Ham And Asparagus Surprise
|Lean cooked ham||1⁄2 Pound, finely ground / chopped to make 1 1/2 cups|
|Asparagus tips||18 , parboiled in salted water until barely tender and drained|
|Butter||3 Tablespoon, softened|
|Freshly grated parmesan cheese||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Thick white sauce||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Freshly ground black pepper||To Taste|
Grease a 1 1/2-quart [1 1/2-liter] souffle dish generously with the butter and dust the inside with 4 tablespoons [60 ml.] of the grated cheese.
Mix together thoroughly the ham, the white sauce, the remaining cheese and the egg yolks.
Season the mixture with a little pepper.
Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form.
Fold a quarter of the whites into the ham mixture until well combined, then very gently fold in the remainder.
Do not overmix.
Arrange six of the asparagus tips fanwise in the bottom of the souffle dish, and pour in a third of the souffle mixture.
Continue with two more layers each of the asparagus and souffle mixture.
Put the dish in a preheated 375° F. [190° C] oven, turn the heat down to 350° F. [180° C] and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.