Popovers and apple butter. That is the specialty at Judie's, my favorite restaurant in town, but I haven't been able to eat one there for 8 years now. Popovers are also the specialty at Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park in Maine, where Robert and I ate to celebrate our 19th anniversary this summer. I had to sit and watch him eat his warm, crusty popover that night, but he kept assuring me that it tasted terrible. This is the little game we play every time the hot, yeasty rolls arrive at our table. He devours them while saying things like, "You're not missing a thing. These are really awful!"
Mmmm Hmmm..... I know better. My memory is not that bad. ☺
Well, this week I decided to try and replicate the elusive popover. They turned out.....okay, and I think I learned some things that will help make the next batch more successful. I served them alongside a creamy chicken stew for lunch after church last Sunday. The popovers were both buttered and dipped in the soup, which helped this less-than-airy-and-crusty first batch!
Here are the improved recipes:
1 cup GF flour blend (I would use lighter flours. Maybe 1/3 brown rice, 1/3 tapioca, 1/3 potato)
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs (room temp)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cup milk (room temp)
Set out milk and eggs in order to bring them to room temperature. Preheat oven to 425°. (<----- I FINALLY learned how to make the ° sign ~ hurray!) When the milk and eggs are no longer cold, place them in a blender along with the melted butter and blend well. Add the GF flour, xanthan gum and salt to the blender and liquid ingredients. Blend for 1-2 minutes. (If you don't have a blender, try to use a hand mixer, at least. Grease muffin tin or popover pan and set in the oven for 1-2 minutes to warm. Be sure you don't leave it in too long, or you'll have a kitchen full of smoke because of the grease and heat. The grease in the pan will also brown and color the bottom of your popovers. (Guess how I know this?) When pan is warmed, remove it from oven and fill each cup 2/3 full with the popover batter. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes at 425°. Try to resist to desire to open the oven door and "check" on the popovers. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the popovers are "popped" (hopefully!) and slightly browned. Serve warm. Set out some butter, apple butter, and honey with them, too, if you want to make everyone especially happy. ☺(<----Might as well learn to make a happy face, too!)
Creamy Chicken Stew
2 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 package baby carrots, sliced in half diagonally
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/3 cup GF flour or 1/4 cup cornstarch
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water (or 1 cup water and 1 cup white cooking wine)
1 small package frozen peas
1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half
salt and pepper to taste
Melt olive oil and butter together in large skillet. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Sauté 3 minutes. Add potato and sauté 3 more minutes until everything crisp-tender. Sprinkle flour over veggies in the pan and stir to coat. Scrape all skillet ingredients as well as the thyme into a stock pot and add chicken broth. Bring to a strong simmer and then add water. The soup should thicken a bit as you stir. Reduce heat. Add cream, salt, and pepper. Remove thyme stalks before serving.
I also like to press fresh garlic in just before serving. Mainly because it tastes wonderful, but also because fresh garlic is a great way to fend off the cold virus!