Basic Cheese Soufflé
- 3 tbsp sweet butter
- Additional butter to grease dish
- 3 tbsp unbleached flour
- 1 c whole milk – at room temperature
- 4 egg yolks
- 5 egg whites – at room temperature
- 1/2 – 2/3 c grated cheese (almost any cheese will work, vary the amount using your own judgment about both flavor and the consistency of the sauce)
- 1/4 c finely grated parmesan
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white pepper
- Heat oven to 425F. Grease soufflé dish with butter and dust with parmesan.
- Melt 3 tbsp butter over medium low heat, add flour, and cook for five minutes stirring constantly. Add milk and continue stirring until thickened. Slowly add egg yolks, whisking steadily to avoid scrambling the eggs. Mix in mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir in cheese, melt, and mix thoroughly.
- Mix in any additional ingredients, remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Beat egg whites to medium stiff peaks. Thoroughly fold 1/3 of whites into sauce mixture. Casually fold mixture back into remaining whites. Pour into soufflé dish, place in oven, reduce heat to 375F, and bake 40 to 45 minutes depending on how well done you like your soufflés. Don’t open the oven for the first 20 minutes!
Additions: Almost anything is good. Whatever you add should be finely chopped so that it is both evenly distributed throughout the dish and so that the expanding eggs can lift it – chunks will fall to the bottom. Don’t add more than about a cup of the additional ingredient to the cheese mixture, and make sure whatever you add is well drained to avoid thinning the sauce. Lastly, additional ingredients should generally be cooked in advance.
Crab, lobster, crayfish
Spinach (an old standby), sorrel, arugula (be sure to squeeze all moisture out of these before chopping)
Asparagus, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes