Here at Naturally Speaking, we’re obsessed with all things natural, organic, and good for the environment. Every week, we strive to bring you the latest news on the “green” front, whether it be that covetable new line of eco-friendly shoes, or the latest Alice Waters cookbook. This fixation on all things natural includes a particular love for food and recipes comprised of fresh, seasonal ingredients.
We’re getting off to a delicious start with this seasonally appropriate recipe for Crab Souffles with Spring Salad. What better time of year than April, with it’s focus on growth and renewal, to start cooking with local greens like the fresh asparagus that’s called for in this dish. The recipe is from one of our favorite online foodie destinations, The Jewels of New York, a site started by two lifelong friends and New Yorkers with a focus on seasonal recipes and amazing holiday cookies (they’ve been featured on Martha Stewart to boot–a legitimate stamp of approval, if I’ve ever seen one).
Try it out and tell us what you think:
For Crab Soufflés
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing soufflé dish
1 cup lump crab meat
1/2 cup shallots, sliced
1 large tarragon sprig
1 large thyme sprig
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large egg yolks
5 large egg whites
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan, plus more for dusting soufflé dish
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 375°
In a medium saucepan over moderate heat bring milk, sprig of tarragon, garlic, shallots and thyme to a boil. Then remove from heat and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, allowing herbs to steep in milk.
Lightly butter four 1 cup soufflé molds and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Tilt the molds letting cheese coat the bottom and sides, tap out any excess.
Using a mesh sieve, strain milk mixture. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Whisk in strained milk mixture, salt, pepper, cayenne, nutmeg and paprika. Cook, whisking constantly for 1 to 2 minutes until smooth and thick. Remove from heat. While constantly whisking, add in egg yolks one at a time. Whisk in crab meat, parmesan cheese and transfer to a large bowl.
Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and pinch of salt beating until stiff peaks form. Stir in one third egg whites into yolk mixture, then fold in the rest. Pour mixture into prepared molds and smooth the tops. Place soufflés in the middle of the oven and bake until puffed and browned, 20-25 minutes.
*Fresh lump crab meat purchased from Fish Tales, 191 Court St. Brooklyn, NY.
For Spring Salad with Lemon Tarragon Dressing
2 small red beets, cooked, peeled and sliced
2 small golden beets, cooked, peeled and sliced
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
1/2 pound snow peas
4 radishes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
zest of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
large bowl ice water
In a bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, tarragon, shallots, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Set aside. Bring stock-pot with salted water to a boil. In batches blanch the asparagus and snow peas until barely cooked through but still tender and crisp. Transfer and submerge into the ice water bath. Drain and pat the vegetables dry, set aside in large bowl. Add in radish, beets, salt and pepper. Dress with tarragon mixture as desired, toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes and serve.