Inspired and adapted from Deborah Madison's Local Flavors (Broadway 2002), this was the first souffle recipe I attempted. It involves a straightforward and, dare I say, fairly easy preparation. It's perfect for spring, when asparagus is in season.
Makes 6 servings
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
1 cup cream
1 bunch asparagus, washed and chopped, with woody ends removed
I love sweet potatoes but like to prepare them with a savory rather than sweet (i.e., with maple syrup and/or cinnamon) bent, which is why I've used thyme and Gruyere cheese in this souffle. I serve it with a pile of sauteed greens, such as chard or kale, and Honey-Buttermilk Biscuits (recipe below).
Makes 6 servings
2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 large sweet potatoes)
Souffle. Just a whisper of the word strikes fear into the heart of the most accomplished (not to mention inexperienced) home cook. First, the neurosis: Are the eggs fresh enough? Will it rise? What if it comes out horribly misshapen? Then, the biting of the fingertips: Did I whip the egg whites to the correct consistency? Will green garlic work with the asparagus? Was I nuts to try strawberries? Finally, the calm reward: This tastes delicious. What was I so worried about? Souffles aren't so difficult to make after all.
I was inspired by my farmers market to make this enticingly light and fluffy souffle. Strawberries are in season, and they're hard to resist. Then I started thinking about other berries that might work when summer comes around: blackberries, raspberries, blueberries. You want about 1 cup of pureed fruit, so adjust the type of berry according to your taste (a combination might be wonderful, too).
A note about using muffin liners: I have made these souffles without, but it takes some delicate maneuvering to remove the cooked souffles from the pan. If you can get mini muffin liners, it will save you a bit of work (and patience), though they will taste delicious either way. Of course, you may also cook this as one large souffle, in a 6-cup souffle dish.
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen souffle bites
1/2 cup roasted red pepper puree (about 1 large red bell pepper)
Good bittersweet chocolate balanced by a hint of sea salt makes these little souffles utterly addictive. It's good they're served in small portions. To up the decadence factor, serve with a bit of whipped cream and sliced fruit. Or simply devour immediately after taking them from the oven. I've halved this recipe to no ill effect (I used 4 egg whites to 2 egg yolks) and baked the batter in a variety of small ramekin dishes to mix things up a little.
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Howard University political science major Clarise McCants, flanked by Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown and Jack Reed (right), addresses upcoming changes in federal Stafford loan interest rates at a Capitol Hill news conference Tuesday.
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