in the kitchen

in the kitchen

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Eggs and Cheese

Eggs and cheese are two of the staples I always have on hand. They can be combined for a quick and delicious meal in a myriad of ways. One of my favorites is soufflé. Here is one that has a veggie component too.
Spinach and Cheese Soufflé

1/4 lb spinach
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
 6 egg yolks
1/3 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Ramano cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites
Butter bottom and sides of an eight cup soufflé dish. Coat with ¼ cup grated Pecorino Ramano cheese. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place spinach in a microwavable bowl, add a tablespoon of water, cover and cook for 4 minutes. Melt butter in a skillet and stir in flour.  Stir and cook for one minute. Add milk slowly while continuing to stir. Cook until thickened. Add nutmeg and remove from heat and set aside. Drain spinach well, squeezing by hand if necessary to remove most of the liquid, then chop finely. Beat egg yolks and add to the milk mixture along with the spinach, cheeses and salt. Beat egg whites just until stiff but not dry. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the spinach and cheese mixture to lighten it. Add back to the remaining egg whites and fold until blended. Place mixture into prepared soufflé dish and bake for 40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Hints: First thing you should realize is that the soufflé will taste fabulous even if it did not rise as high as you might have wished. The interior of the soufflé should be quite moist when serving. I have also made this with the following substitutions- instead of 6 egg yolks use 3 whole eggs. You can also make this in smaller ramekins for individual servings. One cup ramekins, placed on a baking sheet, will need to cook about 25 minutes. This is a great meal with a bit of crusty bread and a nice tossed or fruit salad.

Once Bill and I had friends to dinner and I was making individual spinach soufflés. Just as Steve and Mary arrived I dropped the baking sheet. It landed right side up on the floor. The ramekins were jostled and some had tipped over. I still had 4 intact and so proceeded to bake them. They turned out wonderfully. We had a very nice evening and I found out that you don't have to be concerned about treating soufflés gently.

1 comment:

  1. I remember having a gaggle of bridesmaids over to prep for Kathryn's wedding freshman year. I sprung them on you and while we dressed downstairs, you just whipped up this souffle. They were so impressed but the magical existence in which I lived: souffles whipped up at the drop of a dime. I'm pretty much impressed daily myself.