Make-Ahead Lobster Soufflé

Automne 2013
food and drink

BY: Lucy Waverman

This recipe was selected as one of our Contributor's favourites in our 20th Anniversary Autumn 2013 issue. The recipe originally appeared in the Holiday 2011 issue.

If you are intimidated by soufflés, fear not: these are extremely easy to make. The secret? Make them ahead of time and reheat. Because of the weight of the lobster the soufflés will only rise a little, but the texture will be superb. If you cannot get cooked lobster, cans of frozen lobster meat will be a good substitute. Just defrost; do not cook.

3 tbsp (45 mL) softened butter
¼ cup (60 mL) finely grated Parmesan
3 medium leeks, white and light green part only, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 tbsp (75 mL) butter
5 tbsp (75 mL) flour
2 cups (500 mL) milk
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme
or ½ tsp (2 mL) dried
1 tsp (5 mL) dried mustard powder
2 cups (500 mL) grated cheddar or Gruyère cheese
6 eggs, separated
3 cooked lobsters (1½ lbs/750 g each), removed from shells
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
½ cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan

1 Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Use 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter to grease six 4-inch-wide (10‑cm) soufflé dishes and after greasing, dust with Parmesan to coat.

2 Heat remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for 3 minutes or until limp. Season with salt and pepper, scrape into a large bowl and reserve.

3 Heat 5 tbsp (75 mL) butter in a pot over medium heat. Slowly stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Add thyme and mustard powder and bring to a boil, whisking for 1 minute or until smooth and thick. Remove from heat, add cheddar and stir until melted and combined. Add soufflé base to leek mixture and stir to combine. Cool slightly. Beat egg yolks together and stir in to mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Cut lobster tail meat into 1-inch (2.5-cm) chunks and stir into mixture. Reserve the claw meat.

5 Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Stir one-quarter egg whites through soufflé base to lighten it. Then fold in remaining whites.

6 Divide soufflé mixture between prepared dishes. Place soufflé dishes into a roasting pan and fill pan with hot water halfway up the sides of soufflé dishes. Place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until well risen and golden on top. The soufflés will fall slightly when turned out.

7 Remove roasting pan from oven and carefully lift soufflés onto a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Loosen sides of soufflé with a sharp knife, then turn out on to a shallow gratin dish or parchment-lined baking tray. Cover loosely and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Return soufflés to room temperature before baking.

8 Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

9 Pour 2 tbsp (30 mL) whipping cream on top and around sides of each soufflé. Sprinkle tops with Parmesan and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until puffed and golden.

10 Re-warm claw meat gently in a covered skillet. Place on top of each soufflé just before serving. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

What to Serve