You can easily stumble upon Aubrey Jenkins' blog Drum Beets, start reading, and then look up and realize you've been engrossed for hours. Her recipes are innovative and well thought out,
featuring everything from Savory Oats With a Poached Egg for breakfast to easy lunch fare like Tuna Bean Salad and cool dessert ideas like Banana Hazelnut Fudgesicles. This
recipe, in particular, is right up our alley because it takes a much feared
food—the soufflé—and makes it simple and approachable, using many ingredients
you likely have on hand. Plus, it’s great for breakfast, lunch or dinner and is a versatile crowd stunner.
Recipe Notes: Make sure to use room temperature
eggs and use clean bowls/tools—don’t allow any fat or oil to mix in with your
eggs or they won’t get fluffy! Aubrey also recommends a hand-mixer here, although a stand mixer will work as well.
6 spears raw asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into thin 1/4 inch rounds
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and
position a rack in lower third of oven.
2. Prepare either a large 6
cup soufflé dish or 4 individual dishes. Butter each heavily and sprinkle
a tablespoon or two of grated parmesan cheese in dish. Tilt and toss the cheese
around to coat the sides and bottom (this will give your soufflé some
texture to grab onto as it climbs the walls of your dish).
3. Melt butter in a small
saucepan and add the flour. Whisk constantly. Cook for about 5 minutes and
remove from heat. Add milk and whisk to dissolve lumps once again then return
to the heat and cook and whisk for another 2-3 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat, add
spices and salt, then whisk in one egg yolk at a time. Move this custard
mixture to a large bowl, add the shredded cheese and let cool for about 10
5. Start beating your egg
whites with a hand-mixer until stiff but not dry. To test for the perfect
consistency, you should be able to use your whisk to stir the meringue—pull
it straight up and out, turn the whisk over—and if your meringue makes a firm
little peak ... perfect! If it flops over, keep beating. Check frequently! The
line between under- and over-beaten is very fine.
6. Fold 1/3 of the whites
into the custard base along with the asparagus rounds. Gently fold just a few
times until combined then fold in the remaining egg whites. Work slowly and
avoid over-folding. It’s OK if there are chunks of whites left over: Just
poke at those to dissipate them.
7. Transfer batter to
prepared dishes right to the brim. Place dishes on a cookie sheet and slide
in the oven. Immediately reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for about 25 to 30
minutes. Try not to open the door for the first 20 minutes! You will know it's
done when the center is firm and not too jiggly. Serve immediately.