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what a kick!

Recipe: herbed popovers

I thought I was done with winter. I should have known better. It’s a good thing I only put my skis away mentally, because we have a foot of snow on the ground outside this morning and there is at least another foot coming today and tomorrow. The ski whore season is alive and she is kicking!


this would have been better back in march, but i’ll take it!



Luckily the snow held off until most of my appointments and engagements were done Thursday. I met up with Nichole and Manisha at noon to get some education at the Indian grocery store. I love Indian food, but I know very little about preparing it or even what the ingredients are. Time to remedy that, don’t you think? I especially like when I ask Manisha her opinion on such-and-such Indian (or Nepalese) restaurant in Boulder and she gives me her trademark “how do I say this politely?” look. I’m on it, girlfriend. I will study and learn :)

indian bitter melon – beautiful and *more* bitter than chinese bitter melon!



In the late afternoon I attended a very cool reception and talk at the university’s planetarium. It was an alumni function, but I was a guest of the hottest member of the department faculty. These alumni shindigs are full of white-haired people, so when we sat down with our friend (another guest of Jeremy’s) for the planetarium presentation, this elderly fellow leaned over to me and quipped, “I guess they allowed students for this presentation?” I looked around to see who he might be referring to before I realized he meant us. Hi-larious!

science on a sphere in the lobby – i’d love to have that in my living room

jeremy explains his recent discovery in the antennae galaxy



Yesterday felt like a Friday to me, especially since today (Friday) turned out to be a Big Dump Snow Day. It’s still coming down like nobody’s business, but Jeremy is already outside shoveling the drive. I’ll be out to pick up the second snow shovel in just a moment, but first, let’s talk about something important… Are you the type who avoids doing things you should (but don’t want to) do or are you the type who makes yourself do those things even though you really don’t want to? I fall into the latter group for most things because… well because shit needs to get done, people! *clap clap* That, and I *hate* avoiders. Jeremy and I even have a name for what they do: avoision. I really think it boils down to denial of reality, but whatevs. This is really directed at something a little more mundane.

I am not a brekkie kind of girl. I went for many years skipping breakfast because I just don’t like it. If you wait a few hours (or several if you rise early) it’s time for lunch and *that* my friends, is my favorite meal. But I found that cutting brekkie did not jive with competitive sports or intense physical training/activity. So I gave in. I treat breakfast like a chore – like brushing my teeth. If they had breakfast chow in the mornings, I would eat that. The only time I really cook breakfast is when we have guests visiting and that often evolves into brunch because I have limited brekkie recipes in my arsenal. Last month, Cathy of A Blithe Palate and Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness invited me to join a Cookbook Spotlight event on Gale Gand’s latest book: Gale Gand’s Brunch. My first reaction was, “nah…” but my little brain sergeant said, “You should expand your breakfast repertoire! Get off your butt and DO IT!”


i doode it



I received my complimentary copy in the post and quickly flipped through. There are a lot of lovely recipes (with equally beautiful photos) for little bites – my favorites for entertaining – and big bites. I also like that there is a good distribution of sweet and savory dishes throughout because I really loathe an all-sweets brunch/brekkie. I settled on test driving the herbed mini popovers because I actually own popover pans from eons ago and I rarely use them. So, the publishing company asked us not to reprint the recipes and that’s fine… I won’t. I will list the ingredients as 1) those cannot be copyrighted and 2) I think it would be assholey of me to rave about a recipe and not share it with you. That means you need to pay attention to my description here, okay?

simple ingredients



I whisked together the eggs and milk over a warm water bath until the temperature was around 70°F. I’m not sure if that has much bearing on the end result since I looked at a few other popover recipes and they didn’t call for similar steps.

whisking in the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and herbs)



Off the heat, I combined the dry ingredients into the liquid until they were barely mixed – like you do with quick breads.

sit for an hour on the kitchen table



My popover pans are for normal popovers. I don’t think they made mini-popover pans back in the day. The yield is supposed to be one to two dozen mini popovers, depending on the volume of your popover pans, but I wound up with six regular popovers (filled to 2/3 volume on the big ones, but 1/2 full if smaller) despite having buttered both of my pans. Don’t you hate that? Here’s the puzzling bit for me: my popover pans are non-stick, but I had to heat them in a hot (450°F) oven for ten minutes and then brush them with melted butter before pouring in the batter. The butter just beaded up and pooled at the bottom, so I’m not sure it really made a difference.

pouring the rested batter into the pans



Because I used large popover molds (yes, use muffin tins/pans if you don’t have popover molds), I let mine bake for the instructed 15 minutes, watching them puff up nicely through the closed oven door. I turned the oven down to 375°F to bake for another 10 minutes before they were browned. I’m assuming that mine takes 10 minutes instead of the lower end 5 minutes for smaller popovers.

browned



They smelled fantastic. I think next time I might try chives. The insides were hollow and moist and steam billowed out when I broke one open. The outer shell was delightfully crispy. It reminded me why I bought popover pans in the first place (because I love them). I didn’t even need to make any high-altitude adjustments! That is most bonus in my book.

had to try one fresh out of the pan



The cool thing about this recipe is that you can plan ahead and just mix up the batter the day before and store it covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to make popovers the next morning. These are great on their own or with a smear of butter.

brunch



Herbed Mini Popovers
from Gale Gand’s Brunch

2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 cup flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or savory herb
3 tbsps unsalted butter, melted

53 nibbles at “what a kick!”

  1. Macie says:

    I’ve never seen popover molds before! Those are really neat. How on earth do you fit all of these nifty gadgets in your kitchen? ;)

    Congrats on the late snow! I’m jealous :)

  2. Steph says:

    Savoury popovers!! That’s such a great idea. I don’t have a popover pan, but I guess my muffin one will have to do.

  3. Tartelette says:

    I feel the same way when my friend Bina takes me shopping and I pick up stuff and she gives me that look. I find it funny that my masala dabba (pice box) is on the counter top at all times now (you can see it next to the chef utensil thingie in the kitchen tour pics). Can’t wait to see what you make!!
    I am not a brekkie person either (used to though) but I could make a serious dent into those popovers.
    Cool pics from the exhibition! It’s hot that Jeremy is oh so very intelligent :)

  4. Kathy says:

    They look very tasty. I like light airy pops.

  5. Chocolate and Toast says:

    Drat, I’m going to have to dig out my popover pan, which I think is in the bottom of a large rubbermaid storage bin at the very back of the closet in the bedroom two staircases away from me. Blast you and your tantalizing descriptions and mouthwatering photos.

  6. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary says:

    Now that is breakfast. Give me a few of those babies and some butter and I’m good!

  7. Patricia Scarpin says:

    Jen, I have never tried popovers and these are tempting – what a wonderful breakfast treat!

    I had a laugh with you and Jeremy being taken as students – I used to get that when I worked as a teacher. :D

  8. Amy says:

    I loooooove popovers but never make them; I should really change that. Ooh, they look so steamy and delicious!! Oh, and: gorgeous photo of the indian bitter melon. Also: I want one of those earth sphere things in my living room too!! :)

  9. Kitt says:

    Ooh la la. I may have to beg Mom to give me her popover pan (I know she’s not using it). Sorry I missed you guys yesterday!

  10. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    Good grief the sphere would be so much fun in a big house entry. . . incredible fun!

    My dad always made popovers as I was growing up (actually still does today at 93) and always wrapped them in a cloak of difficulty and ritual (popovers & angel food cake). When I finally got around to trying them, I’ve never stopped.

    But this recipe through me. I’ve never seen one that did the double boiler thingie. They are on my list – who am I kidding, I really am thinking I’ll end up making 80% of the goodies in this book.

  11. kickpleat says:

    I love popovers but have never tried a savory one! I love the sound of it and while it’s sunny here on the west coast it’s not exactly warm, so these would make a wonderful breakfast.

  12. Kirsa says:

    these look amazing ! however, I take it popovers is some kind of bread ? is it me that is mistaken, or are they empty inside ?

  13. Rosa says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of snow! Here, everything is verdant green…

    What delightful popovers!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  14. Caitlin says:

    Wow, those look absolutely awesome. But that earth / science globe? I totally *need* one of those.

  15. Christine says:

    Haha, I love this mystery you have to solve to figure out the recipe. You’re making us think! That’s your daily brainxercise at urb.

  16. charlane says:

    sounds heavenly

  17. Pearl says:

    oh looks so delicate and perfect for brunch parties1

  18. Holly says:

    Those look ah-ma-zing! I can’t wait to get that book.

    I hate to admit this, but I am guilty of occassional avoison myself. It really depends on what it is for me. When I do that though, it is not my favorite way to be. For instance, I am currently avoiding a discussion with my Dr. about pregnancy. As in, I probably can’t ever go through it again without risking my life and the life of that baby.

    While I am avoiding I do get to deny reality a little longer. Anyway, I hate that I do it, and eventually I’ll just do what needs to be done, but I guess I’m just not quite there yet.

    I always greatly admire people that can just step up to the bar and get things done!

  19. Catastrophysicist says:

    I just got back from the bookstore, where the only cookbook I actually opened was this one. Must be some sort of sign or something. . .

  20. dawn says:

    I came this close to buying those popovers at williams sonoma literally 4 days ago! and now, of course, I’m regretting it as I see what you’ve created here :-(

  21. Steph says:

    Popovers with eggs, bacon and fruit sounds good right about now.

    So many super rich people waste money on things like fancy cars, supermodel ex-spouse alimony and DUIs. I’d rather have science in my living room, too. haha :)

  22. Pam says:

    Mmm….they look delicious – exactly like the ones in the book! I wanted to make them, but since I don’t have popover pans, I selected other recipes. Looks like you enjoyed the book as much as I did. :)

  23. Kristin says:

    One of my favorite breakfasts is leftovers! I’m not a breakfast person either. Haven’t had popovers since I worked in a restaurant that served them instead of bread. Yours are so pretty that I may have to see if I’m ready to eat them again. I try not to be an avoiser, which is why I made my mammogram appt as soon as the card came yesterday…or maybe it’s reading you & Cindy that made me do that.

  24. JessW says:

    I am sitting here trying to work crustic and avoision into a sentence together. Hmm, not working for me. :) However, those popovers are totally working for me: YUM!

  25. wendy says:

    ooh! I’ve never come across these before but they look delicious! do you think its okay to bake them in a mini muffin pan instead? (i’m pretty sure i wont find this type of mould in HK) :D

  26. Irene says:

    I’ve never had popovers before, but I think they are named delightfully and these look delicious. How did I miss these in the book? Oh yeah, I stopped on the apple cinnamon french toast page and stared at it, drooling, for about fifteen minutes. :)

  27. barbara says:

    This sounds very much like what we call Yorkshire Pudding and is usally served with rost beef and gravy.

    I didn’t realise you knew Cath at BP. She’s a real sweetie isn’t she.

  28. Mrs Ergül says:

    Geez! I have never seen popovers till now! The popover pans are so cute! Reminds me of boats!

    That part of the recipe is indeed weird. But good that it still worked even at 8500 ft!

    Btw, you’re making me jealous of all that snow you have!

  29. Graeme says:

    All that snow on the balcony railing! Did you run from one end yo the other, brushing it all off with your arm? Or does such regular snowfall dissipate such a thrill?

    You’re right about the sphere, that is awesome. They recently -or are about to- send a special kind of telescope into space, that is able to see through the dust, and shiz, and so getting clearer images of distant galaxies.

  30. Manggy says:

    Hee, there’s only one shop that sells popover molds here and they are hella expensive. But, since I read about them in that old 1960′s Betty Crocker cookbook, I’ve often wondered what they were like. This is sort of a retro moment for me! Awesome.
    I wouldn’t consider myself an avoider, but lately I find that there’s now this fear that sometimes cripples me. You’d be so disappointed, Jen, as I am in myself :( And I used to think I was pretty brave, too, but I guess it’s because I’ve never really failed before.

  31. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Those popovers might convince me that breakfast isn’t evil. I don’t like breakfast food (well, except for bacon, which is Food of the Gods). I always eat things for breakfast that repel my husband, like the leftover curry from the night before. I think I might give popovers a shot…could I serve them for dinner, with a roast beef, do you think?

  32. Fiona says:

    I recently finished reading a biography of Peter the Great (this is related, I swear). Apparently, while touring Europe near the end of his life, he found a globe the size of a room (and this was the 18th century, so that was probably pretty large), that had the continents, etc., on the outside and on the inside (you could step inside through a door) it had the night sky. And everything moved.

    He bought it and took it back to Russia and according to this (rather old) book, you can still see it on display there. So you’re not the first to want such an item, and I join you in thinking it would make a fabulous addition to a house. Of course, as a “student,” you’re probably too busy studying.

    Your popovers look beautiful. I have to remind myself not to eat popovers, though, because they always beckon me with their lovely crust and steamy insides but the truth is: I hate popovers. I have no idea what the problem is. I’ve always hated them. So I’ll enjoy these visually.

  33. manisha says:

    I *love* that these have no sugar in them! I don’t like all the sugary stuff that masquerades as breakfast foods. Ms. M and I are making these today. These are competing with igloo making out in the yard which must get done before the snow melts. We’re a-mixing before going out! And, we’re going to use cilantro because that is what I have.

  34. cindy says:

    not into breakfast either…i usually find food after i wake up nauseating, plus i’m a super grouchy morning girl.

    but, these would definitely get me out of bed in a more chipper mood. adding popover pan to the ever-expanding list…

  35. Andrea says:

    Yum, I love popovers. Mmm, maybe tonight will be roast beast night! I recently tried a plain version that you brush with butter & toss in cinnimon sugar after their done baking…those were enought to impress my mom into asking “where did you get these?”!

  36. White On Rice Couple says:

    Hey, was this whole post a snow shoveling avoision. The popovers are pretty damn cute, but I’m totally with you on the non-breakfast edge. Give me my coffee and tell me when it’s lunch time. We are getting better and can cook a mean breakfast for guests, and we have our few favs that we’ll fix for ourselves. Have fun skiing. No chance here, it’s about to hit the 90′s this weekend. Todd.

  37. manisha says:

    I sneaked some finely chopped hot green chillies into them and boy, were they good!

    I don’t have popover molds so I used my silicone mini muffin pan. They took 15 mins to cook and didn’t get golden brown or as nice and crusty as yours. I think metal makes a huge difference as does reading the instructions – cos I did 15 mins total at 375F instead of 15@450F + 10@375F. :-D I think these have a huge promise of being versatile enough to make in an aebleskiver pan on the stove.

  38. amy says:

    hiii! i dont have popovers molds here too! think i would try them using muffin pans or sth!lol

  39. Wend says:

    Absolutely idiot-proof!
    I added the butter to the egg and milk mixture (well, it was on the list) and then over-heated the mixture on the stove to the point where the eggs started to poach despite my stirring. I let the whole thing sit on the counter overnight, and had to skim off a crust in the morning, and then I put oil in the bottoms of my pre-heated muffin pans because I did not want to waste more precious butter on a failed project. But they are so good! granted, they did not puff as much as I think they could have, but they were light and fluffy and oily with a nice shell and lots of chives flavor.
    I’ll definitely do them again, but I’m not sure if I’ll use my way or your way, they were that good.

  40. RecipeGirl says:

    So beautiful! I’ve thought of getting popover pans many times while browsing at my favorite cooking store, but I always seem to come away with something else. I’ll definitely have to purchase them next time!

  41. Aran says:

    my friend jill who lives in woodland park was stuck at home for 3 days. she just left the house this morning. oh colorado will do that to you… big tease. but time well spent. delicious popovers!

  42. jaden says:

    brrrr!!!! shivers looking at the first pic! but really I do miss the snow. maybe next year will take kids somewhere to play in the snow.

  43. Hilda says:

    Avoision! a marriage of avoidance and aversion. My friend Amie coined that term for me a long time ago, I think it’s a word that should be recognized in English dictionaries. Lovely-looking popovers.

  44. Mollie says:

    I haven’t had a popover in ages… weren’t they all the rage in like the late 70′s, early 80′s? I remember them being big when I was a kid and now you never hear about them. I’m craving them something fierce now tho! Good luck digging out!

  45. Asianmommy says:

    Wow–these look just perfect!

  46. Laura says:

    It depends on what it is and why I don’t want to do it. :)

    Ironically that meal for me is lunch. I hate lunch. I am not much of a cold meal/dish (i.e., sandwiches) person. On the other hand, I LOVE brunch and breakfast. However, my arteries might clog and explode of I ate breakfast the way I like it every morning (hint: I’d make a good Southerner), so I don’t usually indulge. Plus it takes too long–the kids might riot.

  47. jo says:

    I never seen or heard of popovers before but they sure do look yummilicious. I think your molds are super cool. Since I don’t have this (nor seen them b4 either) I’ll try them making these in muffin or cupcake trays. Hopefully they will turn out like yours. BTW I love the sphere as well … my hubby would love that in our living room too but would probably take up the entire space and we’ll end up squashed in the corner!

  48. cath says:

    LOVE popovers — Jen, thanks so much for joining us!

  49. bee says:

    those bittergourds right there are my fav veggie. what a gorgeous shot!

  50. Lizzie says:

    Our term for what you described (NOT the popovers!) is “procrastifarting” Pretty much sums it up, huh?

  51. jenyu says:

    Macie – I have some decent storage space (but it’s always a juggling act).

    Steph – wow, I didn’t know popovers could be sweet?!? :) Muffin pans should work.

    Tartelette – *I’m* curious to see what I make! ;) I think I like brekkie when it’s savory.

    Chocolate and Toast – ha ha ;) but you KNOW you’re gonna love those popovers.

    Lisa – they are so light and lovely.

    Patricia – :) I can’t tell if it’s just because we didn’t have white hair or what.

    Amy – super easy to make, really. I ought to make more. They’re so good!

    Kitt – it was such a last minute dealie that we figured it wouldn’t be worth your time if you COULD make it. Just 50 minutes.

    MyKitchenInHalfCups – except for running into it, I think it would be awesome. I referenced a recipe from Baking w/ Julia and it didn’t do the double boiler thing, so I’m not convinced it i necessary.

    Kickpleat – mmmm! They are great anytime.

    Kirsa – yes, they are a bread and they are empty inside. More like a yorkshire pudding?

    Rosa – thanks.

    Caitlin – ha ha – love geeks.

    Christine – ;) That wasn’t my preference… but I know my readers are smart little cookies!

    Charlane – thank you.

    Pearl – aren’t they cute?

    Holly – you’re getting there, hon. Best of luck on that. It’s never easy, but keep at it – you never know when a solution might arrive.

    Catastrophysicist – perhaps!

    dawn – I bet they’re still there :)

    Steph – yay!! SCIENCE!!! :)

    Pam – its got a lot of good recipes that I want to try my hand at. These popovers were delightful though. Jeremy has never been much of a fan of that type of pastry, but – he LOVED these. go figure.

    Kristin – good for you on getting your mammo done. I hate those things (and mine came up negative when I was actually positive – thank goodness for my doc who insisted that I get a biopsy).

    JessW – ha ha! Creative, you are!

    Wendy – yes, I think you can do this in little muffin pans.

    Irene – yum, that sounds great!

    Barbara – yes! Similar, very similar. Perhaps in miniature form? :) Oooooh, roast beef and graaaaaveeeeeee… I didn’t know Cath until she asked me to participate in this (I believe she said she found me through YOU!). She is a darling. xxoo

    Mrs. E – awww, if you go get a slushy, then you can imagine what my yard looked like ;)

    Graeme – hee hee, you are so funny. Regular snowfall kinda makes that routine :) But seriously, we had so much snow it was all we could do to keep our drive clear. Yes, those telescopes are essential to Jeremy’s research!

    Mark – I am not disappointed in you ever. That’s not my place anyway, as I am your friend – here to offer a shoulder should you need it (and even if you don’t need it, it’s still there). xxoo

    TheKitchenWitch – I *love* leftovers for brekkie! Yes, serving them with roast beef is more traditional (i.e. yorkshire pudding). SUPER delicious.

    Fiona – that is tooooo cooooool! I love your fascinating tidbits as I would never have read that myself. :) I’m sorry you hate popovers :( I won’t make them when you come to visit, I promise.

    Manisha – yes, I think our cultures are both “anti-sweet” for brekkie. I always grew up eating savory breakfasts.

    Cindy – you can try a mini muffin pan first if you don’t want to spend the $ on specialized pans (I just didn’t understand this concept of multi-purpose pans back in the day)

    Andrea – mmmm, I am coming right over!

    WoRC – 90s!? Oh wow! But I think that is why you have faboooo garden/orchard/everything and I have… weeds and sticks. The tradeoffs… We just have to visit one another to get our respective fixes. xxoo

    Amy – yes!!

    Wend – that’s awesome to know :) Thanks! I love recipes that can be messed with.

    RecipeGirl – they are tempting pans…

    Aran – thanks!

    Jaden – ah ha ha! Well, Miss Tropics Kitchen – when you want a good dose of snow, you are always welcome to come out here and get some (between Oct and Apr) :)

    Hilda – It’s a great term. So concise. thanks!

    Mollie – I guess so? I didn’t have one until I was like 28…

    Asianmommy – thanks!

    Laura – Definitely to each her own! I think most of my friends who love brekkie like the sweets ;)

    Jo – yes, try muffin pans. Oh yeah, that sphere would not leave much room for anything else!

    Cath – thanks for having me, sweetie!

    Bee – I really need to try eating them the way Manisha says she preps them. Sounds totally different. I’ll bet you’d dig the way my mom makes them.

    Lizzie – that is a great word too!

  52. Susan Stockman says:

    Can you make popovers ahead of time and then reheat for a few minutes before serving. I have only 1 oven and the temp will not be even close to my main course for a dinner party

  53. jenyu says:

    Susan – I’m sure you could, but they’re somewhat deflated (I’ve eaten leftover ones). They will be soft all over rather than crisp on the outside and steamy soft on the inside. Maybe you could try reheating them in the oven?

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