Because cave people really dig souffles—and Doritos

Kat Kinsman
Updated: May 25, 2018

Let's just get this out of the way so as to avoid disappointment and anger. There aren't actual Doritos in this dish, and it's not a super-fancy souffle because the egg whites aren't whipped separately. (I mean, you can if you want to, but it's not necessary in case you'd rather be doing something else with your time.) What it is is delicious, especially when you—like me—have a gut condition that impedes your consumption of actual Doritos (which you could just crush up and use instead of the seasoning if you are not similarly hemmed in). I came up with this recipe because I yearn for Doritos with every cell of myself, but currently have a diet restricted to just a few foods that won't agitate my digestive system. That sort of thing makes you hella creative.   

So do leftovers. I absolutely loathe wasting food, and I inevitably roast too much winter squash, so the previous night's side dish is repurposed by mashing it (or pureeing, if you're feeling fussy) and whipping it furiously with eggs to steam up puffily in the Instant Pot. The faux-Doritos seasoning gets a cheesy tanginess from nutritional yeast, citric acid, and tomato powder that you can make at home in your own oven.

These Paleo-friendly souffles are hecking impressive when they emerge from the steamy depths of the Instant Pot, but they're pretty great once they've calmed down and deflated, too. That goes for all of us.

Instant Pot Paleo Faux-Doritos (Sort-Of) Souffle

Ingredients

For the seasoning:
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon tomato powder (recipe below)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (OK, I got fancy and used Aleppo pepper)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon citric acid (optional) or several drops of lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon annatto (optional)

For the tomato powder:
6 ounce can tomato paste

For the souffle:
4 large eggs
2 cups mashed, roasted winter squash (kabocha works especially well)
Butter or ghee (for greasing the ramekins)

Directions

Step 1. Make the tomato powder: If you can find tomato powder, seriously, just sue that. If not, Using a rubber spatula, spread tomato paste onto a baking sheet as thinly as possible. Bake in a 200°F oven for 2-3 hours, checking every 20-30 minutes to make sure that the paste isn't burning. Scrape and re-spread paste to hasten the drying process. When the sauce is thoroughly dry and crumbly, remove from heat, cool, and grind to a powder in a food processor or a spice grinder. Store leftover tomato powder in a sealed container.

Step 2. Make the seasoning: Combine all ingredients in a food processor or sealed shaker until thoroughly combined. Note: Some citric acid is not technically Paleo since it's made using corn, so make sure to do your homework, or just add a few drops of lemon juice. Seal any extra seasoning in a lidded container or bag and deploy whenever you'd care to bring joy to your life. It's especially great on roasted cauliflower.

Step 3. Using a blender or the mightiness of your hands, whisk or beat 4 eggs until they are frothy. Working 1/2 cup at a time, whisk or beat in the roasted squash until thoroughly incorporated, then whisk in as much seasoning as seems reasonable to you. Note: If you would like to adjust the recipe, just use 1 egg per 1/2 cup of squash mash. 

Step 4. Butter or ghee-smear 4 1-cup ramekins (if you're not a fancy ramekin person, individual muffin tins or mugs are fiiiiine) and spoon the squash mixture into them, then sprinkle more seasoning on top. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into the Instant Pot, put the steamer trivet in place, and put the ramekins on top of it. Depending on the side of your ramekins, you may need to work in batches.

Step 5. Seal the pot, hit the "steam" button, and find something to do for a little while. Interpretive dance is good. So are cartoons. When the cycle has finished, CAREFULLY release the steam valve, open the pot, and eat the souffles as soon as humanly possible so they don't fully deflate. If they do, they're less visually impressive, but still ridiculously delicious.

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