Sunday, March 6, 2011

Savoury Potato Soufflés

N made a lovely dinner last week for me. It was sort of a breakfast for dinner, but much more sophisticated. He was inspired by Martha Stewart's Savoury Sweet Potato Soufflés. His version is heartier, with crispy potatoes, ham, and onions instead of sweet potato purée. I was surprised that the potatoes and ham stayed suspended throughout the soufflé. Each bite was delicious and we ended up eating all four of the soufflés.

Savoury Potato Soufflés
Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dishes
1/2 small onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 large red potato, grated
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup ham, chopped 
3/4 cup marbled cheddar cheese
3 large eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter four 3/4-cup ramekins; set aside.

In a non-stick pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add potato, onion, garlic, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook until potato starts to brown and onion softens. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add in two tablespoons of the potato mixture, then stir in flour; cook, stirring, 3 minutes.

Gradually whisk in milk; simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the rest of the potato mixture and ham, then egg yolks, one at a time.

In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Whisk 1/4 of whites into cheese mixture. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the rest.

Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour mixture into ramekins; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

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