Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Popovers For When Friends Pop Over

When thinking about something special to make for dinner when friends Jeff and Erin arrived for a cottage weekend, I thought the cooler weather would provide a little inspiration. And it did. Something hearty, warm and easy to prepare. In thinking through the many options, I decided on a pot roast. This is something I've made many times before, and it has to go down as one of my all-time favorite "feel good" dishes. As a matter of fact, we featured a pot roast on an earlier posting here on CoF.

To my way of thinking, if you are going to make a main course that has some liquid element (sauce, gravy, au jus, etc.) then you must have some kind of bread to assist in the eating! Some sort of crusty roll or bread would be a good working partner with pot roast, but nostalgia and a call for something different took us in the direction of popovers.

A local Detroit-based department store, J.L. Hudson's, used to serve popovers in their lunch room. Oh, how I miss that wonderful store. The big flagship was on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit, took and entire city block and encompassed more than two million square feet of space (it was the second largest department store in the US following Macy's in NYC). There were any number of delicious dishes coming out on Hudson's menu. My favorites were the Canadian cheese soup and chicken pot pie, but it was all good. The popovers just seemed so fancy - and while they are fairly straightforward, there is something very elegant about these light, eggy breads.

While J.L. Hudson's is long gone, make some popovers the next time you are serving pot roast, steak, prime rib, roast beef or anything else. You'll make it fancy!

2 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup sifted all purpose flour
1 cup milk (room temperature and use at least 2%)
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP vegetable/canola oil
6 well greased (I use Pam) custard cups or a popover pan

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Crack two eggs in a large bowl. Add flour, milk and salt to eggs and beat well for a minute or so using a hand or electric blender until well combined. Add oil and blend another minute. Batter will be thin. Pour batter into custard cups/popover pan, filling them half way. Put in 475 degree oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Remove popovers from oven. With small knife, put small slit on top to allow steam to escape, this will help prevent popovers from getting soggy inside. Eat warm with or without butter, but these are great for soaking up juicy, gravy and sauce! Enjoy!

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