Chef Donatella Arpaia is not only a celebrity judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef America, but has been nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for her talents at restaurant Mia Dona. Her restaurant Anthos was awarded a Michelin star, while her restaurant davidburke & donatella (now David Burke Townhouse) was awarded four stars by Forbes.
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- 3/4 cups unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 pound Gruyère, grated, plus more for dusting the ramekins
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 4 large eggs separated
- 6 ounces fresh spinach, washed, steamed, squeezed dry, and finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a baking sheet on a rack in the middle of the oven. Brush the insides of six 8-ounce ramekins with a little of the melted butter followed by a dusting of Gruyère.
Put the remaining melted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it foams, reduce the heat and gradually add the flour, stirring until there is no trace of flour left in the mixture, about 3 minutes.
Whisk in the milk in a thin stream and cook, stirring until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a heavy cream.
Turn off the heat and whisk in the egg yolks until incorporated. Stir in the spinach and ¼ pound Gruyère and season with the nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites in a clean bowl with an electric mixer until stiff but not dry. Stir ¼ of the egg whites into the spinach mixture to lighten it. Fold the remaining egg whites into the spinach mixture.
Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins, filling them to just below the rim. Run your finger around the inside rim of each ramekin to make a groove in the mixture.
Bake about 20-25 minutes, until risen and golden brown on top. Serve immediately.