Happy New Year! Usually I don’t make resolutions for fear of falling short of my goals. However, for 2011, I have a resolution that seems doable. My New Year’s resolution is to keep up the Meatless Monday regimen, and I encourage you to do the same.
To celebrate 2011 and the first Meatless Monday of the year, I will be making this easy and decadent vegetarian meal. It’s one of my favorites: mock cheese souffle with salad and roasted pears.
You don’t need much time or skill – let alone professional culinary training – to make a rich and light souffle-like dish. Similar to bread pudding, this sumptuous dish is reminiscent of a meal at a French bistro that doesn’t rely on meat for great flavor.
Adapted from the New York Times Magazine, February 2, 2003 issue.
Softened butter, for greasing dish and spreading on bread
8 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
Dash cayenne pepper
1. Butter an 8-cup souffle dish.
2. Butter each slice of bread on one side and cut into four squares. Layer half the bread, buttered side up, in the bottom of the dish. Cover with half the grated cheese. Repeat. Place the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour over the bread and cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the souffle and bake on the center rack until the top is browned and the souffle is bubbling around the edges, about 45 minutes.