Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cheddar-Chive Egg Souffle

Here in New England, at the end of April, it feels like
such a relief to be leaving winter and to finally start
Finally... fresh chives from the herb garden!
seeing daffodils and some green grass.  The weather is still pretty cold, however, and the ground is muddy and squishy from all the rain.  The only perennial starting to peek out in the garden are the chives, which seem to be growing visibly taller each day.  The hens are also starting to feel the change in season and their egg production has picked up to almost a dozen a day.

This is a great recipe that uses both chives and eggs, so I decided to make this springtime dinner tonight with fresh ingredients.  The baked souffle looks light, fluffy, and complicated, but it's actually pretty easy and quick with less than 30 minutes in prep time.

Cheddar-Chive Egg Souffle

- 5 tblsp. butter
- 3 tblsp. bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 7 eggs, yolks and whites carefully separated into different bowls
- 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2/3 cup fresh chives, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Coat a 2-quart casserole dish with 1 tblsp. butter.  Dust dish with breadcrumbs.

2. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, bring milk and garlic powder to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low.  In another medium pot over medium heat, melt the rest of the butter.  Stir in flour and cook for 3 minutes.  Add milk to butter-flour mixture while stirring.  Cook and stir until mixture is smooth and has thickened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in salt.

3.  In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks.  Temper the yolks by whisking in a cup of the milk-flour mixture in a slow stream.  Continue to whisk in the remaining milk-flour mixture.  Stir in the cheese and chives.

4.  In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer on medium-high to beat the egg whites until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.  Using a spatula, stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the cheese mixture, then fold in remaining whites.  Pour into casserole dish.

5. Bake until souffle has risen about 3 inches and top is golden brown, about 40-45 minutes.  Do not open oven door until souffle has baked for at least 30 minutes.

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