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Cheese and Spinach Soufflé:

WEEKEND EATS

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¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for coating the dish
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the dish
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
3/4 cup coarsely grated Gruyère or cheddar cheese
1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
5 large egg whites, room temperature

Local news, art, history & entertainment in the mid-Hudson Valley

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     Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees.  Butter a 6-cup (1 1/2-quart) soufflé dish. Add Parmesan cheese and tilt dish, coating bottom and sides.
    Warm milk in saucepan over medium heat until steaming.  Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses the raw flour taste, about 3 minutes (do not allow mixture to brown). Remove saucepan from heat. Pour in warm milk, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook over low heat, whisking constantly until very thick, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in nutmeg and salt. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Stir in cheese and spinach. Scrape the soufflé base into large bowl and cool to lukewarm. (Base can be made two hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
      Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in another large bowl until stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of whites into soufflé base to lighten it. Fold in remaining whites. Transfer batter to prepared dish.

Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. Bake until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top, about 25-30 minutes (do not open

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    Do not stop reading this when you see the word soufflé. They are not very difficult or time consuming to make.  And they are light and delicious and so impressive looking.
    Some recipes for cheese and spinach soufflé are very long and confusing.  They have you make a collar for the dish (not necessary) and use a tea towel to squeeze the water from the spinach.  Coating the soufflé dish with Parmesan cheese allows the soufflé to evenly puff up the side of the dish.  And I think frozen spinach is perfect for this dish.  Simply defrost the spinach in a colander and when it is defrosted just use your hands to push the spinach against the colander removing all the excess water. It’s that easy.
     Whip the ingredients together and, poof, you have a poof!

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