Brussels sprouts caramelized with pancetta is a winning combination. This recipe takes the decadence one step further by transforming the dense mixture into a light and airy soufflé. In French, the word “soufflé” simply denotes “to breathe.” Effectively beating fresh egg whites allows them to do their duty of breathing life and loft into this beautiful dish. To insure that your soufflé climbs to its greatest heights, make sure to properly butter and coat the mold with cheese.
For the Soufflé:
4 tablespoon butter, divided
½ cup finely shredded Asiago cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces pancetta, finely diced
¾ cup finely diced onion
1 pound baby Brussels sprouts, thinly shaved
½ cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons flour
¾ cup half-and-half cream
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 fresh duck egg yolks
6 fresh duck egg whites
Note: To substitute chicken eggs for duck eggs, it takes 4 extra-large chicken eggs or 3 jumbo chicken eggs to 3 regular duck eggs.
To Prepare the Soufflé:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
With 1 tablespoon of butter, grease the interior of a 1- to 1½-quart soufflé mold. Coat the bottom and edges with the finely shredded Asiago cheese. Set the mold aside.
In a frying pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil. Sauté the pancetta, onions, and thinly shaved Brussels sprouts until the mixture begins to caramelize. Stir in the chicken stock. Continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated and the Brussels sprouts are tender. Transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with a blade and purée the ingredients. Place the purée in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons butter until melted. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute more, stirring constantly, to form a blonde roux. Add the half and half and milk; continue to whisk. Blend in the mustard. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove the pan from the heat. Temper in the egg yolks, constantly whisking, until smooth and creamy.
Transfer the egg-milk mixture to the Brussels Sprout purée bowl. Fold together until the ingredients form a smooth paste.
Beat the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the Brussels sprout paste, blending just until the egg white incorporates. Do not overmix the batter. Carefully pour the mixture into the prepared buttered soufflé dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until it has perfectly puffed and raised. To test if the soufflé is done, insert a cake tester into the center of the soufflé. The tester should come out clean, completely free of egg. Serve immediately.
Recipe Created and Stylized by R. Shannon Mock
and Brontë E. Mock
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