1 Pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and moisture removed
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 medium onion, course chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
½ cup crumbled bacon
½ tsp. dry thyme
½ tsp. course ground black pepper
½ tsp. salt
3tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. flour
1 ½ cups 2% milk
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
8 large egg whites, pinch salt, and 1/8th cream of Tartar, beaten to stiff peaks
½ cup bread crumbs
2 ½ quart, straight sided soufflé dish or 10 10oz. soufflé cups
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 2 ½ quart soufflé dish or 10, 10 oz. soufflé cups with release and coat with bread crumbs. Heat a medium sauté pan and add the olive oil, chopped onion, bacon, minced garlic and dry seasonings. Saute the onion until it is tender and translucent. Set aside to cool, while you combine the spinach, artichoke, and Asiago in a large mixing bowl. Once these ingredients are well mixed, add the cool sauté mixture and mix to combine well. Set aside while you prepare the cream sauce.
Place the butter/alternative in a medium sauce pan and melt over medium heat. Next, add the flour and stir to combine. Let the flour and butter/alternative cook for about three minutes. Now, slowly add the milk while stirring constantly. Continue to stir until all of the flour mixture is combined with the milk and the mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and temper the egg yolks.
Take about ½ cup of the hot cream sauce and pour it directly into the egg yolks while stirring quickly. This tempers the egg yolks, allowing you to reintroduce all of the eggs back into the hot cream sauce without turning the eggs into scrambled eggs. Mix the tempered eggs back in to the sauce until a consistent golden color is achieved. Pour the mixture into the spinach mixture and mix to combine completely.
Take the beaten egg whites and fold into the egg mixture, making sure that you fold and do not beat. The egg whites give the soufflé volume and lift as it bakes. Pour the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish/dishes. Bake in the middle of the oven at 375 degrees for 42 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Remove and serve immediately as a great side dish at any holiday meal.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 42 minutes