spinach soufflé(adapted from the Life Menu Cookbook)
1 package chopped frozen spinach (1 cup)
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
2 to 3 shallots, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
7 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons flour
1 ½cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Butter a two-quart soufflé dish and sprinkle the sides and bottomlightly with Parmesan cheese.
3. Melt one tablespoon of butter in a heavy saucepan and add the shallots. Cook for about three minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the thoroughlydrained spinach and lemon juice and cook over a very low heat, stirringfrequently until all the liquid has evaporated, which will take about 10minutes. Set aside.
4. Melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in a heavy saucepan and, overlow heat, stir in the flour with a wire whisk; remove from heat. Meanwhile bring the milk to the boiling point and add it to thebutter-flour mixture, beating vigorously with a wire whisk until smooth. Add the salt and pepper and continue whisking until blended. Let this white sauce cool a little.
5. Meanwhile separate the eggs. Beatthe yolks into the sauce one at a time. Stir in the spinach and set the mixture aside.
6. Beat the egg whites, including the extra white, in a large bowl untilthey hold soft peaks. Stir a littleof the whites into the sauce to make it easier to manage, then gently fold inthe remainder. Pour the mixtureinto the prepared soufflé dish. Placein oven; turn heat down to 375° F.immediately and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is well puffed upand lightly browned.
Souffléau Fromage (Cheese Soufflé)
(adapted from Time-Life, The Cooking of Provincial France)
1 tablespoon soft butter ½ tsp. salt
1 tablespoon grated, importedSwiss cheese Pinch of white pepper
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter 6 egg whites
3 tablespoons flour 1 cup grated, imported Swiss cheese*
1 cup hot milk
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Grease the bottom and sides of a 2-quart soufflé dish with onetablespoon of soft butter, then sprinkle in one tablespoon of grated importedSwiss cheese, tipping the dish to spread the cheese as evenly as possible on thebottom and on all sides. Setthe dish aside.*
3. In a 2- to 3-quart saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over moderateheat.. When the foam subsides, stir in three tablespoons of flour with a woodenspoon and cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 1 or 2 minutes. Do not let the roux brown. Removethe saucepan from the heat and pour in hot milk, beating vigorously with a whiskuntil the roux and liquid are blended. Addthe salt and pepper and return to low heat and cook, whisking constantly, untilthe sauce comes to a boil and is smooth and thick. Let it simmer a moment, then remove the pan from the heat and beat in theegg yolks, one at a time, whisking until each one is thoroughly blended beforeadding the next. Set aside.
4. With a large balloon whisk, beat the egg whites until they are so stiffthat they form small points which stand straight up without wavering. (A rotaryor electric beater may be used instead, but the whites will not mount asvoluminously or have as fine a texture.) Stira big spoonful of beaten egg white into the waiting sauce to lighten it; thenstir in all but one tablespoon of the remaining grated cheese. With a spatula, lightly fold in the rest of the egg whites, using anover-under cutting action rather than a stirring motion.
5. Gently pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared dish; the dish shouldbe about three- quarters full. Lightlysmooth the surface with a rubber spatula and sprinkle the remainingtablespoonful of cheese on top. Fora decorative effect make a “cap” on the soufflé with a spatula bycutting a trench about 1 inch deep and 1 inch from the rim all around the dish. Place the soufflé on the middle shelf of the oven and immediately turnthe heat down to 375° F.
6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the soufflé puffs up about 2 inchesabove the rim of the dish and the top is lightly browned.
Serve at once.
To serve 4
*Variation–Doexactly as above, but (while working on step one above) also boil 4 refrigeratedeggs for 7 minutes. Rinse undercold water and peel. Scoop abouthalf of the soufflé mixture into soufflé dish; arrange eggs on top and covereach with a mound of the remaining soufflé mixture. Dot each mound with a teaspoon of grated cheese and bake asdirected above. (Serve each personan egg.)
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