Monday, August 4, 2014

The Big Popover

I confess that unusual recipes, those that claim to be magic or are made in some unlikely way, always attract me. In fact, they stop me cold. I scratch my head and wonder if they really work. Maybe it's because I like learning new techniques? Yeah, I'll go with that.

So when I saw a recipe that involved a big popover, I was surprised. Would it really come out like a giant popover? I thought popovers had to be made in special popover pans with tall, narrow cups so they would rise. Hmm.

Apparently this recipe began with Cooking Light. I found a variation by Grab a Plate and put my own twists on it.

Guess what? It worked. Not only that, we loved it. And this popover crust solves one of my biggest kitchen dilemmas - a crust in a hurry. Honestly, with the mozzarella, it tasted so much like a pizza that I was astonished. But the crust was made in less than half an hour. No rising necessary. Of course, there's no yeast in it, so it's not like a bread crust but it's totally satisfying and kind of fun. I can see using this in a lot of recipes.

The popover curls in strange artful ways. It was very cute, though – like it took on a life of its own.

Our garden is having a surprisingly good year. Please forgive me for using red Swiss chard in yet another recipe but we have so much of it! It will look like a huge amount of chard but don't worry, like spinach, it shrinks as it cooks. If Swiss chard isn't your cuppa, I think you could easily substitute spinach. I used white mushrooms but crimini would also be lovely. If you want it to taste more like pizza, substitute 1 teaspoon of oregano for the herbs and be sure you use mozzarella cheese.

I recommend cutting off the chard stems for this recipe, though it's not really necessary. If you do cut them off, freeze them, along with the "discarded" liquid to make soup. The chard, mushroom, and herb flavors in the liquid are delicious! In fact, it occurred to me that this might be a great base for a vegetarian broth.

This dish is surprisingly filling. Super for meatless Mondays or vegetarian family members. It will easily serve 3-4. And no guilt! The veggie to crust ratio is so good you'll feel entitled to dessert.

The Big Popover
with Swiss Chard and Mushrooms

1 8x8 inch pan

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
8-ounce package fresh white mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 bunch Swiss Chard
1 tablespoon butter + extra for greasing the pan
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup skim milk (whole probably works, too)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella (I used part skim)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil. Slice the onion and the mushrooms, and mince the garlic. Cut the stems off the Swiss chard and reserve for soup. Cut the chard and wash. Add the onion to the pan, when it begins to cook, add the herbs. When they are fragrant, add the mushrooms and garlic. Top with the Swiss chard and turn occasionally as it wilts. When wilted, turn the heat down and keep warm.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425. Grease the pan with butter and place 1 tablespoon of butter in the bottom of the pan.

Lightly whisk the two eggs. Stir in the flour, milk and salt until smooth. Set aside. When the oven is ready, place the pan in the oven for 2-3 minutes until the butter melts. Do not let it burn!

Pour the egg mixture into the hot pan and slide it into the oven. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until puffed up and slightly browned. Sprinkle the bottom with 1/2 of the mozzarella.

Pour the excess liquid off the Swiss chard mixture. Spoon the chard mixture into the baked popover. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella and then with the Parmesan.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

Melt butter in baking pan. 

Combine eggs with flour and milk.

Who'd have thought it?

Before second baking.

Ready to serve!

Surprisingly satisfying.


  1. Love that crust! And you could put so many different things in it (as long as you drain them first). Obviously my new/old Pyrex dish is just crying out to try it.

    1. Sheila, I thought the same thing. Savories and sweets could go into the crust. So fast and practical!

  2. Beautiful Krista--it looks like one of those enormous oven pancakes that were popular some years ago. Will have to try this--there would be lots of garden variations:)

    1. Maybe they were the same thing. Our garden is offering a lot of options right now, too.

  3. This looks fantastic! I was planning on making some gazpacho again this week--I think I will make this to go along with it! I don't know if hubby would like chard, but I can always sub in spinach--which I'm not sure he likes either, but he eats it when I make it for dinner. He is so not a vegetable guy!

  4. Oh I have to try this just to see how it works! It looks delicious and I like how you could play with they types of veggies and cheeses in the recipes. Printing it out as we speak!

  5. This, my sweet pal, is Yorkshire pudding! (eggs, milk, flour, that's it) :) So easy and so delicious just by itself. Love all the goodies on top, too.

    Daryl / Avery

  6. Totally brilliant! A variation on Yorkshire pudding and the filling variations are (almost) endless.

  7. Great idea ! And just that little added crispy ready taste that fresh veggies often need .