Popovers, The Dark Side…

Now for the darker side of popovers, my infamous light, airy, tear it apart Yorkshire pudding. It all starts with our basic popover batter, and a roasting hunk of meat. The secret to a good outcome… heating the pan with the drippings already in it.

Here’s what you’ll need for the batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon beef drippings

Step one: take your meat, usually a rib roast, out of the oven. Then, spoon about three or four tablespoons of drippings into an 8 x 8 baking pan. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees and place the baking pan into the oven to heat it up for a minute or so.

Once the drippings start to smoke, pull the oven rack out and pour the batter into the hot drippings. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 20-25 minutes. This is a nice thing to put together while the roast is resting. Remove the pudding to a cooling rack and let it set while your plating up the meat. Then, tear the pudding into pieces and serve with the meat.

yorkshire pudding

Yorkshire pudding

Breakfast / Brunch Popovers

Here’s a variation on a theme. Popovers, you know them, you love then. They are quick and easy… and now from basic roll to something a little different. I start with the basic batter and add a touch of cinnamon to it. So, let’s put on a pot of tea and get busy…

Here’s what you’ll need for the batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 teaspoon room temperature for pan
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Here’s what you’ll need for the coating:

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter to brush on the popovers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a 6-cup popover pan with the 1 teaspoon of butter.

Place all of the ingredients into a blender for 30 seconds. You want to get a good batter going  it hould be similar in consistency to crepe batter. Divide the batter evenly between the cups of the popover pan, each should be about 1/3 to 1/2 full. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the popovers to a cooling rack and pierce each in the top with a knife to allow steam to escape.

Now, mix one teaspoon of cinnamon in a jar with a quarter cut of sugar and shack well to combine. pour this into a shallow bowl. Brush a popover with the melted butter and then dredge it through the cinnamon sugar mixture, coat well.

These are a nice addition to a big breakfast or brunch, and they also go perfectly with afternoon tea.

Cinnamon Sugar Popovers

Cinnamon Sugar Popovers

Basic Popovers Part I

Popovers, I like popovers. If you make them in a tall popover pan you can fill the hollow of the popover with chicken salad. I like chicken salad, and not just in a Facebook way, I really enjoy this summer salad. Serving it in a popover is a creative way to bring it to a picknic. So let’s get our baking caps on and get down to business.

Here’s what you’ll need

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 teaspoon room temperature for pan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a 6-cup popover pan with the 1 teaspoon of butter.

Place all of the ingredients into a blender for 30 seconds. You want to get a good batter going  it hould be similar in consistency to crepe batter. Divide the batter evenly between the cups of the popover pan, each should be about 1/3 to 1/2 full. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the popovers to a cooling rack and pierce each in the top with a knife to allow steam to escape. Don’t skip this step, its curtail to vent the moister inside or your popover will end up being mushy inside and… without the opening, how will you fill it with delicious salad like this one: Bill’s Famous Crab Salad 2

popovers

popovers

Steamed Pollock with Tartar Sauce

I got a very good price on some Pollock fillets so I decided to steam them up yesterday. I often use a bamboo steamer rack with my wk to steam fish fillets because if feel that the natural materials add to the cooking experience, even though that sounds way too ‘hippie’. To prevent the fillets from sticking, I use romaine lettuce leaves. Place the leaves over the bamboo slats and then place the fillets on the leaves, yeah its kind of ‘hippie’ sounding.

Here’s that you’ll need:

  • Pollock fillets
  • Romaine lettuce leaves
  • Water
  • Duck Walk White wine
  • Lemon slice

For the homemade tartar sauce:

  • 1 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoonsIndiapickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

As mentioned above, place the fillets in the bamboo rack. Put ½ cup water ½ cup wine, and lemon slice into the wok. Then place the bamboo rack into the wok and slowly steam the fillets.

In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, relish, onion, and lemon juice. Mix this thoroughly and sever along side the fish.

bamboo steamer

bamboo steamer

Lime Sauce and Andy Murrays

I mentioned on Sunday that we made a pitcher of ‘Andy Murrays’ to enjoy during the Wimbledon Men’s Final. So, I figured I would share the secret with you all, only if you promise not to tell anyone else. It’s just between us friends… right? We start by making a simple lime sauce before hand.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼  cup fresh squeezed lime juice (pulp is ok here)

In a saucepan, bring water, sugar, and cornstarch to a boil. Boil this for about a minute to get everything all dissolved. Now add the lime juice. Bring to a boil and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. Remove this from the heat and store in the fridge.

Use the lime sauce for the Andy Murray

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup gin
  • 2 cups of tonic
  • ¼  cup lime sauce
  • A pitcher

In a nice glass pitcher, combine the ingredients and give it a gentle stir.  I like to serve these in a lowball glass without ice. This yields a service of four.

And here’s what you’ll feel like when you’re drinking it!

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Peach Sauce

A red pepper sauce, and a blueberry sauce, bet you where thinking of something white to add to our list, but nope, I’m diverting off track once again for something peachy. It was the vanilla ice cream that got me thinking that if I added a bit more sweet to the peach glaze that I often use on pork… by golly it just might work…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sliced peeled fresh peaches
  • 1 teaspoon amaretto

In a saucepan, bring water, sugar, cornstarch and nutmeg to a boil. Boil this for about a minute to get everything all dissolved. Now add peaches. Bring to a boil and cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. Remove this from the heat and stir in the liquor. Serve over vanilla ice cream.

peach sauce with ice cream

peach sauce with ice cream

Blueberry Sauce

So what to do with this abundance of blueberries, especially since I made something red for the forth of July, a red pepper sauce, how about a blue sauce… A sauce made from blueberries that goes nicely with vanilla ice cream… hmmm…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. each cinnamon & nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2/3 c. water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pt. (1 lb.) blueberries, washed & picked over
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Lemon zest, grated

Place sugar, spices and salt in a heavy saucepan. Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water and add to saucepan. Heat to boiling, reduce to simmer and stir to smooth. Add blueberries and cook over moderate heat until smooth and thick, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Add lemon juice only to taste; you may not want to use all of it. Add zest to taste. Serve warm or cold.

simple blueberry sauce

simple blueberry sauce

Strawberries and Cream

Its time for the Wimbledon finals and that means that the stores have great sales on strawberries. Nice plump and juicy California strawberries. I picked them up from stop and shop for about two bucks a quart. I’ll be using a full quart of berries here.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 quart strawberries
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon creme de fraise (strawberry liqueur)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

In a large bowl start whisking the cream until soft peaks start to form. Fold in the creme de fraise and sugar. Do not over whip the cream or you’ll start making butter! Just whip until peaks start to form and dollop out into serving cups. I use martini glasses for this, and top the freshly washed strawberries with the cream, and a sprig of mint garnish.

Wimbledon strawberries and cream with creme de fraise

Chipotle Marinade with Duck Walk Red

Marinades generally consist of an acid to tenderize tough cuts of meat, with an oil to promote juiciness, and herbs and spices to enhance the meats natural flavour. I use this little marinade for seasoning top round cuts of beef and make fajitas with a side of pineapple salsa.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup duck walk red wine
  • 1 (2 ounce) package dried ancho chiles
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Juice of one lime

Soak dry chilies overnight in water, until soft, then remove seeds and toss all of the ingredients in a food processor. Puree until smooth.

Spread this mixture over a nice cut of top round and let it soak for at least one hour before grilling it up. Slice it thin and use this for fajitas.

top round with chipotle madinade

Roast Red Pepper Sauce

I’m going to grill up some sea bass this week. Yup, that’s on my fourth of July list of things to make, and with that sea bass I will be making something red, something white, and something blue. Why should I be different from everybody else making red white and blue things lol. So, one thing that I enjoy with sea bass,  and which takes some prep time, is a roasted red pepper sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 – 4 large red peppers
  • 1 small red onion quarterd
  • 3 tbsp olive oil divided
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp sour cream

Pre-heat oven to 450 toss peppers and onion with 1 tbsp olive oil on baking sheet. Roast about 20 minutes, until peppers have blistered and onion is golden brown. Romove peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let set about 20 minutes or till cool enough to handle. Remove skin and seeds, and place into food processor with roasted onion. Process until smooth. Set aside. In a skillet sauté crushed red pepper flakes and garlic in remaining 2 tbsp olive oil until garlic begins to brown. Deglaze with red wine and cook for 1 minute. Add pureed red-pepper mixture and simer 1 minute. Add cream and tomato puree. Bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer until mixture reduces by one third. Strain sauce and blend in sour cream.. season to taste…