Puffed and golden, this savory dutch baby is an eggy, cheesy pancake equally appropriate for brunch or quick weeknight dinner.
Breakfast for dinner! Three little words that bring a lot of hoots and hollers in my house around dinner time. And that’s just from me! It’s true, we all love breakfast for dinner, including…or especially me.
When my husband travels for work and my boys gobble up their dinner early, I have one of those rare nights when I get to decide what to make for dinner for one. Me. That said, that meal is often made up of toast, cheese and wine. Or if I’m being really honest, it consists of the leftover scraps off of my boys’ plates and yes, wine. Yes, I love to cook, and yes I have a food blog, but yes…just like you, when it comes to cooking for myself, I sometimes take a pass.
It reminds me of when I waited tables back in college, the chef (that I credit for inspiring me to follow this path) that created the most stunning plates for his customers usually ate McDonalds for lunch. He was so busy making everyone else’s meal, he didn’t have the energy or the desire to fix one for himself. And he’s certainly not alone. In the days, weeks, months, years, I spent both in front and back of the house, I often witnessed the most talented chefs eating the most wretched meals! It’s not that that their palates weren’t functioning properly, it’s that they were so geared towards pleasing someone else, they couldn’t be bothered with making their own meals. Instead they made do with a taste here and there, a cigarette, a toppled dessert deemed unfit to serve, or a hunk of bread dipped in dressing.
I was no different when I spent my days in a restaurant kitchen and ironically, I was the skinniest I have ever been before or since. You ate to survive, not to enjoy. I guess it was just the prep I needed for being a mom. When your kids are little, your life, your schedule, is simply not your own. You expect that your food will be lukewarm by the time you get the chance to taste it and out of habit I sometimes still cut up my entire steak before taking a single bite.
Well, thankfully my boys are getting older now and they still love breakfast for dinner as much as their mom. Maybe it’s that teeny tiny sliver of French in my ancestral make-up, but fluffy eggs paired with a handful of dressed greens and a glass of crisp white wine is not only delicious for dinner, but so very sophisticated. Sometimes we do a cheesy egg scramble, sometimes an overstuffed omelette, but tonight….well, mom brought it.
I made a savory dutch baby (fancy lingo for an egg pancake) flecked with herbs and parmesan and topped with a bright tomato and mixed green salad. Don’t be fooled by the name, you are not eating babies (I mention this because my son legit asked) and it is the opposite of difficult. It’s as easy as making an egg scramble, but a whole lot more impressive to serve. The dutch baby poofs in the oven (and subsequently falls), has these gorgeous, browned edges and can be served in wedges with a myriad of toppings.
This recipe makes dinner for the whole family, but it can be easily halved or quartered if it’s dinner for two or yes, even one. It’s the perfect meal when you’re starving but don’t really feel like cooking. And it’s the perfect meal to remind me that sometimes I need to take care of me too. Hell, the next time the spouse is heading west and the boys are otherwise engaged, I think it’s gong to be me, a mini dutch baby, a glass of wine, and a good book. Hmmm, a table for one suddenly has a nice ring to it.
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter cut into four pieces
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chives minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley minced
- Optional Toppings
- Greens tossed with lemon vinaigrette
- Chopped tomatoes
- Shredded parmesan cheese
- Crumbled bacon or pancetta
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and and place a 12-inch oven-proof skillet in the oven.
Blend the eggs with the milk, salt and pepper with an immersion blender or in a blender. Add the flour and the parmesan cheese and continue blending until just combined.
Add the butter to the hot pan in the oven and let it cook until hot, bubbling, and just beginning to brown. Swirl the butter in the pan so it completely coats the bottom and sides of the pan.
Pour in the egg mixture, sprinkle with herbs and bake for 20-25 mins, until puffed and golden.
Sprinkle with toppings, slice and serve.