Ham, Leek and Gouda Soufflés
- ACTIVE: 25 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus softened butter for brushing
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 6 ounces diced ham
- 2 sliced leek whites sautéed in butter
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 5 ounces shredded aged Gouda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat the oven to 400° and brush eight 1-cup ramekins with butter. Lightly coat the ramekins with 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and set them on a sturdy baking sheet.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook over moderately low heat until smooth and very thick, about 2 minutes. Stir in the salt and cayenne. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolks. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the Gouda, ham and leeks.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar at medium-high speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until firm peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the soufflé base until no streaks of white remain.
- Spoon the soufflé mixture into the ramekins, filling them to 1/2-inch below the rim. Run your thumb inside the rim of each ramekin to help the soufflés rise evenly. Sprinkle the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and bake in the bottom third of the oven until the soufflés are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Alternatively, bake in an 8-cup soufflé at 375° for 40 minutes. Serve immediately.