Corn and Tomato Panzanella

I haven’t been eating anything new this week. I cooked a little something new, but y’all have to wait to see that – don’t worry, it’s coming!

In the meanwhile, I thought that I should dust off one of my favorite end of summer recipes.  Enjoy the old fashioned (lack of) formatting and the always scrumptious taste.

Corn and Tomato Panzanella

No matter the time of year, it’s always best to cook in season. The food tastes fresher, the cost is often less and it leaves less of a carbon footprint.
And it’s important to care about things like that, because…well I don’t really know WHY but I know that it IS.
And nothing is more seasonal that a Corn and Tomato Bread Salad.
8 ears corn
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 onion
2 loaves bread, stale if possible
1.5 cups olive oil, plus more for croutons
3/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 tbsp.  mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1. First, the corn: Grasp the top of the green husks
 and just strip them away from the cob.
 Be careful to strip all the corn silk away from the cob, too. A few errant strands won’t kill you, but more than that and you might feel like you are eating handful of hair.
2.  Once the cobs are all husked, toss them into a huge pot of boiling water
and boil to taste, JUST until it is tender. You do NOT want to overcook  this corn.
Also, preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
 3. Take your tomatoes and cut them in halves, quarters, pieces…any bite-sized pieces will do.
4. Now dice the onion very finely. You want to use a whole sweet Vidalia onion or half of a red onion. The point here is to accent the flavors of the corn and tomatoes, not to add an incredibly biting or abrasive component.
5. Cut the bread into bite size pieces and drizzle additional olive oil over the whole thing before you pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
You want to really pour the olive oil on thickly here, because you want a crispy, slightly greasy crouton.
Greasy in that good way…is there any other way?
6. Now make the dressing with the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard. Taste and adjust or add seasoning as you prefer. 
7. Now combine the tomatoes, onions and dressing in a large bowl and toss.
 8. Now, you are going to stand a small bowl upside down in a larger bowl and balance the corn cob on top of the bottom of the small bowl. Scrape a knife down the cob, and all the kernels will fly off into the surrounding bowl. This is absolutely the ONLY way to scrape the kernels off the cob without them flying all over the kitchen.
I speak from experience.
It takes awhile, but you end up with the most fabulous bowl of delicious corn.
9.  Now you add the corn (which should still be slightly warm)
 and the croutons(which should also still be slightly warm) to the salad. Toss and let it marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours.
 When you are ready to serve it, taste it for salt and pepper, and take a bite of one of the most delicious salads you have ever eaten. The juice from the tomatoes release while the salad marinates and tempers the pungent salad dressing, making it sweet with it’s juices. The corn is milky and toothsome, the tomatoes are soft and sweet, and the onion gives the dish just a touch of bite. The bread is crunchy on the outside but gets wonderfully soft and soaked with that vinaigrette, delightfully creamy yet light from the mustard. This is a perfect side dish for steak or fried chicken, and the best part is…it gets even better as it sits in the fridge.
Not that we ever have any leftovers here.

The World’s Best Cheesecake

*I had another post lined up for today when I discovered that this blog post was devoid of pictures. Somehow, in the great blog transfer, this post’s pictures disappeared into thin air! Plus there was a dead link right in the first sentence! Sacre bleu! So, this is reposted because it is one of my favorite recipes ever…thanks  to my sous chef mom, and thanks to my favorite food group DAIRY!*
 Remember the best cheesecake on earth? What a crock! This…THIS is actually the best cheesecake. I decreased the size of the cake, added a touch of sour cream to the batter, and put gingersnaps in the crust. Quite frankly, this is the best cheesecake on the face of the planet. It is rich, creamy, sweet, perfect fresh or frozen…but wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go through the recipe first, shall we? The World’s Best Cheesecake Ingredients: 4 packages cream cheese 1/2 cup sour cream 1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups total sugar
2 eggs Juice of 1 lemon 1 Tbsp. vanilla 12 gingersnaps or graham crackers, crushed into crumbs 6 cups of crushed nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, or whatever you like) 1 stick butter, melted Special Equipment: Springform pan, lined with tinfoil.

 1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and combine 1 cup of sugar with the crushed nuts and cookies. Mix well.

2. Drizzle the butter over the crumbs and mix well until all the crumbs are moistened and become a thick sort of paste. You may not use all of the butter – you want it to be just a bit moist, not sopping wet.

 3. Pat the crumbs into an even layer in your tinfoiled springform pan. Set aside.

 4. In a large bowl, combine your cream cheese,

 sweetened condensed milk, 

 vanilla, lemon juice, 

the rest of the sugar, the eggs, and the sour cream.   images (1) 5. Mix with your hand mixer or stand mixer for at least 7 minutes or until the mixture has increased in volume by about 1/3 (yes, Christina Tosi, you have convinced me that a prolonged mixing time really makes an outstanding cake).

 6. Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust. Take a quick lick of the spatula. You won’t get salmonella. Probably.

 7. Place the cake on a sheet pan with a lip and put it in the oven. Pour water into the sheet pan to create a water bath. Cook the cheesecake for about 45 minutes, or until the outside is firm but the center is still somewhat jiggly. If the cheesecake starts to become golden around the edges, take it out at once. When the cake is done, cool it for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

 10) Serve. You are going to love this cake – I bet my blog’s credibility on it. It isn’t one of those fluffy, sugary, preservative laden cakes. This is dense – like a glorious brick in your stomach. The first taste is of cream and pure, clean dairy. Then there is the sweet and gingery crunch of the crust – like a buttery, nutty graham cracker. Then there is the gentle tang of the lemon and sour cream, the aromatic, floral vanilla and the sweetness of the sugar. Pushing your knife through this is like running your fingers through wet sand. It is slow, it is sensual, it gives you some resistance. And it’s so damn satisfying.

Without a doubt, the best cheesecake ever.

Making the Perfect Omelette with Chef Neil Kleinberg and Zwilling Thermolon Pans

Omelettes are on of my favorite foods on the planet. I love them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I love them loaded with spicy meats, creamy cheeses, or fresh vegetables. I love them served on toast and I love them plain.

I am an omelette fiend…get the picture?

When I got the opportunity to have a cooking class with Neil Kleinberg, of Clinton St. Baking Company fame, I jumped at it. This man is the Master of NYC Breakfast – who was I to turn down this opportunity? Following are the expert tips I took away from the man who put pancakes on the map:

Mise en Place is Your Key to Success

As Chef Kleinberg pointed out, eggs cook quickly. So quickly that if you try to chop the tomatoes and grate the cheese after your eggs are in the pan, you are likely to end up with egg flavored rubber. By preparing all of your ingredients ahead of time and just having them there in toss into the omelette, you won’t waste any cooking time.

Whip it Good

Don’t be a lazy whisker. Get those eggs really well aerated. The key to a light, fluffy omelette isn’t cream or milk, it is incorporating enough air into the eggs before you get them in the pan.

Froth the Butter

The butter should not just melt, it should bubble slightly and create a light foam. Do this over medium heat, and once the butter foams, be ready to add your eggs so the butter doesn’t turn brown. If the butter browns, you have to wipe it out of the pan and start over.

Let it be, Let it be

Once your eggs are in the pan, scramble them once or twice then leave them alone. In a very few minutes, the outer corners of the omelette will start to set. Don’t disturb the omelette yet! Just let it gently cook while you add…

Toppings all Around

The importance of adding toppings is twofold: Distribution and Symbiosis. The toppings should be added in rows, which allows for an even amount of each topping in each bite. The toppings should also mix well with each other – you don’t want cream cheese, avocado, and pate – who wants an entirely mushy omelette? You also don’t want brie, chorizo, and sundried tomatoes – there is an umami overload if there ever was one. Choose fillings that are creamy, crunchy, fresh, savory, and sweet – you want a mixture of tastes and textures. Goat cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and caramelized onions, is a great combination.

The Flip

To create a classic French filled omelette, simply fold the omelette over with your spatula about 1/3 of the way when it is stiff, but still a little jiggly in the very center top layer. Then, move the omelette over to the edge of the pan and, with your spatula, flip it out on the plate. Tuck in the sides and…ta-da! If your omelette breaks a little, just cover it with some chopped chives. 

Of course, it comes out a lot easier if you have this Zwilling Thermolon pan. Yes, this was a press event, but I was not required to write about it. But I am. Because this pan was incredible. It heats evenly, has cool-touch handles, and a nonstick surface that is not that insufferable plastic coating that I can’t stand. This is ceramic, unscratchable by metal spoons or forks. The omelette nearly flew out of the pan when I was ready to remove it, and the residue was nada. Chef Kleinberg uses these pans, and I am a fan as well.

And there you have it – instructions on how to make the perfect omelette, for those days when the diner just won’t cut it.

Next up, maybe I will try to cure my own bacon?

Maybe not.


Mexican Cheeseburger Dip

If you don’t like this recipe, I don’t want to hear about it. Just keep it to yourself, I don’t care.
Do I sound a bit defensive?
Perhaps that’s because this is THE TRASHIEST thing I have EVER made on this blog. And this isn’t a really classy publication in the first place. So you can imagine how embarrassing this dish is.
And also…how mind numbingly tasty.
Without further ado:
Mexican Cheeseburger Dip

1 lb. ground beef
1 15 oz jar queso
1 15 oz jar salsa
Chili seasoning to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

1) Brown the beef in a skillet over medium high heat.

2) When the meat is cooked all the way through, with no pink, add the dry seasonings. You want a chili seasoning with no added salt, since the queso has quite a bit of salt already – the seasonings are just to add depth and heat. 

3) Add the queso to the pan.

4) Add the salsa. Combine, wait till it is heated through, taste for seasonings. 

5) Serve with tortilla chips.

I know this dip isn’t pretty. It sure isn’t healthy. But it is so delicious. Cheesy, creamy, spicy, beefy…just like the world’s best Taco Bell. So indulgent and unspeakably satisfying. No need to add sour cream to this, though some hot sauce wouldn’t hurt. Just tortilla chips, a beer, and your tastebuds.
And like I said, if you are too high brow for this…just keep it to yourself.
More dip for the rest of us. 

Jalapeno Popper Monkey Bread and Jarlsberg Dip Giveaway

When Kitchen Play contacted me about taking part in 29 Ways to Leap into Jarlsberg Dip, I was good to go. Delicious Jarlsberg cheese, a gieveaway for my readers, and the chance to create a delicious, totally bad-for-you recipe? What about that DOESN’T sound amazing.
The only thing was…what should I make? A decadent pasta? An elegant canape with smoked salmon? Some sort of french fry, poutine-meets-disco-fries dish?
Well, as fate would have it, I was short on time this week. Like, munchkin short on time this week. I needed a recipe that was incredibly easy, foolproof, and could be made in 35 minutes from start to finish. And of course, because it’s me, it needed a hefty dose of something spicy. And with that, I give you
Jarlsberg Jalapeno Popper Monkey Bread

1 container Jarlsberg Dip
2 containers refrigerator biscuits
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 jalapenos, diced (if you want to be really evil, throw a couple of diced birds eye chiles in there in place of the jalapenos)
4 Tbs. butter, melted

 1) Put the diced chiles in a medium sized bowl. Also, preheat the oven to 350 F.

 2) Add the bacon,

 and the cheese,

 and mix well to combine.

 3) Take your biscuits from the tin and cut each biscuit into two pieces.

 4) Put a half teaspoon sized dollop in each biscuit, and





 or flatten your package so the cheese mixture is contained inside the dough. I found it helpful to wet the seams with water to ensure that they stay closed. It doesn’t matter what the shape of the dough is – a dumpling, a roll, a squishy package…whatever. Be aware that if a little bit of cheese peeks out, it isn’t the end of the world. Just do your best.

 This is what you will end up with – a huge hodge podge of shapes.

 5) Take each roll, dunk it in the melted butter, and…

 put them in a loaf or bundt pan, piling them in closely to each other. They all have to be touching each other so they can bake together into one solid loaf.

 6) Put the loaf into the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

 7) Wait as long as you can before pulling off tuft after tuft, and serve.

This is just great. Buttery morsels of fluffy biscuit dough surrounding creamy, melty Jarlsberg cheese dip, crunchy bacon, and fiery notes of fresh chiles. The beauty of this is that the dip makes the cheese so melty, creamy, and luscious – a direct counterpart to that salty bacon and hot spikes of jalapeno (or, if you are like me, hotter) chile peppers. 
This would be great dipped in salsa or sour cream and chive dip but it was fantastic on its own. For game day, boys night in, or a quick snack before heading out on the town, this can’t be beat for convenience and indulgence. 
And speaking of indulgence…why not indulge yourself in this 
Jarlsberg USA is holding a giveaway on their Facebook page for a fantastic tote filled with all sorts of Jarlsberg cheese products, including:
Jarlsberg Lite Cheese
 Jarlsberg Cheese Dip
Snofrisk (a Norwegian style cream cheese)
honey crèmes
honey vinegar.
So head on over to our facebook page to enter. Then stay tuned to Kitchen PLAY for all “29 Ways to Leap Into Jarlsberg Dip.”

Because, really…don’t you need some Jalapeno Popper Monkey Bread of your own?
Thought so. 

Two Simple Sandwiches

I don’t always make intricate, complicated dishes. I don’t always eat fabulous tasting menus. Most of the time, I eat convenient foods – a fast soup, a simple salad. And I am a huge fan of sandwiches. The best part about a sandwich is that it is whatever you want it to be. Sometimes I feel like a vegetable sandwich with:
 Very fresh sourdough baguette (if it’s stale, the sandwich won’t have the proper texture),
 doused in red wine vinegar. Must be red wine, must be DOUSED – until the inside turns to mush and starts to peek through the hard crust. 
 Then, I like to put on some freshly sliced tomatoes
 buttery avocado (or leftover guacamole),
 shredded iceberg lettuce
 thinly sliced red onions
 and stuffed olives. Treat yourself to the best olives you can find – these were stuffed with buffalo sharp cheddar.
 Top it with lashings of hot sauce (this one is new to me and embarrassingly addictive), and…
 dig in. This isn’t a heavy sandwich, but it is immensely fulfilling. Different flavors and textures – sweet tomato, briny olives, fiery hot sauce, and that bread. That is the key-the vinegar soaked bread. Baguette is the perfect choice here because it gets soft but does not deteriorate. This sandwich feels indulgent but is really incredibly virtuous – there isn’t even any mayo or cheese on it. I don’t’ crave anything else with it as a side.
Of course…
 there are other days. Days where I need a little something guiltier. Something meatier. On those days…
 I slice chive-scented Cotswold cheese (though gorgonzola dolce is lovely, too),
 and quickly cook a flank steak to just past blue-rare. I let it come to room temperature, then slice it thinly. 
 Then, I pile the steak atop a mayonnaise-smeared piece of ciabatta bread – floury, airy, with a thick and sturdy crust. I top it with fried onions (and mushrooms, if I have any in the house),
 and a bit of Peter Luger Steak Sauce (the best I have every tried).
 I add some hot pickled peppers, shredded iceberg lettuce (going through a big iceberg phase, oh yes I am), and the cheese.
 This is indulgent. It has bloody meat, spicy peppers, creamy mayo and salty shards of cheese. It is filling and you need to take a nap after you eat it. It wants for nothing more than a few salt and vinegar chips and a root beer. I don’t eat this sandwich as much as I wish I could. 
And sometimes simple meals at home really are the best. 

Snow Day Chili

The first winter snow hit NYC this weekend, and any thoughts of going out for brunch flew out of my head. When it’s snowy, I want pajamas and comfort food. I want something spicy, hearty, familiar, and easy to make.
I want chili.
This isn’t fancy vegetarian chili. This isn’t real-and-true Texan chili. This isn’t even good ole Skyline chili. This is ground beef, tomatoes, and a good hit of chili powder. If you like other stuff in there – corn, beans, or other ingredients – please feel free to add it. The important thing is to do what you like, how you like it. It’s a guilty pleasure, not a gourmet one.
Snow Day Chili

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 can pureed tomatoes or whole peeled tomatoes
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
4 Tbsp. no salt chili powder (I love Frontier blend, but you can make your own with dried chipotle chile powder, cumin, coriander, and just a dash of cayenne pepper)
healthy glug of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup of vegetable oil.

 1) Heat the oil on medium heat in a large stockpot until it starts to shimmer. Then, add the onions and garlic and saute for 10 minutes, or until the onions start to turn translucent and the garlic becomes golden. If the garlic turns dark brown, remove it from the heat immediately – it is burned and can’t be salvaged. Just remove it from the pot, then return the pot to a lower heat.

 2) When the veggies are fragrant, add your chile powder.

 Your kitchen should immediately be filled with the most savory scent.
You may start to drool.

 3) Add the meat and turn the heat up to medium high. Let the meat brown for a few minutes before you turn it, because you don’t want to work the meat too much, or it will turn into hard, pebbly gravel.

 By letting the meat rest in between gently lifting and folding it, you will end up with soft, juicy hunks of meat.

 4) When the meat is thoroughly cooked  (about 15 minutes), use a ladle to remove most of the liquid from the pot.

 LOTS of this liquid is fat. Fat is great and all, but you don’t want a mouthful of the liquid stuff – that just tastes like a greasy film covering your mouth. So, use a separator to strain off the fat (pour off the light stuff on top, then pour the dark stuff back into the pot) OR just skim the fat off the top with a spoon.

 5) Add the Worcestershire sauce – quite a bit since there is no salt in this recipe.

 Take a little taste to see if you want more chile or spice, and and adjust seasonings accordingly.

 6) Add the tomatoes and/or sauce and break down the tomatoes with a spoon.

 7) Turn the heat up to medium high and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the meat goes from looking like this:

to this:

 You really want all the ingredients to break down and become one homogeneous mixture. Taste it for spices here. Feel free to add some salt, pepper, or any other seasonings you may desire. You can also add some tomato paste or masa (corn flour) to thicken the chili.

 8) Make sure you have as many fixins as possible. That’s the best part about chili – the customization. If you want to go all out, follow my lead and use:
tortilla chips
diced tomatoes
sharp cheddar cheese
serrano chiles
sour cream
corn bread
sourdough bread

 9) Serve.
 This is all about the beef. It’s as spicy or mild as you make it, with none of the sodium or grease overload of diners. There isn’t anything fancy or challenging to the palate. This is just beefy, tomatoey, cumin-y chili. It is as good in a bowl with  cornbread and cilantro as it is on a potato bun smothered with melted cheese as a sort of sloppy joe. It’s also great the next day wrapped in a tortilla and doused in hot sauce.

And it’s the one and only reason I really love snow days. 
The winner of the Green and Black’s Chocolate is (You may have to look very closely to see):
True Random Number Generator  

22Joanna! Congratulations, Joanna! I will contact you by email and send these chocolates out to you STAT!

Crash Hot Potatoes

I give my sister kind of a hard time on this blog. True, she isn’t as adventurous of an eater as I am, and maybe she is a gigantic wimp when it comes to spice.
And also, she doesn’t appreciate reality tv. Weirdo.
But, she does have a few dishes that she calls her own. Most of them involve cans of prepared food and scary amounts of ranch dressing and ketchup. But one of them is a really delicious potato recipe. These are as crispy as homefries but with fluffy and creamy insides. Cheap, tasty, and easy.
No ranch dressing required.
Crash Hot Potatoes (Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

1 lb. small red, white, or Yukon gold potatoes
1 bunch rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

 1) Submerge the potatoes in water and boil them until a knife slides through them easily. You want them totally cooked, like you were going to eat them as is. Preheat the oven to 500 F.

 2) When the potatoes come out, let them cool until you can handle them, then place them under a mug…

and gently smash them into a semi-flat disc. Don’t get too overzealous or you will smash the potato completely. You just want a flattened potato.

 4) Place the potatoes in an ungreased pan, and add the herbs and spices.

 5) Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the potatoes and place in the oven. They should roast for at least an hour, and up to 90 minutes. You may need to add more oil as the potatoes roast – they shouldn’t be submerged, but they do need a little lubrication.

 6) When the potatoes are brown and crispy, serve.

 These are every bit as delicious as they look. Crunchy, golden brown crust hides a buttery, creamy flesh. The rosemary gently sizzles in the oil, becoming crispy and woodsy.  Mix it up by laying onions underneath the potatoes to roast and turn sweet, or by jazzing  up the seasonings with cumin or hot pepper flakes. The potatoes take awhile to make, but they are so very worth it. Delicious with steak or chicken, or even with eggs in the morning.

Or, as my sister will doubtless say…smothered under a boatload of ketchup.

Chicken Roasted Under a Brick

Roasted chicken might be fine for any old night of the week, but when you want something really special and elegant, you want Chicken Roasted Under a Brick. Now, before we get going with this, let me confess a couple of things:

1) It is time consuming
2) It is messy
But, once you get all the necessary instruments (and by that, I mean a brick) and the hang of searing the chicken, the rest of this is a breeze. You end up with incredibly crispy skin, a moist interior, and confited shallots and lemon slices. So, without further ado, here is:
Chicken Roasted Under a Brick


1 chicken, skin on, broken down into parts(or 4 legs and 1 breast cut in half)
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
6 shallots or 3 onions, sliced into large pieces
3 lemons (Meyer lemons, if possible)
1 bunch each rosemary, thyme, tarragon, and sage, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Special Equipment:
Brick wrapped in foil
Roasting pan

1) Slice the lemons very thinly and preheat the oven to 350 F (invest in a cheap box of medical gloves to wear while preparing chicken – it really cuts down on the possibility of cross contamination).

2) Layer the shallots, half the herbs, and lemons in the roasting pan and pour 1/4 cup of olive oil over the veggies and put the pan in the oven.

3) Combine the butter, the rest of the herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Mash it around so you create a compound butter. This is the seasoning for your chicken.

4) Pour some olive oil in a frying pan on high heat, and when the oil starts to move and shimmer, throw a piece of chicken in there.

5) Lay the brick on top of the chicken. You may need to make sure the brick is touching a side of the pan so it doesn’t slide off the chicken. The chicken will sizzle and oil will splatter (this is the messy part). You are just searing the chicken to get crispy skin – the inside will still be raw when you remove it from the pan, so a high heat is necessary.

6) When the chicken looks like this, or after about 5 minutes, remove it from the pan

and put it on a plate.

7) When all the chicken has been seared, put it in the hot roasting pan from the oven and evenly distribute the herb butter over all the pieces of the chicken. Then put the pan back in the oven.

 8) After about an hour, or when the thickest piece of dark meat chicken has juices that run clear, remove the chicken and serve.

The glory of this chicken lies in how evenly it is cooked. The brick ensures not only that the skin gets supremely crispy, but that the chicken is slightly flattened, so it is easier to cook evenly. Even cooking means that it is finished at the same time, and stays incredibly juicy and tender beneath it’s crunchy skin. The herbs gently sizzle and fry in their buttery sheath, and the lemons and shallots underneath are caramelized at the edges and silky in the center. The lemons are particularly notable – they turn sweet and tender as they confit, and even the peel becomes incredibly sugary. This chicken takes a bit of forethought, but the results are well worth it. Served with a Caesar salad , a loaf of sourdough bread, and some creamed mushrooms, this is a meal fit for a fancy dinner party.
On second thought, screw the whole “fancy” thing. Chicken this tasty deserves to be picked up and eaten with your hands.

Chivey Cheesy Souffle Bake

Everyone loves a souffle. Light and flavorful, souffles are filling without being heavy and can serve as a side dish or the main event. However, they are also temperamental (a fallen souffle is a very sad thing) and use more egg whites than yolks. I don’t always want to be careful or use extra whites. Sometimes, I just want to pop it in the oven and watch My Big Fat Gyspy Wedding. Thus, out of laziness, is born the easy and tasty
Chivey Cheesy Souffle Bake

Ingredients (Serves 6-8):
6 eggs
6 Tbsp. flour
5 Tbsp. butter
1.5 cups milk
1 disc chive and shallot Boursin cheese (other soft cheese may be substituted)
1 handful chives, chopped
2 pinches ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste

 1) Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat until it just melts. You don’t want it to brown. Also, preheat the oven to 350 F.

 2) Add the flour and…

 whisk. You will end up with a doughy, lumpy mass.

  3) Drizzle in the milk, and stir vigorously. If you whisk it well, in a short time you will have…

 this. A thick creamy sauce.

4) Add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Ta-da! There is your bechamel sauce. Be especially generous with the salt – eggs need a healthy dose of sodium. Then, turn the heat off but keep the pan on the stove.

 5) Those eggs? Separate them. Leave the whites in a large, clean bowl, and put the yolks into…

 the bechamel.

When you incorporate the yolks, the bechamel will turn golden and become rich.

 6) Now it’s time to whip those whites.

 Whip them good.

 You want them quite stiff.
Resisting writing my favorite saying right now.

 7) Now, add the yolks to the whites and gently stir the yolks so you don’t deflate the whites. This isn’t the place for a strenuous stirring, just a light folding.

 8) Crumble in the Boursin.

 9) Add the chives.

 10) Add the egg mixture to 2 UNGREASED 9 inch baking dishes (or one large souffle pan), and place in the oven. Be sure the dish is ungreased so the eggs will be able to rise up the sides of the pan without slipping down.

 11) In 20 minutes, or after the souffle has puffed, is slightly golden on the top, and a knife stuck in th middle comes out cleanly, the souffle is done!

12) Serve.
I’m slightly embarrassed to say that no hot sauce was consumed in tandem with this bake. The perfection of this lay in its simplicity, it’s untempered egginess. The rich flavor of the eggs and creamy cheese juxtaposed with it’s incredibly light texture. The freshness of the chives and the bite of the pepper provided sharpness and brightness. Although I could have added asparagus, sauteed onions, or mushrooms, why bother? This is all about the light texture and the pure flavor of the eggs.
And it really goes well with My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.