Cheap Imitation or Tasty Alternative?

My first encounter with soufflé was in a nice French restaurant in, believe it or not, Lowell, Massachusetts -- a rich puff of egg and cheese served with a deliriously savory drizzle of melted herb butter. I thought soufflé-making must be the apex of culinary achievement. One that I might reach someday if I managed to win the lottery, then be accepted for a French cooking class at Le Cordon Bleu.

Then I found a recipe for individual asiago cheese bread puddings dusted with grated parmesan, and decided to give them a go one New Year’s Eve. They were puffy, delicious and easy. And they looked and tasted a lot like traditional soufflé. Not exactly the real thing but pretty darned tasty. My next experiment was to try different bread/cheese combos until I came up with just the right balance of flavor.

Pair the cheese puffs with mini-caribou meatballs (pictured), and spiced shrimp as a small plate buffet accompanied by arugula and grape tomato salad. Add a pitcher of warm sangria and invite a couple of good friends over for an evening of good conversation. The art of Tapas doesn’t get much better than that.

Swiss Soufflé Mini Puffs
½ loaf plain white bread (16 ounce loaf – approx. 10 slices)
1¼ cups shredded Swiss or Havarti cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1¼ cups milk
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons butter
Dash of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Trim crusts from bread slices and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add milk, cheese and Worcestershire sauce, blend well before adding bread. Let stand for 15-20 minutes minutes. Fill buttered mini-muffin cups about 2/3 full with the bread soaked soufflé mixture. Place the muffin tin into a jelly roll pan filled with 1/2 inch of water.

Bake in a 375 degree F oven until set, about 25-30 minutes. The soufflé bites are ready when they have puffed up and are slightly brown on top. Serve immediately. Makes 24 mini-cheese soufflé puffs.


  1. This is too funny; I have a sort of souffle going up myself tomorrow. I like your individual idea, though.........


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