Friday, October 25, 2013

Muenster Cheese Soufflés

Per Nana~
I have never made a soufflé before in my life, but thanks to Dorie I definitely will try more of these fabulous recipes. I read and re-read the recipe over and over so that I would not screw it up, and it worked ! A beautiful concoction of cheese and egg that is absolutely delicious. I love Muenster cheese, as it is very creamy and has a lot of flavor, and it works perfectly in this recipe.

When Dorie says "serve now", she is not kidding.  I turned to get the camera and almost lost the beautiful soufflé. Hubby was raving over the aroma and when I gave him a taste of one he could not believe how delicious it was. 

Per Tricia~
While I have made soufflés previously, I definitely never used Muenster in the recipe. I am not a fan of "stinky cheeses" (as they are affectionately known) but they are not quite on my "do not call list" either. So I kept my mind open and simply tried to find the correct cheese. Believe it or not, in the kingdom of cheese that Vermont is known as, it is not so easy to find a Muenster. And a French Muenster ? Good luck.

I was very lucky in two ways- first my fellow Dorista Cher agreed to meet me in Saratoga Springs for dinner and second, she reminded me of an amazing gourmet shop in that city called Putnam's Market. I figured that since the city is known as a midway point between Quebec (one of the largest French speaking populations in the world) I had a shot. This store actually had a cheese ROOM.
Famed (and climate controlled) "CHEESE ROOM"
Surely a French Muenster, oui ? Non.
And on some days, even some official French Muenster. But not this time. Their helpful staff came up with a wonderful substitute from the Normandy region of France: Demi Pont L'Evêque.
This soft ripened cheese had a rind and was indeed smelly.
In fact, it is a good thing I loved - no, ADORED - the end product because my Styrofoam cooler did not carry it's own weight and my car stunk of residual "cheese stink" for the entire 6 hour trip back to PA. Yes, that is how much I loved the soufflé - I forgave the cheese.

I enjoyed the soufflé slathered on the bread in the photo, along with a thinly sliced fresh apple and a cold bottle of hard cider. I was in heaven. Even though I kept hearing the phrase "stuff on toast" in my head, I can not rave enough about this recipe. And I can't wait to share it with the rest of the family.  
I had a wonderful time catching up with Cher over a lovely "fresh to table" restaurant with fantastic homemade pastas. I also want to thank Cher again for her list of "to do's" that included the Saratoga Olive Oil Company.
The shop was a real treat and I bought some wonderful balsamics (fig, maple, pomegranate....) in addition to some gifts. Note the paintings of racing on all the walls- a pervasive theme throughout this horsey town. 
Happy French Friday !


  1. A great just-in-time picture of your creation. A lovely post!

  2. Nana - congrats on making your first souffle. I'm still slightly intimidated by them but Dorie is slowly teaching me to be bolder. And they do sink fast, that's why I took my first picture while they were still in the oven:-)

    And Tricia - Love the report on your trip. How fun, a cheese room! I'm not sure that they would ever get me out of there.

  3. A winner all the way around!! Tricia, I was shocked when I found the French Muenster...but it sounds like you found a perfect substitute. Nana, great job with your first souffles!

  4. I think I could live in a cheese room! LOL! So glad you both enjoyed this one - we did, too!

    Looking forward to seeing photos of Tricia & Cher!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  5. Nana, Beautiful job on your first souffles! So glad you and your hubby enjoyed them! Tricia, totally love that you and Cher got together for dinner and she was able to give you some pointers on where to visit. I don’t live that far from Saratoga, now I’m thinking that I have to visit that very lovely little town!
    While I was in SF, Patty and I met for dinner with our husbands! We had a great time and afterwards they drove us around to see some of the things we missed! Isn’t it great to consider the friendships that grew from the IFBC and French Fridays! There has to be an east-coast meet up!! Your souffles look delicious! I love all your photos! Have a great weekend, ladies!

  6. Yay Nana! Nice one!
    Tricia - insanely jealous that you and Cher had dinner. And, um, you "slathered it on bread" - wow, now there's a way I hadn't thought of to enjoy soufflé!

  7. Congrats Nana on your first souffle. Everyone makes them out to be so scary glad you didn't have a bad experience. Tricia how wonderful that you got together with Cher. I am seriously impressed with the cheese room. I think I need to stop in Saratoga when I'm heading up to our place in the ADK next year.

  8. Nana - glad this was a hit! Nice job.
    Miss Tricia - thank YOU for catching up for dinner. Glad I was able to share some of my favorite local haunts with you. I think I could live in that cheese room (and in the wine shop next door). Glad the soufflé worked out even if there was a bit of a stink involved :-)

    1. P.S. Saratoga is the city of Health (because of the mineral water & spas), Horses (thoroughbred race track) and History (Battle of Saratoga - Revolutionary War) - so those three things kind of rule the world around here :-)

  9. Both of your souffles turned out great!

  10. Nana - souffles are fun, arent they.
    Tricia - good sub on the cheese. Both souffles look perfect!

  11. Pont L'Evêque is my absolute favorite cheese! Both of these looks so great! Now tonight I hope to dream of Pont L'Evêque. I need to find that cheese again!

  12. Sounds like a wonderful trip, Tricia! And so great that you got to catch up with Cher. Your soufflé looks beautiful and I'd love to visit that cheese room, too.

    Nana, aren't soufflés so much easier than they sound? As long as you don't mind the inevitably deflation, they're beautiful, too.

  13. Nana, you did a great job on your souffle. Tricia, I admire your dedication to getting the right cheese - I confess that I still don't know what Muenster cheese is like.

  14. That's the PERFECT combination Tricia! Cider and Normandy cheese?! I'm sighing and would tolerate a stinky car for a few hours for that. Thank you for sharing Cher's Abridged Guide to Saratoga.

    Nana, I'm happy your husband loved this one even before it was out of the oven. I'm sure he'll ask for more soufflés after trying this version. :)

  15. OK, Trish, I'm officially jealous! What a trip - and what a souffle! My cheese was not quite on par!! (though now I'm thinking of making another one with some (don't ask the name) other cheese that I picked up at the same time.
    Nana - good work! Your souffle looks wonderful, and I'm so happy you enjoyed it. Surprisingly workable with many things you always have on hand anyway. Happy you had fun with it!!

  16. I think I could move right into a cheese room! I'm glad this was successful for both of you. Tricia, I think your menu with apples and hard cider sounds amazing. I'm inspired to pick up some hard cider next time I'm near the liquor store. So perfect for this time of year. And, I'm glad that you got to catch up with Cher again so soon after Seattle. The connections we made there were so special!

  17. A cheese ROOM??? And foodie fun with Cher? You are a lucky gal! Thanks for the fun post you two.

  18. Both of your souffles are beautiful! The cheese room sounds like so much fun. I'm glad you had such a great road trip (despite the stinky car!).