Crab and Leek Soufflé - A Daring Cooks Challenge

Crab and Leek Souffle

Blog-checking lines: Dave and Linda from Monkeyshines in the Kitchen chose Soufflés as our November 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge! Dave and Linda provided two of their own delicious recipes plus a sinfully decadent chocolate soufflé recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe found at the BBC Good Food website.

I've made soufflé once before, and was pretty happy with the flavor and texture but it didn't rise. So when we were told that this month's Daring Cook's Challenge was a soufflé, I was all for it a second chance at getting it right.

I choose to make another savory soufflé over the sweet/chocolate one (which I want to try!), especially when I saw one of the recipes call for crab (one of my favorite foods). ________________________________________________________________________

Crab and Leek Soufflé
  • 1 cup (250 ml) 4 oz/120g crab meat, fresh or canned
  • ½ cup (125 ml) 2 oz/60g  sautéed leeks
  • 2 Tbsps (30 ml) (28 gm) (1 oz) butter, divided
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ tsp (2½ ml) (3 gm) (.1 oz) salt
  • ¼ tsp (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) (0.05 oz) cream of tartar*
  • 1 cup (250 ml) 2 ½ oz (75g) Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • ½ tsp (2½ ml) (2 gm) (0.07 oz) white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) (9 gm) (1/3 oz) flour
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) (3 gm) (.1 oz) dried chives
  • 1 cup 8 fluid oz (250ml) milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • butter 
  • * If you can’t find cream of tartar, a dash (~ ½ tsp) of lemon juice can be substituted

1. Preheat oven to moderate 375 ˚F/190 ˚C/gas mark 5

2. Prepare dishes – you can use one 2-quart (US)/1.9 litre or six 1-cup/240 ml soufflé dishes – by buttering the dish, then coating with bread crumbs. (You may have some left over soufflé mixture if you go with the smaller soufflé dishes.)

3. Chop the leeks into thin slices. Lightly sauté in a pan with a tablespoon butter over low heat until just ever so lightly browned. Set aside.

4. In a medium saucepan, melt the rest of the butter, then stir in the flour to make a roux. – you just want to get the flour evenly blended to a paste, not cook the roux for any length of time. Gradually stir in the milk, mixing all the time. Add herbs, then the cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted and you have a thick sauce. Remove from heat.

5. Beat the egg yolks well and gently warm them by adding a couple tablespoons of the cheese sauce very slowly, stirring the whole time. Gradually stir the egg yolks into the cheese sauce until well blended.

6. Add the leek and crab meat to the cheese sauce.

7. Beat the egg whites until at the stiff peak stage

8. Fold the whites in thirds into the sauce.

9. Spoon the mixture into your baking dish and level the tops using a spatula. Be sure to wipe up any spills and make sure the edge is clean.

10. Bake for 40 min if you’re using a large soufflé dish or 25 min if using smaller dishes – the soufflé should be richly browned.
The recipes above has been adapted slightly from The Daring Kitchen post for this month's challenge. If you would like to check out what the others have done and the recipes please go to The Daring Kitchen website!

Crab and Leek Souffle

I almost always deviate from the recipe, and this soufflé is no different. I used the suggested sauteed leeks (about 2 leeks sliced and sauteed make about 1 good sized cup).

I also didn't use fresh crab. I know, I should feel ashamed but it's very expensive here and it's always frozen or artificial. Instead, I used 1 can of crab meat, drained of the liquid. It may not be fresh, but when you are having a craving for crab, it will do quite well!

When warming the egg yolks, a good way is to place the raw egg yolks in a bowl (preferably a stanless steal or glass one that can hold heat well) and place/hold the bowl over a pan of boiling water while you whisk to heat it up. Alternatively, if you don't have a bowl that can take the heat, try using a sautee pan instead.

My soufflé didn't stay puffed up (I found out later it probably needed cooked a few more minutes), but it tasted great! The hubby loved it too and the kiddo had no complaints.

The  soufflé is very light and I'd suggest it as an appetizer (in the little ramekins) or with a hearty soup, but however you have it, it's totally worth the effort!


Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

It looks delicious! I had problems with mine falling between the oven and the porch where I had to photograph it but it still tasted amazing!

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Great job on your souffle! Ours fell pretty quickly too, but we still liked how it tasted...

~Lisa~ said...

I'm so diggin this soufflé. Lovely recipe and great photos.

Jenni said...

Great job! I love the photo of the souffle oozing over the side of the ramekin! Delish!!

Anonymous said...

Great excecution. I really like how you were able to get such a beautiful golden brown color on top.