Susie Vicki Cristina Barcelona Edina
Since last week was way too crazy, I made Susie a birthday lunch today, one week late, but better than never. I love cooking for my girls – they’ll eat anything so I can make all the things I love that others in the fam are too picky to eat. Like scallops. And polenta. Yep, polenta – with the weather taking a big turn for the cooler, comfort-y type foods are suddenly hitting the spot. And because fresh sweet corn is still tasty, I stirred in a cup or so right as the polenta finished cooking. Sweet and crisp, a nice addition.
Since polenta just begs for something a bit saucy, I served it up to Suz. Ha! Actually, I simmered CSA veggie share green beans and tossed them with a fresh tomato-garlic sauce (chopped fresh tomato, garlic, and olive oil sauteed/simmered together for a few minutes). Alongside scallops saltimbocca (I used Nueske’s bacon instead of pancetta because, well, that’s what I had; yes, I realize I’m beating the saltimbocca theme to death lately but what can I say? When it rocks, it rocks…), the polenta was in good company and we took our plates – and perhaps a glass of wine – out onto the deck for a nice summer-into-fall, girly-birthday luncheon. All good.
Until…I pulled a warm lemon souffle from the oven, and then it was all great. Sheesh. Topped with dollops of softly whipped cream, washed down with sips of strong, hot coffee…oh yeah. I don’t know, I can’t think of a chocolate dessert I love more than a warm fruit souffle. (Recipe for lemon souffle posted in comments, below.)
As Suz said, “Like I really want to go home and make dinner now,” I’m thinking that John and I might end up wandering out later for sustenance. After checking out Vicky Cristina Barcelona, that is, which I’ve been looking forward to seeing.
Hope you’re starting off your weekend in a nice way too! Happy Birthday Saucy Suz!
Later: three quick raves – one, for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which is sexy/funny/fabulous, I recommend it completely. Two, for Restaurant Alma, where we went afterward for a lovely dinner – no shock there. Sweet corn flan and rigatoni with fennel sausage for me, yum. Three, a quick bop into the Cedar Cultural Center, to catch the end of the Punch Brothers’ performance. I admit, I went grudgingly (John’s taste in music does not er, match mine, that’s what seven years’ difference in age will do to a couple), but I was pretty blown away by… I’m not sure… Classical alternative bluegrass? The mandolin/lead singer’s voice was angelic, kind of scary perfect. The technical talent of the violin, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and string bass players was incredible. So…a damn good day, all in all. Def a keeper. G’night!
Moderate it: I’ve said this before about savory souffles and the same holds true for the sweet versions – they’re actually quite simple to make, and not overly rich/caloric, but they impress and are, not surprisingly, absolutely delicious. I declare, the world needs more souffles.
Adapted from a Bon Apetit recipe
2 Tbsp. finely grated lemon peel
3/4 c. sugar, divided (1/2 c. and 1/4 c.) plus extra for coating dish
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 c. whole milk
3 large eggs, separated
2 Tbsp. butter
5 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
lightly sweetened whipped cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter (or coat with nonstick spray) a 5-cup soufflé dish and coat with sugar. Mash lemon peel and 1/2 c. sugar in heavy medium saucepan; whisk in cornstarch, then milk and yolks. Add 2 Tbsp. butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil until thick pudding forms, whisking constantly, about 1 minute. Mix in lemon juice and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in 1/4 c. sugar; beat until stiff but not dry. Fold warm lemon pudding into whites. Spoon mixture into soufflé dish and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately with whipped cream.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I loved making it for you, so fun. Yay!
My dear, a girl could not have a better friend than one that whips together a meal like this on a Friday afternoon for her birthday. (and can you believe, readers, Stephanie flipped her hand at me saying this was "no big deal"??) I've said it before and I'll say it again, how lucky am I???