu offered Asparagus Soup, Steamed Mediterranean Black Mussels, Mar i Muntanya, Spice Rubbed Tri Tip, and Zinfandel Poached Strawberries, paired with Fritz wines. Emily's Mexican Chocolate Cake Martini sealed the deal.

Our top pick of the evening was the Mar i Muntanya, a multi-layered paella-esque creation, paired with Fritz Pinot Noir.

Mar i Muntanya

Leroy's Kitchen + Lounge added a few new dishes to the regular dinner menu, including Diver Scallops with Asparagus Risotto, California White Seabass, and Duroc Bone-in Pork Chop. You can see our photos of the Fritz Wine Dinner, and new additions to the menu, on Leroy's Facebook Page.

Seared Diver Scallops with Asparagus Risotto

On Tuesday night, we photographed Il Fornaio's Passaporto Dinner celebrating some of the Festa Regionale crowd-pleasers. We photographed, and promptly devoured, Pasta alla Castellana from the Trentino-Alto Adige region. Rigatoni pasta tossed with pork tenderloin, bacon, shiitake mushrooms, Parmigiano, brandy, cream and fresh thyme...need I say more?

Chef Giorgio

Pasta alla Castellano

Last night, I was finally able to get to this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Cheese Souffle. In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I substituted Irish Reserve Cheddar Cheese and chives, in place of Dorie's Gruyere and nutmeg.

Souffle Mise En Place

Rather than making one large souffle, I played around with a few different sizes...

Petite Souffle

Individual serving in a small ramekin

While attempting to get one last photo of two souffles together, I rushed to get them from the oven to the table and dropped the second on the table. Souffles fall quickly once removed from the oven, but they really fall fast when dropped! Despite doing what souffles do best, falling rapidly before your eyes, the flavor and texture was grand.

To accompany our souffles, I made these Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops from Saveur. During grilling, they are brushed with a reduction of balsamic vinegar, honey and rosemary. I cooked ours stovetop, in a dutch oven, and they were tender, flavorful and pretty alongside the souffles.

Within minutes of posting a photo of my fallen souffle on Facebook last night, I received the most heartwarming e-mail from Ann, who gave me permission to share her words and photo:

"Despite your French Friday's with Dorie disaster, you are an inspiration to all of us. I love your blog and of course, Dooley and Trapper! My Sister Sal and I made this dinner last week, with Trapper supervising! See attached photo! Have a great weekend!"

Ann's Chicken Picatta, inspired from this post

Thank you, Ann. You truly made my evening with your e-mail and photo!


French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group, dedicated to Dorie Greenspan‘s newest book Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As members of the group, we have purchased the cookbook and cook along as much as we can. There is a new recipe each week, and we post about that recipe on Friday. We are asked to refrain from posting the actual recipes on our blog. The book is filled with stunning photography, and personal stories about each recipe, which makes it that much more intriguing. I highly recommend adding it to your cookbook collection if you haven't already!


Kris' Kitchen said...

Lovely puppy, beautiful photos and I wish I could find the time to think about using different types of vessels for foods. So much fun to see the different ones you used. You've inspired me to work harder to find the time to dig out different types of cook ward.

Cher Rockwell said...

Denise - beautiful pictures! And your new addition is just too cute :-)

Anonymous said...

You ARE an inspiration! - Carmen

Rose said...

My goodness, it looks like you had a delicious week! And I agree that souffles are awfully tricky to photograph, part of that fleeting drama which Dorie warned us about. Despite that, yours look very tasty. And your kitchen companion is adorable!

Teresa said...

No wonder you've had to cut back on blogging - that puppy is adorable! Love your mise en place photo especially.

Gracie said...

Very nice AND cute pooch!

Mary Hirsch said...

Denise, Oh, how can anyone not be in love with that puppy (well, looks full-grown but acts like a puppy)? I am jealous of your week of wonderful meals and congratulate you on coming through with a wonderful Post for FFWD. I am definitely going to do your petite souffle. I LOVE that. Another wonderful and inspiring Post by you. Mary Hirsch

Marie said...

The idea of Irish cheddar and chive sounds excellent. I actually like the pictures of the not quite upright souffles--you can almost see them gently sinking as they move from oven to table.

Guyla said...

Adorable puppy! Looks like you had a great week of food capped off with your beautiful souffle!

Chris and Amy said...

Awww. Love the pup pix! Despite the fall, your souffles look delish. The addition of chive is a great idea too.

Betsy said...

Trapper is so adorable! What a cutie. You sure do eat well in Coronado. All those meals sound great, and I like your Irish twist on the souffle. Yum!