Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Crab Rangoon Souffle

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I love a Crab Rangoon. What better way then to put those flavors into a light and fluffy souffle. This recipe came to me as I was remembering a dear friend of mine, Ellyn.  Ellyn and I worked together many years ago. She loved her some crab, Crab Rangoon was one of her favorites. So to pay homage to her, and our longtime friendship,  This one’s for you and all the great memories we share.

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The first thing I like to do when making a souffle is to get the dish that I’m using prepared. For this recipe I’m using what I call a standard size souffle dish. It’s an 8 cup dish. What I do is to butter the inside of the dish really well, then take about a 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese ( grated in a food processor) and sprinkle that all over the inside of the dish. I turn the dish so that the Parmesan crumbs will stick all around the sides as well as the bottom.

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To start I add the butter into the pot and let that melt on low heat. Once the butter has melted, I add in the flour and whisk so that the flour is well incorporated into the butter for a minute or so, making what’s called a roux. I pull the pot off the heat and add in all my spices, whisking the spices through the roux before adding in the hot milk. Now for the milk. What I’ve done on another burner is to scald the milk. This is where the milk is just under the boiling point. The way you can tell this is, is when bubbles start to appear around the rim of the pot. I place the pot back on the med low burner, and add in the hot milk, whisking continuously. I turn the heat up to med and when the sauce just starts to boil,  the mixture is at it’s thickest consistency. You can tell this by placing a wooden spoon into the mixture and when you pull the spoon out and swipe your finger down the back side of the spoon and the sauce leaves a definite line where you finger drew that line. Take the pot off the heat. I place the pot onto my cutter board before adding in the eggs yolks.

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I whisk in the egg yolks to the flour and butter mixture one at a time, incorporating them really well. Next, I switch to a spatula and add in the room temperature cream cheese. Using the spatula, I break up the cream cheese, smashing it gently and stirring it through, so the cream cheese incorporates into the mixture. If there are small lumps of cream cheese that’s fine. Next I add in fresh finely chopped chives. I stir that through. To that I add in the lump crab meat. Earlier, I laid all the crab meat out on some paper towels. I checked for any shells that may have been missed when they packaged the crab. Then I laid another paper towel on top and patted the crab with the paper towels to get out any extra moisture from being packaged. You do not want any liquid to be added to the souffle that may stop it from rising and cooking properly. Now that the dried crab has been added, it’s time to fold in the egg whites.

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I have the 5 egg whites in a large bowl that I added 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tarter and a pinch of Kosher salt to. With a whisk I started beating the egg whites until they formed shiny, firm peaks. The picture above is what you’re looking for. If you want to make this dish ahead,  Make the base for the souffle and refrigerate. Make the egg whites right before you are ready to bake.

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First, I stir in 1/4 of the egg white mixture. This is just to start the process. The remaining egg whites are folded in very gently so as not to deflate the egg whites. To fold, start the spatula in the center and while turning the pot, fold the whites towards the center very gently. Keep repeating the process until the beaten egg whites are incorporated through the mixture. Pour the souffle mixture into the prepared souffle dish. Have the oven preheated to 400 degrees.

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Because you want your souffle to come out perfectly. It’s important that the temperature is correct. I have on of the oven thermometers. This will ensure that if the dial on your oven is off by a few degrees you’ll know if you place one of these inside your oven. I place the souffle dish on a baking sheet. Immediately turn the oven down to 375 degrees and place the souffle in the oven. Do Not open the oven to peek. Bake for 35 minutes.

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This is what the souffle will look like when it comes out. You want to serve this hot. I like to serve it along side a mixed green salad with a really simple and easy dressing.

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For the dressing for my salad, well it’s really simple. I squeeze the juice of 3 juicy lemons (4 tablespoons or 1/4 cup) into a jelly jar. 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of Agave nectar, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Finally I add in 8  tablespoons or 1/2 cup of E.V.O.O, Place the lid on a shake. That’s all there is to it for my simple lemon vinaigrette dressing. Using a vegetable peeler, I shave some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the top.

Souffle Yields: 4 servings
Equipment: 8 cup souffle dish and oven thermometer
Prep Time: 30-35 minutes
1 pound of lump crab meat
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup of scalded milk
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4 extra large egg yolks, room temperature
5 extra large egg whites, room temperature
5 ounces of room temperature cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
4 tablespoons of freshly, finely chopped chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prepare the souffle dish with butter and grated Parmesan, Making sure the entire inside surface is coated with both the butter and cheese

Prepare the lump crab by checking for any shells and drying completely on paper towel before transferring to a bowl.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the flour in and whisk constantly for about a minute or so. Once it’s thickened,  off the heat this is when I whisk in all my spices, seasonings, and scalded milk. Place back on the low heat, whisking continuously, for about another minute or so until thick and smooth. Off the heat onto a cutting board, still in the pot, while the mixture is still hot whisk in the yolks one at a time. Switch to a spatula, and stir in the cream cheese, by gently smashing the cream cheese until it is incorporated through. After mixing, if  there are a few bigger pieces that’s fine.

Next add in the lump crab and stir through.

Place the egg whites into a large clean bowl. Add cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt. Using a large whisk beat the egg whites until they are shiny and firm peaks. This will take a few minutes. You could do this in an electric mixer. Stir 1/4 of the egg whites into the prepared souffle mixture. The mixture will look slightly lightened. Then fold in the rest of the whites very gently. Pour the completed mixture into the souffle dish and turn down the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Without peeking bake for 30-35 minutes, until puffy and golden brown.

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Pasta Carbonara Souffle

2015-05-01 17.06.16 2015-05-01 17.06.19

Eggs and bacon mixed with pasta is a dish that dates back for many years. At least that’s what I’ve been told. Making Pasta Carbonara into a casserole, even better. Let’s get started.

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I start  with a small cold saute pan with a tiny bit of olive oil in it. I have some diced Pancetta that I’m going to render the fat out. Using a slotted spoon I just remove the Pacetta and place it on to a plate lined with a paper towel to remove any extra grease. I’ll come back to this when I’m ready to add it into the dish.

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I have a here a deep casserole dish the I’ve buttered really well. First I want to add some egg whites to the sauce to make it in the style of a souffle. I’m going to do this by hand because it’s not a lot of egg whites and a little exercise for my arms couldn’t hurt.

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I have some egg whites in a clean glass bowl that I’m whipping up into soft peaks. I’m looking for them to be nice and frothy. As they start to become frothy but not quite to soft peaks stage, I add in a pinch of cream of tartar to stabilize them. This just makes sure they won’t fall or deflate. Now for the sauce for this delicious dish.

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In a large pot I’ve added some butter, on med heat, that I’m melting. Once that’s melted I add in the flour (optional, gluten free flour). Whisk that together until the raw flour has combined well with the butter. Next, I’m adding in milk and half and half, continuously whisking. At this point I’m also adding in Kosher salt, black pepper, freshly grated nutmeg, Still whisking, the milk sauce is starting to thicken. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat off because that’s as thick as it’s going to get. I remove the pot from the heat, then add in some grated Parmesan cheese. Switch to a spatula and stir in the grated cheese. Now, I fold in the egg whites.

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I also add in some finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley, (dried it fine too). You want to fold the egg whites very gently into the cheese sauce. For the pasta, follow the directions on the box. Cooking in salted boiling water but, under cook it a bit from what in box instructions say. It will finish cooking while it’s baking in the casserole.  By the time the dish comes out of the oven, the pasta will be perfectly cooked.

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For this recipe, I’m using a regular cork screw style pasta, but, I’m posting this recipe under the “gluten free” category, because it’s equally delicious with substituting gluten free flour, and gluten free pasta for this dish. I drain the pasta in a large colander. I rinse the pasta under some cold water to stop the cooking process for just a minute before adding it into the casserole dish. Once the pasta is somewhat cooled, it’s time to put this together.

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First goes half the cooled pasta, then half of the cheesy souffle sauce. On top of that I sprinkle half of the cooked Pancetta. I repeat this process one more time. Now for the topping. I add some finely shredded Italian cheese blend, a little more of the grated Parmesan cheese, and dot the top all over with some unsalted butter. Place into a 375 degree oven for around 25-30 minutes. Do not open the oven for the first 20 minutes. You want the dish to rise beautifully as a souffle should.

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Yields: 6-8 servings
Total Cooking Time: 1 hour
Oven Temp: 375 degrees
1/4 pound of Pancetta diced
1 box of short cut pasta or substitute gluten free pasta (slightly under cooked, rinsed, and cooled)
3 cups of whole milk, room temperature
1 cup of half and half, room temperature
1/2 a stick of unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons diced for the top
1/2 cup of flour or substitute gluten free flour
5 ounce container of grated Parmesan cheese ( reserve 1/4 cup for topping)
4 egg whites beaten to soft peaks
1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon of fresh grated nut meg
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1/4 cup of finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley plus 2 tablespoons for garnish on the top (dried is fine too)
1- 8 ounce package of the Italian blend shredded cheese
First butter a deep dish casserole dish. Cook of the Pancetta and let rest on a paper towel to drain off any excess grease. Prepare the egg whites to soft peaks in a bowl. On med heat, make the white sauce using the flour, milk, Kosher salt, pepper, and nut meg, Off the heat add in the Parmesan cheese. Fold in the egg whites with the finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley. First layer half the cooled pasta into the casserole dish. Spoon on half the souffle sauce all over the first layer of pasta, then sprinkle with half the cooked diced Pancetta. Repeat this process once more. Top with the shredded Italian cheese blend, Parmesan cheese, and  finallydot the top with diced butter. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until the top is bubbly and golden brown. Do not open oven door for the first 20 minutes of cooking. When the casserole comes out of the oven garnish with some more parsley and let rest for about 15 minutes or so, giving it time to set.

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