Craig Christie feeds his family of four for just $60 a week. He's written and composed a number of successful musical theatre shows that have been performed in Australia and around the world, but like many people who work in creative industries, he has often had to live off the smell of an oily rag. This has seen him become equally creative when it comes to avoiding food waste.
Aussies throw away a whopping $7.8 BILLION worth of food each year (we've blogged about food waste before, here and here). Tsk tsk! So following on from our post on 21 tips for using up food that's 'on the way out', we thought we'd share Craig's clever recipe for using up ragged bits of leftover cheese, or cheese nearing its end...
“After a dinner party the leftovers of the cheese platter that may look a little ragged can be used in a soufflé. It’s great for lunch with a salad or as a tasty entrée at a dinner party.” Craig Christie
Craig's Cheese Soufflé
1½ heaped tbsp plain flour
100g cheese, grated orchopped into small pieces
2 egg yolks*
4 egg whites
handful of fresh seasonal herbs, chopped (favourites are parsley, chives, oregano and thyme)
sea salt and cracked black pepper
*There are so many things you can do with the leftover egg yolks – a base for a custard or ice cream, a homemade mayonnaise, desserts like zabaglione or rich cheesecake, thickening and enriching sauces... left over egg yolks are never a problem.
1. Melt the butter and mix in the flour to make a thick paste, stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Then slowly whisk in the milk to make a smooth béchamel.
2. Add the cheese and whisk through until melted. Take off the heat and whisk in the egg yolks.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff.
4. Stir the herbs through the cheese mix.
5. Fold a tablespoon of egg white through the cheese mix to lighten it (I use a metal tablespoon for this, it works better) then tip the mix into the egg whites and fold together until combined.
6. Grease 4 x 150ml ramekins with butter.Spoon the mix in. I have also at times used anything from teacups to small soup bowls.
7. Pour some hot water into a baking tray and place the ramekins in the tray then bake in an oven on 175°C for about 15-20 minutes until puffed and golden.
note: If you have extra cooked serves, you can make a tasty double baked soufflé. Cooked soufflés will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Let the cooked soufflé fall and cool then turn out and keep covered on a dish until required. To serve,pour cream over to coat, then bake in the oven on 200°C for about 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs and serve.
For a zucchini cheese soufflé, cook 300g of zucchini, drain excess liquid, purée and add to the soufflé mix.
This recipe is a great base to which you can add any bits and pieces, such as vegetable purée or chopped tomato, to give it a different spin on the standard cheese soufflé.
Wine Match - Dal Zotto Chardonnay
You’d be tempted to think the clever person who invented Chardonnay also invented cheese soufflé. But if you’re tempted to think Chardonnay is for annoying aunties, think again. As a general rule of thumb, this style of plonk is at its best with food. Here we have a wine that is thumbs-up drinking with creamy, firmly flavoured and zesty meals.
Like this recipe? It's featured in our deliciously sustainable cookbook The Sustainable Table. Check it out here.
Do you have any clever cheesey recipes to share?