Cheese Drawer Soufflé

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Happy New Year!  I hope this week finds everyone a little warmer than last! The winter storm kept me busy in the kitchen (to help stay warm!), and it was a good time to clear out the cheese drawer. After all of the holiday cheese boards, I am left with a smattering of cheese bits, which are always great to mix together and make something fabulous. Enter: Cheese Soufflé. It sounds scary, and you do have to be gentle with the mix, but not afraid of it. Tossing together all of your cheese bits creates a fun, savory soufflé that will be different every time. Serve with a salad and a glass of Chenin Blanc, and you’ve got yourself a four star lunch.  Enjoy!

Cheese Drawer Soufflé

8 inch soufflé dish
1 tablespoon butter, room temp for the dish
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
 
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 cups milk
4 egg yolks
6 -8 ounces variety cheese bits, grated
2 tablespoons sherry
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
 
5 egg whites
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the parmesan and pepper. Butter the soufflé dish bottom and sides. Dust the buttered dish with the parmesan pepper mix. Chill in the refrigerator while you complete the remaining steps.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for about 1 minute to make a paste. Add in half of the milk and whisk until it begins to thicken, about 1 minute. Add in the remaining milk and continue to whisk until very thick, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cheese, sherry, Dijon and salt. Begin to temper this mixture by stirring in the thickened milk a little at a time, stirring after every addition until incorporated. This process allows the two mixtures to come together, without the eggs curdling.
  4. In another medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and lemon juice until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the egg whites into the cheese mix in three additions, being sure that it is fully incorporated.
  5. Remove soufflé dish from refrigerator, pour mixture into prepared dish. Bake 35-45 minutes, until soufflé is browned and puffed. Soufflé will fall slightly.  Serve immediately
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