French Spinach Souffle Recipe
Souffles are a majestic thing, although often it is a terrible difficulty to get them to rise. Even if they don't though, they still rise to the occasion (haha) in other ways. Savory or sweet, they're light, fluffy, still elegant, and can be turned to such a wonderful array of uses. In this case, this souffle recipe is a spinach version, which makes a savory and rich souffle. In some ways, it reminds me of a quiche, just much lighter. Although it requires a number of steps to make, elements of it can be prepared beforehand, which does make it easier to combine with other dishes.
I have adapted this recipe from Cooking à la Cordon Bleu, by Alma Lach, and I have seen it replicated in Hows and Whys of French Cooking again by Alma S. Lach. Both are good books, although Hows and Whys of French Cooking includes everything in Cooking à la Cordon Bleu and significant additions.
It should be noted that the total souffle size as produced by the ingredients laid out below is substantially larger than that which is displayed in my photos, as I was forced to make a smaller one due to lack of sufficient ingredients.
- 3 tablespoons + additional butter
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- dash of nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 6 egg yolks
- 6 egg whites
- Butter a large souffle dish. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup parmesan cheese on the bottom.
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet, then add in flour, simmer a few minutes so as to cook the flour, and then add in 1 cup of cream (make sure it is cold). Then add the 1/2 teaspoon salt, dash of nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon white pepper. Thus, a thick Béchamel sauce is produced.
- In a separate bowl, beat together 6 egg yolks, then add a bit of the hot sauce into the yolks, mix together, and then stir the yolks into the sauce. Add 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese. This can now be covered with a lid and can sit for several hours if desired.
- Heat a small amount of water to boiling, then add in the 10 ounces of spinach, and parboil for 1 minute. Then remove from the water, and strain away any remaining water. Chop if needed to produce smaller leaves.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the sauce mixture, if it had been left to sit for a prolonged period of time, stirring from the center and working out to the sides to blend it together without breaking into pieces. Heat to lukewarm, remove from heat into a large bowl.
- Beat the egg whites, with dashes of salt to improve their lightness.
- Stir a cup of these egg whites into the sauce, to lighten it. Then use a rubber spatula and fold the egg whites into the sauce. When mixed, pour half of it into the souffle dish. Then add in the spinach as a layer. Then add the remaining material, level off the top with a spatula and push the mixture away from the edges of the side of the pain, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
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