I can’t be alone in thinking that food served in a teacup is incredibly cute. I have this friend. She likes tea, and cute teacups, and cute little cupcakes that you eat with the tea that you drink out of said teacups. She’s pretty adorable herself so cute little things like this always remind me of her (which makes me like them even more). …Anyway now that I have thoroughly abused that mundane word let’s move things along…
You know when you stumble upon a brand new recipe and 20 minutes later find yourself wandering around in the grocery store looking for walnuts, feta cheese and pears because you simply have to try this new crepe filling, and it just can’t wait until tomorrow? (That happens to everyone, right?)
Well, this isn’t one of those times. This is one of those times when you realize that your fridge has just a few too many soon-to-be-expired items sitting in it. You resign yourself to a mismatched meal of leftover soup, a few spoonfuls of yoghurt and a salad of soggy tomatoes on wilted lettuce… but then inspiration comes along and turns the leftovers into something new.
I was about to make an omelet, one of my usual leftover solutions, when it occurred to me that I hadn’t had soufflé in a while. This prompted ten seconds of excitement before I realized that I don’t have an oven-safe dish appropriate for soufflé. Disappointment. I wondered if mugs might work. They hold hot stuff, right? I did a quick google search and learned that you can bake soufflé in a mug or teacup! Success! There might have also been something about only using a certain type of mug, but I didn’t have time to read the fine print, I was on a soufflé mission.
Just like mom taught me, I carefully melted butter, separated eggs, stirred cheese and cautiously folded in egg whites. Then with the reckless abandon of someone craving warm cheesy deliciousness, I carelessly dumped it into mugs and threw it all in the oven.
Fortunately, these mugs ended up being the kind that are safe to put in a three-hundred degree oven! Honestly though, I just picked them because they didn’t have ducks on them and they weren’t advertising anything.
Keep in mind, soufflé is kind of an eat-it right way thing, so you would be wise to share this with a few friends if you’re serving it as a side. Or you can go the way of yours truly and give yourself a nice little soufflé stomach ache. Don’t worry though, it’s totally worth it.
So folks, this story has a happy ending. The mugs are safely back in their cupboard, the spinach was rescued from impending bacterial doom and the heroine enjoyed a warm, cheesy, melt-in-your-mouth dinner with not a brown lettuce leaf in sight!
With teacup advice from eHow
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (mozzarella would be good too!)
1/2 cup spinach, cooked chopped and drained
1/2 tablespoon chopped onion
2 eggs, separated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter with the flour in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until this mixture is smooth and bubbly, but not brown. Add salt, pepper and milk, stirr constantly over medium heat until smooth and thick. Stir in cheese until it is melted and remove from heat.
Add spinach and onion. Gradually add beaten egg yolks. Allow to cool slightly. Beat in egg whites until stiff and then fold into the other ingredients.
Now you can pour the mixture into your mugs. I used an oversized tea cup that is really more of a bowl (see first photo). I was afraid it was too small to hold all the souffle, so I poured some into a regular mug. As it turns out I probably could have fit it all into the teacup, the souffle didn’t rise past the top. Assuming you are using regular old mugs (make sure the ceramic is heat-resistant!) this recipe should fill 2 biggish mugs or 3 smallish ones. Butter your mugs, fill them with the egg mixture, then place on a cookie sheet to transfer to the oven.
Bake until soufflé has grown like a mutant alien in the movies and is brown on top. This should take about half an hour. Serve right away to your favourite teddy bears.