I think souffles have a always had a bad rap. I mean, it's natural to think something is difficult with a fine fancy french name such as this, but the truth is I rather love making souffles! I personally think they are an easy but impressive way to present a dessert, or in this case a savory side dish. This souffle takes sweet potatoes to a whole new level, making them light and fluffy with the mouth watering goodness of cheese, shallots, and thyme (because cheese makes everything better).
Savory Sweet Potato Souffle
(recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dishes
1 shallot, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup coarsely grated Gruyere cheese (with 2 TBS set aside for topping)
1 cup Sweet-Potato Puree
3 large eggs, separated
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.Butter four 3/4-cup ramekins; set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add shallot, garlic, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until shallot is softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour; cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
3.Gradually whisk in milk; simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk in sweet-potato puree, then egg yolks, one at a time.
4.In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, GENTLY fold in the egg whites, making sure not to over mix.
5.Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour mixture into ramekins; sprinkle with 2 TBS of cheese. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Try not to open the oven the whole time while baking, this effects the souffles ability to rise.