- Potato & Asparagus Soufflé
|Servings||Prep Time||Cook Time||Passive Time|
|6 servings||10 minutes||75 minutes||85 minutes|
- 1/2 pound asparagus spears bottom ends trimmed and discarded, thick spears peeled, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 pound potatoes peeled & thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely ground dry bread crumbs
- 3 Tbsp. cake flour (can substitute all-purpose flour)
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch dry ground mustard
- Pinch ground cumin
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese grated (can substitute Parmesan, but frankly I prefer the Gruyere)
- 3 egg yolks lightly beaten
- 5 egg whites
- Casserole round dish (greased)
- Blanch asparagus for 2 minutes in boiling salted water (1 teaspoon of salt for every quart of water). Drain. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking. Boil potatoes for 10 minutes and slice thin. Set aside to let cool.
- Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in saucepan on medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and thyme. Cook gently until soft, do not let brown. About 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Purée asparagus, potatoes and shallot mixture in a blender. Add bread crumbs to mixture and stir till blended.
- Butter casserole dish. Coat well.
- Make a thick béchamel sauce. Over medium-low heat, melt 3 Tbsp. butter in a medium sized saucepan. Add the cake flour and whisk to completely incorporate the flour into the butter, continue to stir for a couple of minutes. Do not let brown. Very slowly, add the milk to the mixture, little by little, whisking constantly. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, the nutmeg, cumin, mustard, ginger, and some fresh ground black pepper. Lower the heat to low and let cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan.
- After 15 minutes, remove the béchamel from the heat and stir in the cheese. Transfer the béchamel and the asparagus/potato mixture to a large mixing bowl (if you have a mixing bowl with a pour lip on the side, use it, it will make it easier to pour out later). Taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings. The soufflé base should be well-seasoned. Stir in the egg yolks until well combined. Ingredients should be room temperature before proceeding.
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Have ready a casserole dish with at least 3-4 inch sides.
- Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and using a mixer, beat the egg whites to firm but soft, almost stiff, peaks. (Make sure there are no traces of egg yolk or shell in your egg whites before starting.) Do not over-beat. Over-beating results in stiff peaks that are dry, somewhat reminiscent of Styrofoam. Use a rubber spatula to first fold in one quarter of the beaten egg whites into the potato/asparagus mixture, then the remaining three-quarters. Use a light touch to keep from deflating the egg whites.
- Fill greased casserole dish with the mixture. Place the baking dish on the middle rack in the oven.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F, reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for about 15 minutes more, until puffed up and golden brown. Don't open the oven door until the soufflé is just about done, or it may fall.
- You can serve the soufflé immediately or you can serve them later.