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Ham Soufflé with Asparagus

  • 55 minutes
  • Difficult
  • Second Courses
This recipe features a perfect pair: ham and asparagus.

Ingredients: Per 6 servings

  • 1 lb prosciutto cotto (cooked ham)
  • 5 tablespoons bechamel
  • 3 ½ oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 7 egg whites
  • 7 oz asparagus tips
  • butter

Preparation:

Use a food processor to chop the lean meat of the prosciutto cut into pieces, then add 3 tbsp cold bechamel.

Pass the mixture through a sieve, collecting the puree in a bowl.
Add the remaining 2 tbsp of bechamel, grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and egg yolks.

Whip the egg white separately until they form stiff peaks and then fold them into the bowl with the other ingredients.

Butter individual soufflé molds and layer them with the soufflé batter and the asparagus tips until you run out of ingredients. Start and finish with a layer of soufflé batter.

Flatten off the top and cook in a bain marie in a 350° F for about 30 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately.

Food History

Bechamel is one of the most famous and commonly used base sauces in European cuisine. Originally made with milk, cream and beef stock, the recipe was codified for the first time in 1651 by the chef to King Louis XIV of France: François Pierre de La Varenne.
He published the recipe in his cookbook, “Le cuisinier français",  an essential text of French gastronomy, dedicating it to Louis de Béchamel, the marquis of Nointel, the court chamberlain to King Louis XIV, who, according to legend was the real inventor of this sauce.
In reality, however, this white sauce, a fundamental ingredient in many preparations, comes from “salsa colla”, a preparation that was already widespread in Tuscany and that was introduced to France by Catherine De’ Medici when, after marring Henry II of Orleans, moved to France, bringing with her a large part of her court, including her chefs.

Did you known that

Bechamel is as famous as it is due to a well-known aphorism in Italian: “It doesn’t require building an empire to go down in history: all it takes is inventing a sauce, take Béchamel for example!”

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