Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's Green, Misunderstood, and Full of Hot Air? Asparagus Souffle!

We also would have accepted the answer, "Al Gore." This video recipe demonstrates my basic game plan for any savory, vegetable-based soufflé. Contrary to popular belief, soufflés are not very difficult, as long as you respect the laws of physics.

The cartoon cliché of the housewife crying over a fallen soufflé (because her stupid husband slammed the door) has become an iconic scene of culinary incompetence. Well, I have some good news… these types of soufflés are supposed to fall down.

If you're doing a big cheese soufflé for a dinner party, or the classic Grand Marnier soufflé for dessert, then yes, by all means, bring it to the table straight out of the oven and fully erect. After a minute of oohs and aahs, you serve your highly impressed guests.

But these vegetable soufflés are a simple, seasonal side dish, and all that pomp and circumstance isn't necessary. You don't need to serve this right out of the oven, and you really shouldn't. To really appreciate the taste and texture, the soufflé should cool a bit.

Having said that, if you are doing these for a dinner party then you'll get the best of both worlds; since your guests will invariably be milling about the kitchen while you're cooking, they will see you asparagus soufflés in all their inflated glory anyway.

I hope you give this recipe a try, and also experiment with other vegetables. Broccoli, artichokes, leeks, spinach, or any other edible plant you can puree, should work with the same basic procedure. You can also play around with your cheese options, and as I mentioned in the video, a sharp, white cheddar is my fromage of choice. Enjoy!

Bonus Asparagus Souffle Coverage: This recipe was inspired by an Asparagus Souffle recipe I saw on my friend Elise's blog, the always outstanding, Simply Recipes. Check out her great post here!

Asparagus Souffle Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, (about 12 ounces by weight)
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine table salt)
cayenne to taste
1 cup cold milk
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 cup finely grated cheese
4 eggs, separated

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