Traditionally for New Year's Eve in my family we have a chocolate fondue. This being the case, I was looking for something light to make for lunch before an afternoon of sweet rich chocolatiness. I had also recently read a new trick for firming up the egg whites which I wanted to try and had some broccoli on hand and nine (yes, 9) egg whites left over from making leckerli and eggnog pudding...So I made broccoli soufflés, which came out airy and light and delicate, and were the perfect precursor to the New Year's chocolate fondue.
Ingredients (makes 7 individual soufflés):
A head to a head an a half of broccoli, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 c milk
1 c grated parmesan
1 tsp sumac ( or more)
salt and pepper to taste
9 egg whites
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine (optional)
1) Steam the broccoli until tender (not mushy. You want it to blitz well but still retain its flavour). Blitz until smooth, adding a little of the water from steaming if it needs some extra liquid.
2) Make a roux. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Stir constantly, not allowing any browning and gradually add the milk, stirring constantly.
3) Mix in the blitzed broccoli and 2 tbsp of parmesan. Pepper generously. If the batter is too thick, add a splash of white wine (optional) or milk.
4) Butter individual soufflé dishes - well! the soufflés won't rise as well if they stick to the sides of the pan. Mix sumac and pepper with the remaining parmesan and then sprinkle the insides of the dishes with the parmesan, tapping out the excess (you can do one big dish instead). Preheat the oven to 220°C and boil the kettle.
5) In a large bowl, beat the egg whites to STIFF peaks with a pinch of salt and the lemon juice (my new trick for making them rise better).
6) Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the broccoli mix then gently fold this into the remaining egg whites, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the tops.
7) Spoon into the soufflé dishes and place these on a baking tray. Pour the boiling water from the kettle into the tray to come about half way up the sides of the soufflé dishes and place in the hot oven.
8 ) Bake for 20 minutes without opening the door of the oven. This takes trust, so do something else in the mean time. After this, take a peek. If they still look too jiggly, lower the temperature and leave for another 5 minutes. If they are set but need to brown, increase the temperature for 2 minutes and then remove.
9) Serve immediately before they fall.
These came out beautifully! I was very happy with them. I had been a little worried as our fridge decided to freeze about half the whites. I melted these over the hot water from steaming the broccoli and kept my fingers crossed. I had not tried this flavour combination before but was very pleased with it and will certainly do it again! Good baby food too - Little Bit loved his (the one in the little red dish)! My sister did mention that it made for an odd breakfast though (at 1 pm), so maybe don't plan it too early in the day ;).
Note: Toying with how to make this recipe keto, it occurred to me that it might be possible either to skip the roux altogether or to use almond flour instead. I have not tested this theory yet, but I would like to do so. If you test it, do let me know how things go!