cheese and spinach souffle

I made one the first time because I had just seen Audrey Hepburn do so in Sabrina (1954). I’ve made them ever since because I love cheese and for the thrill of saying the word “soufflé.” With a pot of hot soup, preferably tomato, it makes a simple and delicious winter supper.

I’ve tweaked as I’ve gone, and here’s the result:

cheese and spinach soufflé
Need:
about 3 TBS. flour
generous pinch of dried dill (1/2 tsp.?)
1/4 tsp. each salt and fresh pepper
1 c. milk
about 8 oz. shredded cheeses (be creative! Great way to use up various cheesy odds and ends. My favorite mix is cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan. You can even stir in some ricotta or cottage cheese.)
5 largish eggs
pinch of cream of tartar

fresh steamed spinach, chopped and with water squeezed out (can use 10 oz. pkg. of
frozen in a pinch, or steamed broccoli or kale)

Do:
Preheat to 350. Butter or olive oil a 2-qt. casserole or pottery dish
Separate the eggs, putting whites in a large bowl. You can do this with a spoon, or, if you have watched Sabrina enough times to master the one-handed egg crack, you can use a handy-dandy egg separator. Mine came with a helpful little graphic on the handle. (See below) Whisk yolks together in small bowl.

Mix flour, dill, salt, pepper, and milk in saucepan. Whisk continually over med.-hi heat until thick. Remove from heat and stir in spinach and cheese with a spoon (forget the whisk now or you will be sorry when cleanup time comes, trust me).  Stir in eggs yolks slowly.

Add pinch of cream of tartar to egg whites and beat on high speed until stiff. Fold gently into milk mixture in saucepan with a broad spatula.

Slide mix into dish and bake 30-35 minutes until puffed and brown.

Soufflé tips for the newbies:
1. ROOM TEMPERATURE eggs
2. Use a chilled or COLD STAINLESS STEEL BOWL for the whites
3. Don’t skip the CREAM OF TARTAR. This little pinch works some chemical magic that puffs the whites.
4. Don’t get any YOLK in your whites.
5. FOLD in the whites, DO NOT STIR

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