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Polenta Soufflé and Salad

James Carrier
Yield Makes 4 servings
Notes: You can also bake these soufflés in 12 muffin cups (2 1/2 in. wide, 1/3-cup capacity); butter the cups and dust lightly with grated parmesan cheese (1/4 cup total), then fill cups, mounding batter slightly. Bake as directed (step 5). Ease the baked soufflés free with a thin knife, tip them out of the pan, and serve hot (3 per serving). If making up to 1 day ahead, let cool (in soufflé dishes or out of muffin cups); reheat several at a time in a microwave oven on full power (100%) until steaming, 1/2 to 1 minute for each batch.

Ingredients

  • About 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • About 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • About 8 cups rinsed, crisped butter lettuce leaves
  • Mushroom dressing
  • Cambozola fondue
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Nutrition Information

  • calories 700
  • caloriesfromfat 59 %
  • protein 31 g
  • fat 46 g
  • satfat 26 g
  • carbohydrate 42 g
  • fiber 5.7 g
  • sodium 2035 mg
  • cholesterol 320 mg

How to Make It

  1. Butter 4 soufflé dishes (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-cup size) and dust with the parmesan cheese.

  2. In a 3- to 4-quart pan, mix milk with polenta and 3/4 teaspoon salt; add 1/4 cup butter, cut into chunks. Stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils, then reduce heat to medium and stir until polenta is thick enough to hold a clean path for a few seconds when spoon is drawn across bottom of pan, 8 to 10 minutes; remove from heat.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, with a mixer on high speed, whip egg whites until they hold distinct, moist peaks.

  4. Stir baking powder into polenta, then add egg yolks and stir to mix well. Add about 1/4 of the egg whites and stir to mix. Fold polenta mixture into remaining egg whites. Spoon batter equally into soufflé dishes. Set dishes slightly apart in a shallow 10- by 15-inch pan.

  5. Bake in 375° regular or convection oven until soufflés are well browned, 30 to 40 minutes. Set each on a plate and mound lettuce leaves beside the dish. Spoon warm mushroom dressing equally onto lettuce. Spoon cambozola fondue equally over soufflés and salads; sprinkle with chives. Add salt to taste.