All of this sunshine, rain, fresh air and renewal had me on a roll. Spring performances had finished, and I was happily tidying up all of the neglected tasks in my life as we began to prepare for summer camps until food poisoning knocked me flat on Wednesday night. This was the first time I’ve had food poisoning, and I have to say, what really kept me entirely incapacitated was all of the joint pain. Yuck! It was terrible! Luckily, M is the best person to be taking care of anyone sick, and I managed to get to work on Friday (slowly and carefully, but in sympathetic company since my boss got the same bout of food poisoning) and today I almost feel normal. The majority of joint pain is gone, and, while I’m not yet up for heavy foods, I can eat again.
My saving grace was actually my well-used and well-loved Popover recipe. It is the quickest, easiest way to tasty bread– exactly what I needed on Friday night when I had some appetite, but couldn’t handle much more than soft, plain bread. Lately, I’ve been treating this Popover batter like Yorkshire Pudding, because, as far as I can tell, they are just about the same. Yorkshire Puddings are baked in pans greased with bacon grease or meat drippings, and popovers are baked in small buttered cups. Otherwise (especially when both are converted to gluten-free) I would venture to stay that these two eggy breads are one and the same. I’ve been meaning to try adding sweeter additions to the popover batter, but in the meantime, savory Yorkshire pudding is becoming my go-to for a quick, tasty dinner. Add gravy, meat, and veg and you have a delicious comfort meal in no time. I’ve even cooked the batter in a cast-iron skillet and topped it like pizza crust on days when I have not pre made dough, and can’t be bother with more than a 30-minute bake time.
I do not change anything to my original Popover recipe, except that I pour the entire batter in a baking pan (usually 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″) or my 12″ cast iron skillet. I cook according to my usual recipe, but I start checking about 5 minutes earlier. Sometimes, it can take 10-15 minutes longer for cook time. You are looking for a crispy , golden brown top. Pierce and peek inside (be careful of steam!) and the inside should be soft, but not gooey.
If you really want an easy dinner, fry up some sausages and place the fully-cooked sausage links in the uncooked batter. The batter will cook up around the sausages and make “Toad In The Hole”. I’ve also done this with sautéed mushrooms. While the batter bakes, make up a gravy in the pan where you cooked the sausages. Add a vegetable or two, and dinner is done! It is also fantastic for breakfast as leftovers, but also quick enough to whip up fresh for breakfast on a day off (with or without the gravy).
The versatility of this batter has really earned it a place in my heart and often on my table. Keep an eye out for some sweeter twists on this Popover batter in the future!
Servings: 6-8 | Prep Time: 5-10 minutes | Cook time: 25-45 minutes*
- – 1 c. milk
- -4 eggs
- -1/3 c. tapioca starch/flour
- -2/3 c. white rice flour
- Pinch xanthan gum
- -Dash salt
- Up to 1/2 tsp. dried herbs of choice (thyme, rosemary, garlic, etc), optional
- Bacon grease, pan drippings, or oil
- Optional: 6 cooked sausage links or 1 1/2 c. sautéed mushrooms for “Toad in the Hole”
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place a 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ pan or 12″ skillet in the oven to preheat. Keep the pan warm until you are ready to pour in the batter. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until well blended. Add tapioca starch/flour, white rice flour, xanthan gum, herbs (if using), and salt. Whisk until combined and smooth. Carefully remove hot pan from oven. Grease with drippings or oil. Pour batter into hot pan. If making Toad in the Hole, lay sausages or mushrooms into batter. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, then turn the temperature down to 375 degrees for the final 15+ minutes. It may be my old, finicky oven, or knowing my mother’s tried-and-true recipe also necessitates a temperature change, but this is the trick that works best for me.
*Start checking between 25-30 minutes, but if using a smaller pan (thicker batter) or adding sausages/mushrooms, the cooking time may be long–up to 45 minutes.