The Blast

Make This Next Weekend: Thyme Popovers
April 26, 2009, 7:46 pm
Filed under: food, recipes

Had I known that popovers were so ridiculously easy to make, I’d have jumped on this ship years ago. The last time I hit up NYC for a non-business trip, I went to Popover Cafe. For a trip that was drenched in rain, this was certainly one of the highlights.

Wanting to try something different for breakfast, I looked up “popovers” on foodnetwork, and came across this recipe by Ina Garten.

I give to you, Thyme Popovers:

Softened butter for greasing pans, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Generously grease aluminum popover pans or custard cups with softened butter. You’ll need enough pans to make 12 popovers. Place the pans in the oven for 2 minutes to preheat. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, thyme, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth. The batter will be thin. Fill the popover pans less than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. Do not peek.

Serve hot.

These came out perfect the first time, and the second time. The second time, I made a few modifications:

1. No need for 1.5 tablespoons of butter to grease the pan. Just some cooking spray will do.
2.  Another option is to leave out the thyme completely, and enjoy it with some of the best jam you can find. Both versions are fantastic.

In the end, please, do yourself a favor and go to Target and pick up a popover pan (only $12 or so) and get to gettin’. You won’t regret it.



Mac and Cheese
April 15, 2009, 6:44 pm
Filed under: food, recipes

Mac and Cheese is a classic from when you were a kid. It’s good, unadulterated fun to cook it up as an adult, but usually you’ll want something a little more sophisticated.

Enter, Mark Bittman with Macaroni Gratin. Here are the ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound penne
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup reserved beef stew cooking liquid or good stock
  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese

There are many other options, such as Paula Deen’s Fried Mac and Cheese Bacon Bites. That is for braver souls than I.

Make this Tonight: Gai Pad Krapow (Thai Basil Chicken)
April 3, 2009, 7:13 pm
Filed under: food, recipes

One thing I’ll attempt to do in this blog every now and then is to write up any interesting recipes I come across. I’ve been trying to cook a lot more lately, and as I’m learning and discovering new recipes that I know I’ll want to cook again, I’ll relay that over to all of you.

The first such recipe is Thai Basil Chicken.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Chilis, finely chopped (use 2-3 serrano peppers for a very mild heat; 2-3 bird’s eye chilis for a medium heat)
1 large shallot, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 pound green beans, trimmed, chopped in 1¼-inch lengths 
1/2 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 bunch basil, leaves only

To serve:
Boiled rice
Fried eggs, 1 per person (optional)
Nam pla prik (recipe follows) or fresh lime wedges


1. Heat the oil over high heat in a wok or large frying pan. When you can see waves forming in the hot oil, add the chilis, shallots, and garlic and stir-fry until golden, about 30 seconds.

2. Add the green beans and stir-fry until cooked but still crunchy, 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the ground chicken, using a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the meat into small pieces. Stir-fry until chicken is cooked through.

4. Add the fish sauce and sugar to the pan, and stir to distribute. Taste, and add more fish sauce or sugar if desired.

5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the basil leaves and stir-fry until completely wilted. Remove from heat.

6. Serve with boiled rice, fried egg (optional), and nam pla prik or lime wedges.

I’ve made it a couple times now. I like to double up the recipe since it’s pretty good for leftovers. Also, if you’re vegetarian or just want something different, substituting the ground chicken for firm tofu, cut and drained, is just as good. I also like to serve it up with sliced, fresh cucumber like in the picture.


via Serious Eats