One favorite spot was an upper West side restaurant called Popover Cafe. Their bread basket was full of - do I have to say it? - popovers. I'd never had one before my first brunch there, had no idea that the laws of physics allowed so much steam to be trapped inside so little bread. Popover Cafe served their popovers piping hot with a little white crock of strawberry butter. I'd break the dome into crunchy bits, then peel the rich, eggy bottom into layers, dipping them into the pink butter before letting them melt on my tongue.
When the Incredible Edible Egg people posted a popover recipe last weekend, I succumbed to a massive deja vu and baked a batch. I went out on a limb and added some savory notes to the batter: dried chives and Penzey's Spices Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle seasoning, a mixture of Romano cheese, garlic and Italian herbs. They stuck to the muffin tin a bit, but it didn't matter. The domes came out high and crisp, the bottoms all eggy layers. I ate two. My husband, seven. Popovers at home. Now that's Sunday brunch.
Herbed cheese popovers
adapted from Incredible Edible Egg
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp dried chopped chives (or 2 Tbsp fresh snipped chives)
- 2 tsp Penzey's spices Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle (or 2 Tbsp grated Romano cheese, 1/4 tsp granulated garlic, and 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning herb mixture)
Beat the eggs in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on high until they're foamy and light, about 3 minutes. Add the milk and melted butter and mix on high another minute. Change to the paddle attachment, set the mixer to low, and add the flour, salt, chives and spice mixture. Mix until smooth, about 3 minutes.
Fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake about 35 minutes, until the popovers are puffed, well browned and firm. Open the oven door, pull the muffin tin out, and pierce each popover with the tip of a paring knife to release the steam. Bake the popovers another 3-4 minutes. Loosen the edges of the popovers with a knife or small offset spatula. Serve immediately with butter.