Mackerel Souffle

The first cookbook I ever got, and to this day still my favorite, is Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cookbook.  Not long after getting the book, I was asked to bring dessert to a dinner party.  I made chocolate-covered cream puffs.  They were a huge hit, and people were amazed that I hadn’t purchased them.   Cooking out of this book over the years since, Craig taught me that it isn’t hard to cook and eat well, if you are interested in doing so.

Although not widely consumed in the US, mackerel is inexpensive and highly sustainable.  Since it is an oily fish, it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  In Japan, mackerel is called saba, and is sold salted and vinegared in sushi bars.  If you enjoy sushi, I highly recommend that you try saba.

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Cline Nancy’s Cuvee (with tuna souffle)

As you enter Sonoma county from the south on California 121, one of the first wineries you encounter is Cline Cellars, and there could hardly be a better introduction to the Carneros AVA.

Even as a young teenager, Fred Cline learned to make wine from his grandfather, Valeriano Jacuzzi (yes, he of the hydrotherapy tub, as well as many other innovations). With a $9000 inheritance from Valeriano, in 1981 Cline founded the eponymous Cline Cellars in Oakley, California.

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Clos Pegase Pinot Noir Mitsuko’s Vineyard 2016 and a Salmon Souffle

Clos Pegase Pinot Noir Mitsuko’s Vineyard 2016A Christmas Souffle

There are few things as elegant, or as easy to make, as a souffle.  My stepdaughter and her partner dropped by for Christmas, and he mentioned that, even though he is 45, he had never had a savory souffle, much less made one.  I assured him it was really simple, so I whipped up one with salmon.  The recipe is below if you want to make one as well.  But first, the wine.

Clos Pegase Pinot Noir Mitsuko’s Vineyard 2016

This wine pours a jewel-like ruby red into the glass.   The nose greets you with aromas of vanilla and ripe red cherries.   Those cherries come forward on the palate, along with hints of cinnamon and clove.  There is harmonious balance between the oak, acid, and tannins.  It’s all rounded out by a nice medium finish.  it paired quite nicely with:

Salmon Souffle 2019

I first learned to make souffles from The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne, and that was the starting place for this one.

3 Tbl butter
3 Tbl flour
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 C milk or half and half
4 eggs, separated
Salt and  dry mustard to taste
2 Tbl teriyaki sauce
14 oz. can salmon

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.

1.  Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the mushrooms until lightly browned.
3.  Stir in the flour and blend with a wire whisk.  Meanwhile, drain the salmon into a 1 cup measure.  Add enough milk to come to 1 cup.  Bring the milk to a boil, and add all at once to the butter-flour mixture (aka a roux), stirring with the whisk until thickened and smooth.  Let cool.
3.  Beat in, one at at time, the four egg yolks.  Season with salt, mustard, and teriyaki sauce.
4. Flake the salmon, and blend well into the white sauce and egg mixture.
5.  Using a rotary beater or an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they stand in peaks.  Do not over beat.  Fold the whites gently into the salmon mixture with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, being careful not to overblend.
6.  Pour into a 1-1/2 quart souffle dish, which may be greased or ungreased.  Place in oven and bake thirty to forty minutes.  Serve with Hollandaise sauce.

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