Spinach Artichoke Souffle – Complicated Version

I recently ordered a Spinach Artichoke Baked Egg Souffle from Panera Bread.  I’m not sure what I was expecting … but oh my was it good!  Here’s my attempt to replicate it.  I looked up a few copy-cat recipes.  One in particular showed up in many searches (ABC Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur), but it was much too heavy and dry.  And the cheese seemed to get lost in the mixture.  I decided to combine what I liked most from that recipe (the vegetable proportions) with a classic souffle recipe.  It’s not exactly like Panera’s … but we enjoyed it and it’s a recipe I’ll keep 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp frozen spinach, thawed (1 frozen package = about 16 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp artichoke hearts, minced (1 can = about 12 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsp onions, minced (1 thin slice of a large onion)
  • 1 tsp red bell pepper, minced
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks (original called for all 4 yolks, but I cut back to 2)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (because this is what I had on hand)
  • 3 Tbsp butter (divided)
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded (could also use cheddar, paremsan)
  • 1 sheet of Puff Pastry, room temperature (or 1 8-oz package Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls)
  • 1/4 cup asiago cheese, shredded

You’ll also need 4 small baking dishes, such as 4-inch ramekins.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Separate 4 egg whites & allow to warm up to room temperature in large mixing bowl while working on the other steps.
  3. Mince vegetables – artichokes, spinach, onion, and pepper, and combine in small bowl (can do this ahead and freeze – for instance, a can of artichokes will make 4 batches).
  4. In a heavy-bottomed  medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour while butter is melting.  Cook, whisking constantly, to form a thick blond roux, 5-7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk & cream until smooth.
  5. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.  Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add the salt and minced veggies (if veggies were frozen, no need to thaw ahead – just pop in the hot roux and it will thaw them).  Let cool completely.
  6. Once cooled, whisk in the egg yolks into the roux.
  7. Unfold the pastry dough and cut it into 4 squares (or if using crescent dough, unroll and cut into 4 equal rectangles).  Use some flour on the dough and roll out with a rolling pin so that each piece stretches out into a square approximately 6×6 inches.
  8. Brush melted butter inside the four 4-inch baking dishes or ramekins.  Line each ramekin with the dough, and then spoon equal amounts of egg mixture into each ramekin.
  9. Beat remaining egg in small bowl.
  10. Vigorously whisk the egg whites to medium-stiff peaks.
  11. Gently pour the veggie roux onto the egg whites.  Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the veggie mixture just until incorporated.
  12. Quickly distribute the egg mixture among the ramekins (it should fill about 3/4 of the ramekin).  Top each with about 2-3 Tbsp shredded cheese.  Gently fold down the corners of the pastry over the cheese (they probably won’t touch – don’t compress the egg mixture). Brush beaten egg onto pastry.
  13. Immediately transfer to the oven.  Bake until the souffles are lightly golden and have risen above the rims of the molds, about 25-30 minutes). Remove and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

This website has some tips that were useful: http://www.incredibleegg.org/recipe/basic-cheese-souffle/

Sources: http://www.saveur.com/egg-souffle-recipe and http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Recipes/top-secret-recipes-revealed/story?id=4310959

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