Sunday, November 05, 2006

Classic Cheese Souffle

From Good Housekeeping Great American Classics Cookbook

2 Tbsp plain dried bread crumbs or freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/9 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 1/2 C milk
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
5 large eggs, separated
1 large egg white

Preheat oven to 325. Grease 2-quart souffle dish; sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs.

In heavy 3-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in flour and ground red pepper until blended; cook, stirring, 1 minute. With wire whisk, gradually whisk in milk. Cook, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until mixture has thickened and boils. Stir in cheddar; cook, stirring, just until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.

In small bowl, with wire whisk or fork, lightly beat egg yolks; gradually whisk in 1/2 cup hot cheese sauce. Gradually whisk egg-yolk mixture into cheese sauce in saucepan, stirring rapidly to prevent curdling. Set aside to cool.

In large bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form when beaters are lifted. With rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of beaten egg whites into cool cheese mixture. Fold in remaining whites, just until blended.

Pour mixture into prepared souffle dish. If desired, to create top-hat effect (center will rise higher than edge), with back of spoon, make 1" deep indentation all around top of souffle mixture about 1" from edge of dish. Bake until souffle has puffed, is golden brown, and knife inserted 1" from edge comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. Serve hot.

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