Popovers

My grandmother received a popover pan for her birthday, best gift ever! These are one of the most versatile and delicious items I have made in quite some time. This was my first popover experience and I ended up making them multiple times finding the recipe and method I liked best. There are many recipes out there depending on what you like. For example you can add up to 4 eggs and make it taste more like a custard or reduce it to 2 or 3 and have it more as a bread.

Popovers are a great vessel as they do not usually contain sugar and so you eat it as a sweet or savory dish. I enjoyed it with smart balance light and some jam or honey, but my dad made me a mini burger with that as the bun and it was delicious. Light and delicate like a croissant but without the heaviness. Filled with chicken salad or a poached egg and some basil and goat cheese, it could really hold anything where you may normally use bread. They are wonderful on the table with a meal rather then biscuits.

The only problem is that you really need a popover pan, but I think it is a really good investment. It was one of the easiest things I have made in a long time and I can not tell you how quickly they were gobbled up. Traditionally made with milk, the almond milk worked just as well in creating the light and flaky texture but without the unique flavor that soy milk has. If you have the kitchen space, go out and get yourself a popover pan, it will be worth your while.

Popover Recipe

Peach Muffins!

With all the markets bursting with local peaches I searched my mind of what I could do. Best in cobblers, tarts and jams, I found they are less utilized in baked goods such as muffins. Last week, I promised blueberry muffins but they were somewhat of a failure as my roommate called them the best “muff-cake-ins” she has ever had. Needless to say they came out more like a blueberry cupcake then a flaky muffin. They are however amazingly delicious and I will most likely post the recipe anyway. So, I decided to try to come up with a muffin recipe for peaches and try three different butter substitutions to find out what produced the best muffin. On the first batch I used Earth Balance sticks, the second, goat butter, and the third, no butter or sugar at all but applesauce and agave nectar. They were all delicious, the earth balance and goat butter of course being more rich and flaky with the added fat. I wouldnt recommend the applesauce variation in this recipe, they turned out a bit chewy. When put to the test on the other two, I got mixed reviews. The goat butter certainly has a small tang and a more rich buttery flavor. They were super flaky and I really liked them. My sister enjoyed the earth balance ones more saying she liked that it wasn’t quite as buttery and salty and you could taste a little more of the peach flavor. However, the overwhelming consensus was that this is a knockout recipe for peaches this summer.

 

 

Seared Scallops

Today my roomate and I (mostly she) deep cleaned the house and reorganized the kitchen. We made changes such as dedicating a coffee corner, and moved the kitchen aid stand mixer to a more prime location as many dairy free desserts are to come! Tonight we are going to make blueberry muffins, perhaps with a streusel topping so keep checking in for that! While I am waiting for her to do errands and such I needed a snack before dinner and thought I would whip up the scallops that I got at the Union Square Market today. It is as easy as a super hot pan with olive oil. Rinse the scallops and pat dry with a paper towel, season with salt and pepper and cook 1 min on each side. I made a quick tomato and avocado salad with basil, parsley, salt, pepper and lime juice and I have to say the acid really balanced out nicely with the creaminess of the scallops. YUM! And it only took 5 min total. That’s all for now, muffins to come!

 

 

My Mama’s Shepherds Pie

 

Shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food for me. It was always a special occasion when my mom and I would go to Highland Park Market where I grew up in Farmington, CT to pick up some ground lamb.  I have often had the debate with people that shepherds pie can not be made with beef as that is cottage pie but is traditionally made with lamb, and being over 75percent English I will stick to it! Of course, you can use beef but trust me, the lamb is incredible with this combination. When I was home last week we stopped by the farm stand for local Glastonbury peaches and fresh corn when we happened to be near my beloved lamb source, Highland Park! Now I cook with my mom and we have made a few alterations to make it dairy free.I think we have really mastered the art of mashed potatoes without any dairy and without it tasting like soy or any other non dairy product. I have to admit, I had seconds, and a spoonfull that could be counted as thirds when it was all done. This dish is great for a party, you can prep it ahead and bake it up when ready, but is also really good frozen and reheated. If you think you don’t like shepherd’s pie, try this recipe and I think you may change your mind, and you can thank my mama Nina for that!

Nina’s Shepherds Pie Recipe