Monday, February 25, 2013

Toads in Holes

I really don't like snow. Whatever people say and how pretty it may be, snow will cause nothing but trouble. There is no way you can walk looking dignified through snow. Elegance and snow do not go together. So I decided that my winter dish last night did not have to look elegant either... 

For a good snowy day we all like to keep warm. Forget about those salads, let's have some real food!

Now, as for the Toad in a Hole. I don't actually know if many (non-British) people actually know what it is... It is simply a sausage wrapped in a dough jacket, oven roasted. It is not, nor has it got anything to do with, a toad. This is traditionally served with cabbage and maybe even some oven roast potatoes. I love this dish, but because you don't really get confronted with it outside of England, I tend to forget it is a dish which is easily made and ultimate flavour packed comfort food. The trick to crunchy dough (the same dough as Yorkshire pudding) is to have an oven dish large enough so your dough doesn't fill up the dish with more than 2 cm of liquid. It has to be spread out enough so it will all cook properly, otherwise you will end up with something similar to rubber in which the sausages have been cemented.

Also, to get the sausages crispy on top, cook them for 20 minutes under the grill before you add the dough. Yum!

What do you need?

- 1 egg
- 4 sausages (count 2 per person)
- 100g of plain flour
- 300ml of skimmed milk
- salt & pepper
- any fresh herb you'd think would go well with your dish. I used thyme, but you could also go for rosemary for example
- you can also add an onion to the ingredients, which you cook with the sausages in wedges and layers taken apart. This is great and adds an extra flavour to the batter as well as the sausages.

What do you need to do?

It may not look like much but it is delicious! 
First of all you should pre-heat your oven at 200°C. Place your sausages and onion in the oven dish and add some olive oil. Place in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the batter by combining flour, herbs, egg and milk and mix into a liquid batter. 
After 20 minutes you can take the sausages out of the oven, add the batter and pop it back into the oven for another 40 minutes.
Once it is bubbly and the batter seems to be crunchy it is ready

And voilĂ ! Serve it with you favourite veg and you're in for a heart-warming dinner!

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