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Blue Cheese Souffle

February 1, 2011

Watching this souffle rise through my oven door and seeing it come out so tall, light and fluffy was probably one of my most memorable kitchen accomplishments.  I have to admit the whole process was a bit nerve-racking and I had my doubts…I was almost even expecting to end up with some sort of oven omelette, but I trusted in the Barefoot Contessa and her recipe was just perfect.  The result was instead airy and delicate with just the right amount of kick from the blue cheese.  Yet another reason Ina Garten is my hero!

Blue Cheese Souffle

from Barefoot Contessa

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup scalded milk (I warmed mine gently in the microwave)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces good Roquefort cheese, chopped
  • 5 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1) Butter the inside of an 8-cup souffle dish (7 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 1/4 inches deep) and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan.

2) Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

3) Turn off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the cayenne, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thick.

4) Turn off the heat, while still hot, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the Roquefort and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

5) Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, on medium speed for 1 minute, then finally on high speed until they form firm, glossy peaks.

6) Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then gently fold in the rest.

7) Pour into the souffle dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with the spatula to help the souffle rise evenly, and place in the middle of the oven.

8 ) Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (don’t peek!) until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.

 

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