Last fall, the Barefoot Bloggers made Ina Garten's Blue Cheese Souffle. I remember commenting that it would be great with different types of cheese, but the idea of this particular souffle was born out of an impulse to add spinach. I thought it would be a great way to add more veggies, and then I remembered that I had some Gruyere to use up. And in what case is adding Gruyere a bad idea?
I know my souffle isn't tall in the pic, but it had already fallen by the time I carried it to the table. Oh well, it certainly didn't affect the taste, and this was even delicious as leftovers. I made this when my wonderful friend Annie came over for dinner, and I served it along with grilled vegetables and herbed dinner rolls, with the mocha-almond-meringue tarts for dessert. I for one thought it was a great dinner, and I hope she did too!
Spinach and Gruyere Souffle
adapted from Ina Garten's Blue Cheese Souffle, Barefoot in Paris
- 3 Tbs unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the dish
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling in the dish
- 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
- 1 cup hot milk
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch cayenne
- 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed, drained well, and chopped (fresh spinach is fine too - just wilt, drain, and chop)
- 5 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, until golden. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the cayenne, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thickened.
Remove from heat and one at a time, whisk in the egg yolks. Stir in the gruyere, spinach, and parmesan, and transfer to a large bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt. Beat over low speed for 1 minute, medium heat for 1 minute, then increase to high and beat until they form firm, glossy peaks.
Whisk in about 1/4 of the egg whites to lighten the yolks, then carefully fold in the rest. Pour into the prepared souffle dish, and use a spatula to smooth the top. Draw a circle on top with a knife or spatula to help the souffle rise evenly, then place in the middle of the oven. Decrease the heat to 375, and bake 30-35 minutes, without peeking (!), until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately.