Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wherein the Brits Get Into the Act

Breakfast popovers fresh from the ovenThe TPS reports had the wrong cover sheets again, so nobody got the memo: it was Popoverpalooza on Great Chebeague this year. Our dear friend JMac arrived on island from London at about midnight Tuesday night slash Wednesday morning with a British food magazine under one arm. His return was much anticipated. J was a college classmate of Muffy's husband at Lake Wobegon University, or St Olaf's if you must, and has been part of the extended family for years and years. To say he's a bit of a foodie is to liken Moses to a bit of a Jew. His specialty is brunch, and you should see his New Year's Day spread. Anyway, he couldn't wait to share a breakfast popover recipe he'd studied while waiting for a connecting flight from JFK to Portland.
True to British form, the dish calls for a "rasher of streaky bacon", bangers and tomatoes. Say what you will about English cooking, the Brits can do a hearty breakfast. Knowing that when it comes to popovers, too much is never enough, I was on board for another baked delight.
Breakfast Popovers - adapted from a Mark Price recipe
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 strips of bacon, halved
  • 12 sausages, halved
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns, crushed
JMac is an American banking executive stationed in London. He's reconnoitering epicurean hotspots for my imminent trip to the UK later this summer. I started dieting and padding my savings account months ago in anticipation of the trip. I may take out a student loan as an insurance policy.
But back to the recipe: warm the milk in a small sauce pan. Beat the eggs with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until pale and thick, then slowly whisk in the warmed milk, followed by the flour, baking powder and salt. Continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes more, then rest for 20 minutes.
Oil popover or muffin tins and put into a 425° pre-heated oven. Fry the bacon in a cast iron skillet or griddle until golden, then brown the sausages.
Muffin tin filled with popover batter, bacon, sausage and tomatoBreakfast popovers cooling
Bacon, sausage and tomato popoversFresh, hot breakfast popovers
Stir the batter well and divide among the heated tins. Top each tin with a couple of pieces of bacon, sausage and tomatoes halves, and sprinkle with peppercorns. Cook for 20-25 minutes until golden and well-risen. Rest for 5 minutes then release popovers from tins. Serve warm with a dollop of mustard.
Now that was one superior popover. I confess to eating three of them before the kids even stirred from their beds. Try a veggie variation with sautéed mushrooms, onions and peppers. Sliced cold cuts would be easy and readily available. Imagine a breakfast popover with prosciutto and shaved truffles. I'm just sayin'. As my boy Matty would put it, "Gott im Himmel!" Or as I've been know to exclaim, "Holy crap, Batman!"
Thanks for taking the time - Blog O. Food

1 comment:

Jeff (UK) said...

It seems untoward to compliment your writing here - all I'll say is glad you enjoyed the treats, and looking forward to your European sojourn.