gruyère and thyme sweet potato soufflé

I almost titled this recipe election sorrows soufflé, but decided that I did not want to taint a perfectly delicious soufflé with the mark of the 2016 presidential election. However, if there were a savory soufflé that both major political parties could get behind, it would be this one. I mean, it’s an egg fluffed sweet potato frolicked with gruyère, thyme, and finished off with a crispy layer of parmesan goodness. ‘Nough said.

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Did I mention this would make a delightful addition to your Thanksgiving dinner? Though one of it’s most refreshing qualities is that it’s not covered with marshmallows, it is different enough that you could enjoy it alongside your traditional sweet potato recipe and not bat an eye.

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GRUYÈRE AND THYME SWEET POTATO SOUFFLÉ

feeds 8 as a side

1 3/4 lbs orange sweet potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated (1T is for greasing dish)
2.5 ounces freshly grated parmesan
1 1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion (roughly one medium onion)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup whole milk
3.5 ounces grated gruyère
6 large eggs, separated

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spear your sweet potatoes with a fork. Cook sweet potatoes at 400 degrees F for 1 hour. Set aside until cool enough to handle. When cool, scape meat off skin with a large spoon and purée in blender or food processor. Set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter and brush inside surface of a 2 quart soufflé dish (or deep casserole dish), sprinkle ¼ cup of the grated parmesan evenly over surface of your dish.

Melt remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and sauté for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add flour and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Next, add the whole milk slowly (about 1/3 cup at a time), and after all the milk is added, simmer for 5 minutes stirring frequently (roux will thicken up).

Remove from heat and add gruyère; stir until melted. Add sweet potato and mix well. Next, add egg yolks, one at a time, stirring after each addition. Taste batter and add salt or pepper to your preference.

Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Fold into sweet potato mixture. Pour into prepared dish and sprinkle remainder of parmesan cheese on top. Cook at 375 degrees F for 50 minutes, until top of soufflé is dark golden brown.

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