Jerusalem Artichoke Souffle

This souffle can be served as a light lunch dish with crusty bread and butter, or on its own as a first course for a lunch or dinner party.

4-6 SERVINGS

2 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

2 oz. flour

10 fl. oz. milk

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

8 oz. Jerusalem artichokes, peeled, boiled and drained

2 tablespoons double cream

4 egg yolks

5 egg whites

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375°F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

Using

1 teaspoon of the butter, grease a

3-pint souffle dish. Tie a strip of greaseproof or waxed paper around the rim of the souffle dish so that it projects

2 inches over the top. Set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the milk, being careful to avoid lumps.

Return the pan to the heat and cook the sauce, stirring constantly, until it becomes very thick.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano and cheese. Set aside to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, place a fine strainer over a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using the back of a wooden spoon, rub the cooked artichokes through the strainer to make a puree.

Stir the pureed artichokes and the cream into the sauce mixture. Stir in the egg yolks and combine the mixture thoroughly.

Set aside.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with a wire whisk or rotary beater until they form stiff peaks.

Using a metal spoon, carefully fold the egg whites into the artichoke mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared souffle dish. Place the dish in the centre of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the souffle has risen and is golden brown on top.

Remove the dish from the oven. Quickly remove and discard the paper collar. Serve the souffle immediately.

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