Long before I felt comfortable baking bread at home, popovers were a part of my "fancy dinner for friends" repertoire. They were quick and easy, but also held the same magical appeal as a homemade, freshly baked yeasted loaf—at least for my college-aged buddies. I loved baking them not only for the oohs and ahhs, but also because I enjoyed watching the dramatic rise over the rim of the muffin tin that they baked in. Nowadays, I am far from intimidated when it comes to baking a loaf of bread, yeast and all, and my baking projects are a little more complicated. But I still occasionally bake up a batch of popovers to accompany dinner.
These Cheesy Herbed Popovers from Farm to Fork by Emeril Lagasse are possibly even simpler to put together than other recipes that I've made in the past, since all of the batter ingredients are simply whizzed together in the blender. The popovers are a wonderful way to use any leftover chunks of cheese and miscellaneous herbs that you have on hand. I decided to use a combination of chives and parsley and a piece of Sardinian sheep's milk cheese in place of the cheddar and Parmigiano.
The cheese and herbs bake into the custardy batter, making for gorgeous popovers that are studded with bits of green and burnished on top with little shreds of cheese. They are best served straight out of the oven since, like all popovers, their volume comes from the pockets of air within and they end up losing a bit of their height when they have a chance to sit around. But even at room temperature and a bit deflated, they are still much tastier than any dinner rolls that you can pick up at your local supermarket.
Win Farm to Fork
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Farm to Fork to give away this week.
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, melted
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil, or chives
- About 2 ounces medium cheddar cheese, grated (1/2 cup) or cut into 12 pieces
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Brush the cups of a standard 12-cup muffin tin with some of the melted butter. Divide the Parmesan evenly among the cups.
Combine the eggs, salt, pepper, milk, cream, and the remaining butter in a blender and blend until well combined. Add the flour and blend for 15 seconds, until smooth. Transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the fresh herbs.
Fill each muffin cup halfway with batter. Divide the cheddar among the cups, and then top with the remaining batter.
Bake the popovers for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the muffin tin from the oven and unmold the popovers onto a wire rack. Pierce the side of each popover with a small sharp knife to allow steam to escape. (This will help keep them from deflating.) Serve immediately.