Cheese & Spinach Soufflé
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or red pepper
1 cup 1% milk
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
5 eggs, separated, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter sides and bottom of a 2-qt soufflé or casserole dish* with straight sides; dust with approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese.
Cook frozen spinach according to package directions. Drain thoroughly.
Melt butter over medium heat in medium saucepan. Add flour, salt, dry mustard, red pepper and mix well. Gradually whisk in milk; stirring constantly, bring to a boil; boil 1 minute (sauce will be thick). Remove from heat and cool while preparing eggs.
Separate egg yolks from whites (be careful not to get any yolk in whites); set whites aside. Thoroughly stir egg yolks into cheese sauce mixture; stir in drained spinach.*
Add cream of tartar to egg whites; beat until peaks form but egg whites to not appear dry. Stir 1/4 the egg whites into cheese sauce. Fold remaining whites into sauce. Pour soufflé mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top with remaining shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake 35 minutes. Serve immediately.
I was a teenager when I heard how temperamental a Soufflé could be – and spent the next 30+ years afraid to try one. As a challenge from Studio 5 I took the plunge and made my first. I think they are rather easy now – and hopefully you will too. Serves 6
Because a soufflé does eventually deflate – bring it to the table at the last minute and allow the family to admire it appropriately. Soufflés are tasty warmed up later (they’re just not as spectacular).
Avoid opening oven while soufflé is baking. During the first 3/4 cooking time the egg structure is setting and most likely to fall.
To compensate for loss of flavor caused by egg whites, use strong flavored cheeses.
* For individual serving, use 7 1-cup ramekins. Bake approximately 20-25 minutes and golden brown.
** At this point, sauce mixture may be refrigerated overnight and soufflé continued later. I like to slightly warm sauce before adding egg whites (microwave on very low setting for 10-15 seconds at a time, stirring frequently).