Spinach Souffle

Our household is comprised of a not-uncommon mix of eaters: one die-hard carnivore (whose freezer was filled with big-game meats harvested by his family when I first met him), one pescetarian (and former calorie counter), and one fairly open-minded not-quite-three-year-old.  We all inhale Spinach Souffle happily.

My childhood was studded with weekly fights with my brother over the last serving of souffle, always baked in a round, white casserole dish.  We would gobble it up, trying to be the first to go back for seconds.

I asked my mom for the recipe (which she got from her friend Linda Daly, whose name I only know because of its frequency on the casserole recipes in my mom's collection.  Someday I must meet this Queen of the Casserole) when I got my first apartment in college and started collecting my own recipes.  Meem also got me my own Corningware French White 2 1/2 quart dish that Christmas, and I've been perfecting my souffle technique in it ever since.

In addition to its tastiness, it's truly a one-dish meal.  Even my usual propensity to veg-up our dinners is squelched by the full 10 ounces of spinach and entire can of diced tomatoes.  Once it goes into the oven, I can turn my attention to something else, as dinner is done.  However, it does take a good long time to cook, one hour in the oven, so planning ahead is crucial - you can't wait till the children (or husband) are whining and tugging on your pants legs to get this one started.

Spinach Souffle

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (if you really love tomatoes you could even do a 28 oz can)
1 10 oz package frozen organic spinach, thawed, drained and well wrung out
3 beaten eggs
1 pint low-fat cottage cheese
3 T flour
1/4 c buttermilk (I never have this and always substitute an equal amount plain fat free yogurt with a splash of milk)
5 oz cubed sharp cheddar cheese (Tillamook Medium Cheddar is crucial for this recipe)
salt and pepper
1/8 c bread or cracker crumbs

Oven to 350.  Drain tomatoes and layer in the bottom of your souffle dish.  I have often wondered if this would taste the same from a different shape of dish but I am unwilling to experiment.

Thaw spinach in the microwave, then press into the bottom of the colander you just used for the tomatoes.  Wrap spinach up in about 8 paper towels and squeeze out all the water you can.  Get it really well wrung out.  If it's got too much water left in it, your souffle will be watery and that's nasty.  Set aside to cool.

Beat eggs in a medium bowl.  Add cottage cheese and flour, combine with a fork.  Add buttermilk or yogurt/milk mixture, salt and pepper, and cubed cheese and gently combine.  Fold in cooled spinach.

Pour into souffle dish.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs, and dot with butter.

Slide it on into the oven for one hour and clean up the kitchen with a glass of wine while you wait.  Bathe the kids!  Organize your sock drawer!  Do your taxes!

You can broil the top for a minute or two to get it extra browned and crunchy at the end.

Let it sit for a few minutes, then serve in all its one-dish simplicity.

She calls this "foofooflay" and usually reminds me that she doesn't like spinach before chowing down with gusto.

Thumbs up!

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Weekly Menu 2.12.12 and May Thai

Here's what's been cooking at our house this week.

Monday - bratwurst for Casey and Natalie, Field Roast apple and sage sausages for me, oven fries, carrots, peas, and corn

Tuesday - dinner date

Wednesday - leftovers from dinner date

Thursday - macaroni & cheese, Harvard beets, broccoli and carrots

Friday - Taco Time

Saturday - homemade pizza, tomato and avocado salad

Sunday - broiled steelhead, cranberry walnut quinoa, glazed carrots, rolls

Some weeks I don't get the entire week's meals planned out ahead of time, and roll with things as the week goes on.  That happened this week, when I was blindsided by an urgent craving for Taco Time on Friday evening, so chilaquile is getting pushed ahead to next week.

Valentine's Day meant a delicious dinner out at May Thai.  After my friends Alli and Brookeli (who have both spent some time in Thailand) told me to seek it out, I was thrilled to see green papaya salad (Som Tum) on their menu.  Too bad I had to share it with Casey!  As I was eating it, I was already planning my return trip to obtain more one day soon - sweet, salty, sour, crunchy and satisfying.

Next Friday's dinner better watch out: it could very well be replaced at the last minute by May Thai Som Tum takeout if papaya salad sounds good!

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Weekly Menu 1.29.12 (a little late)

I always want to know what everyone else is cooking to get ideas for my own menus, so I thought I'd start posting our weekly menu every Sunday.  Yes, I'm really late on that this week, but in the future I will be posting it on Sunday.

Or maybe Monday.

Early-in-the-week-ish, how about that?

Making a weekly menu is something I always wanted to do, but never actually did until I stopped working outside the home, and also created a place to post the menu.  Many people who come to Ellie Bluebell's House ask where I got our wall calendar/menu board.  The answer is, of course, Etsy, from a wonderful shop called Simple Shapes.

Here it is for the week of 1.29.12 through 2.4.12.

Just in case you can't read it (better camera work will be included in all future posts, I promise)...

Mon - crab cakes, sweet potato tots, salad
Tues - miso mushroom noodle bowls, edamame fried rice
Weds - roasted vegetable lasagne, citrus avocado spinach salad
Thurs - leftovers
Fri - spinach souffle, breadsticks
Sat - pizza, salad
Sun - steelhead, crusty puffs (yukon gold potatoes), broccoli

Post coming soon about Spinach Souffle!

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