Broccoli souffles

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Broccoli souffles is an elegant dish that is made with broccoli, shallots, and blue cheese combined with soufflé mixture and flavoured with nutmeg and cayenne pepper. A soufflé is a lightly baked cake made with egg yolks and beaten egg whites combined with various other ingredients and served as a savory main dish or sweetened as a dessert. The word soufflé is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means “to blow up” or more loosely “puff up”—an apt description of what happens to this combination of custard and egg whites. Soufflés can be made in containers of all shapes and sizes but it is traditional to make soufflé in ramekins. These containers vary greatly in size, but are typically glazed white, flat-bottomed, round porcelain containers with unglazed bottoms and fluted exterior borders. When it comes out of the oven, a soufflé should be puffed up and fluffy, and it will generally fall after 5 or 10 minutes (as risen dough does). Ingredients:

(for 4×250 ml soufflé dishes)

45 g butter, plus extra for greasing

3 tbsp plain flour

250 ml milk

pinch of grated nutmeg

salt and cayenne pepper

375 g broccoli florets

3 – 4 shallots, finely chopped

2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

4 egg yolks

175 g blue cheese, crumbled

6 egg whites

broccoli souffles

Preparation:

Melt 30 g butter in a large pan, add the flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, gradually blend in the milk, then bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened. Add the nutmeg, and salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Steam the broccoli for 2 – 3 minutes until just tender. Rinse in the cold water, then chop coarsely.

Heat the remaining butter in a pan, add the shallots, and cook gently for 3 minutes or until soft.

Prepare the soufflé dishes. Butter the bottoms and sides of the dishes and sprinkle with a thin layer of grated parmesan cheese.

Beat the egg yolks and add to the cooled sauce with the broccoli, shallots and blue cheese.

Whisk the eggwhites until they form firm but not dry peaks. Fold 1 – 2 tbspof the eggwhites into the broccoli mixture, then fold in the remaining egg whites.

Pour the mixture into the soufflé dishes. Bake the soufflés in the top half of a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 for 30 minutes. Serve at once.