by John Ryan
This is a natural for Spring. And it lends itself to many variations. For instance, if you like smoked cheese, try a smoked gouda instead of cheddar. Or feel free to replace the asparagus with cooked broccoli.
You'll need a deep casserole or soufflé dish—one that hold 6 cups.
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 cup finely chopped cooked asparagus
For the soufflé dish...
Approximately 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1. First, turn your oven on the 375 degrees F. Cook some asparagus if necessary.
2. In a saucepan, cook the onion in butter until soft, then stir in the flour. Let it cook over low hear for a few minutes.
3. Stir the milk in gradually. Once the milk is all in, bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat so it barely simmers and let it burble for 7 or 8 minutes. Meanwhile, (a) smear the inside of your souffle dish lightly with butter and put a quarter cup or so of breadcrumbs into the dish. Roll the crumbs around and shake out any that don't stick to the butter. Then (b) separate the eggs—whites in a mixing bowl, yolks in a small bowl.
4. Take the pan off the heat and stir the cheddar and thyme into the sauce. When the cheese has melted, stir in the asparagus. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir the yolks into the sauce.
5. Whip the whites until they are stiff and creamy, then fold them in 3 or 4 stages into the base. Pour the mixture into the souffle dish and bake for about 35 minutes --it's done when the top is golden brown and a skewer poked into the center comes out clean.
Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.
This page created March 1999
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