Popovers. That’s right.
Y’know that point where your fridge contains no more than a melange of condiments and an ancient jar of pickles? That’s where I’m at, and it’s great. The lack of “real food” distraction is good for recipe-making purposes, but the real bonus is being able to see the all the dead cockroaches. Yeah. In the fridge. Thank you, pig-people next door… with your mountains of empty pizza boxes in the breezeway. Any hopes of being able to have fresh food in my apartment have been dashed thanks to you and your sticky, squalorous brood. I should bake the dead ‘uns into some condiment cookies, wrap them up Martha-style, and leave them on their door. Right next to the festering pile of trash. Jerks.
In other news, the condiment bakery will be closed for awhile. It’s either a gluten allergy of some kind or a deeply rooted psychological situation that makes me need a 4-hour nap after eating anything bread-y (read: delicious). Living alone is nice until there’s a 911-worthy emergency or a surplus of food I shouldn’t eat (let’s not get into what happened to the scrapped holiday cookies, or why I had to get a yoga ball chair to fix it). Looking into gluten-free baking made me want to cry. There were lots of forum posts about the price of GF flour, how much patience learning to bake with it requires, and galleries of culinary failures. Two strikes right there. Well, three. No patience, not going out and buying weird, expensive flour, and the gallery of freaky-looking breads was like a head on a pike, menacingly placed outside the GF village to ward off outsiders. So enjoy these delicious, crusty-on-the-outside-yet-soft-and-yummy-on-the-inside popovers, because that’s it for flour-based recipes for the foreseeable future. Yes, they fell a little… that’s what I get for being impatient.
This recipe is partially a response to a friend’s culinary challenge of condiment-based Yorkshire pudding. Booya, Richie. Booya (it’s at the bottom). Keep the suggestions coming! On the agenda: quiche, creme brulee (set ablaze with stolen matches, of course), and something brilliant with my gallon-bucket of Chinese takeout/Taco Bell sauces.
1 cup flour (or ground matzo if it’s Passover… pro family secret right there)
1 packet salt
25 tubs (1 1/4 cup) dairy half&half
2-3 pats (1 tbsp) melted butter (the more packeted butter I come across, the harder it is to gage an average in terms of quantity)
A couple of butter packet wrappers
1 medium or large bowl
1 small bowl
Muffin or popover tin – for best results use something with tall, narrow cavities. Muffin tins will do, but your popover’s won’t pop much.
- Preheat oven to 450°
- Use the buttered side of the butter packets to grease the insides of the tin cavities
- In the large bowl, combine flour and salt
- In the small bowl, beat eggs then mix in half&half and melted butter
- Pour the contents of the small bowl into the larger one and slowly stir until mostly blended. It’s alright to leave some flour lumps; over-stirring seems to keep the popovers from popping, and nobody likes a flopover.
- Fill muffin/popover tin cavities 3/4 of the way up with the batter
- Bake at 450° for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375º and bake for another 20 minutes.
- Serve warm
The rising relies on steam, so if you open the oven at any point before they’re done, the temperature gets screwed with and they won’t pop. Just leave them alone and turn on the oven light if you feel the need to stare them down.
For breakfast, have some extra butter and jelly packets on hand to stuff the popovers with.
For other meals, try adding a packet of Papa John’s pizza seasoning, a few packets of parmesan cheese, or any other dry ingredient to spice it up.
For ghetto-style Yorkshire pudding, wait until someone takes you out to a nice dinner and ask for your steak/ribs in a to-go box (they’ll think you’re a dainty eater, you’ll know you’re a frugal genius). Remove the fat and meat dribblins’, cook them in a saucepan on low heat until the lumps are gone, and pour a little into each tin cavity. Pour the popover batter on top of the meat dribblins’ and bake as usual.