Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Herbed cheese popovers

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When I lived in New York in the years after college, I ate a lot of Sunday brunches. It was a great meal to eat out with the girls when you worked full-time, were between boyfriends, and had a limited restaurant budget. Sunday brunch was cheap and often included a mimosa. You could linger over it for an hour or two while you decided how to waste the balance of the weekend. And if you ate enough at brunch, you could make it a two-meal day, which conserved both money and calories (theoretically).

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
  • 3eggs
  • 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)
Preheat to 425 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.

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.


Diane Schmidt said...

oh my....cheesy popovers, I saw the title and just had to come over and DROOL!!!! Wonderful job Erika!

Angel said...

Looks so tasty :)

Rhonda said...

They look perfect, one of these days I'm going to get my self a popover pan so I can make these.

Erika Kerekes said...

@Diane and Angel - thanks!

@Rhonda - I don't have a popover pan. I used a nonstick muffin tin. They came out great.

Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

I LOVE popovers but have never made popovers with herbs. The addition of chives sounds amazing as does the cheese sprinkle. Mmmm! :)

Megan said...

I;ve never made a popover but I know my daughter would love me to try! I'll have to try this and surprise her.

Nancy said...

I love popovers although I make mine differently - the batter gets mixed in the blender and then I let it rest for about 1 hour - also put a little melted butter in the bottom of the pan and heat the pan in the oven before filling with the batter. Will have to try your recipe and see if it turns out any different!!!

Monet said...

I love Sunday brunch too...and I love the idea of a cafe inspired by these delicious steam filled treats! I've never made popovers before, but now I want to give this recipe a try. I hope you have a wonderful Friday. I can't believe the weekend is almost here! Thank you for sharing, my friend. Many hugs from Austin!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I haven't made popovers in years and I used to make them all the time when my kids were young.

Maybe I'll just have to try these, they look so yummy!

Patti at Worth The Whisk said...

The Popover Cafe is a favorite of mine, thanks for the memory. And your popovers look perfect, what a great recipe. I never thought to add herbs and cheese into a popover recipe. Larry is the popover baker here, I will request your version from him soon.

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

These look beautiful. I want to make them right now. I just might, since I haven't had breakfast.

Elisa Schwartz said...

Had my first popover and then many, many more at that same Popover Cafe, with that fab strawberry butter (Amsterdam Ave I believe). Today, living in LA, I get a mighty good Popover at Cafe Tropical on Sunset @ Parkman, and they make the jelly/jam that comes with the popover.

Erika Kerekes said...

Elisa - I hardly ever get east of the 405, but I will have to put Cafe Tropical on my list. Thanks for the tip!

Faythe said...

I've never, ever had a popover. You just made me want one. :)

Erika Kerekes said...

@Faythe - you will love them! They're really quite unlike any other baked good. Every time I make them they disappear instantly.

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