salmon soufflé with spinach

Salmon and spinach soufflé made the usual way. The part that's not shown very well in the photographs is the Béchamel because that's also made in the usual way, and it's simple as eating pie, and I'm a bit tired of showing it. Béchamel goes, butter and flour in equal measure with milk added. Voilà!

salmon soufflé, coated pot to sauce with ingredients
salmon soufflé, beaten egg whites to plated soufflé
The difference here is, the Béchamel has the yolks of three eggs added, it is a soufflé after all, the yolks are tempered with a spoonful of the hot sauce first, not just dumped into the pot, and egg yolks are thickeners too, so the usual amount of flour is pared back or else the sauce would be too thick. Two types of cheese are also added to the sauce at the end, once the flour is cooked, the egg yolks added, the thickness established, in this case the thinness established, and removed from the heat before being added because cheese is already a finished processed product and its fat portion could separate under prolonged heat. The cheese will also thicken the sauce even further, and you don't want a thick glob of eggy cheesy flour sauce, now do you? All of this is controlled with splashes of milk throughout the process so the sauce never goes globby. Thin Béchamel + egg yolks + cheese. Seasoned with nutmeg. So much for the sauce.

And it's all about the sauce, if it weren't also all about the ingredients the sauce is intended to carry. The main ingredients here are a slice off a slab of Pacific salmon along with baby spinach, an intriguing combination of pink and green. The rest is all the usual suspects, onion, mushroom, whatever bits of cheese I have around waiting their turn at getting used. I don't even know what that one kind was because the label is gone. It was sort of hard and sufficiently sturdy to be grated. The others were Parmigiano (lining the pot) and Maytag blue. I reserved a nob of that Maytag blue because I want to use it to inoculate my next batch of cheese just to see what happens.

Not shown in the photographs; three eggs separated into two bowls. The yolks into a small cereal bowl, and the whites into a large mixing bowl where they were promptly whipped mercilessly into stiff peaks with the aid of a scant 1/8 tsp cream of tartar powder. I used the whip attachment to an immersion blender to beat the egg whites because I like playing with that thing. Once I fitted a wire whip with a thin wire handle into an electric hand drill just for giggles. That was fun too.

The extraneous ingredients were added to the sauce in increments. For the sake of minimal pot messing, I sweated the onion and mushrooms in oil first, then added the spinach to wilt. Removed the mixture from the little pot to a bowl. Used the same pot to make the sauce. Returned the mixture to the pot now holding the sauce then added the fish and the cheese off the heat. Then folded all that into the beaten egg whites.

I love the way the cheese coating the pot toasts up and forms a cheese crust.

If I would use the brand names of cheese, salmon, and ham I might drive traffic to my site, but I'n not that devious, not yet anyway. One of these days I'm going to create a post with the word Kraft™ sprinkled liberally throughout as if spread with abandon from a Kraft™-shaker, or maybe General Foods™. I could describe an Asian dish using all Kikkoman™ words even if I'm not actually using their products. Ha ha ha. I'm such a player. That's right, I said it, I'm a player.



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