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Potato Soufflé

Yield 8 to 10 servings
Known in Italy as sformato (sfor-MAH-toa), this dish can be a savory pie, pudding, custard, or soufflé. Our potato version is fairly dense and soufflélike with a crusty top. Cut it into wedges, and add a ladleful of gravy.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup soft breadcrumbs (homemade; see Note), toasted
  • Garnish: fresh thyme

How to Make It

  1. Cook potato in boiling salted water to cover 25 minutes or until tender; drain well. Return potato to pan; mash with a potato masher.

  2. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; cool.

  3. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add onion, and sauté 10 minutes or until tender and browned.

  4. Stir together mashed potato, onion, white sauce, beaten egg yolks, and next 4 ingredients. Mash with potato masher until smooth.

  5. Butter a 9" x 3" springform pan. Add 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, tilting to coat bottom and sides of pan. Freeze 1 minute to set crumbs. Spoon potato filling into pan. Top with remaining 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.

  6. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 50 minutes or until set. Cool 15 minutes before removing sides of pan. Garnish, if desired. Serve warm.

  7. Note: Make fresh breadcrumbs easily by tearing a few pieces from a French baguette. Pulse bread in a food processor or mini chopper until you get coarse crumbs.

Christmas with Southern Living 2001