Home > Uncategorized > Post 5/13 – Cheese Soufflé with Spinach

Post 5/13 – Cheese Soufflé with Spinach

Today Matt and I are celebrating our second wedding anniversary.  It’s been an adventure so far. Glad I married a man who likes to cook almost as much as I do.  For New Year’s Eve, we cooked dinner together…he made individual Cheese Soufflés with Spinach and I made the Panettone French Toast from a recent post.  The meal was awesome but the best part was hanging out together.  Wow, that sounds kinda goofy, but it’s true. 

This was Matt’s first time making a soufflé and it was great!  He wasn’t sure about baking them in individual ramekins, but it worked. They could’ve been a bit poofier (Is this a word?).  Maybe using three ramekins instead of four would’ve  made them
taller. Either way, poofy or not so poofy, they were good!

Possible variations:  Using aged yellow Cheddar instead of the extra sharp white Cheddar.  A pinch of dried mustard powder might be a nice addition.  Also, I wonder if it would work with chopped broccoli instead of the spinach?  The broccoli might be too heavy and the result might be more like a frittata.  Bet it would still be good.  I might try this one day, when it’s just us and not company.  After reading the draft, Matt mentioned maybe using Gruyère and caramelized onions instead of Cheddar and Spinach.  Many possibilities.

Here’s the recipe…

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup hot milk

½ teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or use ½ teaspoon Penzeys’ Black & Red instead of the cayenne and black pepper)

¼ teaspoon of nutmeg

4 extra-large egg yolks, at room-temperature*

½ cup grated extra sharp white Cheddar

1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

5 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature*

⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar

For greasing the dish(es):

Unsalted butter and freshly grated Parmesan (quantities deepened on how many ramekins you use.)

Preheat the oven to 400º degrees F.  Liberally butter the inside of a 6 to 8-cup soufflé dish (or 3 to 4 10-ounce ramekins) and sprinkle the bottom and sides evenly with Parmesan.  This step is important, otherwise…the cheese gives the soufflé something to cling to as it rises and it makes it easier to clean.

Make the white sauce base…melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat.  Use a wire whisk and stir in the flour.  Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the hot milk, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute.

Off the heat, while still hot, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time.  Stir in the Cheddar, ¼ cup of Parmesan, and the spinach.  Transfer this mixture to a large bowl (one that is not hot).

Using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment beat the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt.  Beat on low for 1 minute, increase to medium and beat 1 minute, then beat on high until you get firm, glossy peaks (another 2-3 minutes).

Stir about a quarter of the egg whites into the cheese mixture.  This will lighten the mixture and make folding in the remaining egg whites easier.  Slowly and carefully, fold in the rest of the egg whites.  This is where patience pays off.  Use care when folding the mixture or you could deflate it.  Pour into the soufflé dish(es), smooth the top, and then use a spatula or spoon to draw circle on top, this helps it rise evenly.  Carefully place it on the middle rack of the oven.  Close the oven door and then turn the temperature down to 375º degrees F.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until poofy and golden brown.  This is not a time to use the Katie Cookie Technique to open the oven, whack the sheet.  Keep the oven closed, you can peek through the window.  It is pretty cool to watch it get poofy.  Serve it immediately.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  They are good the next day for breakfast (even cold or you can heat it up).  The texture isn’t quite the same but it still tastes great.

*The eggs must be at room temperature.  It usually takes several hours to bring them to the right temperature (sometimes overnight).  If the eggs are cold and you are ready to make the dish, you can quickly bring them up to temperature by putting the whole eggs (shells included) in a bowl and pour hot water over them.  They usually warm quickly, in about 10 minutes.


  1. January 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

    looks yummy! happy anniversary!

  2. January 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Happy Anniversary!

    • January 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      Thanks! That’s an adorable photo of Thunder. So happy to find another AL food blogger who quit their regular day job.

  3. January 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Happy anniversary, and thanks for another great recipe!

    • January 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks Bonnie and you’re welcome!

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