Serves 4 to 6
This easy-to-make but glitzy soufflé comes from New Orleans. Grits are similar to a Native American corn dish, which makes them an authentic American food. If you live in the southern United States, you are familiar with grits and probably love them. But in the north, grits are under appreciated. So start a revolution in your neighborhood by cooking with grits.
On your mark...
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with a rack in the middle slot of the oven.
Butter a 2-1/2-quart round casserole dish, or a soufflé dish, with 1 tablespoon butter. Peel and chop the onion into small dice. Measure out 1/4 cup and set aside.
Wash the scallions. Remove the stem end and any dark or discolored outer leaves. Cut into 1/4-inch slices, measure out 1/2 cup, and set aside.
To separate the egg whites and yolks, you will need one large and two small bowls.
Holding one egg over a small bowl, crack the shell in two with a firm tap on the edge of the bowl. The white will spill out of the shell into the bowl. Pour the egg yolk back and forth between the two half shells, allowing the egg whites to continue to drop into the bowl. Drop the egg yolk into another small bowl. Add the separated egg whites into a larger, stainless steel, glass, or copper bowl (don't use plastic).
Continue with the remaining eggs, following the same steps, until all the eggs are separated.
Set the yolks and the egg whites aside.
Grate the cheddar cheese on the largest holes of a four-sided grater. Measure 2 cups and set aside.
Get set ... serve!
In a small frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.
Add the onion and saute 3 to 5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Set the onion aside.
Combine the water and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the salt.
Slowly pour in the grits and stir constantly with a whisk to keep the grits from developing lumps.
Cook for 1 minute, still stirring to break up any lumps sticking to the side of the pan. Decrease the heat to low and simmer the grits for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Remove from the heat and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes or until the grits are slightly thickened and firm to the touch.
Add 1-1/2 cups of the cheese, the egg yolks, sauteed onion, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix well.
Beat the egg whites with an electric beater on high speed, or with a whisk, until just stiff, but not dry. You will know they are ready if the whites form peaks that hold their shape when you tum off the beaters and lift them out of the bowl.
With a rubber spatula, fold about one third of the whites into the grits mixture to lighten it. Once they are blended in, fold in the remaining egg whites. There will be white steaks remaining in the mixture, but that is okay.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Place the soufflé on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is puffed and golden brown.
The soufflé will deflate in size a bit after you remove it from the oven. Serve immediately.
"Small dice" is a term that means using your knife to cut 1/4 pieces of ingredients to ensure they cook faster.
It is important that you use a clean, dry bowl for beating your egg whites.
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This page created January 2011
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