Before you listen to this podcast, please know I have a confession. I have long been a fan of Eating from the Ground Up, the no-nonsense love-your-garden blog by Alana Chernilla. I was happy to host her in my kitchen (back when you could do that sort of thing). Her first book, The Homemade Pantry, was an instant classic. I admit, I’ve made about half the recipes; my husband, Mike, loves the from-scratch pop tarts. Since then, she has followed with two more books, The Homemade Kitchen and Eating from the Ground Up. (All Clarkson Potter)
We covered a lot of ground (pun intended), including an inspirational chat about why home cooks should be kind to themselves. She also shared some great tips for using up kitchen scraps you might otherwise throw away. In these days when so many people are cooking – and perhaps tired of it – I found her message particularly encouraging.
As always, I made a recipe from one of her books to snack on while we chatted. I have made many recipes from her books, so choosing one was a challenge. Yet another batch of homemade pop tarts? Or the from-scratch goldfish crackers that I have made at 1 a.m. while on a writing binge? The easy yet addictive roasted potato salad? I the end, I chose dill popovers from The Homemade Kitchen. My choice, in part, stems from my ongoing adoration for the late satirist Dorothy Parker. Popovers were a fixture of the famed boozy lunches at New York’s Algonquin Hotel. (Read more about that here.)
Recipe: Popovers from ‘A Homemade Kitchen’
- 3 large eggs
- 1½ cups 360 ml whole milk or buttermilk (for homemade, see page 34)
- 1½ cups 180 g all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons ½ stick/56 g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- Safflower oil or melted butter for greasing the pan
- Optional: ¼ cup fresh herbs; 4 ounces 115 g chèvre
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine the eggs, milk, flour, salt, and butter in a blender. Blend until you have a smooth batter, 15 to 20 seconds. Let the batter rest for about 10 minutes.
- Generously grease a 12-cup muffin or popover tin with oil. Divide the batter evenly among the cups, filling them most of the way. Add a pinch of fresh herbs and a dollop of chèvre, if using, to the center of each muffin cup. Bake until puffed and golden, WITH OUT OPENING THE OVEN, 25 to 28 minutes. Serve immediately.