November 3, 2011

A girl on a mission

I’m a girl on a mission!  With Halloween behind us, we have officially entered the holiday season.  As a result, for the weeks to come, I will share with you inspiring recipes, which will enrich your holiday table, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas or your traditional Sunday dinner.  I will share with you anything from savory to sweet and everything in between, in order to add excitement, fun and deliciousness to your holidays and mine, as well.  Besides, it will also help me decide what to bring to the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner.

So let’s start then.  First, I have to say though that Halloween is one of those holidays that didn’t really have much impact on me as a European.  Fortunately, I can’t say the same thing about Thanksgiving.  As a matter of fact, I fully embraced Thanksgiving ever since my first year in the U.S., and it has rapidly become one of my favorite holidays and one that we get to spend with our family here in the States.  For the past few years, Adrian and I have been regular guests to our family friends’ Thanksgiving feast, which always brings me joy and gratitude.  Thank you Tom and Louise for making us part of your beautiful family!   

Have you heard of popovers?  You probably have.  Well… I haven’t until the November issue of the Food Network Magazine, where Alton Brown apparently shares the foolproof formula for these old-fashioned favorite delights straight from his latest cookbook, Good Eats 3: The Later Years.  I will have to take Alton’s word for it because I’ve never had popovers until his recipe, and they were phenomenal!  These popovers are light and fluffy on the inside, and perfectly crafted on the outside. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  When I read the article, I instantly knew that I had to try this recipe.  But first I had to buy the popover pan.  So, first thing the next morning I went in a hurry to Williams-Sonoma.  When I got to the store I couldn’t find the pan on the shelves in the baking aisle; fortunately, one of the ladies working there found extra popover pans in the back.  To be honest, I almost always have to ask the nice ladies in the store to help me find what I’m looking for because I can never find it due to the immense variety they offer; I always get lost at Williams-Sonoma because of the amount of choices and temptations, which my eyes and mind can’t handle all at once.  This time, I was a good girl; I didn’t break the bank, and only bought myself a lovely popover pan, which I couldn’t wait to put to the test.  Nevertheless, the cashier lady did ask me: “Is this all for today?  You know that we have a 15% discount on all kitchen tools, this week!”  I did take a good look around, but in the end I just said, “This is all, thank you!”  And then, the weirdest thing happened, she started telling me how she never liked popovers as a kid, but that now she did.  I suddenly started to second guess myself and wondered whether I was just impulse buying this pan, and if these popovers would only be some bland fancy looking dough.  I felt a bit strange and out of place, nodded and smiled, and hoped that she didn’t see it on my flustered face that I had never had a popover in my life. 

On my way home, I regained some of my confidence, curiosity and enthusiasm, which sent me to the store in the first place, and knew that I would bake some amazingly flavorful fancy looking dough.  And I was right!  These popovers will pop your socks off! 

Basic Popovers
Adapted slightly from Food Network Magazine (November 2011)

Makes: 6 large popovers 


·         1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 teaspoon for greasing the pan
·         4 ¾ ounces (135 grams) all-purpose flour
·         1 ½ teaspoons (10 grams) kosher salt
·         2 large eggs, at room temperature
·         1 cup (250 ml) whole milk, at room temperature


Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). 

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

Combine the 1 Tablespoon of butter, the flour, salt, eggs and milk in a food processor or blender and process for 30 seconds. 

Divide the batter evenly among the cups of the popover pan, filling each one-third to one-half full.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes, taking care not to open the oven door.  Remove the popovers to a cooling rack and pierce each one in the top with a knife to allow steam to escape.  Serve warm. 

If you want to substitute your basic Thanksgiving bread basket, and go with a twist this year, these giant airy golden puffs might be the perfect option and will definitely do the trick.  These popovers are strong contenders for my big feast.  They are impressive looking (you just know that your guests and family will be jaw-dropping at first glance), and also soft, warm, moist and strikingly delicious.  And if you didn’t love them as a kid, trust me – now, it will be love at first bite! 


  1. First allow me to say this posting touched my heart because popovers, or what we in my family call Yorkshire Pudding is a staple for family feasts. The distinction between the two terms in my family comes down to one incorporates the drippings from the meat (Yorkshire Pudding) and the one that doesn't have the drippings (popovers). The nice thing about the traditional Yorkshire Pudding, besides the drippings (aka flavor), is that you can just use a regular baking dish without buying a special popover tray. Clearly traditional Yorkshire pudding is in NO way healthy but boy is it delicious and something family members will remember. My family is part Welsh and has a secret recipe but for an easy non-confidential Yorkshire Pudding recipe check out Tyler Florence’s dish:

    For the history of Yorkshire Pudding

  2. Hi Mark! Thank you for sharing your family traditions and a great recipe for Yorkshire Pudding. The recipe might not be very healthy, but no fat no happiness :) Dana