My aunt Barbara is a cool lady. In reality, she’s my dad’s aunt, but she says she’s never aged a day beyond 27, and I believe her. Since I moved to New York, Barbara has been my closest relative, and I’ve had the pleasure of getting to spend weekends away from the city in her East Hampton home, where she’s lived the past 45 years. At the end of last summer, however, she sold that house and bought another, smaller place. Renovations were a disaster, leaving her stranded amongst friends throughout the construction and me without my peaceful summer getaway. Finally, she was able to move in, and I joined her for the first time in her new, almost-finished home. She’s no foodie, but she indulges me, and we always have a blast seeking out new places to “lunch” (her favorite past-time) and cooking up a storm in her kitchen with local ingredients. Since corn’s in season, we bought several ears and made a lovely little dinner for two to celebrate being together.
- 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- Fresh corn kernels, cut from 2 ears
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 1/2 tbsp. Wondra flour
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 3 eggs, separated, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 450°. Butter two small soufflé dishes (6 1/2” diameter, 2 1/2” deep) and sprinkle with cheese.
Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn begins to soften, 2–4 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.
Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a heavy-bottomed small saucepan over medium heat. Add Wondra and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 2 minutes (do not brown) until a paste is formed. Turn off the heat. Simultaneously, warm the milk over low heat. Whisk half of the milk into the flour mixture. Return to heat and stir in remaining milk. Cook, stirring, until very thick, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a large bowl, and whisk in egg yolks one at a time.
Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Add a third of egg whites to egg yolk mixture and gently fold together. Add the corn, then gently fold in the rest of the egg whites. Do not overmix. Spoon the mixture into soufflé dish, and bake until soufflé is browned, 18–22 minutes. Serve immediately.
Adapted from SAVEUR.