If you were to ask me why I choose souffle as this weeks food challenge.. And yet here we are..
I made just a basic cheese souffle with a couple of nice add-ons and also made a delish chocolate souffle for dessert. You'll have to come back tomorrow for that one.
Click below for recipe
One of the food nightmares from the 1970's was sweet potato souffle. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas, Mom made sweet potato souffle. People love that stuff...In my case, I had a fear of sweet potatoes in general well into my 20's. I learned that there's more to sweet potatoes than souffle. I still steered clear of it until now. As I got older I realized that while convenient, processed food kills the recipes that have been around for a century or more. Mom's souffle consisted of canned yams, sweet condensed milk, brown sugar, raisins and marshmallows. Easy and quick is the name of that game. And gross, don't forget gross. Last year I did myself a favor and subscribed to Milk Street magazine. I also purchased their first annual of recipes. So many look so damn good! One of the first recipes to catch my eye was their Sweet Potato Gratin with Vanilla Bean and Bay Leaves. Though the photo of the gratin in the cookbook doesn't look very exciting, I assure you that flavors are amazing. The fusion of bay leaf and vanilla are a revelation. I chose to slightly alter the recipe and use ramekins to make it more souffle and less gratin. Funny though, once I prepared them I realized that I had no other food to serve with. In my head it was still a holiday side dish. Turns out Triscuit now as snack ideas on their boxes. The Nutmeg&Cinnamon Triscuit had on the front of the box sweet potato with apple slices and pecans. I omitted the pecans but I do believe that if crushed up they would be a great topping for the gratin. I enjoyed this with a salad of romaine, golden raisins and sunflower seeds with a champagne vinegar dressing.
Sweet Potato Gratin with Vanilla Bean and Bay Leaves
Milk Street Magazine
For the original Milk Street recipe:
My version used ramekins (1 decent size sweet potato works for 2 ramekins.) A light coating of cooking spray and set in a baking pan with a little water. Rather than heavy cream I used unsweetened almond milk.
If you are cringing at the idea of purchasing vanilla bean, Penzeys vanilla beans are high quality and a reasonable price. If you still aren't convinced then perhaps add vanilla extract to the food processor to mix in.
This might make a nice side dish at the Easter table this year. Definitely not your mama's sweet potato casserole!
Bucket list checked: I souffled! Well sort of...... While looking for recipes that felt achievable, I found a copycat Panera Bread Spinach and Artichoke Souffle recipe. This breakfast happens to be my very favorite Panera menu item, and it was called a Souffle! After reading many other souffle options, I realized this Panera recipe may be considered cheating, but I really wanted to conquer this at home just once. I used puff pastry even though it called for Pillsbury Crescent Roll bread. It was crispy, cheesy, tangy, and most of all yummy! It took me 1.5 hours from start to finish, but they hold up well in the fridge. I just popped them back in the oven to reheat and keep that dough crispy.
Click below for recipe
I haven't heard from Jen this morning. So I will leave her spot open if she has something to share later. If not.. We can think of it as setting her place at the table.
This week was fun making souffles. I think my lesson for this week is.. Yes, souffles are a little involved but not overly complicated..
Piggy backing off of Amy's assessment of mom's sweet potato souffle.. Growing up more often then not we had Thanksgiving at my parents house. Most of my mother's family would join us.. It was always great fun.. One year in particular the under 30's (which was most of us) as always had a completely different seating area. In south Florida that typically means at the picnic table in the backyard. Anyhow.. That year we all got together and put together a list of our grievances. What I remember most about the list is, it was hilarious and no one liked the foreign objects in moms sweet potato souffle (raisins). I also remember several of my aunts serenading the over 30's the list of our grievances.
Maybe this is why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays
Good times and great memories
Praying everyone had a great week.
Georgia, Jen. Amy and Nikita
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