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Tomato Souffle, good idea or bad?

dockhl May 9, 2008 12:04 PM

I'm having friends for dinner tomorrow night and making short ribs and polenta. For some reason I really feel like making a souffle and a tomato one comes to mind. Now, I've never MADE a tomato souffle and don't even know if it is a good idea. I have a niggling little thought in the back of my mind that it wouldn't work well with the polenta but I don't know WHY .

Apparently I am not as clear on this menu as I thought and need some HELP.

  1. MMRuth May 9, 2008 12:10 PM

    It does somehow seem a bit duplicative - though obviously eggs and corn meal are two distinct items. How were you thinking of making the souffle?

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth
      dockhl May 9, 2008 12:24 PM

      I have a flourless souffle recipe that is awesome, so it is carb free, which is why I thought it might work. (eggs, cheese---maybe cheddar--tomatoes...) Maybe it is a texture thing but in my mind, if I substitute potatoes or pasta it still isn't quite right.

    2. farmersdaughter May 9, 2008 12:24 PM

      I've made lots of souffles, but not tomato. Why don't you make a dessert souffle and do something simple for a side dish with the short ribs, like sauteed swiss chard (I like to finish with some chopped preserved lemon) or roasted cherry tomatoes?

      2 Replies
      1. re: farmersdaughter
        dockhl May 9, 2008 12:58 PM

        Actually, I am making a Meyer Lemon tart a la Suzanne Goin for dessert.

        Chard`is a good idea.

        1. re: dockhl
          farmersdaughter May 9, 2008 01:00 PM

          I love that tart. I've made it several times for dessert for dinner parties. I add extra chocolate to make the chocolate layer a little thicker. It is a winner.

      2. jfood May 9, 2008 12:40 PM

        When jfood first read the Topic his brain thought tomato tarte and he liked that idea a lot. Then he opened and saw souffle and had a somewhat different reaction. He has never seen a tomato souffle.

        But if you are thinking of a tomato tarte, he thinks that's a great idea with short ribs and polenta. Everything else is so smooth and this will give a nice crunch to the dish.

        7 Replies
        1. re: jfood
          dockhl May 9, 2008 12:57 PM

          I like tomato tartes, too, but wonder what it is about "souffle" that makes this wrong?

          I've made many souffles but not a tomato one. Prolly should try it one myself first, huh? :)

          1. re: dockhl
            jfood May 9, 2008 01:13 PM

            The tomato souffle feels wrong because you already have a smooth on the plate with the poleta. And assuming your rib recipe has either a wine/beef or wine/beef/tomato braise you sorta have a tomato souffle deconstructed with what you already have.

            The tarte brings in yet another earthy taste with the roasted tomatoes, a crunchiness with the dough and if you spread some goat cheese on the dough and then place the tomatoes on top you might have a real winner.

            1. re: jfood
              dockhl May 9, 2008 01:34 PM

              smooth, the key word. OK, scrap the tomato souffle.

              Other than chard, (and the tomato tarte since I am tarting up dessert!) what might be my best sides?

              (Short ribs will maybe be winey, maybe a little citrus, maybe horseradish.....haven't decided yet.)

              1. re: dockhl
                farmersdaughter May 9, 2008 01:59 PM

                You need some textural contrast to offset the soft rib meat and polenta, and something with color. Since the polenta and ribs tend toward, sweet, bitter greens of some sort would complement the meal nicely, which is why I suggested the chard. You could do roasted or braised carrots or asparagus or steamed sugar snap peas as well.

                1. re: dockhl
                  jfood May 9, 2008 03:52 PM

                  OK no tarte.

                  Brussel sprouts. Slice in half and place on a cookie sheet (sliced slice down) and into a hot oven until done. Meanwhile dice some bacon (who doesn;t like bacon) and then toss together with salt & pepper.

                  1. re: jfood
                    dockhl May 9, 2008 04:10 PM

                    Oohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...........I do love me some brussel sprouts !

                    1. re: dockhl
                      dockhl May 9, 2008 10:36 PM

                      Geez. Just had dinner with the friends (at Villa Creek, good cassoulet) and said, "I'm thinking of short ribs for dinner tomorrow, is that OK?" Yes yes is the reply.

                      " Is there anything that you two don't like to eat?", sez I. "No, we like it all !"

                      .....except Brussels Sprouts......


                      Of course.

          2. GretchenS May 9, 2008 01:04 PM

            I am sort of fascinated with the idea of a tomato souffle but I agree it doesn't sound right with polenta -- not enough contrast in the textures, maybe.

            1 Reply
            1. re: GretchenS
              dockhl May 9, 2008 04:12 PM

              No one here seems to have ever made a tomato souffle. I wonder why not. Is there a souffle chemistry thing that would keep it from working? (I think the sound of a well seasoned tomato-cheddar souffle and sliced cukes with vinagrette is delicious....)

            2. dockhl May 9, 2008 01:11 PM

              maybe artichokes filled with tomato souffle? Or maybe I just need to go in a different direction.

              1 Reply
              1. re: dockhl
                karykat May 9, 2008 01:23 PM

                Another thing I've done (which may not fit this menu) is tomatoes filled with cheese souffle. They are very pretty on the plate and good. But you have to be sure to salt the hollowed out tomatoes and invert them to let them drain so they aren't watery.

              2. chef chicklet May 9, 2008 02:09 PM

                The tomato tart idea that jfood brought up sounds really really good with your ribs!
                If you do, add a little flour, about a tablespoon to help with the moisture, it will make a nice difference believe me! Tomato tarts looks so beautiful baked as well as they are downright tasty! oh sorry just saw your scrapped the tomato tart.
                Chard or brocollini with pine nuts would be nice. You're meal of short ribs and polenta would pair lovely with those greens.

                1. dockhl May 9, 2008 02:11 PM

                  How about this:
                  Endive Salad with Meyer Lemon, Fava Beans and Oil-Cured Olives

                  (Suzanne Goin)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dockhl
                    farmersdaughter May 9, 2008 02:14 PM

                    I love that salad too. In fact everything from her cookbook that I have made has turned out great, including this salad. Nice seasonality with the favas.

                  2. Phurstluv May 9, 2008 08:21 PM

                    Why don't you try a Roasted Garlic soufflee? I had great success with using the Gourmet recipe from April's issue for this Easter dinner. It was my first souffle and it was easier than I thought it would be, and impressed the mother-in-law!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Phurstluv
                      dockhl May 9, 2008 10:38 PM

                      Good idea, but it looks like the texture is the problem, more than the type of souffle. I need more acid, crunch, green taste.....

                    2. PseudoNerd May 9, 2008 10:41 PM

                      Tomato souffles, by the way, do exist and are feasible. I'd been looking for recipes for savory tomato souffles, but I haven't found anything yet.

                      I had an excellent tomato and basil souffle the last few times I was in Paris, but the last time was...umm...almost 5 years ago now.

                      1. Phurstluv May 13, 2008 08:38 PM

                        Okay, so I forgot the rest of your menu, but I have a greens recipe that will make anyone a true lover of greens! Take chard, turnip, kale, whatever greens you desire and clean and put 1/2 in a large pot with the water still clinging to the leaves. Then put a couple of tbsps. (not a typo) of salt on them and cover until they've wilted, 5 mins or so on medium. Add the rest of the greens again with a lot of salt, and let them wilt on top, covered. Then add crushed or minced garlic (couple of cloves) and cook another 15-20 mins. on med low covered until they've "given up". Add two splashes of red wine or balsamic vinegar and stir around, and cover and shut it off. That's it to delicious greens. I make these once a week, or so, and the hardest part is just cleaning the greens.

                        1. k
                          karykat May 14, 2008 09:09 AM

                          I keep thinking about the tomato souffle. If you did want to attempt it, I think the problem would be that the tomatos are too watery to work. I wonder if you could do it, though, using tomato paste, tomato sauce, roasted tomatoes or sun-dried tomatos pureed as the base. The goal would be to get the tomato flavor without too much water. Does this make sense?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: karykat
                            dockhl May 14, 2008 11:56 AM

                            I think roasted tomatoes, for sure. Maybe even a combo of roasted and (a small amt of) sun dried....with garlic. I may need to try this on Saturday (except it is supposed to be in the nineties.....) but with a cold crunchy salad of some sort, nice vinegary dressing......

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