Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine Popover

Aww, it's hearts and flowers time again. The time of year when a Great Burning Question always comes to mind, namely: How many tons of chocolate will be consumed during this 24-hour period?

I'm sure there are numerous wholesalers and retailers the world over who have a reasonably close idea of quantities prepared and sold but there is no real way of knowing how much of that is actually nibbled and gobbled during the actual Valentine window of opportunity. Nor will the world falter in its perpetual spin if we don't have the answer. Maybe it's a Zen question after all.

In any case, I'll do my share for the cause. 'Cause I just love chocolate.

It's possible I've left a few clues here and there that there are other foods that warrant my devotion besides the wonderful product of the sacred cocoa bean. Like my ongoing love affair with all variations on popovers and Yorkie puddings and Dutch Baby Pancakes and the like. Which is why I couldn't resist trying out something called Caribbean Popovers the other day. I should have bookmarked the page because now I can't find it, thus I can't tell you what makes this particular version Caribbean in nature. Maybe the chef? It doesn't matter, I guess. I did my own variation on it, anyway, with speculations about other possible tempting toppings.

For one thing, I wasn't in the mood to haul out the popover pan (or, in my case, the muffin pan) to make individual popovers. I decided to do the whole thing in one swell foop and that required the use of my trusty enamel pie pan. Could have used any pie pan, you understand. It's just that the enamel one was on top of the stack. So you can do it either way -- individual popovers or the big "pancake" type of thing. The basic recipe goes like this ...

First you turn your oven on to 425 degrees fairyheight, slurp a little olive oil or butter in the pan and then let it heat in the oven while you mix the batter. I should mention the original recipe calls for half cream and half milk but I just used plain milk. That's plenty rich enough for me.

So, in a bowl mix 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup flour and seasoning to taste. You can use plain salt, seasoned salt, a variety of Mrs. Dash -- whatever spice appeals to you at the moment. I find a wire whisk works great for batter but you can use a spoon or a mixer or whatever you prefer. Just whup it up nice and smooth. Grate up 1/2 cup of cheese, again, whatever kind appeals to you. I had cheddar on hand. No surprise. I almost always have cheddar on hand.

Pull the hot pan out of the oven and pour the batter into it. Quickly sprinkle the grated cheese over the top, leaving a margin around the edge. Put it back in the oven and set your timer for 15 minutes.

When you bring your masterpiece out of the oven, it should look like the above -- all glowing and fragrant and mouthwatering to behold. It will be risen a bit around the sides and the center will be all cheesy and nummy.

I cut it into pie wedges and ate it just the way it was -- and it was wonderful. How can I describe it? Sort of like a cheese omelet with a crispy crust. Yeah. That pretty much says it.

I think the next time I try one, I'm going to plop some salsa and sour cream on top after I bring it out of the oven. Regular salsa would be just fine but, to evoke that Caribbean charisma, maybe a fruit salsa with papaya in the mix, something done real quick in a little pot on top of the stove so it's nice and hot when you spread it on the "omelet"? Ohhhh, that sounds luscious.

In the meantime, here's wishing all you lovely Coffee Mates a fun and fabulous Valentine's Day. You really ARE special!


Anonymous said...

Yesterday I munched on the cinnamon raisin bread, homemade, bought at the church choir fundraiser. I didn't want it to spoil. When I checked my sugar before lunch I was almost 200. So I shall skip as many carbs as possible for awhile. Darn it!

Mage And George said...

Happy Valintines day dear you. I too am endeavoring do get my fats, sugars, and carbs to a far lower level. Darn it. But I sure do appreicate the sentiment. :)

Bex said...

As a fellow cheese lover, this looks just too good to pass up. Thanks, and Happy Valentine's Day.

Mage And George said...

OKOK.........It's been almost a week, and I miss ya.

julie t said...

oh my miz dee. Was just hoping to catch up with your doin's and now I see THIS and my tummy is growling. I've never made a popover, but it sounds pretty easy and it looks fabulous. Think I'll whip one up with the salsa and sour cream option for the family.