Sunday, May 19, 2013

Aubergine Souffles

Souffles can be tricky business. It's such a delicate matter that I resort to tiptoeing and whispering around the oven. Nothing can disrupt the delicate climb! Upon undertaking a souffle, you have made the decision to impress people. Don't let them down.

The most important component of the souffle is the egg white. Despite its whiteness, you should beat it like the redheaded stepchild that it is.

The excitingly difficult part of recipes from LaRousse's Gastronomique is that a lot is expected of you. Instead of holding your hand through the steps and ingredients for making a bechamel, the paragraph of directions simply says (paraphrased) "Puree the eggplant flesh with an equal amount of bechamel sauce." It's exhilarating.

Handling the eggplant was a simpler matter. It simply needed to be roasted, halved, hollowed, and then refilled with the mixture of eggplant puree, bechamel, nutmeg, egg yolks, and meringue.

Then I simply popped them back into the oven for 10 - 12 minutes, until the filling had risen and browned at the top. Meanwhile, Andy cooked up the chicken shawarma.

And then we ate like kings!

Aubergine Souffles
Serves 4.

2 large eggplants
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs, white and yolks separated
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/4 cup parsley, minced (for garnish)

1. Preheat oven to 400. On a rimmed baking sheet, place eggplants. Roast for 20 minutes, until skin is tender. Let cool for 10 minutes. Keep oven at 400.
2. Meanwhile, make bechamel sauce by melting butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add flour, whisking in until all lumps are gone. Then slowly pour in milk, whisking vigorously to incorporate until smooth. Return to medium-high heat, bringing to a boil. Let boil for a couple of minutes, until thickened. Then remove from heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.
3. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
3. Halve eggplants lengthwise and scoop out flesh. Puree flesh in food processor, then add bechamel and process again. Next add egg yolks, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Process to combine.
4. Pour mixture into bowl with egg whites and use a rubber spatula to fold in egg whites.
5. Carefully spoon mixture into hollowed out eggplants. Top with grated parmesan. Butter the rimmed baking sheet and return the eggplants. Roast in oven for 10 - 12 minutes. For souffles, you want to be cautious around the oven. Definitely don't check it for the first 3/

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I don't know that I would ever attempt a souffle - I'm not that patient or careful with my creative pursuits. I'm glad you are though so I can live vicariously through you.