Okay everyone, here it is: by popular demand from the various people I’ve served these to over the past two weeks, here is The Appetizer Recipe of the Year (or, the Holiday Season at the very least).  I’ve made these little bites FOUR TIMES in the past two weeks, most recently for a paddle tennis party I attended last night where the ladies pronounced them to absolutely be blogworthy.  Manly man and girlie girl friendly, they are simple to make, easy on your wallet, and just really, really good. : )

Anyone who is a fan of the PBS show Downton Abbey (oh my gosh, that’s me) will enjoy knowing the idea for this recipe came from a Facebook post I saw recently called “What Would Mrs. Patmore Make?”  Mrs. P, for those of you who don’t watch, is the meticulous household cook at Downton; she’s always dishing up something fabulous from the downstairs kitchen where she rules with an iron spatula.  There’s a fun Pintrest page dedicated to all of the goodies Mrs. P creates for the upper crust British family she works for.  I’ve been known to get lost there for hours (my favorite: “What’s for tea, Mrs. P?”).  Check it out, it’s very cute.

Whether you’re in the mood to channel your inner British Aristocrat or not, raise a glass (and a pinky) and enjoy these little puddings sometime this Holiday season.  Merry, merry!  : )

Yields 2 dozen appetizer portions
SOURCE:  Adapted from downtonabbeycooks.com

For the puddings:
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
2 large eggs
1 c. whole milk
Butter for the pans (ShurFresh Butter Quarters are on sale)

For the Horseradish Chive Cream:
1 c. sour cream (Daisy Brand is on sale)
2 T. prepared horseradish, or more depending on your taste
Big pinch minced chives, also according to taste
Kosher salt

12 oz. rare roast beef, sliced thin (Sendik’s Brand Roast Beef is on sale in the deli **see note**)
Chopped chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 450.  In a bowl stir together the flour and the salt.  In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and the milk.  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, and whisk the batter until it is smooth.  Heat two mini muffin tins in the preheated oven for three minutes, or until hot.  Add a small pat of butter to each muffin cup **see note** and immediately place the pans back in the oven for two more minutes.  Remove hot pans and working very quickly, fill the muffin cups with the batter (I like to use a glass measuring cup for this).  Place the pans in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until puddings have puffed and are golden brown.  Remove puddings from muffin tins (you might have to encourage them with the tip of a sharp knife) and place on serving platter (they probably won’t be uniform; this is okay).

Stir together the sour cream, horseradish, minced chives, and salt.  Taste and correct seasonings.  Place a dollop of sauce in the middle of each pudding.

Place the roast beef on a work surface and slice it into 1″ ribbons.  Peel off the ribbons and wrap or roll them into a little rosette shape.  Top each pudding with a piece of roast beef.  Garnish puddings with sliced chives.  Serve immediately.

Some notes:
** The ‘puddings’ here are going to taste exactly like a popover but the texture will be much more dense.
** I don’t measure anymore; just be sure to use enough so that the bottom of each cup will be nicely coated with melted butter or your puddings will stick horribly. In fact, I even blast the tops of the pans with Pam for a little extra insurance.  Trust me, after making them four times straight, I speak from experience.
** I use Boar’s Head here because it seems to run a little more on the rare side and this of course is a matter of personal taste.  Ask your friendly deli rep to show you both (they won’t mind) and make your selection based on how you like your beef done.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous, News | December 18th, 2012