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Recipe: You won’t be intimidated by this method for mushroom Parmesan souffle and you’ll love the results

Mushroom Parmesan SouffleKaroline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe

Serves 6

Souffles are intimidating. Traditionally, in these French classics, beaten egg whites are folded into a sweet or savory mixture that contains the yolks. Once baked, souffles will deflate if you look at them sideways. Still, they are airy and luxurious, and a real treat alongside a simple salad. French chef Jacques Pepin tells a delightful story about his mother not knowing that the egg whites and yolks for a souffle had to be beaten separately, so she added whole eggs to a cheese sauce and popped it in the oven. The results were silky and rich; not quite a souffle, but delicious, and much easier to make. Here, we use a similar method and bake it in a shallow dish, such as a deep pie pan. This cheese sauce begins with sauteed mushrooms, then half and half is whisked into a roux made of flour and butter. Parmesan cheese, shallots, and thyme add an earthy flavor. Try this recipe with all the gusto of someone who very confidently thinks they know exactly what they are doing, and the results are guaranteed to be wonderful.

  • Butter (for the dish)

  • 3

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 8

    ounces button mushrooms, very finely chopped

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1

    shallot, finely chopped

  • 1

    tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • Pinch ground nutmeg

  • 3

    tablespoons butter

  • 6

    tablespoons flour

  • 2

    cups half and half

  • 1

    cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • 5

    eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2

    tablespoons dry white breadcrumbs

  • 1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Butter a shallow 6-quart baking dish or a deep 9-inch pie pan.

  • 2. In a deep skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and a generous sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mushrooms release all of their liquid. Add the shallot, thyme, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

  • 3. Add the butter and when it melts, stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the half and half, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  • 4. Stir in the cheese until it melts completely. Add a sprinkle of pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like. Let the mixture cool in the skillet, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes.

  • 5. With a wooden spoon, vigorously beat the eggs into the cheese sauce a little bit at a time, until they are completely incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

  • 6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the eggs have puffed slightly and set. Serve at once.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Serves 6

Souffles are intimidating. Traditionally, in these French classics, beaten egg whites are folded into a sweet or savory mixture that contains the yolks. Once baked, souffles will deflate if you look at them sideways. Still, they are airy and luxurious, and a real treat alongside a simple salad. French chef Jacques Pepin tells a delightful story about his mother not knowing that the egg whites and yolks for a souffle had to be beaten separately, so she added whole eggs to a cheese sauce and popped it in the oven. The results were silky and rich; not quite a souffle, but delicious, and much easier to make. Here, we use a similar method and bake it in a shallow dish, such as a deep pie pan. This cheese sauce begins with sauteed mushrooms, then half and half is whisked into a roux made of flour and butter. Parmesan cheese, shallots, and thyme add an earthy flavor. Try this recipe with all the gusto of someone who very confidently thinks they know exactly what they are doing, and the results are guaranteed to be wonderful.

Butter (for the dish)
3tablespoons olive oil
8ounces button mushrooms, very finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 shallot, finely chopped
1tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Pinch ground nutmeg
3tablespoons butter
6tablespoons flour
2cups half and half
1cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
5 eggs, lightly beaten
2tablespoons dry white breadcrumbs

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Butter a shallow 6-quart baking dish or a deep 9-inch pie pan.

2. In a deep skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and a generous sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mushrooms release all of their liquid. Add the shallot, thyme, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

3. Add the butter and when it melts, stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Slowly pour in the half and half, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

4. Stir in the cheese until it melts completely. Add a sprinkle of pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like. Let the mixture cool in the skillet, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes.

5. With a wooden spoon, vigorously beat the eggs into the cheese sauce a little bit at a time, until they are completely incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the eggs have puffed slightly and set. Serve at once.Karoline Boehm Goodnick