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April 8, 2013

Broccoli & Cheese Souffle

Finally!  We made it to dairy week in my culinary class.  I felt a downward slide, definitely over the hump of the worst of the class, as we came upon techniques that I was familiar with.  Our group was assigned a souffle, one of my favorite dishes as a kid.  My mom's style was a bit different, though.  I was taught not to overmix the egg whites, while my Chef showed us to fully if gently incorporate the mixture.  I'm not much of a broccoli lover, but the minced broccoli was so subtle when everything was smoothly mixed, that it was a yummy addition to this recipe.

Basic Savory Souffle Recipe

Note:  A souffle begins as a Bechamel sauce. Eggs are separated with the yolks incorporated into the sauce and the whites beaten to just stiff peaks.  Before folkding in the beaten egg whites, the souffle is given its flavor by adding something:  grated cheese, herbs, minced bacon, vegetables (like spinach or broccoli), sausage, or other meats or fish.  The souffle dish is greased and the souffle is baked until puffed and done.

1/4 C. Butter or Margarine (half cube)
1/4 C. Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Dry Mustard
dash Cayenne or Red Pepper Flakes

1 C. Milk
3 Eggs, spearated
1/4 tsp. Cream of Tartar

1 C. Grated Cheese
other ingredients for flavor

1.  In a saucepan, make the bechamel sauce:  melt the butter, add teh flour and seasonings (salt, mustard, and pepper) and blend well.  Add the milk and stir until thickened.  
2.  In a KitchenAid mixer, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add teh cream of tartar and beat until stiff.  
3.  Beat the egg yolks and add to the sauce (must be tempered when added).
4.  Add any cheese or herbs or other minced ingredients to the yolk mixture.
5.  Fold in about 1/4 of the beaten whites to lighten the mixture.  Then gently fold in the rest being careful not to "pop the air bubbles."
6.  Pour into a greased souffle dish (you may want to first dust the pan with parmesan cheese).  Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until puffed and set; knife should come out clean.  Serve immediately.  It will fall.  

*For a hot dessert souffle:  Egg yolks are combined with sugar and beaten until light.  Flour is added to this.  A little hot milk is added slowly and tempered in.  Flavoring is added.  Egg whites are beaten and folded in. 

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