Thursday, April 14, 2011

What's Green, Misunderstood, and Full of Hot Air? Asparagus Souffle!

We also would have accepted the answer, "Al Gore." This video recipe demonstrates my basic game plan for any savory, vegetable-based soufflé. Contrary to popular belief, soufflés are not very difficult, as long as you respect the laws of physics.

The cartoon cliché of the housewife crying over a fallen soufflé (because her stupid husband slammed the door) has become an iconic scene of culinary incompetence. Well, I have some good news… these types of soufflés are supposed to fall down.

If you're doing a big cheese soufflé for a dinner party, or the classic Grand Marnier soufflé for dessert, then yes, by all means, bring it to the table straight out of the oven and fully erect. After a minute of oohs and aahs, you serve your highly impressed guests.

But these vegetable soufflés are a simple, seasonal side dish, and all that pomp and circumstance isn't necessary. You don't need to serve this right out of the oven, and you really shouldn't. To really appreciate the taste and texture, the soufflé should cool a bit.

Having said that, if you are doing these for a dinner party then you'll get the best of both worlds; since your guests will invariably be milling about the kitchen while you're cooking, they will see you asparagus soufflés in all their inflated glory anyway.

I hope you give this recipe a try, and also experiment with other vegetables. Broccoli, artichokes, leeks, spinach, or any other edible plant you can puree, should work with the same basic procedure. You can also play around with your cheese options, and as I mentioned in the video, a sharp, white cheddar is my fromage of choice. Enjoy!

Bonus Asparagus Souffle Coverage: This recipe was inspired by an Asparagus Souffle recipe I saw on my friend Elise's blog, the always outstanding, Simply Recipes. Check out her great post here!


Asparagus Souffle Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, (about 12 ounces by weight)
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine table salt)
cayenne to taste
1 cup cold milk
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 cup finely grated cheese
4 eggs, separated

41 comments:

Shreela said...

Pardon me garçon, my soufflé isn't woody enough.

Hahaha! I can't believe your sponsors and professional gigs wouldn't want your infamous humor in the vids you do for them!

I was thinking about avocado soufflé the other day, and here come your asparagus, but I'm guessing the asparagus soufflé would be a tad greener. I bet yours tasted great.

Can you do a soufflé, like maybe cheese, over some kind of stew?

Chef John said...

Never tried, but would work theoretically! Give it a try.

Meg said...

That look so delicious! Can't wait to try it.

Anonymous said...

can you use other vegetables? like carrot?

Chef John said...

Yes! See last paragraph!

Anonymous said...

This would make a pretty side dish for an Easter meal.

LaceruM said...

Just out of curiosity... do those heat lamps in restaurants keep the souffle from reaching the un-deflated state? Or is deflation just inevitable? =)

Anonymous said...

Okay don't freak...I'm on a diet...can I use low fat or fat free milk???

theo said...

hahahaha Al Gore...funny stuff chef!!
thx for making my afternoon :)

Chef John said...

yes, low is ok!

Chef John said...

yes, they still deflate under the lamp

Anonymous said...

Please don't start making jokes about global warming (that is implied, I guess) if you have no clue about it, or, for that matter, partisan political jokes in general.

It is one of the few things that might make this blog inpalatable and make me stop reading it.

Chef John said...

i dont do politics! No one is beyond getting joked about here, and we give it to all sides. I don't discriminate here. :-)

btw, I believe in GW and his message, and the "full of hot air" refers to his love of long-winded pontification, not about him being wrong.

Emerald_Mara85 said...

Mmm, spinach souffle sounds good...

Hmm does it have to be with cheese?
Kinda expensive here...

Rita said...

i love asparagus... and it's the season! the asparagus here in germany are white though, but who cares! it's all good.

by the way, believe it or not, there's an aspargus festival (here in germany) where they crown the Asparagus Queen.

Don Madrid said...

You said fully erect...lol.

Anonymous said...

Wow - the person who took offense to the Al Gore joke seriously needs to get a life (and I'm a registered Democrat). I have been reading this blog for a few years now, and Chef John has yet to display any allegiance to a particular political ideology. The guy posts great cooking videos that are witty and helpful. There's nothing wrong with having a sense of humor (do you complain about John Stewart teasing conservatives and Republicans?)

paula said...

hi chef john :)

id like to ask you if it's not too much, if you could please have a vegetarian section in the side bar (like where you put the categories like french cuisine or pizza for example).. the thing is, i absolutely love your recipes, and since im trying to transition into vegetarianism i realized would be very useful if there was a vegetarian section on your site. Even if my attempt at being a vegetarian isnt successful, im sure there's lots of vegetarians who also enjoy your recipes and would appreciate having them on their bookmarks

anyway, aside from that i'd like to tell you your recipes are amazing, my kitchen's witnessed me trying them out several times (one of the things ill really miss if i do end up a vegetarian will be the amazing bbq butter minute steaks i learnt to do from one of your videos), so thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Chef John! I tried it last night and it was such a beauty. And, you are soooo right about the amount of garlic. I was too generous and put a whole clove instead of 1/2, and it was a tad overpowering. I will try again with sharp cheddar.

Modern Southerner said...

Looks delicious! I'm definitely going to try this. I suppose I was always a little intimidated by the word "souffle" but now I'm not!

Also, I posted about your wonderful videos on my page. My boyfriend and I really enjoy them!

Ciao!

Anonymous said...

Chef John - great looking recipe. I actually have a question about your cookware. The dutch oven like pot that you made the roux in, what is that called and where can you get it? I've seen it in past videos and it looks like a great item to have!

Thanks!
B

Chef John said...

It's a le creuset dutch oven! I love it.

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Me thinks that this little dish would go well alongside a nice medium-rare T-Bone steak, corn on the cob, and a loaded baked potato...

Too bad for me that dinner tonight will be but a can of Dinty Moore Stew and some steamed rice...

Anonymous said...

Hi there Chef John. I made this tonight and it was great. My wife really like it. I think I made to much though. I had 3 extra. Can you save the souffles till the next day? I guess I will find out. I love your blog.

www.your-dreams-coming-true.com said...

Chef John Hi all the way from Athens, Greece. I made your cheese souflé today. Using 1 qt. of milk, 1/2 butter, 1/2 flour I ended up with too much bechamel. What would be your suggestion for lets say 1/2 that quantity of Bechamel? 1/4 butter, 1/4 flour, 1 pint milk ?? No problem I can use the other cup of cheesy bechamel for the croque monsieur as per your video (fantastic!!)

Also please tell me how much time we need for the oven at 400 degrees F, if I make one big mold instead of 6 ramedins.Thanks and Happy Easter.

www.your-dreams-coming-true.com said...

Chef John it's me again!! I forgot to tell you the most important thing....your recipe was fantastic and came out fantastic but I did not know how long to keep it in the oven

Chef John said...

You can just cut everything by 1/2 for 1/2 a recipe :-)

Sorry, not sure about time for one large, never tried it.

coupland said...

Made this tonight Chef John, but I used leeks instead of asparagus. I've never tried souffle before so thought I'd bounce two things off you that I think were probably minor mistakes. Firstly, a couple of them deflated precipitously in the centre, if I recall isn't this a sign of being slightly under-done? Secondly, they were a bit wet at the bottom. Not "raw egg" wet, but "veggies shedding water" wet. Any suggestion for that one? Regardless, a very fun change from a side of veggies.

Finally, I assume if I swapped the asparagus for an equal amount of chocolate I could make this for dessert, but would I still use parmesan?

I keed, I keed! Still would appreciate your thoughts on the first two questions though. :)

Chef John said...

Yes, sounds a little undercooked. Also leeks may need to be cooked down more to avoid excess liquid, more water than asparagus I think.

Charlemange said...

I made this tonight with surf and turf. It was pretty good. I used almond milk and it turned out fine.

Thierry et M.J. said...

hello from France !

i really like your recipes and videos

i see you often use Cayenne pepper, and i like too when it's a bit hot
but do you know Espelette pepper ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espelette_pepper

it's tasty and fruity, close to the taste of red pepper bell for me... but less hot than Cayenne
in fact, i use Cayenne for me and Espelette for my guests
some DON'T like it hot !

thank you for your work and sharing
Thierry (Nancy - FRANCE)

cammacd said...

Thanks so much Chef John!
I did this as one of the dishes is my GCSE(English) Catering exam and it was superb! Got me full marks!

Anonymous said...

i tried it today and it was delicious ... everyone loved it. thank you for the recipe :)

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

I've noticed (via some cooking competition on the food network) that some chefs pour a cream sauce into a savory souffle. I've googled, but couldnt find anything except for cream sauces for sweet souffles. Any suggestions?

Michael said...

John, you didn't mention the results in your post the experiment about the effect using souffle batter that had been sitting for a while. I'm so very curious... Especially because I plan on making Spinach Souffle tonight, and I want to know. I'm concerned the egg whites will loose too much volume. Is that what you found? Were the flavours more intense? Do you even remember considering this was a year ago?

Laurie said...

Michael, it was in his friend Elise's blog, sounds like it worked fine: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/asparagus_souffle/

Jenny said...

Thank you for a fantastic, easy to follow video! I used your tips tonight for my first-ever broccoli souffle and it turned out great, even the 3 yr old ate every bite!

Kate said...

Where is the experiment in making the mix beforehand?

Carole Ann Grayson said...

Yes, I read all the comments to find out what happened to the experiment re not cooking it all at one time.
easier than cutting a recipe in half, save have for the next day. We want to know

Britt Åse said...

Thanks for this recipe! I had an asparagus dish i Italy last week, and I think this recipe will allow me to make something similar. It tasted marvellous!
Would you consider putting grated parmesan on top? And; what would you serve with it? Parma ham or someting like that?

Anna's Gem Therapy said...

My daughter and I just made your souffle with broccoli and it is a winner. We will be making more of these and trying all kinds of veggies. Thank you for removing the mystery from souffles.