Sunday, October 17, 2010

A lazy weekend and a recipe for Toad in the Hole

This past weekend was perfect... I started out with the intention of achieving absolutely nothing, and I achieved it! Saturday started off with the hubby making breakfast, and the rest of the day was spent milling around the garden with the girls... a spot of cleaning up... but mainly soaking up the loveliness of Fall...

I was going to bake, but a friend came over bearing gifts of pumpkin ale (for hubby), apple pie (for kiddies), and a bottle of wine (for me)... so the wine was drunk, the pie was eaten, and the baking was scrapped until next week. Seriously, I wish you could have tried the pie... it really is heaven in a slice... It's from my local farmer's market and, come the holidays, you have to get your order in early and the line is out of the door.... it is that good, and the reason why I will never bake an apple pie!

Anyhoo, on Sunday, I was feeling comfort food (a side effect of the wine, I think) and wasn't up for cooking a full out Sunday roast (remember, I was aiming for a zero effort weekend) and so, I decided to cook the next best thing... Toad in the Hole. To all those not familiar with this dish, don't worry, I'm not into cooking amphibians... this is merely the name of a sausage dish... the hubby said, 'it's like sausages cooked in a fluffy pancake batter'... and that is it in a nutshell.

I love this dish, but I shied away from making it for years, as I could never get my batter to rise... always ending up with sausages encased in what looked like a flat pancake... Then, my Mum told me that I had to get the fat so hot that it's smoking. Armed with this new found knowledge, my batter is like that of a souffle (although my kitchen is quite smokey!)...

When making this dish, I like to get a real good sausage... I have to say, when I first came to the States, I found the sausage selection a little weak, but in the 6 short years I have lived here, I'm finding more varietals available... Whole Foods offering the best selection (and I don't need any excuse to pop there), so I picked up some Irish Bangers for this dish... I did forgo the wine aisle... but could not resist the Pumpkin Silk Milk (pumpkin soy milk).... Oh, how I love this!

Anyways, the Toad in the Hole came out a treat... served with some lovely mashed potatoes, mixed with chopped scallions/ green onion / spring onions (I think I've covered all the names for this onion here), and topped with a tasty mushroom and onion gravy. Comfort on a plate... Yummy! If you want to have a crack at this, I've popped the recipe below... It's a great mid-week meal... but, remember, 'to have your fat so hot it's smoking'!!!
Have a great start to the week!

Toad in the Hole

Canola oil or Sunflower oil
8 sausages (good quality & a decent size)
300 ml of milk
4oz of Flour
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1.  Preheat the oven to 475F / 240C.
2.  To make the batter; in a large bowl, add the flour and salt. Crack the eggs into the middle. Add the milk; all at once, and then beat with a hand whisk, to make a smooth batter. Pour the mixture into a jug and set aside while the oven heats up.
3.  Add around ½ inch of canola oil to a baking tin. I use an 8 by 8 brownie tin. You want your tin to be as thin as possible, so that the oil can get nice and hot! Place the tin on the middle shelf of your oven and pop a cookie sheet underneath to catch any oil that overflows…
4.  When the oil is very hot, add your sausages and brown them in the oven… you don’t want to cook them through, just give them a light colouring.
5.  Once the sausages have a light golden hue, take the pan back out of the oven (being very careful, as the fat should now be smoking hot), and pour your batter over the sausages. Pop the pan back in the oven straight away (you don’t want that oil to cool down) and close the oven door…. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR AGAIN FOR AT LEAST 20 MINUTES!!! If you open the door… you’ll end up with a flat batter… I know it’s tempting to see what’s going on, but just set the timer and leave it be!
6.  After 20 minutes check to see what’s what… If it’s golden and crispy, it’s ready.

I served mine with mashed potatoes, mixed with sour cream and scallions. Topped with a mushroom and onion gravy… Mmmmm…


  1. That sounds and looks so delicious! Glad to hear you had a relaxing weekend :)

  2. Oh, yum! That sounds like great comfort food. OK, so I have to really thank you for tagging me in "Getting to Know You". I've been kind of shy on the blog...going back and forth on how much to share, and how much people want to it was nice and very flattering to have a blogger that I respect and admire want to know more. Thank you! xoxo Anne

  3. Your weekend sounds wonderful and your photos are lovely!! Thanks for including your recipe, that sounds like a great dinner recipe that doesn't take too long! We will be trying it:) Wishing you a wonderful week ~ Tina x

  4. Gosh - your recipe took me back to my childhood! I can remember my Mum making Toad in the Hole - such lovely memories. Thanks so much for sharing. ;)Sharyne

  5. Hi Laura! It looks really good, yum! And yes, if we did lived close by we would never get of that sofa! Wine, coffee and apple pie would be enough! Thanks for hopping over!
    Maureen xx

  6. This sounds positively moorish and I'm going to try it. Looks like a perfect winter warmer/comfort food type meal. Love the look of the mushroom gravy. x

  7. Hi Laura
    What a lovely weekend you had - and it is so funny but I made the same dish as you Toad in the Hole - and I haven't made it for years! So glad you are now able to find a good sausage - very important.
    luv Jillx

  8. I love the name of this!! I think the kids will love it - and the ingredients are so simple. Thank you for a dinner idea :)

    Have a fab week, sweetie!
    XO L

  9. Yummy, the batter
    for Toad sounds a
    lot like another of
    my favorites: Yorkshire
    Pudding! All you
    need to go with your
    delicious recipe is
    a roaring fire and
    rain on the roof!!
    xx Suzanne

  10. oh hon...that is a perfect weekend....
    my big 12 yr old gal wants you to cook for her forever.....
    as an aussie i don't think i will EVER master *toad in the hole*....
    but ella would love you to pop on back to ol'blighty and hang out in our kitchen with her!!

    love your photos...
    melissa xox

  11. Well, this sounds delightful! You had me at the name. I was thinking: oh, what has she come up with?

  12. Hi - thanks for commenting on my blog :) and oh my goodness, I am going to have to make that, my kids will love it! Lovely to have found you! x

  13. I just became a fan of your blog, and I love it! I am so excited you posted this recipe.. my husband's father is from Peterborough and he always made toad in the hole when my husband was a child. I've been having the same exact issue with my batter rising, and I'm so excited to try this. :)


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