April 11, 2015

asparagus and parmesan popovers with spicy basil oil

asparagus and parmesan popovers with spicy basil oil | TWELFTH AVENUEasparagus and parmesan popovers with spicy basil oil | TWELFTH AVENUEWhat is it about an individual cast-iron skillet that makes me want to eat anything inside of it? Phil and I made these popovers for brunch last weekend after watching Bobby Flay whip them up on the Cooking Channel. (Brunch with Bobby is my new favorite show, by the way. I always thought he was kind of an egotistical jerk until I watched him cook, and now I have a whole new appreciation for him. You can find it OnDemand.)

These popovers are the perfect brunch recipe – a cheesy, pastry-like egg dish, brightened up by a fresh, spicy herb oil. I riffed on Bobby’s herb oil recipe using what I had on hand – lemons, basil and red pepper flakes – instead of the serrano chile, parsley and mint it called for. Feel free to experiment with different flavors. If you’re anything like me, you’re not running to the grocery store on a Sunday morning just to get chiles and herbs.

asparagus and parmesan popovers with spicy basil oil | TWELFTH AVENUEAsparagus and Parmesan Popovers with Spicy Basil Oil
serves 2
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay


Basil Oil:

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Half a lemon, juiced

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Big pinch of red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste


Handful of asparagus spears, trimmed and halved

4 large eggs

1/2 cup room-temperature milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper

1+1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons butter


For the oil: In a medium bowl, mix together the basil, red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Whisk in the oil and season with salt and pepper.

For the popover(s): Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or two individual-sized cast-iron skillets in the oven to heat. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl (cold water with lots of ice) and line a plate with paper towels.

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil, add the asparagus and cook until just tender, 1 to 2 minutes, depending on size. Drain the asparagus and drop it into the ice bath to stop cooking. Lay on the paper towel-lined plate to dry.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the flour and whisk until smooth. Sprinkle the egg mixture with some salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of the Parmesan cheese.

Using pot holders, carefully remove the pan(s) from the oven. Add the butter to the hot pan(s) and stir until melted. Arrange the asparagus in the bottom of the pan(s) and then season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Remove the pan(s) from the oven. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top, and put back in the oven until the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with some of the herb oil. Serve immediately.