Remember back when Kate and I went to compete at the Better Homes and Gardens Blogger Cook-Off?  And we told you about all of the amazing food we ate?  Well the morning of the actual cook-off we had an awesome breakfast and this was one of the dishes served.  I remember thinking that it would be great for Christmas or Easter morning so when I got home I promptly looked up the recipe in the cook book.  My thoughts were confirmed even more when I saw that it’s a make-ahead dish- which is the only kind I make for Christmas morning!  My family standard is this Overnight Breakfast Casserole, but this Ham and Cheese Souffle Roll would be a great addition as well.  It does take a little bit of time to put together, but you can do it a day ahead of time so the only thing you need to do Christmas morning is pop it in the oven.

You start by making a basic roux.  Melted butter, flour and pepper go into the pan and get whisked up into a nice clump.  Sometimes clumps are a good thing!  Slowly add milk while whisking constantly to get rid of the lumps.  (Okay, so maybe clumps aren’t all that great…)

You’ll cook that mixture till it’s nice and thick and add it to some egg yolks.  We’re making a souffle here folks!  Don’t you feel fancy?

In another bowl you are going to beat your egg whites.  And you’ll add some of this to help them along:

Interesting fact:  Did you know that cream of tartar is a derivative of the wine-making process??  It comes from tartaric acid which is naturally found in grapes.  The white powdery stuff forms as the juice ferments.  I honestly had no idea until I read the back of my bottle last summer.  And now you have a great conversation starter at parties and on first dates.  (But only use that one if you’re positive you don’t want to be invited to any other parties or on a second date.)  Anyhoo, it helps stabilize egg whites too.  Kind of amazing and kind of weird at the same time.

You want egg whites with stiff peaks.  You can see (if you look closely) in the picture below that soft peaks just barely form a mound but aren’t stable at all.  Medium peaks will stand up, but the peaks will fall over (bottom left) and with stiff peaks (bottom right) the peaks stand straight up.

Now if you’re a souffle making novice, know the egg whites are the key!  Whatever you do, never stir the egg whites, always fold.  That means taking your spoon or spatula and slowly scraping the bottom of the mixture and gently folding it over to the top.  Add just a bit of your egg whites to the flour mixture and fold it in until combined.  It’s okay to have some lumps.  (See?  I was right, lumps are still sometimes good.)

Now take that mixture and slowly fold it back into the rest of the egg whites, a little at time.  Gently fold so it stays nice and fluffy.

That’s your souffle!  Pour it into your prepared pan.  The pan has been covered in foil and greased with butter and lightly floured.  (Don’t try to cheat and use non-stick spray.  Even non-stick spray with flour.  I totally did that here and almost ruined mine!)

Bake it in the oven and you’ll see it start poofing up- beautiful!

Once it comes out of the oven it will flatten out.

You have to be very careful on these next steps so you don’t tear the souffle.  Flip it out over another piece of foil that’s placed over a large cutting board or pan- the foil should be larger than the one you have and it also needs to be well greased.  Can’t emphasize the greasing enough!  Then very carefully peel the top layer of foil off.  If your souffle is sticking, just be patient and work very slowly.  Since I was dumb and used non-stick spray, mine was a little stuck.

Then top your souffle with creamy swiss cheese and sliced ham.

Use the foil on the bottom to help you roll the souffle up, as you slowly peel it off.  I love how in the cook book it specifically tells you to not roll the foil inside of the souffle.  Foil filled souffle would not taste good.

At this point, you’re all rolled up.  You should have extra room at the end of your piece of foil and you can just wrap it right up and put it in your fridge where it can stay up to 24 hours.

When you’re ready to eat it, bake it in the oven.  The egg will fluff up and the cheese will melt and the flavor of the ham will come out and it will look awesome.  Like this.

At the BHG Kitchens they served it with an amazing sauce on the side.  Later when looking at the ingredient list it became clear to me why I wanted to drink it.  When I made it at home, I devised a lower-calorie version of their sauce, see my notes at the end of the recipe.  You can drizzle the sauce on top, or just serve on the side.

Slice it up to serve and drizzle more sauce if you want.  And you will want.

I actually thought the left overs of this dish the next day were even better! 

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