This recipe originally comes from an interesting and beautiful cookbook, Russel Wright's Menu Cookbook, by Ann Wright and Mindy Heiferling (Gibbs Smith, 2003). Russel Wright was a pioneer of mid century modern design. He designed and created lines of china, flatware, glassware and furniture. What many don't know is that Wright also liked to cook. Tired of meatloaf and spaghetti, he collected menus of recipes which he kept in a loose leaf notebook. Included were suggestions on which china and linens to use with each menu - photos of which are included in the cookbook.
Wright's daughter, Ann, has now published these family recipes in this cookbook, which includes beautiful photos of her father's flatware, china and linens. It is a great addition to your coffee table - especially for those who are fans of the mid-century modern era.
Appropriate to the times (the 1950s), she includes a number of souffles within the cookbook. This one is a perfect way to use up leftover cooked salmon - plus it forwards my campaign to bring back the souffle. You can also use canned salmon, with a little picking-over.
Ann recommends rushing the souffle to the table as soon as it comes out of the oven with a hardy, "Voila!". However, she also says not to stress about it - the souffle can wait for a few minutes, and if it falls a bit, it will still taste good.
unsalted butter for greasing the pan
Fine dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoons curry powder (she recommends Sun Brand - which is our favorite too)
1-1/2 cups milk - warmed with 1 sprig fresh thyme
1-1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
A few gratings of fresh nutmeg
6 large egg yolks
1-1/2 cups cooked fresh salmon fillet (3/4 pounds salmon - skin removed)
7 large egg whites
Fresh lemon juice for serving
course sea salt for serving
Finely chopped scallions for serving
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Generously coat the bottom and sides of a 2-1/2 to 3 quart souffle or straight-edged baking dish with butter and then bread crumbs. This will help the souffle rise up the sides of the dish more easily. Set the baking dish on a baking sheet lined with parchment, foil or a sheet of Silpat.
2. Heat the butter in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan; when it is foaming, add the flour and curry powder. Cook for 3 minutes on low heat, stirring. This is called a roux.
3. Remove the thyme sprig from the milk; add the warm milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the roux, whisking to prevent lumps. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens and starts to bubble.
4. Remove the pan from the heat; add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition until the sauce is thoroughly blended. Stir in the salmon.
5. Beat the whited to stiff, but not dry, peaks with a pinch of salt. Take about a quarter of the whites and stir into the souffle base. Gently fold in the remaining whites until only a few puffs of white remain. Scrape the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
6. Put the souffle in the over on the lowest rack and immediately reduce the heat to 375 degrees. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 2 to 30 minutes.
7. Serve immediately, adding a squirt of lemon juice and a light sprinkling of sea salt and scallions to each portion.