For as long as Williams-Sonoma has been publishing its kitchen wares catalog – long before any stores opened in Florida – I’ve been reading it. Not for the tools, books, gadgets, linens and foods I drool over, but don’t really need – but for the luscious recipes.
They hit me today with one online I must share – because the memory of these warm delights makes my mouth water – I’m bound for the kitchen to whip up a batch for dinner. They’re that good.
It’s for popovers made at BLT Steak. There’s a branch of that “modern American steakhouse,” created by French chef Laurent Tourondel, in Miami Beach at the stylish Betsy Hotel. Tourondel has 10 more of these, plus nine other concept restaurants (and a burger truck) around the U.S., it’s territories, and in Asia.
The chefs offer cooking lessons at BLTs nationwide – check the restaurant’s web site for their “Cook Like a Pro” series and find out when the Miami one will have theirs.
Pat Riley – some basketball guy
The day I ate at BLT Miami for lunch not long ago, Pat Riley, president of the Miami Heat, was dining there, too – with all the Heat players’ wives. Others in the restaurant were a bit atwitter over this. My companion and I had to actually ask to see if it really was him – we thought it was, but weren’t sure. Neither of us are pro sports fans.
Besides, I was there for the great food, not the star stuff. These popovers starred for me – though the steak and our gorgeous tuna appetizer were delicious as well.
These cheese versions of the popover need little else to gussy them up, but you could serve them with a boursin mixed with butter, or a light citrus butter – or strawberry jam if you make them for breakfast (why not!?) to go with ham and eggs.
The pan makes a difference
I’ll break form and recommend a special pan for this baking job. A popover pan is thicker than most cupcake pans and much deeper, which results in the air-filled popovers that rise above their pan and stand at attention in the oven. They are spaced apart, too – allowing the hot oven air to circulate around them.
You can buy the nonstick pan they’re cooked in from Williams-Sonoma – they have stores in the Gardens mall in Palm Beach Gardens, in Wellington Green, CityPlace and in Town Center in Boca Raton. There are five others in Broward and Dade counties. Or, order it online.
The trick to making them is to work up the batter just before you bake them – don’t let it sit at room temperature too long. Once they’re in the oven, keep from opening the door to look at them. Work quickly to spin them around halfway through – then shut the door gently and let them bake till golden brown and high as a top hat.
The BLT Steak cheese versions need little else to gussy them up, but you can serve them with a boursin mixed with butter, or a light citrus butter – or strawberry jam if you make them for breakfast (why not!?) to go with ham and eggs.
Fun fact about Chef Tourondel: He has collection of wooden water skis – he mounts them on his walls.
BLT Steak Miami
- The Betsy Hotel
- 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach
- 305-673-0044; www.bltsteak.com
Here’s the recipe, shared in the Williams-Sonoma catalog – a highly recommended read.
BLT Steak Popovers
These airy golden puffs are served warm from the oven at BLT Steak, a modern American steakhouse opened by acclaimed French chef Laurent Tourondel. Cook’s tip: After rotating the pan partway through the baking time, don’t open the oven door again until the popovers are done; this will help ensure they rise evenly.
- 3 cups milk
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 6 eggs
- 6 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated
Place a 6-cup popover pan in the bottom third of an oven. Place a baking sheet on the rack underneath to catch any drips. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the milk until small bubbles form around the edges. Put the flour and salt in a fine-mesh sieve and sift onto a sheet of waxed paper. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the hot milk, whisking constantly so the eggs don’t cook, then gradually whisk in the flour mixture until almost smooth.
Remove the popover pan from the oven and spray the cups with nonstick vegetable spray. Fill the prepared cups about three-fourths full with batter and sprinkle each with 1/2 oz. cheese – about 1 tablespoon.
Return the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees. Continue baking until the popovers are browned and puffed, 30 minutes more; do not open the oven after rotating the pan.
Invert the pan and remove the popovers. Serve immediately. Using a paper towel, wipe out the excess fat from the popover cups. Heat the pan in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat to bake the remaining batter. Makes 12 popovers.
(Recipe courtesy of BLT Steak, and Williams Sonoma catalog.)