As a child I used to love to eat soufflé. We had it often thanks to the good folks at Stouffers. Frozen foods were never shied away from back in the seventies. No one in my house ever made a soufflé so I did not learn to make one myself until Julia Child taught me at a cooking class at the Greenbrier. A day spent in the kitchen with Julia is still one of the great days in my life.
Since make a cheese soufflé with her I quickly learned that any cooked vegetable that has been either chopped or pureed finely enough could be added to the base of a soufflé. The other night I had a big bag of spinach that needed to be consumed. I cooked the leaves up in a big fry pan with the tiniest amount of water then squeezed it as dry as I could get it and chopped the hell out of it. Of course frozen chopped spinach cooked and drained well would work just as well for this recipe.
1 c. cooked spinach – if using fresh you need at least 2 pounds or one 10 oz. box of frozen
2 T. butter
½ c. Parmesan cheese
3 T. flour
1 c. scalded milk
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
4 egg yolks at room temperature
1 c. shredded cheese- I used Jarlsberg
5 egg whites
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spray the inside of a soufflé dish with Pam and sprinkle ½ the Parmesan cheese in the container and twist it around so the cheese coats the inside of the dish.
IN a saucepan melt the butter and add the flour to it when melted and cook the flour on a low heat, stirring constantly for two minutes. Turn off the flame and add the milk and whisk it like hell. Put the pan back on a low heat and cook it until it gets thick, whisking the whole time to make sure it is not lumpy. Add the spices.
Turn off the flame and egg the egg yolks one at a time, whisking. Then add all the cheese and the spinach and mix well.
In a big very clean bowl beat your egg whites until they are white fluffy peaks. Take one quarter of the egg whites and whisk it into the cheese mixture then fold the rest of the egg whites in carefully. Pour the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees and put the pan in the oven and shut the door for 30 minutes. It is not exactly diet food, but it is worth the calories.
This recipe marries are two yummy steak house staples, Creamed spinach and sautéed mushrooms. In their restaurant version they are much more fattening than this rendition.
1 pound of fresh baby spinach or one 10 oz. package of frozen spinach
1 small onion minced
2 T. cream cheese
¼ C. milk
1 t. butter
1 T. flour
Dash of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 pound of big mushroom caps- stemmed
3 T. Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a skillet, sprayed with Pam, sauté the minced onions. Remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl. If using fresh Spinach add it to the pan and cook on medium high heat turning it often until wilted, about one minute. If using frozen cook according to package and squeeze dry.
In a small saucepan melt the butter and add the flour and cook on medium heat stirring for one minute. Add the milk, keep stirring and cook for one minute. Add the cream cheese, nutmeg, the cooked onions and spinach. Remove from heat, salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon a small spoonful of creamed spinach into each mushroom cap. Place on a jellyroll pan. Place in hot oven and bake for 20 minutes. Pull the pan out of the oven and sprinkle each mushroom with Parmesan cheese and place back in the oven for five more minutes.