Last night I cooked an old favourite of mine: Seafood Souffle
Souffle is not that complicated.
There are simple rules to follow though:
-Get all your ingredients ready within reach first.
-Souffle must be savoured as soon as it comes out of the oven. As the adage says, “The guests wait for the souffle; the souffle does not wait for the guests!”.
It is another way to eat seafod in season and it’s a favourite when Spring and Autumn nights are still cool or cold. Of course it is a great dish in winter as it will warm up your guests or family!
Ingredients can be easy replaced according to season or supply. The spices indicated are basic and also open to imagination!
Ingredients (large portions for 2 persons)
Separate yolks from whites. Keep yolks in a small dish. Pour the whites into a large bowl with a pinch of salt.
-Milk: 1 cup/200 cc
-Butter: 50 grams
-Flour: 70 grams/2 large tablespoons
-Salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme (powder) to taste.
-Olive oil: 1 large tablespoon
-Oysters: 12 out of their shells in a small strainer to allow excess water out.
-Mussles: 24 large shells bushed and cleaned under running water.
-Crab: 1 small tin. If fresh, a “fistful” slightly boiled or steamed).
-Shallots: 1 large, thinly chopped
-Garlic: 1 clove, thinly chopped
-Noilly or sweet white wine: 1 glass/50cc/a quarter cup
-Thinly chopped fresh herbs (Italian parsley, basil, etc.): 1 “fistful”.
1) Pour oil into a deep non-stick frypan over a medium high fire. Cook shallots and garlic until shallots turn transparent. Take care that garlic does not darken.
2) Drop the mussles in. Close with glass lid.
3) When mussles are all open switch off fire and take them out shaking all vegetables and juice out. Delicately separate mussles from their shells. Put aside in a small dish. Discard shells.
4) Switch on ffire again to medium and drop oysters in.
Cook them just long enough for them to stay tender. Switch off fire and take oysters out delicately. Put aside in a small dish.
5) Take crab out of the tin and squeeze out juices into the frying pan.
Put aside in a small dish.
6) Switch on fire again and reduce sauce at least to half. Switch off fire and strain the sauce into a cup. Put aside for white sauce.
7) White sauce:
On a medium fire, in a large deep pot melt butter completely. Drop in all the flour and whisk until smooth. Pour in milk little by little, whiking all the time to attain a smooth sauce. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme, and cup of reduced juices. Mix. Keep stirring gently until sauce is very thick and adheres to the whisker.
8) Switch off fire. Mix in the yolks with whisker until smooth. Drop in fresh herbs and mix well.
Beat the egg whites until very firm
Fold whites into sauce one third at a time with a spatula (if you mix with a whisker, the souffle will not rise. If you pour all the whites at once you will end up with white “blobs” and uncooked liquid yellow sauce).
9) butter the inside of 2 (or more reducing the size) oven dishes about 12 cm across and 7 cm high.
Pour in one layer of sauce on the bottom of each dish.
Place half of the oysters in each dish and cover with one more layer of sauce.
Place half of the mussles on top and cover with one more layer of sauce.
Spread half of the crab in each dish on top of the last layer of sauce and cover the lot with the rest of the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Cook for 35~45 minutes depending on your oven.
Chck if souffle is ready with a thin stick. It should come out with no sauce attached to it.