Doubled baked mussel souffle with parsley sauce
( SERVES 4 )
By double baking souffles, you are practically guaranteed success. Although the soufflés will look a bit sad to begin with, the second baking will bring them back to life, all puffy and golden.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Clean and beard the mussels, discarding any with broken shells.
- Place the mussels in a deep saucepan with a splash of water, cover with a lid and steam for 3-4 minutes - just long enough for the shells to open.
- Remove each mussel from its shell, then strain the stock through a sieve, and reserve. Chop the mussels. You should have about 1 cup.
- In a separate saucepan melt the butter over a low heat, then stir in the flour and cook it until a sandy texture develops.
- Add 100ml of reserved mussel stock to the milk, then gradually add to the saucepan, stirring until it is smooth. Cook until it thickens - about 10 minutes.
- Separate the eggs so you have four yolks and five whites reserved.
- Beat in the chopped mussels, 4 egg yolks and mustard, remove from the heat and season with the salt and pepper.
- This base mixture can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- When you are ready to make the soufflé, butter and flour 4 soufflé ramekins and place them in a deep roasting dish.
- Whisk the five egg whites until they resemble soft peaks, then tip half of the whites onto the mussel mixture.
- Using a metal spoon, cut the whites into the mixture, rotating the bowl as you go. Add the remainder of the whites, folding them in carefully.
- The mixture should look light and bubbly. Quickly divide the mixture between the prepared ramekins.
- Place the roasting dish in the centre of the oven and pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the oven and allow them to cool before turning them out.
- The soufflés can be prepared ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring the white wine to the boil in a small saucepan, then continue cooking until it has reduced by half.
- Add the cream and parsley, then bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Place the soufflés in a shallow ovenproof dish and spoon the sauce over the top.
- Return the soufflés to a 180C oven for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and thickened.