When the girls were living at home our Sunday evening meal was called dinner. It was served complete with linen tablecloth and napkins, our ‘good’ china, polished silver flatware and candles. The girls loved the pomp and circumstance of Sunday dinner and I loved teaching them about the beauty of dining.
Now if it’s just Ralph and me for dinner Sunday night, I call it supper. A cozy, casual meal for two served in the kitchen. I love the hominess our kitchen provides. Without the girls, the dining room can feel a little lonely…
Instead of the big roast dinners I prepared when the house was full, I prefer to serve simpler meals. I’ve been working on my Toad in the Hole recipe for a while, trying to figure out how to avoid a heavy ‘bread hole’ and soggy on-the-bottom ‘toads’. After several rewrites and, I’m really happy with today’s post. The batter is light and fluffy because I separated the eggs and folded the beaten egg whites into the batter. One of the tricks I picked up from Gordon Ramsey. He, also, wrapped his sausages in bacon. The sausages are cooked evenly because I precooked their bottom half more than the top half before pouring the batter over them. The kicker is the Sage Onion Gravy! I used a combination of Belgium lager and Canadian Hard Apple Cider along with a bit of water. If you’re looking for a delicious and relatively simple to prepare Sunday supper idea, this is it.
Being married to the son of an Englishman requires me to know my way around a British kitchen. Having had a father-in-law who loved to cook made it easy! Reg taught me to make steak and kidney pies, mushy peas, a proper mixed grill, Yorkshire pud, pressed tongue – don’t knock it til you try it! but we never made toad in the hole together. This is for him...
TOAD IN THE HOLE – adapted from a Gordon Ramsey version
Preheat oven 425*F
SAGE AND ONION GRAVY
2 tablespoons butter
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
1 thick apple sausage, casing removed
1 tart apple, cored and chopped
2 teaspoons sage leaves
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup Belgium lager
½ cup hard apple cider
1 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled
2 tablespoons red apple jelly
- Melt the butter in a medium pot
- Add the onion and stir frequently over a medium heat for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and golden.
- Add the apple sausage and sage leaves and cook until sausage meat is completely cooked through. Break the sausage meat up as it cooks.
- Add apple and cook for 3 minutes
- Sprinkle the flour and crumbled chicken bouillon cube over the onion and apple sausage.
- Gradually pour in the beer, cider and water, mix well.
- Bring to the boil, then add the apple jelly.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until you reach your desired consistency, stirring frequently. Add more water if needed.
- Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
THE TOADS IN THE HOLE
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup butter, melted
3 large eggs, separated
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
4 strips bacon
4 thick apple pork sausages
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks.
- Whisk in milk and melted butter .
- Add flour and salt then whisk until just mixed – batter should be lumpy.
- Set the batter aside while you prepare the ‘toads’.
- Spiral 1 slice of bacon tightly around each of the four sausages.
- Place them in a lightly greased 10” nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
- Fry the bacon wrapped sausage, on one side only, until bacon is crispy.
- Turn over and fry the other side for 2 minutes or until lightly browned.
- As the sausages are frying, beat the egg whites to medium peaks.
- Fold the egg whites into the flour batter mixture, using a figure of eight motion.
- Set aside
- When the sausages are cooked, pour the batter in between the sausages.
- Place skillet IMMEDIATELY in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 mins, until the batter is well risen and golden.
- Remove from oven and serve with sage and onion gravy.
THE LOVE: Resist the urge to open the oven while your ‘toads’ are baking! Serve your toad in the hole with some creamy mashed potatoes and steamed spinach.
Thanks for reading.
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