February 17, 2012

Savory Butternut Squash Soufflé

Winter still has its icy gripe on the weather around here, and I am in the mood for recipe that includes winter squash. As you might have noticed by now, I can't just boil a vegetable and call it a meal. Earlier this year I ran across a recipe that includes butternut squash, but with a twist. Imagine a souffle, but with the flavors of squash, cheese and savory herbs. I've adapted this recipe from Savory Baking with some minor changes. 

Ingredients: (adapted from Savory Baking)
1 small-medium butternut squash, cut into halves, seeds and pith removed
½ cup organic chicken broth
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated (plus extra for dusting)
1/3 cup Asiago, finely grated (plus extra for dusting)
½ tsp. dried sage
½tsp. dried thyme
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole milk
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
salt and pepper to taste
6 ceramic ramekins
1 baking sheet
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. On a baking sheet, place the butternut squash flesh-side down. With a sharp knife, cut a few slits into the skin. Bake in the center of the oven until tender to the touch, about 25-30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the cooked flesh. Blend  with the chicken broth and until smooth.
2. In a bowl, combine the two types of cheese, seasonings, salt and egg yolks together in a bowl, add the purée mixture. Whisk mixture until smooth. Cut the remaining baked squash into bite-sized chunks and gently fold them into the cheese mixture.
3. Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Lightly butter sides and bottoms ramekins and dust them with the extra grated cheeses. Arrange them neatly on a baking sheet.
4. In a bowl, whisk the milk and flour until mixture is free from lumps. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat to melt butter, reduce heat to simmer and stir constantly until color turns brown about a minute. Remove from heat and whisk flour and milk mixture into toasty brown butter. Return the saucepan to the stove and cook gently for about 30 seconds. Pour into the squash mixture and fold together to blend.
5. Whisk the egg whites with and electric mixer and whip until egg whites form shiny firm peaks. Fold egg whites into the squash mixture. Spoon soufflé misture evenly into the buttered ramekins. Sprinkle each soufflé with leftover cheese.
6. Bake in the overn until they are just set in the center and golden on the top, about 15-20 minutes. The middle should appear softly set when tested with a skewer. Serve immediately.
Printable Recipe

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