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Archive for May 7th, 2009

We love Toad in the Hole (the traditional British dish of sausages in batter) but we also love lots of fried onions (and I mean lots – often one medium onion each!) so I combine the two. This dish can be cooked at any time of the year, but is definitely a winter ‘comfort food’ favourite. 

This recipe is my own version, using our family Batter Pudding recipe.  I use the best quality sausages I can get and definitely not the poorer quality ones with a low meat content.  I would rather have one good quality sausage than several that are all filler and no meat. For this recipe you must choose thick sausages, not chipolatas, either plain pork, pork & herb or pork & leek.  (I am not sure that some of the fancy varieties would work so well.)  You can add herbs (fresh or dried) to the mixture to liven up plain sausages if you wish.  I often forego any potato when I eat this as I find the batter is enough.  Sometimes I put the sausages on a bed of mixed roast vegetables (peppers, courgette, mushroom, tomato, for example) which need less pre-cooking, so I add them to the pan as I increase the heat in advance of adding the batter mix.

100_2484 Toad in the Hole with fried onion

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

This recipe uses my Toad in the Hole with Fried Onions
(Serves 4-6)

Best quality Thick Pork Sausages (usually 2 per person depending on appetite)
Basic Recipe: Batter Mixture (made with 2 eggs)
Onion, peeled & sliced into rings or semi circles – quantity according to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Mixed Herbs or Herbes de Provence (optional) and/or
Balsamic Vinegar to taste (optional)

1.  It is best to use a metal dish as this conducts the heat well and helps the batter to rise well. (A cast iron Le Creuset ware as shown is ideal.)  However, I have used a pottery dish as well.

2.  Pre-heat oven to 180oC.

3.  Slice the onions and keep to one side. Place the sausages in the dish, on a rack if available, cover with a lid (or a baking tray) and cook in a moderate oven for 15minutes turning half way through cooking.

4.  Remove the sausages and set to one side, leaving the sausage fat in the pan.  If not much remains then add one or two tablespoons of sunflower oil.  Add the onions and herbs, plus a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar if you wish.  Replace the pan in the oven and cook for 10minutes, stirring once.

5.  Increase the oven heat to 220oC.  Make up the batter mixture according to the Basic Method: Batter Mixture instructions.

6.   Remove the pan from the oven.  Batter rises best when put into a hot pan, so quickly lay the sausages on top of the part cooked onions, arranged so you will be able to remove them in portions, and pour the batter mixture over the sausages.  Immediately return the pan to the oven. 

7.  Do not open the oven again until the batter is well risen or it could collapse. Cook for about a further 20minutes until the batter is well risen and golden and before the sausages are too dark in colour.

7.  Serve with a green vegetable and roasted tomatoes plus a jacket potato or new potatoes.  Tomato Relish is a delicious accompaniment.

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This batter mixture can be used for Yorkshire Puddings, Toad in the Hole, fritters and poured over fruit to make a pudding similar to a clafoutis, but with a crisper finish.  Double the liquid quantities for pancakes.

This is our family recipe.  I usually halve the mixture for just 3/4 people.  My father’s Yorkshire puddings, the recipe learned from his mother, rose so successfully that my mother weighed and wrote down the exact quantities of the ingredients.  Here they are…

100_3453-yorkshire-pudding

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Basic Recipe: Batter Mixture

Yorkshire Puddings
(Serves 7/8)

7ozs plain flour
4ozs milk
4ozs water
2 eggs
pinch of salt

1.  Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl.  Mix the eggs into the liquids. Stir and then whisk very well into the flour until creamy and bubbly.  Leave in the fridge for a minimum of 30mins. 

2.  Heat the oven to high temperature 425oF/220oC.  Pre-heat the tin or tins for the puddings, each containing a small amount of dripping (from the joint if you are having roast beef) or oil. 

3.  When the oil is hot, re-whisk the batter mixture to the same creamy, bubbly consistency.  Remove the tin/tins from the oven, immediately pour the batter into the tins and return the tins to the oven as quickly as possible. Once in the oven the door should not be re-opened until the puddings are cooked or they could collapse. The length of cooking time will depend on the size of pudding, whether one large pudding or individual sized medium or small ones, which cook much quicker. For medium puddings (about 3inches diameter) cooking time is 20-30minutes. 

This basic recipe has been used for the following dishes:
Nottingham Apple Pudding
Sweetcorn Pancake Fritters
Toad in the Hole with Fried Onions

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