Yesterday was hot. I mean, it was really hot for May, so much so that it was kind a shock to my system. The trees are still blossoming all pinky and purple and the I’m just recovering from the constant joy of seeing green leaves on the way to work. And then all of a sudden there is this blast of heat that pushes my brain into memories of summer BBQs and beach days. How am I supposed to deal with that?
Well, let me tell you. I’ll make something to eat that is completely impractical for dinner and sit out on the patio and drink wine and absorb the heat and some fine conversation with my hubby. I think I dealt with that pretty well, don’t you? Well, everything but the part where I decided to make an appetizer that required me to heat the oven to 425 degrees. For half and hour. Did I mention how hot it was outside? The good news about this little brain lapse is that by the time I took this out of the oven, I think it was actually hotter in the kitchen than it was outside, so it felt downright breezy when we were eating out there. Geez, either I’m an idiot, or I’m so smart that I make genius decisions without even having to think it through. No comments please.
Oh, so you want to hear about the soufflé? It was delicious. It was insanely easy to pull together (part of the reason this made the cut for dinner last night), and absolutely yummy. Not yummy in a subtle, unique flavor kind of way, but yummy in a finish-it-in-one-sitting, dip-just-about-anything-in-it way. You know? As we were sitting out of the porch, we caught ourselves scarfing this down and barely pretending to actually talk to each other. Talking gets in the way of chewing in the most annoying way. This really isn’t a soufflé, so I don’t know why they call it that, except that it does get all nice and golden and puffy in the oven. I baked up some pita chips in the oven and served it along side the soufflé along with some fresh veggies. That way, I worked in a few more food groups into our dinner.
I have to be honest with you all, though. I really do think that this would be better suited to winter-dining. It’s got that cheesy, ooey-gooey thing going on that I crave all the time in the winter. Yes, I do realize that this comment would be a whole lot more convincing if I hadn’t just told you that we ate the entire dish in one sitting, in 80 degree weather. Do as I say, not as I do. Or, whatever, do as I do, because frankly, this is delicious.
Hot Onion Souffle
inspired by this recipe
I medium onion, chopped
16 oz. cream cheese, softened (2 packages)
1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese
1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
Sprinkle of crushed red pepper
Preheat oven to 425°. Put onions into a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon or so of water. Microwave for 90 seconds. Add cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and mayonnaise and mix until well combined.
Transfer onion–cheese mixture to a gratin or souffle dish, smoothing top slightly with the back of a spoon. Bake dip until top is golden brown and puffy, about 20 minutes. Serve while still hot with pita chips, tortilla chips, veggies, or all of the above.
How to make pita chips:
Take some pitas and cut them into chip-size pieces. I recommend cutting each pita into 4-6 pieces, but it’s up to you.
Toss the pieces of pita in a bowl with some good olive oil. If you have some garlic- or herb-infused olive oil, it would be great to use it for this. (One of the benefits of having a brother who works at an olive oil shop. Yum.) Sprinkle them with some salt.
Throw the pita on a foil lined baking sheet, and toast them in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.