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A Long Lost Julia Child Recipe From the Days Before the Internet
March 24th, 2018 by

Roulade: The Rolled Souffle

Without this relic, there would be no broccoli roulade recipe for me to share.

A long time ago in a world far away, before there were smartphones, social media, the World Wide Web, and PCs had tiny green screens….That’s right, I’m talking about the 1980s.

During this prehistoric time, I was working at a small-town newspaper and was earning squat and so when I wanted inspiration for something to cook, I’d watch Julia Child on TV and write down the recipe as she made one of her brilliantly crafted, butter-laden treats. I was too cheap to go out and buy one of her cookbooks.

And I’m glad I was because I don’t think this recipe made it into any of her cookbooks. And it’s not online either (until now). This roulade is stuffed with a buttery concoction of broccoli and shallots and is the perfect spring dish to serve at an Easter brunch (which I plan to do).

The green drawing paper I scribbled the recipe on (see photo at right) is faded, stained and ripped, but I was able to decipher it some 30-plus years later. Here is the sacred code:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Butter, one stick, plus 2-3 tablespoons (what did you expect?)
  • Flour, 2/3 cup.
  • Milk, 3 cups
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp.
  • White Pepper, several grinds.
  • Nutmeg, a dash (but be careful, more than a few specks will overwhelm the taste).
  • Eggs, 6 large
  • Cream of tarter, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Grated Swiss Cheese, 4 ounces
  • Bread crumbs, enough to sprinkle over jelly roll pan.
  • Fresh broccoli, 2-3 cups
  • Shallots (or scallions), about 2-4 tablespoons chopped.
  • Heavy Cream (a little bit — hey, that’s what she said)
  • You’ll also need a jelly roll pan (a small cookie sheet, about 10″x15″) and some wax paper to line it.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:

Julia Child

Julia Child

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Butter a jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet) and line it with wax paper. Then butter the wax paper and flour it (pour flour over the butter and shake off the excess so that the flour covers the wax paper which covers the pan).

Make the Bechamel Sauce:

In a pan over a low-to-moderate flame melt one stick of butter mixed with 2/3 cup of flour. Cook it until it froths and foams, about 2 minutes without coloring. Take off the heat and let it cool a moment (it should no longer be bubbling). Then add 3 cups of milk and whisk it vigorously. Return it to moderate heat, stirring with a wooden spoon and allow it to boil slowly for about 3 minutes. It should thicken. Once it’s thick, add a teaspoon of salt, several grinds of white pepper and a dash of nutmeg (be careful, more than a few specks will overwhelm the taste).

Divide the bechamel sauce in half. Keep one-half in a pan placed in another pan of hot water to keep it warm.

Make the Souffle Mixture:

Separate the 6 eggs and beat just the yolks into the other half of the bechamel sauce (the half that is not being kept warm in a hot water bath).

Beat the egg whites until foamy. Then add 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tarter and a pinch of salt. Continue beating until the egg whites are stiff, but not dry. Fold this into the souffle mixture (the egg yolks and bechamel sauce). Then fold in 4 ounces of grated swiss cheese.

Pour this mixture onto the prepared jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet). Spread it evenly across the pan. And cook it for 15 minutes in the middle level of an oven set to 425 degrees. Take it out of the oven and sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Let it sit for 5 minutes covered with another sheet of wax paper.

Make the Filling:

Fresh broccoli, a sign of spring.

Fresh broccoli, a sign of spring.

Finely chop up 2-3 cups of fresh broccoli.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of butter to a frying pan over moderate heat and then cook the chopped shallots (or scallions for about a minute, until they soften. Add the broccoli and a pinch of salt and cook 2-3 minutes. Add a little bit of heavy cream and the remaining bechamel sauce and 2-3 tablespoons of grated swiss cheese. Simmer for about 2-3 minutes and taste.

Put It All Together:

Unpan the souffle (you should be able to tip it out of the jelly roll pan). Spread the filling ontop evenly. And then roll the souffle using the wax paper onto a platter.

You can slice it as is or you can top it with a piperade (a mixture of cooked red and green peppers with onions) or a hollandaise sauce.

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