Thursday, May 20, 2010

In the kitchen - Toad in the hole

Winter seems to be sneaking up on us fast, we've gone from warm, sunny autumn days to foggy, damp and grey days where the fog seems to linger and comes rolling back at night. We've had quite a bit of rain too, although I'm not complaining about that, we needed it. It would have been nice though if the sun had hung around so that we had some grass growth, it has been growing, but not enough really. Perhaps we've still some warm days to come, I hope so.

It's when it starts getting like this that the fire gets lit and the slow cooker/crock pot comes out and thoughts turn to winter warming foods such as stews and soups. We had our first beef stew the other day, it was lovely but we missed the dumplings. There's nothing like a hot, steaming plate of food that warms the cockles of your heart, it's comfort food.

One of our favourites, a good British staple, is Toad in the hole. This recipe is from Jamie Olivers, Happy Days with the Naked Chef, he has to be one of my favourite chefs, he cooks good wholesome food in his no nonsense way.
Serves 4
sunflower oil - 8 large good quality sausages - 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary- 2 large red onions, peeled and sliced - 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced, -2 knobs of butter - 6 tblsp balsamic vinegar - good quality vegetable stock powder or 1 vegetable stock cube

For the batter
285ml / 1/2 pint milk - 115g / 4oz plain flour - a pinch of salt - 3 eggs

Mix the batter ingredients together and put to the side.

I, of course did it my own way and didn't follow Jamie exactly. This is how I did it.

Brown the sausages on a frying pan then place them in 1cm of oil in the tray/dish you are cooking the toad in the hole in, place in a very hot oven. Wait until the fat is smoking hot, remove from oven, pour over the sausages and throw the sprigs of rosemary in.
Bake in the hot oven for about 20 mins or so, depends on the size of the tin you are using. Try not to open the door unless you want your pudding mix to look like Joe's mums, ie a slab that could be used for paving!

For onion gravy
Fry off the onions and garlic in the butter on a medium heat for about 5 minutes until they go sweet and translucent. You can add thyme and rosemary, I did. Add the balsamic vinegar and allow it to reduce by half. At this point cheat and add the stock powder/cube. Sprinkle in and add water. Allow to simmer and this onion gravy is just lovely.
Serve with the Toad in the hole, mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies.
Disclaimer : No toads were harmed in the making of this meal.


  1. Crikes!I loove Toad in The Hole...send me some please.!
    Ps,old blog is Garden of Solitude..;)Your pm box or something is full on D2E,and I couldnt send you pm..:)

  2. OK Chook, yes so it was lol! Would love to send you some but we scoffed it! lol Have emptied PM box now, don't get much if an allowance there eh! lol

  3. I am going try this, the kids been asking for it in ages, I only ever once made a good Yorkshire pud batter every one since has come out like 1/4 inch high and rubbery. dunno why lol guess if this fails, I can keep the snags and toss the batter.

  4. Let me know how it turns out :D


I love reading your comments and I thank you for taking the time to write them. I do my very best to reply to every one of them right here on the blog. When you leave your next comment tick the 'email follow up comments' and then you'll get any replies I leave. Thank you for reading my blog.