Mashed Potato Souffle
I know, I know, if you're like most people you hear the word 'Souffle' and the mere thought of actually making one of the darned things is enough to make you break into a cold sweat, develop a migraine and retire to a darkened room until everybody forgets they even mentioned such a thing...
I have to say I'm not entirely sure how they got this reputation.
Historically, I know from my French ancestors, that a souffle is largely what thrifty French housewives did with the leftovers... much like a casserole. There's a couple of tricks... they should always be cooked and served straight out of the oven, and never, ever, under any circumstances, do you greese the casserole dish... if it can't hang on to the sides, it can't climb. `
The mashed potato souffle is a provincial version, and is much easier and less intimidating.
It won't rise to dizzying hieghts, but trying to get them way high is more an American thing I understand... regardless...
Preheat oven to 325
2 cups of warm mashed potatoes (instant ones are actually fine. This is actually the only thing my mother would even consider instant mashed potatoes for... Leftover ones are good too, just microwave till their warm)
a couple of slices of sandwich ham, chopped.
a chopped green onion (or scallion if we're gonna get snotty)
1/4 cup shredded cheese
*As stated before, any leftovers will work - veggies, meats or what-have-you... just don't add more than 1/2 cup total.
6 eggs, separated
Add ham, onions and cheese ( or what-have-you) to mashed potatoes. Mix well.
Beat the six egg yolks till light and frothy, then combine with the mashed potatoes.
Beat the six egg whites to soft peaks, then fold into the potatoes. Pour into an ungreased casserole or souffle dish and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, it should be lightly browned on top. Serve immediately,
Yield 4 to 6 servings, depending on how hungry they are...
and here's a soufle in a classic episode of Mary Tyler Moore...
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