When I think of a soufflé, I tend to think of Margot’s disastrous cooking attempts in the 1970s sitcom The Good Life. Not so these simple game soufflés, which are ideal for a posh buffet or a rustic sandwich box. Friends will enjoy these, and it’ll give them a taste of “the Game Life”!
Ingredients (makes 10)
* Skinned breasts off one pheasant * 1 1/2oz butter (at room temperature) * black pepper * 1tsp each of mixed fresh or dried herbs (I used fresh basil, thyme, parsley, chives and savory) equalling about 1tbsp overall * 1oz grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese * four eggs * olive oil
1. Finely dice (to about the size of a pea) the game and then gently fry it in 1⁄2oz of butter with a good grind of black pepper and about half of the mixed herbs. This should take around five minutes. Leave to one side for a few minutes and then empty into a medium-sized bowl.
2. Add the grated cheese, 1oz of butter (in bits) the remaining herbs and four egg yolks (see tips) to the game mixture. Mix well into a thick, sticky paste; the butter should melt.
3. Place the whites of the eggs separately into a larger bowl and with either a hand or (for ease) an electric whisk, beat them until you have soft but nearing stiff “peaks” of egg white. Transfer the game mix and gently fold it into the egg whites.
4. Meanwhile, heat up a flat-bottomed non-stick frying pan (or griddle) until it reaches medium heat, add a dash of oil and, using a tablespoon, drop a heaped dollop of the game/egg mixture on to the pan (I did three at a time). After four minutes, use a spatula gently to turn the soufflés over and cook the other side. Keep warm and repeat for all the game mix, or allow them to cool and take them out for a day on the shoot/riverbank.
To separate the eggs, crack them open on to a flat plate, invert an egg cup over the yolk and pour off the white into the bowl. The yolk can then go into the game mix. The egg white will go frothy while being whisked and then start to turn a brighter white colour and stiffen up. After four minutes of frying, simply lift the edge of the soufflé to see if it has browned; if not, give it another minute before turning it over. There is no need to use salt as there is some in the cheese. The soufflé will be slightly rubbery on the outside and softer on the inside.