Soufflés are easier than you think
Before we make this Kale & Cheddar Soufflé I have to tell you a short story. We just got back from South Carolina after visiting with family for the holidays. Now as you all probably know, I cook a lot. So, it was really odd for me not to cook for 5 days. Seriously, I didn’t cook a single thing unless you count a cup of tea. I feel like I have trained all year for the Cooking Olympics, and the holidays are those such Olympics. That being said, I felt like I was benched or at most a coach this year because my step-daughter did 95% or more of all the cooking. However, I did wash a lot of dishes (which she hates), so I did help, but cooking is my thing. When I woke up the next morning all I could do was think of what I could make with what was in the refrigerator.
Oh the shame…
I think one of the funniest moments about cooking this was that I needed some ground nutmeg, and I had to crack open a new nutmeg shell to get to one. You don’t eat the outer shell. I tapped the shell with my chef knife handle and that put a small crack in it, so I decided to go one step further and hit it with the blunt side of the blade. Well, that sent it flying all over the room. I spent the next 15 minutes looking for the actual nut. Pepé was more than annoyed since it is what he actually does best. He is in fact a “nut cracker”. I have no idea why I didn’t call for his assistance with this minor procedure, but he won’t stop laughing at me and calling me an amateur. I think I can hear Claude laughing as well. Oh the shame…
Let’s get this party started
Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat oven to 425°F. Divide 1/2 TBSP butter between 2 (16 ounce) ramekins and coat the inside of each. Mix 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons parmigiano-reggiano cheese and coat the buttered ramekins. The crumb and cheese coating give the Soufflé a texture to cling to as it rises.
Remove stems from kale. Heat skillet on medium-high, add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to pan. Sauté kale in pan for a few minutes while stirring and making sure not to scorch. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook for a few more minutes. Drain water, let kale cool a bit, then mince kale and set aside.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan on medium-high and stir in the scallions and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes.
Add 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for 2 more minutes.
Now that you have made your roux, add the milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper and continue cooking and stirring until thick and bubbly.
Remove from heat, add kale, cheddar cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-reggiano cheese.
Place in large bowl to cool for a few minutes, then stir in the egg yolks.
Beat 4 egg whites and cream of tarter on high speed in a stand mixer until medium peaks form (see photo). This will take several minutes, but don’t walk away.
Gently stir in one fourth of the beaten egg whites into the bowl with the kale and cheese mixture and then gently fold in the rest.
Evenly spoon mixture into the two ramekins then tap them on the counter a few times to level (it does not have to be perfect)
Put filled ramekins on baking sheet and place in oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 350°F for 25 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.
Serve immediatly. They will reduce quite quickly. Enjoy!