Most soufflé’s are of the dessert variety, such as chocolate and Grand Mariner. I saw this recipe for Parmesan souffle in the February 2016 Food and Wine. This accompanied a small filet mignon and sautéed spinach, a delicious combination for dinner. If you have not prepared a soufflé before, the first time may be a little intimidating and time-consuming, but is worth the effort. Just carefully follow the directions, and you will be amazed at the results! This will serve 2-4 people, depending on the portion sizes.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon of it softened
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated using superfine grater such as a Microplane (1 ½ cups plus 3 tablespoons)
Coarsely ground black pepper
4 large eggs separated
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350⁰ after placing a rack in the center. Use the 1 tablespoon of softened butter to grease the inside of a 3-cup soufflé dish. Add 2 tablespoons of the grated Parmigiano to the dish and turn the dish to coat the inside. Wipe any cheese off of the rim and sprinkle the bottom with black pepper and refrigerate.
Whisk the egg yolks with 3 tablespoons flour in a medium bowl until smooth – it will become very thick. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter to the milk in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture until incorporated. Working off of the heat, scrape the mixture back into the saucepan. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons flour until well incorporated. Then whisk in the 1 ½ cups of cheese with the salt. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly until very thick – it took about 5-6 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl to cool slightly.
Beat the egg whites at medium speed in a mixer until medium-firm peaks form – this took about 5 minutes for me. Whisk the soufflé base (egg yolk mixture) to loosen and stir in 1/3 of the egg whites just until blended. This should be more of a folding motion than whisking – I used a rubber spatula. Fold in another third of the egg whites and finally the remaining egg whites until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish to reach ¾’s up the side of the dish. Smooth the top but avoid spreading the mixture up the edge of the dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of cheese and freshly ground pepper over the top, and bake in the middle of the oven 22-25 minutes until golden and puffed. Serve hot and enjoy!