Crab and Vegetable Soufflé

Often, when Ruth and I plan to get together for a quiet night of dinner and wine at one of our houses (usually hers, you should see her kitchen…) the food is anything but simple. We usually want to try something “fancy” and outside of our normal comfort zone. When we first started talking about getting together after the New Year, I suggested buying live lobsters and trying our hand at grilled lobster.  But lobster is expensive and we are both trying to be good with our post-Christmas credit card bills looming so we had some brainstorming to do. We wanted to stick with seafood, but prepped in a way that would challenge us, and when you think of challenging dishes to make one of the first things you think of is soufflé.

souffle with side salad

With the image of mile high soufflé in my mind, I started researching soufflé recipes and came across Eatting Well’s artichoke and spinach soufflé. The recipe seemed like one of the easiest ones I came across. Plus, it would be easy to tweak by simply adding crab meat. I shared the recipe with Ruth and she agreed, so I started making the grocery list. Below is the amazing result.

P.S. Feel free to reheat the your soufflés in an oven pre-heated to about 350°F. It won’t rise much, but it will still be delicious!

Crab and Vegetable Souffle

tablespoons fine breadcrumbs, enough to coat ramekins
olive oil, enough to coat ramekins
1 cup, packed, lump crab meat
2/3 cup frozen artichokes, chopped in half and squeezed dry
2/3 chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt

1)     Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Coat 2 14 ounce and 2 6-8 ounce ramekins (we chose these sizes because we wanted large soufflés for dinner and smaller ones to practice reheating, however you can adjust the number and size as you want) with olive oil. Sprinkle with enough breadcrumbs to generously coat the inside, tilting to evenly distribute; tap out excess. Place ramekins on a baking sheet.

Grease and cover with breadcrumbs

2)     Pat artichoke dry, chop and then pat dry again. Press thawed spinach in a fine sieve until very dry. Combine the crab, chopped artichoke, and spinach in a bowl with Asiago (or Parmesan) and pepper.
combine veggies, crab, and cheese
3)     Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Melt butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot milk and cook over medium-low heat, whisking, until the mixture is the consistency of thick batter, 2 to 4 minutes.
whisk together flour and butter
4)     Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, until incorporated. Whisk in the artichoke-spinach mixture.
Whisk egg into milk flour mixture
5)     Clean and dry a large mixing bowl and beaters, making sure there are no traces of oil, as any fat in your egg whites may prevent your soufflé from rising properly. Beat egg whites in the bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Add salt; gradually increase speed to high and beat until shiny and stiff, but not dry. Stop when the egg whites hold their shape in the bowl and on the beater but don’t look overly dry or lumpy.
beat egg whites until soft peaks are formed
6)      Using a rubber spatula, stir one-third of the whites into the egg-yolk mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites just until evenly distributed. It’s OK if a few white streaks remain.
fold in egg whites
7)     Spoon the batter into the prepared dish(es).
fill ramekin
8)     Bake until puffed and firm to the touch, 20 to 24 minutes for 10-ounce soufflés, 38 to 42 minutes for a 2 1/2-quart soufflé. Resist the temptation to take a peek until the last 5 minutes of baking—an open oven door will let in too much cool air and may interrupt the rising.
place souffles in oven
A perfect soufflé!!

A perfect soufflé!!

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3 responses to “Crab and Vegetable Soufflé

  1. Pingback: Peaches ‘n’ Cream Popsicles | corkandspoon

  2. Pingback: Molten Lava Lovers Cake – A Perfect Valentine’s Day Dessert | corkandspoon

  3. Pingback: Endive and Shaved Asparagus Salad | corkandspoon

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