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For years and years I've been afraid of making a soufflé—yolks, whites, stiff peaks . . . oh my! What a wimp! If you've ever made homemade cheese sauce and own a mixer, have no fear. With about five bucks and an hour (and that mixer), you can have dinner—pretty good deal. There are a few tricks of the trade that will help ensure your soufflé rises. I found this old Julia Child episode a huge help. This savory version is mixed with goat's milk cheddar and grilled corn, but the variations are endless.
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Time: About 30 minutes active; one hour total
3 tablespoons butter (I used Earth Balance Whipped)
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup warm milk
4 eggs plus 2 extra egg whites, at room temperature
4 ounces cheddar, grated
2 medium ears of corn, grilled and kernels cut from the cob (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 ounces parmesan, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Position one rack in the lower middle.
2. Melt butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add flour and whisk well for about 2 minutes. You now have a roux.
3. Add milk and whisk well again. You now have a béchamel.
4. Add 4 egg yolks and whisk well again. I don't think that's called anything.
5. Mix in cheddar, corn, pepper and nutmeg until cheese is melted. Turn heat to low.
6. Meanwhile, spray a six-cup soufflé dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on the inside—both the bottom and sides. Make a collar using wax paper or foil and use 2 metal pins to secure it. Set aside.
7. In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the 6 egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt on high until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes.
8. Remove the cheese sauce from the heat and gently fold in a large dollop of the whites. Then make a space in the egg white bowl and pour the sauce in. Gently fold the whites into the sauce turning the bowl with each mix.
9. When it's well incorporated, gently pour the mixture into the soufflé dish. With a spoon or scraper, make a shallow circle an inch or two from the sides.
10. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Don't open the oven before 25 minutes. Remove and serve immediately—the soufflé will naturally fall within 5-10 minutes.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.