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Julia Child recommends using white pepper because it won't visually interrupt the pretty, snowy expanse of the souffle, but black pepper is just fine, too.

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated pepper
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1/3 cup coarsely grated Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup creamed lobster, crab or shrimp

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and set the oven rack at the lower middle level. Butter a 4- to 6-cup souffle dish and coat it with the Parmesan cheese, knocking out the excess.

Over medium heat, cook the butter and flour together until they foam and froth for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the hot milk, then simmer and stir slowly for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and whisk in the paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Whisk in yolks, one at a time.

Beat the egg whites until they are shiny and stiff, but not dry. Whisk a quarter of the whites into the sauce to lighten it, then delicately fold in the rest of the whites, alternating with sprinkles of the Swiss cheese.

Spread the creamed shellfish into the bottom of the souffle dish. Cover with the souffle mixture and put into the oven. Immediately reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until souffle has puffed 1 to 2 inches above the rim and has browned nicely. Serves 4

"Julia's Kitchen Wisdom" by Julia Child

Thursday, March 13, 2003

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