Crab-Artichoke Souffle

Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

When it was announced that we would be making soufflés for this month’s Daring Cooks challenge I was quaking in my boots. I have seen my fair share of cooking shows featuring soufflés that never rise or if they do rise totally deflate before serving. With this culinary disaster stereotype in mind I was rather nervous to give this challenge a go. I did a lot of reading up on soufflés and tried to get as many soufflé baking tips in my arsenal before I actually attempted baking my own.

Dave and Linda provided us with three recipes, which we were free to use, but they also allowed us to substitute a recipe of our choosing as long as it was a proper, baked soufflé. We were also allowed to choose between making a savory or dessert soufflé.

When I told my husband about the challenge he immediately requested a savory soufflé, so that is where my recipe hunt began. Of course, I couldn’t help but take a peek at a few dessert soufflé recipes as well, and luckily, I had the time to try my hand at both a savory and dessert soufflé recipe before the posting deadline.

For my savory recipe I went with a crab and artichoke soufflé (pictured at the top). This was my first savory soufflé (to eat or bake), and I must say it is quite a tasty dish! They had a pretty good rise coming out of the oven, but they definitely began to deflate as I was removing the collars and trying to rush them to the table.

Banana Souffle

For the dessert recipe I chose a banana soufflé. I still have an abundance of Halloween candy lying around that I am trying to get rid of, so I decided to add a roughly chopped peanut butter cup to the recipe. This was a very good move; in my book, there are few things finer than the combination of bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate – and bonus, when combined in soufflé form, the combo gets all warm and deliciously gooey. Also, these babies rose sky high and held their shape considerably longer than the savory soufflés, which was pretty exciting.

All in all, I am really happy Dave and Linda challenged us with soufflés this month. Based on my previous notions of them I probably never would have dared to try baking one on my own. I would have most likely kept tossing them off as overly complicated or too finicky to mess with, but boy was I wrong! You definitely have to be on your toes when making them (have all those ingredients ready to go beforehand and be ready to serve immediately!) but the results are nothing short of spectacular. It is a pretty awesome feeling to pull out a pair of beautifully risen soufflés from the oven – something every cook should experience at least once!

You can view both soufflé recipes after the jump.

Artichoke-Crab Soufflé (dairy-free)
adapted from Cooking Light
yields: 3

non-stick cooking spray
1 T olive oil
1/8  c  finely chopped onion
1  T  white whole wheat flour
3/4  c  rice milk
1/8  c  egg substitute
1/8  c nutritional yeast
1/8  t  salt
1/8  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
7 oz.  artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1/4  lb  crabmeat, shell pieces removed
2  egg whites (at room temperature)
1/4  t cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut a piece of foil long enough to fit around 3 (8-ounce) ramekins , allowing a 1-inch overlap; fold foil lengthwise into thirds. Lightly coat one side of foil and inside of ramekins with cooking spray. Wrap foil around outside of dish, coated side against dish, allowing it to extend  above rim to form a collar; secure with string.

Heat 1 T olive oil in a skillet. When heated, add onion to skillet, and sauté 2 minutes or until tender. Add flour, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook 1 minute or until thickened, stirring constantly. [I let this mixture cool slightly before proceeding with the following steps]

Place egg substitute in a large bowl. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg substitute, stirring constantly with a wire whisk. Stir in nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, artichokes, and crabmeat; set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently stir one-fourth of egg white mixture into milk mixture. Gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.

Divide soufflé mixture evenly among prepared ramekins, and place on a large baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°, and bake an additional 45 minutes or until puffed and golden. Carefully remove foil collar, and serve immediately.

Banana Soufflé
adapted from Inn Cuisine
yields: 2

non-stick cooking spray
1 large, ripe banana
1 roughly chopped large peanut butter cup
1  1/2 t fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 t pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1  1/2 T confectioner’s sugar + plus more for dusting

Remove top rack in your oven and place another rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly coat inside of ramekins with cooking spray.

In a medium-sized bowl, mash 1 large, ripe banana with a fork. Add chopped peanut butter cup, 1 1/2 t fresh-squeezed lemon (or lime) juice, and 1 t pure vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a chilled bowl, whip 2 egg whites to soft peak stage. Gradually add 1 1/2 T confectioner’s sugar to egg whites. Continue whipping egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks form.

 

Working in thirds, gently fold the egg whites into the mashed banana mixture until combined.


Divide soufflé mixture evenly among prepared ramekins, filling the ramekins right to the top or going just slightly passed the top. Set filled ramekins on a baking sheet and place in the lower third of your oven. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes. Judge doneness by rise and top browning evenly, in addition to baking time.

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