Cooking lately has been uninspired and lackluster, more going-through-the-motions than going through pages of inspiring cookbooks. I've made a lot of sauteed zucchini and shallots, mixed with leftover rice in the pan, and then pushed to the sides to scramble up a couple of eggs and then mix the whole thing together. It's tasty, don't get me wrong, but not that exciting in the grand culinary scheme of things.
So, here's something exciting:
There's always something I come home to, a dish that is always delicious, always reliable and always welcome on a plate before me, not to mention a good bit of fun to make:
They are something like a German oven pancake or a Yorkshire pudding or something else that is Czech, but growing up, all I knew these as were Dutch babies and that I wanted to slather maple syrup all over them and start eating as soon as possible.
My mom would make these as a major treat for us for breakfast... sometimes on the weekend, or if we were really lucky, before we left for school. She got the recipe from James Beard's cookbook, "The New James Beard," a book she bought 3 months after I was born. I know this because I just found the invoice for it used as a bookmark for Bechamel Sauce on page 531.
Dutch Baby for 1 Person (plus a little leftover to pick at later in the afternoon):
3 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Whisk together eggs, milk and flour in a bowl til combined and slightly frothy.
Melt butter in a small skillet in the oven. Remove skillet and pour in batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes until it looks as it does in the picture, puffed and browned.
It will collapse a good bit when you take it out of the oven. Take a spatula, loosen it off the bottom of the skillet and slide it onto a plate. Put on some REAL maple syrup, get a fork and knife and go to town.
Multiply the recipe accordingly and switch to a big skillet if you are cooking for more people. It's the best breakfast I know.