I have been wanting to try making a souffle for a while now. They have seemed a bit intimidating and I had been holding off but when I saw this recipe for an asparagus souffle I just had to try it. I had a lot of fresh local asparagus and this sounded like a perfect way to enjoy some of it. I cut the recipe back a bit as I only had 4 ramekins. I was not sure if playing with the ingredient ratios was a good idea given that souffles are supposed to be a bit challenging to make. This souffle is basically a puree of asparagus mixed into a bechamel sauce that is then folded into some beaten egg whites. I have made bechamel and beaten egg whites several times so the souffle actually came together fairly easily. The ramekins that contain the souffle are in hot water while cooking and this is called a bain marie. I was pleased to see that the souffles puffed up nicely while cooking and I pulled out my camera right away. The souffle deflated quite quickly as I was taking pictures. Souffles are even harder to photograph that melting ice cream! The asparagus souffles were super light and fluffy and moist and good! They did not end up with the dark green colour that I was hoping for but they were really tasty. I think that the next time I make them I will use more asparagus. I really enjoyed the souffle and I now look forward to experimenting with different flavours, both savoury and sweet.
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 cup asparagus (cut into one inch pieces)
1 teaspoon butter
1 shallot (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup whole milk
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 egg yolks (lightly beaten)
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano or gruyere cheese (grated)
2 egg whites
1. Butter and coat the ramekins with the bread crumbs.
2. Boil the asparagus until just tender.
3. Run the asparagus under cold water to stop the cooking process.
4. Melt the butter in a pan.
5. Add the shallot and saute until just tender, about 3-5 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
7. Puree the asparagus, and shallots in a food processor.
8. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
9. Add the flour and stir to mix.
10. Add the milk, egg yolks, nutmeg, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk until it thickens.
11. Add the cheese and mix it in as it melts and remove from the heat.
12. Mix the cheese mixture and asparagus mixture together.
13. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until just stiff.
14. Fold the egg whites into the cheese and asparagus mixture.
15. Pour the batter into the ramekins, place the ramekins into a baking dish and fill the baking dish with hot water up to half the height of the ramekins.
16. Bake in a preheated 400F for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 15 minutes.
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Take a look at the In The Bag roundup on Real Epicurean.