Cheese and Ham Souffle

A light but satisfying dish for a family supper, this Cheese and Ham Souffle may be served with a green salad or buttered

asparagus and crusty bread.

4 oz. butter

2 tablespoons fine dry white breadcrumbs

3 oz. flour

16 fl. oz. milk, scalded

4 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

3 oz. cooked ham, finely chopped

6 eggs, separated

½ teaspoon salt 2 teaspoon paprika a teaspoon cayenne

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 CF (Gas Mark 5, 190CC). Place a double piece of greaseproof or waxed paper around the outside of a 2-pint souffle dish and tie with string. The paper should come 2-inches higher than the rim of the dish.

Butter the paper and the dish with one-quarter of the butter, then dust lightly with the breadcrumbs, shaking out the excess. Set the dish aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the scalded milk. Add the cheese and ham to the mixture and stir until the cheese has melted.

In a small mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks with a fork. Add about one-quarter of the hot cheese mixture to the egg

yolks and stir well until the in-gredients are blended.

Slowly return the egg yolks mixture to the saucepan, stirring constantly. Season the mixture with the salt, paprika and cayenne. Set the pan aside to allow the mixture to cool slightly.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they form stiff peaks.

With a metal spoon, gently fold the egg whites into the cooled cheese and ham mixture.

Pour the mixture into the souffle dish. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until the top is puffed up and lightly browned.

Remove the souffle from the oven. Remove the paper collar and serve.

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