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Author Notes: I was craving the polenta souffle with mushroom ragout from the Grand Cafe in SF and found a recipe for it on the LA Times site. Despite knowing in my soul that 3T of baking powder sounded like a terrible error, I followed the recipe exactly, took one bite and threw the souffle out. The next day I was seeking redemption and pieced together a much better recipe using some classic proportions and methods from Larousse Gastronomique and Escoffier.
The vegetables in the salad that accompanies the souffle are all thinly sliced which is easy to eat and a nice texture, but takes some times. Alternately, they could all be halved or quartered and roasted together for an equally good dish. —savorthis
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 cup carrots, steamed and pureed
- 5 eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- 2 rutabagas, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 red potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 4 eggs
- balsamic dressing
- Butter and flour 4 souffle ramekins and preheat oven to 425.
- Sautee the shallots in olive oil with a pinch of salt until brown, remove to bowl. Repeat with remaining veggies. The potatoes are the only tricky items and could be done in a non-stick pan. Everything else I just cooked in a stainless steel pan. Toss all veggies and almonds together. It can be served warm or room temperature.
- Melt butter in a medium pot and stir in flour. Cook for several minutes. Whisk in milk and stir until combined. It will be very thick.
- Mix in carrots, 4 eggs yolks (save 1 yolk for another use), nutmeg, cheese, tarragon and s&p to taste.
- Beat the egg whites to very stiff peaks.
- Mix 1/3 of whites to carrot mixture until well blended then fold in remaining whites.
- Divide between the ramekins and bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.
- While souffles are cooking, heat a pan of water to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and poach eggs until whites are set but yolks are still a tad runny. If you crack the eggs first into a sieve, then gently add them one at a time to the water, they will be a much more lovely shape.
- Plate the salad topped with an egg, some shaved parmesan and a drizzle of dressing. Have it ready before the souffles are done as they will quickly deflate. Serve together.
No Laffy Matter
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