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REC: Zucchini Souffle from Richard Olney. The zucchini season has started--I love this recipe

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Posted to Thread #24539 at 3:02 pm on Jun 23, 2013

for a special occasion (I owed my brother a dinner for doing our taxes). I've posted it before but it's worth a re-post. I usually only manage it once a year but since it's early in the season I will try to get it together again before the summer is over. I double the recipe to fit my 2-quart ring mold. The rest of the meal was simple--grilled pork chops with rosemary and garlic, smashed potatoes, green beans, strawberry shortcake.

ZUCCHINI PUDDING SOUFFLE
from Simple French Food fy Richard Olney

Much sturdier than a traditional souffle, it's baked once in a ring mold, cooled, unmolded, masked with sauce and cheese and baked again. It rises again and makes a dramatic presentation.


1 lb. zucchini
Salt
2 Tbs. butter

For the bechamel:
2 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. flour
3/4 cup milk

3 eggs, separated
Pepper
Butter for the mold

2/3 cup tomato puree (canned or fresh tomatoes, seasoned with a pinch each of salt, pepper, sugar and herbs (I used thyme), stewed until thick, put through a sieve, then measured.
1 cup heavy cream (I use less)
A large handful of finely grated gruyere or Parmesan cheese


Grate the zucchini and toss it in a mixing bowl with salt. Let it sit for half an hour, then squeeze it in its bowl until it's swimming in liquid. Drain in a seive, then squeeze dry in a towel. Heat 2 Tbs. butter in a skillet and saute the zucchini over medium heat, tossing and spreading it out, for 7-8 minutes, until it is dry and starting to color.

Preheat the oven to 350*F. Generously butter a 1-quart savarin (ring) mold (or individual ramekins.)

Make the bechamel in the usual way, removing from heat as soon as it thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. Stir in the zucchini.

Beat the egg whites until they stand in peaks. Stir a quarter of them into the zucchini mixture to lighten it, then put the rest of the egg whites on top of the mixture and fold them in with a rubber spatula. Pour into the buttered mold, filling no more than 3/4 full.

Bake in a bain-marie: Place the mold in a larger pan, put in the oven, and pour simmering water into the larger pan to come 2/3 up the sides of the mold. Bake about 25 minutes, or until the top is firm and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and remove the mold from the water. Let cool at least 10 minutes and then unmold onto an ovenproof platter or shallow baking dish. (It will sink back down but will puff again when you re-bake it.)

Preheat the oven to 450*F.

Whisk together the tomatoes and cream and spoon just enough over the souffle to mask it. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until puffed and well-browned. Serve immediately--it will hold its puff for several minutes--with remaining sauce.


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