IMBB #20 Pork Crackle and Asparagus Soufflé

pork crackle and asparagus souffle

, for those who don’t know, is the French word for breast. A fact I constantly marvel at. Who can look at these delicate treats without recalling Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People with Lady Liberty’s soft orbs swelling out of their restrictions? Who indeed? And who also would have thought that me, a man of 36, had not yet mastered such delights. It is true.

Now I’m not going to tell you how to make one. You should have a cook book that explains how to make a savoury one and if you don’t, then I can’t, in good faith, be an enabler.

The idea was to go to the grower’s market and see what was fresh looking and use that as a base. In the mean time I’d bought some pork belly for the mains, and left with the skin, thought I could do something with it. What goes nicely with pork? Asparagus. Think of asparagus wrapped in bacon. Yes.

The skin gets scored and then covered with oil and salt and crisped to a crackle. Then it’s chopped up into small pieces. I was thinking here of the nice Turkish Delight souffle they do at Jackson’s but instead have little bits of crunchy porky interest. Marking, in a way, the transition of pub snacks, as a marker on the road of life.

souffle ingredients

Things to know about this base. Seven thick asparagus are trimmed at the tough end and peeled. I removed and set aside the top parts as a garnish . Boil the asparagus in salted water until soft without being soggy. Chop into small pieces. Cook further in butter and a splash of walnut oil. Add this to your base, which should be a well combined white sauce of butter, flour, milk and the eggs yolks. In the interests of time, this can be made earlier and reheated when needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the 5 egg whites. Lots of things can go wrong here. Make sure there’s no yolk in there. Cracking the eggs into one container and then transferring to another will save you having to chuck out five eggs and starting again. Use a bowl that is immaculately clean. Ive heard talk of copper bowls preventing over-whisking but you have to ask yourself, treat the cause or treat the symptom? It should go nice and glossy and if there’e the slightest trace of graininess. Stop. Working quickly, mix a third in with the base to loosen it and then carefully fold in the rest of the whites to get a good mix without losing volume.

The ramekins need to be rubbed thoroughly with butter, refrigerated until hard, and then rub with more butter. Fill to within a finger’s breadth of the top, drop some pieces of pork craackle in, and place in a 210C oven.

The recipe I had was for one large souffle and the total time for this would have been 30 minutes. I stopped at 20 but it was a little overdone. The bind is that if you open the oven too early to check, the souffle can collapse. I’d estimate around 15 minutes for single ramekins.

Rush to the table, save one for a super quick pic, and serve with the ends cooked in butter.

It was nice. Taste a little on the subtle side and maybe it needed a little something else. The porkiness of the crackle, provided localised interest, but didn’t travel far. It was nice and airy but really, I’d enjoy well made scrambled eggs better.

braised pork

The rest of the meal, for the visitation of his purpleness of Brisvegas, was a pork belly/pork-chop and cabbage braise served with celeriac-potato-sweet potato-jerusalem artichoke mash. Maybe I’ll explain it all later. It was topped with deep fried strips of parsnip. A trick I nicked from work. To finish, Kate took time out to redeem herself of her murdacious evilness to make a deeelicious rhubarb and apple crumble.

Thank you hosty: Kitchen Chick: IMBB 20: Has my blog fallen?




  1. deborah’s avatar

    And who also would have thought that, me, a man of 36, had not yet mastered such delights. It is true.

    Ahem, do you speak of the souffle or the breast here Spiceman?

    Thank you for choosing pork crackle. It was only Saturday evening that I was reunited with a big slab of it, thanks to an Uncle who made a nice bit of pork for dinner. Oh, that fatty crackle had many of us swirling around like hare krishna’s would if they eerr… ate pork.

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    Ha! I can undo a triple hook bra by telekinesis alone!

    You’re welcome. They don’t call it crackle for nothing and as they say- pork is cheap.

  3. porkysaffron’s avatar

    Be careful girls

    who ya calling cheap?

  4. Anthony’s avatar

    Worry not, I only use my powers for good.

    Nobody but is Miranda Devine always this much of a tool?

  5. deborah’s avatar

    Argh, thats a loaded question there Spiceone. The answer yes… but as for the topic… I am still on the fence, however it is slowly cracking under the weight gain from eating a whole damn bar of PB Kit Kat because the colourful packaging and advertising advertising everywhere my poor excuse for will power just cannot say NO-NO-NO! I blame my mother.

    Damn fascist foodies… when will they realise parents are to blame.

    Now get me some crackle woman.

  6. Anthony’s avatar

    I concede though, that large corporations and free cashed up individuals are powerless to prevent themselves from spreading bullshit.

    Manthatcooks Inc. cannot but help tell you that pork crackle contains essential nutrient transporting fats, hydrating salts, and NO sugar! Tell that to your Mum when she says no.
    Spiceblog, you learn something new every day.

  7. Lord Sedgwick’s avatar

    “Ha! I can undo a triple hook bra by telekinesis alone!”

    Well, that’s something you deliberately and mendaciously withheld when you were interviewed by the reporter from the Age for the article that appeared yesterday. The whole world needs to know this, not just we four readers of your blog. It’s full bloody disclosure or we’ll have an FOI intervention order up your jacksie before you can say “Will Robinson. Danger, Will Robinson”.

    (Speaking of jacksies, if the tightarses of the Age didn’t send you a Gunn’s processed old tree growth forest version of the article, give us an email cooee and we’ll send you a copy in a plain brown paper wrapper … after all we don’t want dodgy tripe like that compromising the calm, dignified and legless ambiance the vice regal port’n’cigars annexe.)

  8. Lord Sedgwick’s avatar

    “A fact I constantly marvel at.”

    Were we a grammatical pedant, rather than a saint whose forgiveness passeth all understanding (well , for the right price it can), we might point out the deleterious effect the use of the dangling preposition can have on young kiddies, and Brendan Nelson. The term “scarred for life” comes readily to mind.

    Cease and desist this verray instant, or we shall have your guts for garters … or haggis, whichever comes first, as Frankie Howerd said to both the bishop and the actress.

  9. Anthony’s avatar

    Your Lordship

    Lovely to have you over, we’ve been missing you out and about. To think, my blog being read about from some comforatble leather chair in the gentlemen’s clubs of Melbourne. Modesty prevented me mentioning it in a family newspaper and besides, have to keep a few gems for long time clients of spiceblog.

    I’ll see if I can pick one up from the camel station today, thank for your offer. I should remind other readers that you were responsible for such innovations on this blog as pictures, comments and umlaits.

    The shame. I think of dangling and I think of Brendan’s dangly earring before he found no piece of social reactionism too ridiculous. I’m praying he’s touched by a noodly appendage.

  10. Kate’s avatar

    Ohh errr! The Age! If it was yesterday’s issue does that mean it was in the Epicure section?

    On Miranda Devine: mostly a twit. On that issue, I fall into the camp which suggests junk food advertising to children is not good, but we’re not going to see the end of it anytime soon. The solution would seem to be edumacation, but god knows how.

    And coming from a family of less-than-svelte folk, I know how important family eating/exercising patterns are to one’s own weight, though parent-blame isn’t a game I care to play.

    Anyway, when marketers talk about the ‘pester power’ of two year olds and building brand loyalties for life, I want to take them out the back and beat them with an oversized Mars Bar.

  11. Lord Sedgwick’s avatar

    “Ohh errr! The Age! If it was yesterday’s issue does that mean it was in the Epicure section?”

    Kate, as some spaniards are want to say (but we wouldn’t), “Got it in Juan.”

    “I think of dangling and I think of …”

    Well, we think of our post-pierced Brendan and idly ponder … “If I said you had a beautiful noodly appendage, would you hold it against me?”

    A little bit country, a little bit rock, a little bit folk, a little bit Tibetan throat but mostly a little bit too awful to contemplate.

  12. Anthony’s avatar

    Admittedly prevention is better than epicure but I’ll have to settle for that. Onwards to the local Oriental Post this friday. Tony Jones call me.

    A giant picnic, it’s got knobbly bits.

  13. Anonymous’s avatar

    she has lovely Souffles?

  14. Anonymous’s avatar

    or perhaps she has hu munga Souffles?

  15. Anthony’s avatar

    The two are not laways mutually exclusive up to a point.

  16. Miss L’s avatar

    Umm… soufflé isn’t french for breasts. It means blown (from ‘souffler – to blow’). Kinda makes sense, doesn’t it? The noun souffle can also mean ‘breath’, which could have been the source of confusion. If you want breasts in french, you’re looking for ‘seins’.


  17. Anthony’s avatar

    Merci Miss L

    An interesting theory but perhaps you’ve never waited 90 minutes in vain for Jean Seberg to take her top off.

  18. Kitchen Chick’s avatar

    Having never watched a Jean Seberg movie I really can’t speak for myself, but perhaps you speak of the act of holding one’s breath in vain for 90 minutes only to… deflate in disappointment? How, err, souffle-like.

    But that aside, asparagus and pork — two great foods that should go together. So what would you add to the souffle to bring out the flavor?

  19. Anthony’s avatar

    Hey howdy hosty.

    Erm yes deflate.

    I was thinking apples.

  20. JF MICHEL’s avatar

    Hello. I was looking for a soufflé recipe, and I found your site. French is my mother tongue. Listen, I don’t know who told you that soufflé was the French word for breast, but it’s not. Souffle (without accent on the “e”) is the French word for breath. Not exactly the same, and probably less inspirational, but that’s the way it is.


  21. Anthony’s avatar

    Merci Beaucoup for your patient explantion JF

    I’mk not sure of the French word for facetious but sometimes in Australia for comedic effect we deliberately make mistakes. It’s not a very clever thing to do but it passes the time : )

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