New college year, new recipes

New college year, new recipes

There’s a saying (Google tells me it originates from the bible) that there is a time for everything.
As a student, I can assure you: this is not true. Because somehow, when it should be the time to study, it always ends up being the time for everything else..
“Oh will you look at that, the cabinet tops are way too dusty, better clean them first.. and while I’m at it,  why not vacuum the kitchen and mop the bathroom floor.. a clean house equals a clean mind, right?”
It is, after all, a well-known fact that student houses are cleanest during examination times.

I have to admit, I’m not that much of a cleaner myself (truth be told, I can be quite messy..), so my SAB (Study Avoidance Behavior) usually consists of, surprise surprise, cooking. Mostly trying out new recipes or recipe ideas, or just scouting the web for inspiration (which is also studying, if you think about it!)

Since my mother was coming around for dinner, and she is a vegetarian, I was looking for some new ideas when I stumbled upon soufflé recipes. I’ve never made soufflé before, so that was reason enough for me to try it. Plus, I have those adorable cocottes (you know, the small, individual sized oven dishes), so I could make a personal-sized soufflé. It all came together perfectly in my mind..

The first time I made them I was a bit busy cooking other stuff as well (nothing much.. just some pork chops stuffed with apricot/pancetta/sage/garlic-butter, parmigiana di melanzane (one of my all-time fave dishes, recipe will follow), apple pie, and a nice salad) so I didn’t really time the soufflé, and anyone who’s ever made it before knows that timing is quite crucial.. It was rather deflated. Very tasty, but still deflated. I decided to give it another try when I had some more time to fully focus on it.

Luckily (for you, obviously!), yesterday I had to study all day long. So I definitely had the time to try another soufflé.. with success! It didn’t rise as much as I’d hoped, but perhaps I just didn’t fill the cocotte enough.
Maybe the soufflé wasn’t confident enough to ‘rise’ to the occasion?
Sun-dried tomato/basil soufflé


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 shallots
  • Approximately 30 grams (1.5 cup) of fresh basil leaves
  • 100 grams (2 cups) of dried tomatoes
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) butter or margarine
  • 50 g (o.4 cups) flour
  • 400 mL (1.7 cups) milk
  • 150 grams (5 oz) grated cheese
  • (freshly ground) pepper
  • butter or margarine for greasing


  • Soufflé dish volume about 2 liters (67.62 oz), or about 4 cocottes


Preheat oven to 175 °C (347 °F). Grease the dish(es) and split the eggs, carefully. Make sure the egg-white isn’t contaminated with egg-yoke, or it won’t thicken anymore!. Peel the shallots and finely chop them, as well as the basil leaves. Pat dry the tomatoes with some paper towels and cut into small cubes. Heat the butter in pan and sauté the shallots for about 1 minute. Stir in the flour. Next, slowly add the milk, pouring small amounts at each time, and stir until you’ve created a smooth sauce. Add the cheese and stir until it starts to melt. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the egg yolks, basil leaves, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg whites until they are at the soft peak stage and fold into the cheese mixture with a large metal spoon. Divide the mixture evenly between the six cocottes (or pour it all in the large soufflé dish) and place them on a baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes until well risen. Slightly open the oven door, and bake the soufflé for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy! I know I did..

I kind of lost track of time.. So mine was more brown than golden,  but the taste was perfect!

This is a great substitute for meat when you’re cooking for a larger group with one (or two) vegetarians, or you could serve it as a starter, or lunch, or just have it as a mid-day snack.. Eitherway, it’s a treat to eat!

Still slightly risen!
I do apologize for the messy kitchen, but well.. I don’t have time to clean because of all the studying. 😉

Now, I haven’t forgotten the promise I made about the courgette recipes, but honestly, I haven’t had the time to write them all down. Don’t worry, they will be posted. Eventually…

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