The Pancetta, Sharp Provolone, Parmesan Cheeses, and farm fresh vegetarian eggs, ended up becoming a surprisingly light and airy soufflé. Great for breakfast, brunch, or lunch; especially brunch!
Step 1: INGREDIENTS: (6 Servings)
- 6 thin slices Pancetta (about 3 ounces), fried crisp, drained, & crumbled.
- 2 TBS unsalted butter at room temperature,k plus a little extra to grease souffle dishes.
- 1/2 scallion, finely chopped, equal portions of green & white onion.
- 1 clove garlic, minced (optional).
- 3 TBS all purpose flour.
- 1 & 1/3 cups whole milk at room temperature.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional).
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg.
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Thyme.
- 1/2 cup Beliogioso Sharp Provolone Cheese, Shredded.
- 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated (for bottom of souffle dishes).
- 5 large eggs (I prefer large brown eggs from vegetarian cage-free chickens) at room temperature.
- 1/8 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
- *Just a pinch of salt (I prefer Diamond Crystal Kosher salt).
- *NOTE: No matter what kind of salt you use, be very careful using it! The Pancetta is a salt-cured spicy Italian bacon made from pork and, if you use it, you will probably not want to add any additional salt to this recipe.
Step 2: PREPARATION - Step One
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (You will be using the bottom rack, so raise or remove any other oven racks so as to allow enough room for your souffle to (hopefully) rise!
Heat a heavy non-stick frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.
Remove eggs, butter, and 1 & 1/3 cup of whole milk from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
PREPARE THE BACON:
- When pan is hot, add Pancetta or bacon (in batches if necessary) and fry until brown & crisp (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and drain bacon on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, crumble and set asidE.
PREPARE THE SAUCE INGREDIENTS: AND SET THEM BESIDE YOUR STOVE:
- Place 2 TBS of unsalted butter in a heavy sauce pan and melt over medium-low heat.
- Grate the fresh nutmeg into a small dish.
- Add the other spices and herbs to the dish with the nutmeg; mix thoroughly and set aside.
- Shred 1/2 cup of Belgioioso Sharp Provolone cheese, set aside.
- Grate 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and set aside.
- Portion out the 1 & 1/3 cup of milk, set aside.
- Place 3 TBS of all-purpose flour in a small bowl and set aside.
- Mince garlic & finely slice the scallion.
- Add the garlic and onion to the melted butter and stir until soft.
- Stir the flour into pan and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
- Raise the temperature to medium and add the milk in a slow steady stream, whisking it constantly as you do so. When the mixture comes to a boil, turn the heat back down to medium-low and allow the mixture to boil (cook or slow-boil) 2 minutes more; then remove the pan from the heat.
- Whisk in the spice & herb mixture and the Provolone Cheese to the pan. Whisk until the cheese is melted.
Step 3: PREPARATION - Step Two
WHILE THE SAUCE IS COOLING ON THE SIDE OF THE STOVE, PREPARE YOUR SOUFFLÉ DISH(ES):
- Butter each of the souffle dish with softened butter, making sure to completely cover the bottom of each dish and all of the sides. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the bottom of each dish, then twirl the dish around a bit thus allowing any lose grated cheese to also stick to the sides of the dish.
- Place the buttered souffle dishes onto a large cookie sheet; one large enough to allow sufficient space between each dish if you are using more than one, so that air can circulate around them and there will be enough room for the souffles to (hopefully) rise!
- (You can bake your souffle in one large souffle dish (probably a 1 - 1/2 quart dish) or several smaller dishes (six 8 ounce dishes should work). I only had 4 eight ounce dishes, so I prepped them, plus (fortunately) one 16 ounce dish).
NOW PREPARE YOUR EGGS:
- Pour the sauce containing the milk-flour-cheese-egg yolk mixture into a bowl (also preferably stainless steel).
- Add the egg yolks to the sauce, 1 at a time, whisking each yolk thoroughly before adding the next one.
- Whisk in the bacon, then place the bowl containing the sauce next to the bowl of egg whites.
- Return your attention to the bowl containing the egg whites, sprinkle the 1/8 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar and a pinch of salt over them; then beat with an electric mixer until the egg whites will hold stiff peaks.
- Using a rubber spatula, gently fold about 1/4th of the stiffened egg whites into the bowl containing the egg yolk mixture; then carefully and gently fold in all of the remaining egg whites.
- Pour this mixture into the buttered souffle dish(es), filling them almost to the top (to about 1/4" from the top; I didn't fill mine quite far enough).
Step 4: BAKE THE SOUFFLÉ
- CAREFULLY place the cookie sheet containing the souffle dish on the bottom rack of the preheated oven.
- IMMEDIATELY turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. NO PEEKING ALLOWED for at least 30 minutes. I am going to gamble on baking my souffle for 35 minutes, and I will not open the door until 35 minutes have gone by!
YEAHHHH . . .my first ever successful soufflé (we do not talk about the unsuccessful one)!
Step 5: FINALLY - TIME TO EAT . . .
Surprisingly light and airy. The contents of one 8 ounce souffle dish weighs between 2-1/2 to 3 ounces and the souffle contained in the larger 16 ounce dish weighs a mere 7 ounces.
A delicious mixture of Italian Pancetta bacon, sharp provolone cheese, green onions & eggs served with a toasted slice of pumpernickel toast slathered with Smucker's Sugar-free Red Raspberry Preserves and a big glass of Orange Juice just made an excellent brunch (and, because I am celebrating, believe me when I say that's not just plain OJ)!
(The leftovers will be tightly wrapped in Press & Seal and refrigerated or frozen. I understand that there is a good way to reheat a souffle but I have not yet tried it).
NUTRITION: I have prepared the nutritional values of the ingredients in this recipe to the best of my ability using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Analyzer. Click on the image to enlarge it.