Ta-da!

Ta-da!

I can’t believe I didn’t include this in my last post – the soufflé may well be one of my favourite ways to devour eggs!

My mother-in-law is a great cook and known for her soufflés – hers are perfectly chic little poufs that look impressive and stylish but are in fact, a cinch to prepare. She once gave me a little masterclass and taught me the way of the soufflé!

This recipe comes from my other website http://www.fashionfoodfatale.com and was very popular way-back-when. So much so I’m giving it a little revival. The most important thing to know about the soufflé, is the preparation is in the soufflé mix and is always the same regardless of the flavours you choose to add to it. Once you have it down pat, it’s the perfect standy-by if you have unexpected guests pop around for lunch or dinner. Just add a salad and pouf! You look tres impressive!

Quick tips:

  1. Always use the best quality ingredients possible
  2. Follow the recipe to-a-T. No straying or your pouf will go kaput!
  3. Run your finger along the inside circumference of the ramekin before sliding into the oven for a nicely shaped puff
  4. If you are serving to guests, do all the hard work prior so all you have to do last minute is whip up your egg whites before sliding your soufflé into the oven.

Rona’s Asparagus & Parmesan Soufflé
(adapted from The Silver Palette)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of asparagus tips and tender stems (approx 1 inch pieces)
  • 4 tablespoons sweet butter (eg. Danish)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Nutmeg to taste
  • 5 egg whites
  • Cream of tartar or lemon juice

Method

  • Preheat oven to 425 degree F.
  • Bring a kettle of salted water to a boil, drop in the pieces of asparagus and cook until tender but not mushy. Drain and plunge into ice water. When cool, drain, and puree in a food processor.
  • Melt butter in a heavy saucepan and sauté the onion partially covered, until tender and lightly coloured (about 25 minutes). In a second saucepan, bring the milk to a boil.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the onion and butter stirring constantly, cook gently for 5 minutes.
  • Shut off heat and pour in the boiling milk all at once. Beat vigorously with a whisk as the mixture bubbles, and then set the pan over medium heat. Bring sauce to a boil, stirring constantly and let boil for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in the egg yolks. Then stir in the asparagus puree, 1/3 cup parmesan and salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Butter a 1 litre soufflé dish (or 3 smaller ones) and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Shake out excess cheese and reserve it.
  • Beat egg whites until foamy. Add a pinch of salt and either a pinch of cream of tartar or a few drops of lemon juice and continue to beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
  • Scoop out a third of the whites and stir them thoroughly into the asparagus-egg mixture. Scrape remaining beaten whites into asparagus mixture and fold in just until incorporated: DON’T OVER MIX!
  • Pour the soufflé mixture into prepared dish and tap dish on kitchen bench to eliminate air bubbles. Sprinkle top with reserved parmesan. Set in the centre of the preheated oven; reduce heat to 375 degree F.
  • Bake for 20 minutes without opening the oven door (less if you are using smaller separate ramekins), then check the soufflé. It should be browning nicely and should have risen 2 inches above the rim of the dish. Serve immediately.
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