With crab being a relatively expensive ingredient, this soufflé is one that you’ll want to make for a dinner party, rather than a weekday meal. The individual ramekins make table presentation easy – you don’t have to cut into the soufflé to serve it, so that everyone gets a puffed up and impressive meal.
Crab and Asparagus Soufflé
1 cup milk
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 clove of garlic, smashed
½ shallot, rough chopped
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, blanched and cut into ½” pieces on the diagonal
12 oz. crab meat, preferably in large chunks
6 egg whites
balsamic vinegar reduction
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400º F.
2. Combine the milk, bay leaf, fresh thyme sprigs, garlic and shallot in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let the ingredients steep together for at least 15 minutes. Strain and reserve the milk.
3. Pre-heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the butter and melt until frothy. Add the flour and whisk together. Cook, over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Remove the roux from the heat and add the seasoned milk, whisking vigorously. Bring this mixture back to a boil so that the white sauce will thicken.
5. Add the egg yolks and stir in the asparagus pieces. Season very well with salt and pepper. Let this base cool to room temperature.
6. Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites to soft peak stage. Fold the whites into the base in batches, making sure the base is cool before doing so.
7. Pour the soufflé batter into the soufflé molds, inserting roughly 2 oz. of crab meat into each ramekin part way through filling with the soufflé batter to ensure that each ramekin has crab meat. Bake at 400º F for 15 minutes, or until the soufflés are puffed up and lightly brown on top. Serve each soufflé on a liner plate and drizzle with some balsamic vinegar reduction, fresh thyme sprigs as garnish.