Friday 13 April 2012

Recipe: English Toad in the Hole

   Ok, first of all, it isn't how it sounds. There are no amphibians or even really any holes. It's a dish that was originally made with left over meats, or "6d. or 1s. worth of bits and pieces of any kind of meat, which are to be had cheapest at night when the day's sale is over." via wiki. These days it's made with sausages instead.
   Yorkshire puddings are one of my favourite things, and toad in the hole is basically sausage cooked in yorkshire pudding batter. Yorkie puddings are not dessert, by the way, they're doughy bready things usually served with roasted dinners and gravy. And if my pudding has no gravy, I won't have it, no sir. It must be soggy.

   But today, because I've been so rotten with project 52 (my hot glue sticks arrived today, so with any luck - yes, I know I said that last time - I'll have it up tomorrow some time), I'm going to post the quick and easy recipe. Because it's delicious.

You will need (serves 4 - 6):
 8 pork sausages
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
225g (8 oz) plain flour
4 eggs
250ml (8 fl oz) milk
salt and pepper to taste
herbs (optional)

Method (approximately 40 minutes total):
1. Preheat oven to 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8. Add a tablespoon of oil to a baking dish and arrange your sausages on it. Put them in the oven for about 10 minutes.

2. While they're cooking, mix your batter. Whisk together the eggs, the flour, and half of the milk, then gradually add more milk until it becomes creamy. Mine got quite runny - don't worry, it's normal. I panicked momentarily but I looked it up and all is fine. I don't do well in the kitchen. Usually one thing goes wrong and I give up. I added lots of herbs to the mixture, because I love them - basil smells gorgeous! I once had a bubble bath that was lemongrass and basil. I only got the chance to buy it once before they discontinued it, the buggers! I'll find some basil oil and make it myself.

3. When the sausages are done (after the 10 minutes), ladel the mixture over the sausages. They will not be buried by the mixture, and once it's cooked, the sausages will be quite bare. Once the full mixture is in the tin, put it back in the oven. Don't open the door again until it's done, because yorkshire puddings can be quite tempramental when rising. Leave it in the oven for another 20 to 30 minutes.

The batter will rise and thicken in the oven. I wasn't sure if mine was done once it hit 25 minutes, so I bravely took it out and had a poke at the batter, which looked a little runny to me, but it turned out it was completely ready. Also, the inside is supposed to be soft, not crispy, so if you test it by poking it with a knife and you don't need to cut through a crust, it's fine. The crust is only around the outside, really. If batter comes out all over your knife, however, put it back in for a little longer.

Yorkshire puddings are usually had with roast dinners. You can easily make them yourself, just mix up some of the batter and put it in a cupcake tray. The edges should rise to make bowl shapes. Alternatively, however, you could buy them frozen.

There are numerous different variations of
Toad in the Hole on the web. This is just a simple
version. I linked Jamie Oliver's above, which is
a little more fancy, but you might want to try this
one first. And if it goes wrong, you could always
just order a pizza. Win-win.


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