January 11, 2015

skillet souffleFrom time to time, Dennis says “I’m too tired to watch you cook.” Sometimes this means “Let’s order Thai food”. but it’s also  code for  “will you make Skillet Souffle?”

I first came across  this Andrea Reusing recipe on In Medias Recipe, my friend Carol ‘s blog full of beautiful photographs from the Santa Barbara farmers market and gorgeous  dinners from her table.

scallionA skillet souffle is not unlike a frittata or Spanish tortilla, except for the genius inclusion of baking powder that puffs this pretty thing up in a tall, firm sliceable, pie that serves up in slices. I count on this dish, making it two or three times a month. Satisfying, refrigerator-clearing, easy to reheat, this dinner is on happy repeat.

I have to fess up, though. I’ve changed up the original recipe quite a bit. Not only do I tend to keep the dish vegetarian but I try to cram as many vegetables as possible in the pan. (I’m not beyond scattering crisp bacon, pancetta or guanciale over my serving.)

frying cornAnd the other thing.  I’ve made it substantially larger. You see, we like this egg dish just as much the next day for breakfast or lunch, either wrapped in foil and reheated in the toaster oven or served up  at room temperature.  One 10″ skillet souffle feeds us dinner and another meal the next day.

Out of the fridge, you’ll need a few eggs, something milky, all the kinds of cheese, onions of some sort. I dig out  every vegetable, containers of leftover roasted veg, half a turnip, part of a cauliflower. Especially  mushrooms. Consider these wonderful possibilities: broccoli (small florets), chiffonade of hearty greens  like kale, collard, mustard, brussel sprouts (sliced very thin), carrots (julienned), winter squash (small dice), zucchini (grated) and so on.

slicedAnd there are so many meaty options. BBQ? Bacon? Italian Sausage? Chorizo? Shredded chicken. Have some shrimp? Cook any meaty addition thoroughly before adding it at the same time as the cheese and greens. Or use it as a garnish.

See the possibilities? It’s a total sweep of the vegetable drawer, cheese drawer and little containers of dairy products.  I’ll give you a recipe below for the skillet souffle we had this week, but don’t feel constrained by any of it.

By the way, Skillet Souffle screams out for a condiment. Try  Spicy Ketchup. Or Tomato Chutney.

And relax. You can go to the store tomorrow.


Supersized Skillet Souffle (Monday’s version)
Serves 4

5 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup creme fraiche
•or other dairy like cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or smoked paprika or pimente d’Espelette
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 scallions, sliced on the diagonal in 1-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups corn
1/2 cup cooked butternut squash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, bacon fat, duck fat or schmaltz
1 cup chopped herbs (parsley, basil, cilantro, mint, small amounts of thyme, tarragon, rosemary, sage)
Big pinches of salt and many grindings of fresh pepper
1/2 cup Gruyere
1/2 cup feta
1/4 cup Parmegiano Reggiano
6 ounces baby spinach leaves or torn leaves of any bitter green

Preheat the oven to 425°F

Beat the eggs with the milk and creme fraiche until frothy.  Stir in the flour, salt, baking powder and cayenne.

In a 10″ straight sided skillet (cast iron is great), heat the olive oil and butter until shimmering. Add the scallions and cook until  they are just starting to wilt, about two minutes. Add the corn and cook until it begins to brown on the edges and is just beginning to stick a little. Add the squash and stir.

Add  the butter (or bacon fat or duck fat or schmaltz) and get it really hot, the brush the fat up the sides of the skillet so the souffle won’t stick. Add the spinach.

Pour the egg mixture over the veg, scatter cheese evenly around . Slide the skillet into the oven. Wait for beauty and happy times, about 25 minutes away.

15 Responses to “I supersized Carol’s sensible skillet souffle”

  1. Stephanie Zarpas

    Hi Cathy! This recipe arrived just now as I was trying to figure out what the devil I was going to make for dinner. Now I know, thanks! However — and you may have spotted this already — the first and last paragraphs are redundant and a bit conflicting. (Once a copy editor, always a copy editor!) — Stephanie

      • Stephanie Zarpas

        Oh my, SO good! And such a great way to use up bits. I used scallions, sour cream, the leftover half of a cauliflower, parsley, thyme (just a little), gruyere, Parmesan, and part of a grilled kielbasa from the Amish Market chopped up (no vegetarians dining with us tonight), all in my 10 inch cast iron pan. The result was indeed beautiful to behold and so delicious! A keeper, Cathy, for those nights when there’s “nothing” to cook. As you suggested, it called out for a little condiment, in this case yet another leftover, a partial jar of my go-to brand of store-bought pasta sauce for when I haven’t the energy to make my own, Victoria Tomato Basil. We feasted tonight thanks to you and Carol (and Dennis, too)!– Stephanie xo

  2. Elyse

    Don’t you love clean out the fridge options that are truly delicious. This looks lovely- can’t wait to try!

  3. Carol

    Found you after listening to your interview w/ Evan on her KCRW food podcast. I really like your “approach” to food. So I know your book will a great addition to my cookbook shelf. Skillet soufflé is on my “to do” list.

  4. Michelle in VA

    Brilliant! My hubs loves quiche, but I’m not always in the mood to make pie crust. And my attempts at crustless quiche fell a little flat. Literally. Frittatas are nice, but a little dense. The flour and baking powder might be the trick here — kind of a savory dutch baby?

  5. Cathy

    Welcome, Carol! I’m so glad you’re here. Let me know how you do with the skillet souffle!

  6. farmerkhaiti

    Hi there- I found your writing through your article about pressure canning beans, and then, while waiting for my black bean batch to be done, I have been perusing your blog (so excellent!). This is my favorite kind of recipe. Curious if you have ever tried using duck eggs? I’ll be trying this soon, we raise ducks on our farm and I’m always on the look out for good duck egg recipes to share with our customers! Thanks!

  7. Mrs. Brown

    I have some yellow squash, and one zucchini that ran amok… This will help use them up, along with some leftover bacon, and mushrooms and onions. Yum. Looking forward to supper tonight!

      • Nancy Williams

        I just saw your reply. Coming back to get this recipe again. I had already used the almond flour and it worked fine. This dish won rave reviews from my significant other! I have bought both of your pie books and have a zillion paper strips marking the ones I want to try.


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