I owe so much to Julia Child, not the least of which is a successful execution of my first souffle, souffle aux epinards. Thank you, Julia.
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup boiling milk
pinch sea salt
pinch ground pepper
freshly ground nutmeg
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoons minced shallots
3/4 cup blanched chopped spinach
1/2 cup grated Emmental Swiss cheese, divided
Butter a small casserole dish then sprinkle with about one tablespoon of the cheese. Heat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
Create the souffle base by melting three tablespoons of butter and the flour over medium heat until thick and bubbling. Cook for about two minutes then remove from heat, allow to cool momentarily, then add the boiling milk. Whisk until thick then blend in the seasonings, then the egg yolks, one at a time.
In a separate pan, saute the shallots, one tablespoon of butter and the spinach over moderate heat. Cook off most of the liquid.
In a medium size mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and another pinch sea salt until stiff.
Fold the spinach and shallots, and the remaining cheese into the egg yolk mixture, then add one third of the egg white mixture to lighten the whole thing. Ultimately fold in the remaining egg whites gently until just combined.
Pour this mixture into the prepared dish and place into the oven. Turn the temperature to 375 and bake for about 30-35 minutes. Allow to rest for at least five minutes before serving.