Tuesday 5 June 2007

Z's toad is In a Hole

The Boy asks for the recipe I use. I just chuck everything in, really, until it's about the right consistency. Sometimes I add onions, fried first. T in the H made with bacon wrapped around cheddar is nice, but I'd give the bacon a few seconds in the microwave first, to release some of the liquid as otherwise the batter gets soggy.

Roughly, this is the basic method I use.
1 lb butcher's sausages
6 oz plain flour
6 fluid oz milk
4 fluid oz water
2 large eggs (I weigh bantams' eggs to get about 5 - 6 oz)

Put the oven on to Gas mark 7, 425 F. Put a roasting tin in to heat, with a spoonful of dripping if you've got it, or oil if you haven't. Brown the sausages all round in a frying pan. While they are frying, make the batter with the flour, milk, water, eggs and season with a little salt and rather more pepper. When the fat is sizzling, take out the tin, put in the sausages and put on the hob on a fairly high heat while you pour in the batter. Bung it back in the oven until it's cooked, about 40 minutes.

It's hardly a recipe, really - I think having everything really hot when you put in the batter makes it crisp and I use a metal tin for that reason.

I'd better go and brown those sossies. I'm babysitting tonight, so I'll get the food ready, put Squiffany to bed (I hope Pugsley is already there), then the Sage will stay with her while I get the toad in the oven, as he can't be relied upon to have everything hot enough (not a control freak at all, what do you mean?). Then we'll swap places again and he can bring me my dinner when it's ready (I do trust him to take it out of the oven).

PS - if you're in a mood for any more recipes, there are several in the same book that I cook often. Grilled chicken marinated with Indian spices, for example. Green noodles with cream of red pepper sauce. Tarragon chicken and mushroom pancake roulade. Monkfish salad with exotic sauce (it's not that exotic, remember she was writing nearly 25 years ago). I use her recipe for ceviche too. And I like her way of cooking basmati rice. Don't feel obliged to ask for any to humour me, but if you fancy anything, let me know.


Chairwoman of the bored said...

That's pretty much how I used to make it, but mine was never as good as my mother's. Whenever she made anything with a Yorkshire batter, it would shoot up the sides of the dish into delicious crispy peaks which contrasted beautifully with the softer middle bit.

I'm not sure whether I don't get the oil hot enough or whether it's because she used white fat or dripping.

Monozygote said...

Who is this woman? Not Marguerite Patten? I love her. But not as much as Delia. And not as much as Nigella.

Monozygote said...

Ah. Ok. I see. I got all excited and got my hopes up before I'd bothered to read all the info...

Z said...

My mother used to make fabulous Yorkshire pudding when I was a child, too. She used a Pyrex dish, and she said that the secret was to add a spoonful of water to the batter just before putting it in the hot pan. Now, was it hot water or icy cold? One or the other...anyway, I used to try that and it didn't make any difference.

She used Jersey milk, I know that. And she'd have used beef dripping from the roast beef, but I do that too.

I love Marguerite Patten too, she's fabulous. And, like most people (even though they may not admit it) I have several Delia books and use them a lot. And Nigella. I love her pea risotto. But I have to cut the amount of butter by half, my liver is under enough attack by alcohol without being assailed by quite so much butter too.

Z said...

Hot water. I think she put the batter in the fridge to rest, so it was very cold, then got the dish very hot, then stirred in a spoonful of hot water and slammed it into the dish and into the oven. Sometimes it hit the oven roof, it rose so far.

I'll try it her way next time and report back.

Anonymous said...

It sounds suspiciously like the American comfort food Pigs in a Blanket.

Girlplustwo said...

see, i don't want the recipes, i just want to come over for dinner (again).

Z said...

I don't know, Martina, I always thought that American Pigs in a Blanket were sausages wrapped in strips of dough and baked? More like our sausage rolls, which are sausage meat laid on a sheet of pastry which is then wrapped round, cut to fit, sealed and cut into 1" - 3" lengths and baked. Here, Pigs in Blankets are sausages wrapped in rashers of bacon and roasted.

Toad in a Hole is sausage with a liquid batter - rather like a savoury pancake batter but a little thicker - poured around and then baked. Comfort food, indeed.

Jen, come on over. There's always a place at the table for you.

The Boy said...

I shall have to try this. I can only guess I haven't been getting things hot enough. I'm out of goose fat finally, so will have to experiment.

You are too good to me Z. I haven't yet got the kids onto Indian flavours yet, so may want your marinated chicken recipe.

luckyzmom said...

"Pigs in a blanket" mean many different things in different parts of the US. Hot dogs wrapped in biscuit dough and baked or little sausage links wrapped in cooked pancakes, spread with butter and maple syrup and eaten. But none like the delightful dish you discribed.