Most of the time when I am on the road (airports), I will pick up a few magazines to help kill some of the waiting time. This recipe came from the August issue of House Beautiful. Flipping the pages, I noticed one of the Barefoot Contessa's easy and extremely delicious looking recipes and article. I was attracted to this because I read where this dish could be prepared in advance, up to two hours. The presentation of any kind of souffle when guests are seated is something that does not occur very often when I have company for dinner. Guess this is why I was so attracted to the recipe....maybe I could really pull this off! Well, it worked like a charm!
3 T. unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing dish
1/4 C. finely grated Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
3 T all-purpose flour
1 C. scalded milk
1/4 t. nutmeg
pinch of Cayenne
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/2 C. grated aged Cheddar cheese, lightly packed
1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
5 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 t. cream of tarter
1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter the inside of a 6-to-8 cup souffle dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
2 Melt butter and stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Take pan off the heat and whisk in the hot milk, nutmeg, Cayenne, 1/2 t.salt and 1/4/t. of pepper. Cook over low heat, whisking for one minute further until thick and smooth.
3 Off the heat, but while still hot, mix in the egg yolks. Stir in the cheeses and the spinach and pour in large bowl.
4 Put egg whites, cream of tarter and pinch of salt in a bowl, beat at low speed one minute and then kick it up on medium until the egg whites are glossy with peaks.
5 Whisk 1/4 of the eggs whites into the cheese mixture to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into the souffle dish, smoothing the top. The Contessa suggests drawing a large circle on the top with a spatula and place in middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown. Do not open oven while baking. To make in advance, prepare recipe through step 3(adding the cheeses). Keep the mixture covered at room temperature until ready to bake.