Friday, June 21, 2013

Loaded Cauliflower [or Potato] Souffle

In February 2011, Jared and I went on a cruise. On the cruise we tried all sorts of new foods and one of dishes happened to be a souffle. Now, a souffle has this slightly crisp outer texture but then you scoop a bite and the inside is light, airy, and yet still very creamy. Ever since that trip I have wanted to try my hand at making a souffle. My MIL even bought me an awesome souffle dish but I've been too chicken to try it. Until tonight, that is. Yes, tonight I faced my fears and dove head first into the deliciousness that is souffle. You see, I needed a savory side dish so I looked at a few different recipes, the Super Easy Souffle, the Easiest Souffle Ever, and even a Potato Souffle. After figuring out what the common elements are in a souffle I came up with my recipe.
I started by making a garlic cauliflower puree (it may sound difficult but it's extremely easy).
  • 1 small head of cauliflower chopped into small pieces* 
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • a pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Cook cauliflower and garlic with 3/4 cup water in a covered pot over medium-high heat until tender but not completely mush, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain some of the water, and place in a food processor. Top with onion powder, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Puree and . *You could substitute peeled potatoes for the cauliflower to make a loaded potato souffle.

At this point, my daughter and I had a hard time not eating the entire bowl.
Now that we've got our puree finished and cooling, we can move on to the rest of the recipe.
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 1 (8 oz.) Philadelphia cream cheese (I use the 1/3 less fat kind), softened
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Italian style bread crumbs (to make this gluten free, you can substitute more Parmesan for the bread crumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon butter, to grease the pan
  • (If you decide to try making it a loaded potato souffle, I'd suggest adding crumbled bacon and replacing the Parmesan with sharp cheddar.)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Grease a 1 1/2 qt souffle (or casserole) dish thoroughly,
add bread crumbs and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Toss to coat.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cooled cauliflower,
cream cheese, 1 cup cheese, and chives.
In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites
until stiff peaks form. Try not to over beat them.
Slowly fold the egg whites into the batter 1/3 at a time until combined. 
Pour into greased souffle dish, place into preheated oven
and bake for 45-50 minutes until browned nicely.
Remove from oven, let stand 5-10 minutes. Then scoop and enjoy!

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