Sous Vide Souffle / Jamón Ibérico / Légumes Parisienne

posted in: Cooking, Savory | 29

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If sustainable chicken butchering wasn’t Food Ninja enough for you (one week left to enter the Food Ninja contest-do it::), how about giving water-bathed soufflés a whirl? This is a “soufflé” in the most hypermodern sense of the word. In other words, this aint your grandma’s souffle. It earmarks the fruits of my recent experimentation with egg whites and sous vide. It’s no secret I’m an unabashed fool for all things uova, but I was really more of a yolk kind of a girl- until now. Now I’m enjoying a renaissance of my appreciation for albumen and this is the culmination of my experimental accomplishments. I got the concept from the Spanish chef Raphael Peña, however I altered times, temperatures and ingredients so much (after preparing the dish numerous times) I am going to share my recipe.

But first I’m going to tantalize you with the sheer genius of this dish and assure you that if you make it, you’ll be licking not only your chops, but your plate, your neighbor’s plate, and maybe even some stray egg you spot on your neighbor’s upper lip. That sounds like one heckuva sexy party, but then, eggs are just sexy like that, no? It’s probably because they are the primordial origin of life, and I guess there is something inherently sexual about that. Yep, eggs are the ultimate aphrodisiac in my book, although I realize that sounds borderline cuckoo.  Remember key parties? I propose sous vide soufflé parties instead, if you’re into that sort of thing, which I’m not, for the record.

Enough blather- what is that damn frothy concoction, you ask? Well it’s an egg yolk nestled into a pillow of stiff egg whites then topped with more egg white so the yolk is a hidden surprise inside the billowy cloud. It sits atop seasonal Parisienned vegetables, Jamón Ibérico and cream. Can you imagine anything more decadent? I can, actually. AS SOON as truffle (only Alba white for this girl) season hits full steam- it’s supposed to be a good one this year- I will be shaving a heaping lot on top.

Sous Vide Souffle on Parisienne Vegetables and Jamón Ibérico

  • Serves 4 and takes 1 hour (more if you are a slow vegetable Parisienner)

For the vegetables & Jamón:

  • ¼ lb chopped Jamón Ibérico (available in Seattle at Metropolitan Market)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 medium beets (red or golden), cut into Parisienne balls with a Parisienne scoop
  • 2 parsnips, cut into Parisienne balls with a Parisienne scoop
  • ½ delicata squash, cut into Parisienne balls with a Parisienne scoop
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into Parisienne balls with a Parisienne scoop
  • (optional) 1 cup frozen organic peas
  • ¼ c heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
These are Parisienne balls. You could always just chop 'em instead.
Parisienne balls (could always just chop 'em instead)

For the egg soufflé:

  • 4 eggs (I use duck) separated
  • 1 tsp salt

To prepare the soufflés:

1. Heat your sous vide supreme or immersion circulator to 156°F. Establish the mise en plus for the eggs, as you want to work quickly. You will need four double-layered sheets of clingfilm slightly larger than a standard piece of paper, a 3” round cutter (approx), a stand mixer or hand beaters, kitchen twine, and either a half pan (if you have a sous vide supreme) or something small and heavily weighted that you can tie your souffles to (if you are using an immersion circulator). For the sous vide supreme method, be sure your water level is high enough that when you place a half pan inside the supreme (should fit perfectly), it just touches the water.

This half pan fits perfectly in the SVS to keep floating objects immersed.
half pan fits perfectly in the SVS to keep floating objects immersed

2.  Beat egg whites and salt to stiff peaks. Place the cutter on a flat surface and lay one sheet of clingfilm over it, making a depression in the film where the cutter is. Spoon beaten egg white into the depression until the cutter is nearly full.

Cutter lined with clingfilm filled with stiff egg white.
cutter lined with clingfilm filled with stiff egg white

Gently place the egg yolk on top of the white.

egg yolk gently placed on bed of white
yolk rests on bed of white

Spoon just enough white over the yolk to cover it.

covered with white
covered with white

Gather the clingfilm as though it is a satchel, and tie it tightly just at the top of the egg white so you have a little beggar’s purse.


Quickly repeat for remaining eggs. (For immersion circulator method, tie your beggar’s purses around the heavy objects so they will remain immersed in the water bath.)

beggar's purse
beggar's purse

3. Drop the soufflés in the water bath (for sous vide supreme, cover with half pan so that pan keeps soufflés immersed, then fill half pan with water for stability). SET A TIMER for 24 minutes.  Turn the oven on broil.

4. Once 24 minutes has elapsed, remove the purses from the water bath, quickly and carefully untie them, and place them tie side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet, taking care not to rip the soufflé (a small rubber spatula works well here).

5. Place them on medium rack in oven under broiler and WATCH CAREFULLY. When the soufflé just begins to brown at the top, remove from oven. This could be anywhere from 2-4 minutes. You do not want to overcook or your yolk will lose its runniness.

this is a version made on a different day to show the browning you're looking for
version made a different day to show the browning you want

To prepare the vegetables:

  1. While the soufflés are in the water bath, blanch each vegetable separately in boiling, heavily-salted water until it is crisp tender. Approx 3 minutes for the beets, for the fennel it’s more like 30 seconds, and everything else is somewhere in between.  Remove the vegetables to individual ice baths.
  2. In a large sauté pan, render the Jamón until it is nearly crisp. Add the butter and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the remaining vegetables and sauté for an additional 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cream and adjust the seasonings.

To serve:

  1. Place a mound of vegetables in the center of a plate or shallow bowl. You can use a round cutter to keep the vegetables in order if you want a nice presentation.
  2. Gently place soufflés atop the vegetables. The real drama happens when you cut into a soufflé and the yolk comes gushing out, coating the vegetables.
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29 Responses

  1. Great idea, I can’t wait to experiment with this!

  2. amazing information well appreciated your process to achieve results in Fine dining gastronomy

  3. @Daniel, if you wanted to do it that way I would suggest cooking them sous vide, but not broiling them until right before service. That way you’d have a quick chance to rewarm them and I don’t think they’d wilt too much in the interim between sv’ing them and broiling them. Another consideration would be how many you’re planning to make, as you’d have a hard time cramming too many of them in the water bath if you were doing more than 10, I’d say.

  4. This looks incredible. Question though: if I want to serve this during a large dinner party.. how long do the souffles maintain their texture after the broiler? Can I prep in advance then serve say an hour later? Let’s assume the veggies will be freshly blanched so the dish isn’t completely lukewarm?

  5. Yup! This is Ninja!!

    I always leave your blog hungry and wishing I could go to your place for dinner.

  6. Those eggs are incredibly beautiful. The runny yolk oozing from the cloud of egg whites are sexy and sensual. I’m having a moment with this post. Brilliant!

  7. Genius! I already love all things eggy and am more of a yolk girl also. I’ve even attempted a souffle or two in my life and while good, I always missed the runny yolk. I guess you just solved my problem – thanks! Now I just have to find an immersion circulator to borrow… :)

    Linda Reply:

    @riceandwheat, Give it a whirl in a temp controlled pot on the stove- it just may work:)

  8. WOW! I am really impressed! Love that there is a hidden runny yolk inside! I want.

    Linda Reply:

    @Kelly @ EvilShenanigans, I am pretty sure hidden egg yolks are the answer to all great problems in life.

  9. Every time I hear about the Seattle food scene, I always bristle a little and think to myself, ‘it has to be overrated’. Then I see stuff like this. Things I would just have never even remotely considered. and it just loos so. Damned. GOOD. I guess I’ll just sit back and let y’all lead the way and I’ll happily follow in the wake …

    Linda Reply:

    @Rich, you are holding your own in an awesome way tho- that croque madame looks fantastico.

  10. I want to eat that dish SO bad. You don’t even know.

  11. Awesomeness! I need to save up for a sous vide machine.

  12. I’m going to show this to Ludo. I bet he’ll think it’s awesome.

    Linda Reply:

    @marisa, ooh, a mainline to Ludo Lefebvre- supercool.

    marisa Reply:

    just a way for me to fuck with chef dan since he would be the one figuring how to keep the yolk intact while he’s souffleing dessert from across the kitchen:)

  13. Wow. Dazzling. And all kinds of fun new kitchen equipment to shop for.

    Linda Reply:

    @Janice, since it’s a relatively short time in water, you may even get away with doing it in a pot on the stove, of course, new equipment shopping is the best.

  14. Way cool! Could you use a torch instead of the broiler for a more controlled finish?

    Linda Reply:

    @Michael Natkin, it was discussed:) My puny torch didn’t quite congeal it enough for the right texture, but if you have a high-intensity one, or a heat gun, maybe, would work. I’d be interested to see if you experiment with it.

  15. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chef John, Linda M Nicholson and shirley, Linda M Nicholson. Linda M Nicholson said: REVISED (no exclamation marks now, so I'll have to swear instead) Fucking Amazeballs Souffle: […]

  16. @Matt, it comes out a little clingy and slightly, hmmm, moist(?), from the water bath, so my torch wasn’t quite enough to solidify if entirely, hence the broil. The original concept recipe actually has you cook it in a 400 degree oven, which I found excessive for the yolk. This was my happy medium. I bet if your torch was really powerful it would work, or one of those heat guns Achatz uses… now you’ve got me pondering:)

    Matt Reply:

    @Linda, From the look at how delicate it is I figured the less it is moved about the better.

  17. Yum. Could step 5 be done with a torch instead, or is there some additional cook time, other than just browning it, needed for the magic to happen ?

  18. This is incredible. But I expect NO LESS from you. You are a fine example of culinary brilliance, my friend. I’m ALWAYS in awe.

    And that just looks delicious. Can you come over and bring me some for breakfast?! HAH!

    Linda Reply:

    @Jackie Baisa, I’ll do you one better and make it for dinner sometime soon. Are you done constraining your consumption? Let me know when’s good:)

  19. wow, uber creative! your recipes are always so impressive. this is also the only time i’ve found runny yolks sexy, but you’ve managed to do it!

    Linda Reply:

    @Brie, I am so glad I could make runny yolks sexy for you, I guess a small part of me gets that they aren’t totally heartthrobby to the majority of us:)

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