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Crab Souffle

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Serves: 4-6
3 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing
25g / 1 oz dried breadcrumbs
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp mustard powder
25g / 1 oz plain flour
225ml / 8 fl oz milk
50g / 1 3/4 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
3 eggs, separated
225g / 8 oz fresh crab meat, thawed if frozen
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Generously grease a 1.5litre / 2 3/4pint souffle dish. Add the breadcrumbs and shake around the dish to coat completely, shaking out any excess. Set aside on a baking sheet.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Then add the mustard powder and flour and continue stirring for another minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly, until smooth. Increase the heat slightly and bring slowly to the boil, stirring constantly. Simmer gently for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Let cool slightly.

Lightly beat in the egg yolks, then fold in the crab meat, chives, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg whites in a large, clean, grease free bowl until they hold stiff peaks. Add a large spoonful of the egg whites to the crab mixture and fold together to slacken. Add the remaining egg whites and fold together carefully but thoroughly. Spoon into the prepared dish.

Cook in a preheated oven, 200ºC / 400ºF / Gas Mark 6, for 25 minutes until well risen and golden. Serve immediately.

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