This is totally not Izakaya food but, this soufflé rose nicely (for a fleeting moment anyway) warranting the post. My wife's idea of a good time and good food are somehow tied to spinach soufflé and a Manhattan (cocktail). Because I volunteered for testing Japanese grill recipes for a cookbook, we had extra bags of spinach and leftover steaks. In addition, we had 4 egg whites left since my wife made a very nice bread pudding with a delicious but deadly Whiskey sauce (required 4 egg yolks) for dessert when we had dinner guests to evaluate these recipes. So we decided to make a spinach soufflé from the leftovers. My wife only knew Stauffer's frozen spinach soufflé until I made this dish from scratch for her some time ago.
Spinach: We had one and half bags of baby spinach (one of those pre-washed variety). My wife just cooked the spinach (no water added) on a low flame in a large sauté pan with the lid on--about 5 minutes or until it is wilted (mixing several times to keep the bottom from scorching). I squeezed out any excess moisture and chopped it finely.
Bechamel sauce: I chopped one small shallot and sauteed in about 2 tbs of olive oil and 1 tbs of butter for 2-3 minutes in a frying pan on a low flame. I added about 1/4 cup of AP flour and cooked for one to 2 minutes and added cold milk (I used 1%). I think I started with about a cup and then added more milk in several increments until it become rather loose saucy consistency. I added grated cheddar and sheep milk Gouda (about 1 cup) and mixed into the Bechamel sauce (became Mornay sauce, I guess). I seasoned with salt, white pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg to taste. I then mixed in the spinach above. I am not sure about the exact amount but I think this yielded about three cups (or little less) of the creamed spinach.
Egg white: We had 4 egg whites left over from making the Whiskey sauce (remember it used 4 egg yolks! Are those arteries I hear hardening?). I did not know how much egg whites were needed, so I asked my wife to whip all 4 egg whites to the hard peak stage. I first loosened up the creamed spinach with several large spoonful of the whipped egg white and then folded in another several spoonfuls of the egg white until it looked and felt right (whatever that means, I guess I used 2 egg whites worth or maybe a bit more).
Soufflé dish: We used a 7 inch souffle dish which was buttered and dusted with grated Parmesan cheese. I poured in the above mixture (perfect, it came to 80% of the volume of the dish). I cleaned up the edge of the dish and put it in a 400F oven for 30 minutes and Viola!