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Crusty Ham and Cheese Souffle

8 ounces finely chopped fully cooked ham (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary -- crushed
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 Dash ground allspice
1 cup milk
1 cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar


Generously butter a 1 1/2 quart soufflé dish. Attach a foil collar to dish. Measure enough foil to go around dish plus a 2-inch overlap. Fold into thirds lengthwise; place foil around dish with collar extending 2 inches above top of dish. Secure with tape, if necessary. Combine bread crumbs and rosemary; coat bottom and sides of dish with mixture; set aside.


In a large saucepan melt butter, stir in flour, mustard, pepper and allspice. Add milk; cook and stir for 6-7 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted. Beat egg yolks; stir in about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Return all to the cheese mixture in the saucepan. Stir in ham; set aside.


Using clean beaters, in a large bowl beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gradually pour ham-cheese mixture over beaten whites, folding gently to blend. Spoon mixture into the prepared soufflé dish. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 35-40 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from oven when not quite set; soufflé should shake slightly when gently moved. Remove collar from dish; serve soufflé immediately.


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