Thyme, Nutmeg and Two Cheese Souffle

Serves 4
You'll Need: 3 Tbsp butter (room temperature), 2 Tbsp flour, 1 cup cream, healthy pinch of nutmeg, pinch of salt, pinch of black papper, 1/2 tsp fresh thyme (finely chopped), 4 large egg yolks, 7 large egg whites (make sure eggs are at room temperature*), 1/2 cup colby jack cheese (finely grated), 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (finely grated), 3-4 oz proscuitto or light salami (optional), additional flour and butter to make the souffle mold non-stick

How to Prepare: Butter and flour a 9" round souffle mold. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. In a sauce pan on low-medium heat, melt the butter and sprinkle the flour over the butter. Whisk together well until it starts to bubble or sizzle slightly from the heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cream and add the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Return to heat and bring to a boil (whisking entire time). Remove from heat and temper some of the milk mixture with the egg yolks (to avoid scrambling). Combine all the yolk mixture and thyme to the milk mixture and whisk together well. Set aside. With an electric mixer, whip the egg whites into firm peaks (watch them closely as you do not want to over whip them). Whisk 1/3 of egg whites and the cheeses into the yolk mixture. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites. Fold in the last 1/3 of the egg whites. If desired, layer the souffle mold with the light salami or prosciutto (or any thin layering of meat that you'd like). Pour the egg mixture into the souffle mold. Place the souffle mold onto a cookie sheet and place into a pre-heated 400 degree F oven for 25 minutes. You want your oven rack just below center (not too high, to avoid burning). Serve immediately out of oven, before the souffle lowers or drops. This is an inevitability. Garnish plate with green herbs, arugula, avocado or orange slices.

* If you want to start making your souffle right away and your eggs have not come to room temperature yet, then place your eggs in a glass bowl with just above room temperature water (just enough so they are covered). Let them sit in the water for about 10 minutes. In my experience, this helps them to separate better.

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