Ham and cheese souffle

>> Wednesday, December 30, 2009

In my continuing education and experimentation on the art of souffles, I made myself a delicious little ham and cheese breakfast souffle this morning. Luckily for me (and for him) my dad dropped by and was able to enjoy this treat with me. Father-daughter bonding at its best! 

Being my third souffle attempt, I am feeling more comfortable with the process.  I am to the point where I can make a mean Bechamel sauce without even looking at a cookbook and can seperate egg whites from the yolks like an old pro. This souffle turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.  The flavor was amazing and it was nice and lite.  The rise was an impressive 2 inches from the original fill line in the dish which did eventually settle down to about an inch after it had been out of the oven for a few minutes.

I have had some great souffles at RISE and wonder what their secret is for staying perfectly fluffy.  If anyone out there knows.. I would love the secret!

I made three fairly large souffles in simple coffee mugs as all my ramekins were in the wash.  This worked well though and the handle was very helpful in removing the souffles from the oven. 

To start, you need to make the Bechamel sauce:
Combine in a small saucepan over very low heat:
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 onion with 1 bay leaf stuck to it using two hole cloves
Pinch of nutmeg

Simmer gently for 15 minutes, then discard the onion, bay leaf and cloves.  Meanwhile, in a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt:
3 tablespoons butter, and mix with
3 tablespoons flour

Cook uncovered over medium-low heat until the roux is fragrant, not darkened. Remove from heat and let cool a bit. Slowly whisk in the milk until blended without any large lumps and return to a low heat. 

Now to start on the souffle assembly.  Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and generously butter your souffle dishes. Dust the insides with breadcrumbs or grated Parmesan cheese, shaking out the excess.  Set aside. 

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and cook until softened 2 tablespoons minced shallots. 

Remove the Bechamel sauce from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Add in the sauteed shallots along with:
1 cup lightly packed grated swiss, mozzarella or cheddar cheese (I used mozzarella)
3/4 cup finely chopped ham
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground red pepper
6 large egg yolks, added one by one
Beat vigorously to blend and set aside. 

In a seperate large bowl, beat until stiff but not dry:
6 large egg whites
Pinch of salt

Fold the egg whites into the souffle base and spoon into your prepared souffle dishes.  Bake until the souffle is risen and golden brown on top, 25-30 minutes.  Enjoy!


Colleen January 8, 2010 at 8:19 AM  

It looks beautiful and sounds tasty!!

Anonymous,  February 28, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

i travel to Dallas for work and checked out Rise a while back. Sitting at the kitchen bar lets you see a lot of the goings-on in case you want to get a closer look.

I think their results may have a lot to do with the type of oven they're using, if i'm not mistaken there's a steam element to it.

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