Monday, July 30, 2007

A Popover Recipe and Review - Gluten-Free Quick & Easy

This title speaks to me. Who doesn't like the concept of quick and easy?? Especially when it comes to menu planning, and figuring out how to make foods that you are used to. I was sent a copy of this book, but I was not paid to write something positive, I was shipped the book, and I will write what I honestly think about it. (The best part is that I asked if I could share a couple of recipes, so at the bottom, you will see one, and then I will choose another later! )

I have not bought a gluten free cookbook yet. Why? I am not sure. But I do love having things in print to reference, versus always running to my computer. I read Carol's book on my porch, drinking coffee...and found a few things I liked right off the bat, and a one thing that didn't fit for my way of cooking. (And later...when I used the recipes I could see the logic behind it, but I digress.)

Things I liked...I really liked how she took almost 50 pages to explain how to explain the gluten free diet, find hidden sources of gluten, how to stock your pantry, the fact that you will still have some of your favorite foods, and most of all, how to menu plan, with an 8 week plan already done up for you. As well as glossaries and explanation of these "new" gluten free ingredients and how they work. Oh, and the end of the book she gives all sorts of substitutions for the recipes for people with multiple sensitivities. Honestly, I am not even to the recipes.

In my very humble opinion, (and it is humble..I have not looked at many gluten free 2 before this one... I never wrote a cookbook...and I think Carol is great, she has reached out and helped so many...but I digress, again.) this is a perfect book for people new to the diet, especially those who have not really cooked before. Her directions are very simple, and easy to follow.

The following can be positive, as well as a negative, totally depending upon your point of view. And this was what I was referring to earlier; I have never used the flour mixes some really the feather light and all. And I would not use recipes that called for them. It didn't fit my style.

If you use this cookbook, there are a couple of flour mixes you need to make and have on hand, a good chunk of the recipes call for it. It is a system to make your kitchen run a bit smoother. If you do that, these recipes will be easier, if not, it will be a bit of a hassle to mix them up as you go. I tend to steer away from recipes with these kinds of mixes. That being said, I made the popover recipe from this book using one (see below) and they were delicious. I will have to explore further, and figure out if I will make up some of her mixes up to have on hand...something I wasn't planning on doing before I read this book.

I would classify this cookbook as an American one with some other ethnic foods thrown in. You have classics like Chicken Pot Pie and Turkey Shepard's Pie followed by Chinese Lemon Chicken and Jamaican Jerk Chicken. There is a good variety of recipes and tips included throughout the book.

I think we can all see that I believe this is a very handy, well-thought out book, especially as a primer for newbies, and a good reference to keep in your kitchen. (What would I do if my Internet was down??) Peruse a copy, see if it's for you. But in the meantime, I have a delicious, and easy, recipe from this book to share, no purchase necessary. With permission. Now, that's the best!!

I only made popovers once before..for Thanksgiving 8 years ago with on of my dear friends. I am by no means a popover expert. I enjoyed these very much, and might even buy a popover pan to make them again. I baked them in a muffin tin, and had to adjust the cooking time just a bit..the tops were getting too brown. I followed the recipe exactly as written. Delicious!


Popovers from Carol Fenster's Gluten Free Quick and Easy

Popovers are one of the easiest breads to make. You just whip up the batter in a blender, pour it into a popover or muffin pan, and bake away. What can be simpler than that? Popover pans are sold in kitchen and discount stores for around $20, which is a good investment for bread that is so easy. Store the batter in the refrigerator overnight, or all day until you're ready to make dinner, then bring the batter to room temperature before baking.

3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup 1% milk, also room temp.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup potato starch
1/4 cup Carol's Flour Blend
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1. Preheat the oven to 450. Generously grease a popover or muffin pan. Adjust oven rack to the lower middle position.

2. Process all the ingredients in a blender until very smooth.

3. Place the prepared pan in the hot oven 5 minutes. Wearing hot mitts, carefully remove the hot pan and pour the batter evenly into each of the six cups. Return pan to oven.

4. Bake 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and continue baking 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sides are rigid. (Do not open the door during the baking time.) Quickly and carefully, open the oven door and remove the pan. Pierce each popover along it's firm side with a toothpick or sharp knife to release the steam, then return the pan to the oven to bake for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove the popovers from the pan and serve warm. If necessary, reheat the popovers in a 200 oven 5 minutes.

Carol's Flour Blend
1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch or corn starch
1 cup tapioca flour

Stir all ingredients with a whisk. Store in heavy duty storage bag or plastic container.

Other bloggers thoughts about this cookbook:
Interview with Carol Fenster, Ph. D.
Lea's Gluten Free


kbabe1968 said...

WOW! Cool!!!! THANKS!!!! The recipe looks great. You and I think alike, regarding flours and mixes, etc. :) This definitely seems worth a peek-see. :D

Ginger said...

I have realized that I simply don't eat very many baked goods as I too don't like messing around with the flour blends. My mom did a great thing for me this Christmas. She bought one of the Bette Hagman books at a second hand store. Looked up the flour blends and went and bought and mixed up all the ingredients for some of the blends and put them in large gallon zip bags and labeled them with the blend and the page number in the book. I actually used them.
Lately I have been doing a spelt challenge and so far so good. My gastro doc says it is a gray area and that some Celiacs can eat it and some can't.
I love popovers and once made them for Thanksgiving too - I think a Bon Apetit recipe. Looks great!

Stephanie said...

I love all kinds of cookbooks, but I find I rarely use my gf ones except for a few recipes I tried when I first became gf and still like. (And I don't think I bought any of them--they were all gifts.) I'd rather use a "regular" cookbook and substitute Bob's Red Mill GF Flour Mix. It's so much easier than buying and mixing the flours myself. And so many recipes I use are gf already, or very easily adaptable. Once you get the hang of it, I think you don't really need special gf cookbooks anymore. But they're great for "beginners" and I still like to read them for fun.

Lea Ray said...

This was the first and only gf cookbook that own. I am going to refer it to a friend of mine that just found out her daughter has celiac. It is very good for beginners or for us lazy people that have been on the diet for a long time and wants someone else to do the thinking for us. I bake a lot with mixes just for the simple fact that I don't like to mess around with all the diffent flours. She just has a way of making it seem not so difficult though.

I haven't had a chance to try anything yet though. Sometimes you just have to be in the mood to cook.

Also, thanks for linking my page :)

Natalie said...

For a long time, I did not mess with mixes. I still don't premix gluten free flours. And I hate the zip lock bag approach. Way too messy/cluttered for a family fridge. I keep my flours, etc. in stackable labeled canisters in my fridge and that way I can mix or use them separately. Thanks for the great review! I agree with Stephanie about the gf cookbooks- they are great for beginners. I never open mine anymore.

Sea said...

I think that ordinarily one can adapt gluten recipes, even baked goods, fairly easily with a simple gluten free flour mix, but I rely on my gluten free cookbooks for yeast breads and other yeast bread products. They really make a difference in the quality of bread I can produce. I think Bette Hagman's use of bean flour blends results in a really high quality of bread. I also like Rebecca Reilly's cookbook for her more sophisticated approach to desserts. I have loved many of Carol Fenster's recipes (especially her pizza crust recipe), and think that her cookbooks are very good for those recently diagnosed for Celiac. I do however tend to use my non GF cookbooks much more frequently, esp for main meal dishes. One nice thing is that you can actually buy pretty much all of Bette Hagman's flour blends pre-mixed from companies like Authentic Foods, Ener-g Foods, and Allergy Grocer, which cuts down on the nuisance factor. I keep all my flours on a bookshelf in the dining room in reasonably attractive, labeled canisters. Plastic bags= disaster for me. I'm far too chaotic!

Anyway, thank you for sharing this recipe. I think it's great that you were given permission to do so- I try to refrain from publishing recipes from gluten free cookbooks myself, as I want to support our gluten free cookbook authors. :)


PS By the way, I tagged you for a Meme at my blog (book of yum), and if you have the time and inclination you are welcome to participate. If not, absolutely no worries and have a wonderful day!

Sea said...

Oops, my last sentence sounded a bit funny, too bad I can't revise it. Anyway, what I MEANT was that I try not to publish recipes from GF cookbooks without permission, but of course having them WITH permission is groovy and helps promote the cookbook. ;)

Mary Frances said...

I have one of Carol's cookbooks, and it was a lifesaver when I was starting out with gluten-free. Her foccacia bread recipe is really, really good.

I have used Bob's Red Mill mixes before, but kept running out of it at inconvenient times. It seemed like I was always driving all over town looking for more mix, or waiting days for it to come via UPS if I ordered online.

I ended up creating my own gluten free flour mix because I could not get the ingredients for Carol's mix locally. Now I order a 25 lb bag of brown rice flour online, and then buy the other ingredients locally. I make up a big batch of mix every few weeks and keep it in a canister on my counter. This way I only have to order online about twice a year.

Sheri said...

I feel the same way about flour mixes - I will steer away from a recipe that is based on one, every time.

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Thanks for all your responses and opinions!


Anonymous said...

THANKS for the recipe. I am making it right now!
I agree with practically everyone about the flour mixes. I've found I prefer just straight brown rice flour (w/ the xanthan of course) The addition of starch doesn't make enough of a difference to me for the hassle. Plus I just prefer to eat healthy whole grains. I never ate white bread before becoming GF anyway. As you would say "I digress"....Anyway, nice blog & thanks so much for sharing!

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Anon ~ Your welcome! How did the popovers come out with just brown rice flour? I hope they were delicious!

Anonymous said...

My mom always makes these in a muffin pan so if you don't have a popover pan you can definitely use that! it works great! I love popovers!

Joelle said...

I use that Sorgham Blend for quite a few All Purpose Flour Substitutions. I think you don't need as much liquid when you use it...I'm still experimenting. I would love to get a hold of a great pizza crust recipe. Someone referred to one in their post.

Valentine said...

I made this recipe and they looked great on the outside but the insides where gummy. What did I do wrong? Did I maybe not bake them long enough?
Thank you so much for your help. I ate then anyway and they were delicious.

Mrs. G.F. said...

Valentine ~ I found that popovers have a bit of the gummyness anyway, but if there was too much, it could have been your pan. Try lowering your oven temp and cooking them a bit longer.
I am so glad you enjoyed them, we have to love Carol Fenster for creating them!!

Peggy said...

I just made these for supper and they turned out fabulously! Since I didn't have a popover pan, I filled 10 of the compartments of a 12-muffin pan and reduced the final cooking time by 5 minutes. Thank you so very much!!!

Peggy said...

Oh, I forgot to mention in my other comment, that this is the fist time I have tried one of Carol Fenster's recipes...I'm definitely going to buy her GF cookbook :)! I have no problem with making up GF mixes and storing them in my fridge. I prefer different mixes for different recipes, depending on the texture I am trying to achieve. Thanks again :)

Verity said...

I can understand your feelings about flour mixes. However, there is an incredibly good reason for them being included in this: the need to be gluten free. If you are gluten sensitive or have celiacs and still want to bake (which you absolutely can) you need to learn your alternative flours. For those who DON'T have to be gluten free, its easy to grab some all-purpose and go at it. In order to get the same properties in gluten-free cooking, you often have to combine rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthum gum, potato starch etc. in order to get the food consistency you want. While there are some ready mixes out there (Bob's Red Mill)- if you have an easy source like this to go to, you can actually save a lot of money by mixing your own.

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys & Galls, i would just like to make an introduction to the members at

I must call it a killer forum, I never think about reading out an entire forum section but this message board was successful in getting my attention and trust me, That?s not often.

I needed some info and was searching on for it. I visited each of the top five pages that came up but didn?t get any relevant result... I then luckily found your diamond forum in the dirt and thought to check it out. This is exactly what I was looking for - what a killer find!

Thanks people at and keep this tremendous effort up!

[color=#cc0000][URL=]Protein Powders[/URL] [URL=]USN[/URL] [URL=]progain[/URL] [URL=]Prohormones[/URL] [URL=]Protein Bars[/URL] [/color]

Anonymous said...

Thank you, that was extremely valuable and interesting...I will be back again to read more on this topic.

Anonymous said...

Top blog, I had not come across previously in my searches!
Carry on the great work!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be offline... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at could post it.


Anonymous said...

Nice and thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am certainly delighted to discover this. Good job!

Gloria said...

that look yummy!!

My son Troy was diagnosed with ADHD. A year ago I put him on a gluten free casein free diet with absolutely wonderful results. I started a blog to share our story and some recipes. If anyone is interested in reading it, here is a link:

Get email alert when there is a new post.

Enter your email address: