Yorkshire pudding is not to the manor born; Concoction: Mix of eggs, flour, milk and fat can be served with more than traditional roast beef.; SUNDAY GOURMET


If your only contact with Yorkshire pudding is watching "Masterpiece Theatre" on public television, you may think this is a recipe that can only be tackled by the cook in some great manor.

Not so.

Yorkshire pudding is a basic cookery technique that you can easily learn.

The traditional recipe is eggs, flour, milk and a little fat. In the classic British recipe, beef drippings are added because the dish is usually an accompaniment to roast beef.

Beat the ingredients together, pour them into a skillet and bake. And as the "pudding" bakes, it magically climbs the sides of the skillet, forming a shell. The exterior of the pudding is crisp; the interior is tender.

The flavor of this concoction is very eggy, like an omelet. But if you substitute melted butter for beef drippings and vary the ingredients, you can have a delicious pudding any time of the day, not just with a Sunday night roast beef dinner.

For a dinner, flavor the batter with vegetables and cheese. You can even fill the cavity with steamed vegetables or a sauce or relish.

For breakfast, make a plain batter and fill the center with fresh or cooked fruit.

For a delicious dessert, add a little sugar to the milk and flour. When the pudding has baked, add a scoop of ice cream and hot fudge sauce just before serving.

One thing you have to remember is that this pancake rises and falls faster than the sigh of a "Masterpiece Theatre" heroine, so serve the Baked Cheddar Pancake with Tomato Relish or the Banana-Walnut Pancake immediately.

Baked Cheddar Pancake with Tomato Relish

Serves 2

1 tablespoon butter

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup flour

dash hot red pepper sauce

1 tablespoon minced green onion, green part only

1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1/4 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper

Tomato Relish (see recipe)

Melt butter in a 10-inch nonstick oven-proof skillet. Pour butter into medium bowl. Don't wash the skillet. Add eggs to bowl and beat. Whisk in milk, flour and hot pepper sauce. Add green onion, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk again.

Pour batter into the skillet. Bake at 350 degrees until the pancake is puffy, forms a shell and is firm in the center, 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Tomato Relish.

Remove pancake from the oven. Slice in half, slide onto 2 plates and top with half of the relish. Serve immediately.

Tomato Relish

Makes 1 cup

1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes (preferably cherry tomatoes)

2 rounded tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1 tablespoon minced cilantro

1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside 5 minutes for flavors to blend.

Banana-Walnut Pancakes

Serves 2

2 tablespoons butter

1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced 1/2 -inch thick

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons maple syrup

3 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon salt

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a nonstick 10-inch oven-proof skillet. Add banana slices and walnuts and cook over low heat until banana slices are glazed with butter, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a bowl. Stir in maple syrup. Set aside.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the skillet.

In a bowl beat together eggs, flour, milk and salt. Pour in butter and whisk. Pour batter into skillet. Bake in oven at 350 degrees until puffed up and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven.

Cut pancake in half and ease onto 2 plates. Top each serving with half of the banana mixture. Serve immediately.

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