NO-FUSS CORN SOUFFLÉ

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - BON­NIE S. BENWICK

Even when they are not billed as such, the “food-fast” recipes of Jac­ques Pépin are sure bets for a no-fuss meal.

Here, he uses a min­i­mum of in­gre­di­ents to cre­ate an in­for­mal kind of soufflé — no sauce base to cook and no beaten egg whites to fold in. A blen­der does the work. Just a lit­tle bit of poblano takes the corn and Gruyère cheese to dif­fer­ent realm. The in­di­vid­ual souf­flés will puff up in the oven and de­flate a bit once served, but stay fairly firm.

What I like most about this recipe, though, is the way you can cus­tom­ize the in­di­vid­ual por­tion sizes.

Just pour from the blen­der jar into in­di­vid­ual ramekins that match the ap­petites at your ta­ble. (The ones you see pic­tured range from ½- to 1-cup ca­pac­ity.)

The smaller ones may get a bit more browned and fin­ish a few min­utes sooner, so pull them out of the oven as needed. Serve them in their dishes or turn them out onto a salad.

“That’s it!” as the master chef likes to say.

Corn Soufflé

Easy ways to add heft to the soufflé in­clude an af­ter-oven top­ping of fresh crab­meat, smoked mus­sels or steamed shrimp, or match­sticks of dressed ji­cama.

Serve with sautéed, minted snap peas or a colourful tomato salad.

Adapted from Jac­ques Pepin’s “Heart and Soul in the Kitchen” (Rux Martin/Houghton Mif­flin Harcourt, 2015).

MAKES 4 SERV­INGS

1 ta­ble­spoon un­salted but­ter 2 large ears fresh corn ¼ poblano chili pep­per 2 ounces Gruyère cheese 3 large eggs ½ cup half-and-half ½ tea­spoon kosher salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pep­per 10 stems fresh chives

Pre­heat the oven to 400 de­grees. Use the but­ter to grease the ramekins. Place them on a bak­ing sheet.

Dis­card the husks and all silk of the corn. Use a sharp knife to cut the ker­nels off the cobs; re­serve the cobs for mak­ing broth, if de­sired. You should have 2½ to 3 cups of ker­nels, which you can trans­fer to a blen­der as you work.

Seed the poblano, then cut into small chunks and add to the blen­der. Cut the cheese into small chunks and add to the blen­der. Add the eggs, half-and-half, salt and pep­per. Purée for about a minute, or un­til smooth.

Mean­while, mince the chives. Add three-quar­ters of them to the soufflé mix­ture and pulse just enough to in­cor­po­rate.

Di­vide the soufflé mix­ture among the soufflé dishes. Scat­ter the re­main­ing chives on top of each por­tion. Bake (mid­dle rack, on the bak­ing sheet) for 25 min­utes, un­til puffed, golden brown on top and more set than jig­gly.

Serve right away, in the soufflé dishes.

Per serv­ing: 260 calo­ries, 13 grams pro­tein, 20 g car­bo­hy­drates, 16 g fat, 8 g sat­u­rated fat, 180 mil­ligrams choles­terol, 330 mg sodium, 3 g di­etary fi­bre, 4 g su­gar

DEB LIND­SEY, FOR THE WASH­ING­TON POST

The in­di­vid­ual souf­flés will puff up in the oven and de­flate a bit once served, but stay fairly firm.

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