Can you believe that Memorial Day weekend is upon us? It's been confirmed for me many times by a check and re-check of my daily planner (yes, I still use the old-fashioned kind-you can teach a dog new tricks and all that, but then there's me...) and still I act surprised every time it's mentioned! Am I in some sort of strange denial that another summer is practically here? Am I trying to slow down the inevitable forward march of time? Or am I just a little dazed and confused, what with my head cold and so much energy focused on my new kitchen? Well, whatever it is, Memorial Day is a-coming, like it or not and I thought you might want to have this terrific Herbed Parmesan Dutch Baby on hand as well as all of the other recipes in Melissa Clark's new book, Dinner: Changing The Game. It's Famous Fridays time around here guys and boy do we have a lot to talk about!!
First off, Melissa Clark, no stranger to these pages. I've already featured her once on Famous Fridays with this luscious Brownie Raspberry Trifle. You may also know her from her very popular NY Times food column, "A Good Appetite". And now this terrific new book dedicated to "changing the game" when it comes to preparing the evening meal. The book is organized into several, simple different chapters like Chicken, Meat, Fish & Seafood, Eggs, Pasta, Tofu, Soups etc. and there are over 200 recipes for stellar, reliable, not too complicated, star entreés ranging from classics like Salt and Pepper Roast Chicken and Stovetop Mac and Cheese to more off-the beaten-path choices like Harissa Roasted Chicken, Chorizo Pork Burgers, Vietnamese Caramel Salmon, One-Pot Mujadara and this amazing Herbed Parmesan Dutch Baby that makes a super-special dinner but would also bring down the house for brunch as well. And though it looks fancy and fussy, the reality is that this is actually one of the easiest dishes I've ever made!!
Basically, you're making a big savory baked pancake--but before we start talking more about how irresistible it is and why you absolutely NEED to make this asap--tell me, what are you doing for Memorial Day? We are going to formally get our kitchen going with a big extended family shindig and for the life of me, I'm not sure what to serve. It's like I haven't really cooked for such a long time now that I'm out of practice. Maybe a taco bar? Or a BBQ, but the weather's looking iffy and it kind of defeats the purpose of having the kitchen party if I only use the outdoor grill. Guys, if you have any ideas, send them my way!! The clock is ticking!! Ok, enough sidetracking, now back to this gorgeous breakfast-for-dinner treat (there's an idea--maybe make it an evening breakfast party???!!!).
Once you've mixed together the batter which is full of eggs, milk, flour and chives you pour it into a sizzling hot cast iron pan in which you've melted some butter until it becomes browned and delightfully nutty. Next you sprinkle some parmesan cheese and salt on top and stick the whole thing in the oven to rise and get gorgeously, cheesily, eggily puffy!
You'll want to jump for joy when you take it out of the oven in all it's golden, chewy, crunchy splendor (but don't jump too hard 'cause you don't want it to deflate!) It's sort of like a giant popover with a cheesy, salty top and a custardy eggy chive-y interior. Light but still with some umph! YUM!! Serve it with a salad and dinner is all ready to go. It'll look like you've spent a day slaving in the kitchen when in reality the whole prep time takes 15 minutes tops!!
It's fun to pull it apart with your fingers-you just have to be careful not to touch the searingly hot pan!
And as I mentioned before, it would be very welcome at any brunch, which means it might just be perfecto for any and all upcoming holiday weekend celebrations! Just make it--trust me you'll love it! And pick up a copy of Melissa's new book while you're at it. Making dinner will be a lot more fun! Have an wonderful, yummy and safe holiday weekend (I'll finally have all 3 kids under one roof again--could be fun or the start of WWIII!!!) Gotta get back to agonizing over what to make for the party!!!
Dinner: Changing The Game's Herbed Parmesan Dutch Baby-Famous Fridays
Serves 5-6 as a main course, 8-10 as an hors d'oeuvre
Prep Time: 15 minutes; Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 large eggs
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Flaky sea salt for garnish (optional-if you do use be careful not to overdo it since the parmesan is already salty)
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. Place the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Then whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture in the large bowl until just combined---you should not see any traces of flour but it won't be completely smooth either. Stir in the chives.
3. Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron or other oven safe skillet over medium-high heat and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until the butter begins to turn brown and smells nutty (you are making browned butter here). Swirl the pan so that the butter evenly coats the bottom of the pan and pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the parmesan all across the top and the flaky sea salt (if using). Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. It will rise up gorgeously and get golden brown.
4. Serve immediately but be careful because the pan is very hot. You can pull off hunks with your hands or cut into wedges.
Note: Recipe adapted from Dinner: Changing The Game by Melissa Clark. I cut the butter and salt down and left out the 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme. It would be good with the thyme but you definitely can go down on the butter. I might even try to use 4 tablespoons next time.