The holidays left our kitchen in the usual post-holiday rut. Maybe you can relate: a plate of stale Christmas cookies on the counter, the soured remnants of a carton of egg-nog in the fridge, a bowl of candy canes, and little else to eat in the house. Patrick and I moped around last week in a perpetual sugar crash, sticky-mouthed and weary. This week, I vowed to return to our usual routine: whole grains, beans, and lots and lots of veggies.
This is how I explain the posting of two foodie blog posts in as many days. The kitchen is just where I want to be right now, with a mug of tea and my new cookbooks spread out on the countertop, poring and pondering. From my mother-in-law, I received the mammoth Bon Appetit Cookbook, which features no less than thirty different cakes. I really appreciate having it, since my cookbook collection isn't exactly rife with dessert recipes. And sometimes you really just want to make a fussy little cake. My mom gifted me with Sundays at Moosewood, an equally thick volume of ethnic recipes from all over the world. Just about everything is vegetarian, from the paella to the gumbo to the moussaka. Yee haw.
So, last night at Cafe Strain I had great fun whipping up a colorful meal of soup, salad, and popovers, listening to the Oldies station ("Oooo-oooo, baby love, baby love...") and sipping my tea. I've even been known to twirl on my way from stove to sink with a dirty pot in my hands, singing. Cooking ain't fun if you don't dance in the kitchen.
Anyway. The popovers were great. There's a historic hotel in Cazenovia, NY, called the Lincklaen House, which is famous for popovers. Until last night, it had been the first, and the only place I'd ever eaten one. Seeing a recipe for them in one of my books, I decided to try my hand. They're pretty easy, and beautiful and delicious.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
First, prepare your baking setup: the recipe I used called for buttered ramekins, which is what I used. But I bet these would work just fine in a muffin pan, if that's what you've got. Grease up your pan, and preheat the oven to 450.
In a bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add the water and milk, stirring just until moistened (don't overmix). Add the eggs one at a time, making sure there aren't any streaks of white in the batter (those will turn into scrambled eggs when you bake them!). Last of all, gently stir in the cheese. Fill your cups half full only, these babies rise a lot. Put them in for 10 minutes at 450, then lower the heat to 350 and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until they're puffed and golden and amazing-looking. Dig in!
I am just love love loving the digital macro lens on my new camera.