Ive had an eventful few days as you know if you've read my previous, enormously long post...I won't blame you if you haven't, but needless to say, cooking was the furthest thought from my mind. I had lots planned for today, much of which got cancelled (hair, eyebrows, manicure, pedicure...all the holiday fripperies...I'll be wearing a coat, headscarf and dark glasses all week) and looked after poor wee sick Lucy instead. It was actually really rather nice as we cuddled a lot and I got to lie down for a moment, a huge novelty during the day.
By the time dinner rolled around I'd decided to stop being a wuss and make my kids a proper tea. I wanted to use up fridge and kitchen ingredients as we're off on holiday so I decided on Toad in the Hole. For those of you not familiar with such delicacies as Toad in the Hole or Spotted Dick or even Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, do not be afraid. This is no amphibian picnic; this is simply sausages cooked with a Yorkshire Pudding batter.
If there is one thing I'm happy to wax lyrical on, it is the joy of my particular Yorkshire Pudding (adapted from Nigella's). Never has a pudding been so foolproof, so wonderful and so easy. Mixed with sausages, it is one of those classic English dishes that may make you wonder about us Brits but believe me, this is a delight...a stodgy delight, but a delight nonetheless and one which children LOVE. Add gravy and you've given them a little plate of memories. Add onion gravy and adult guests will love you too!
Toad in the Hole
Yorkshire Pudding Batter
325ml semi-skimmed milk
4 large eggs
250g plain flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
Hotdog sausages (if preferred)
Whisk together the milk, eggs and salt until huge bubbles appear and leave to stand for 15-20 minutes. Then, whisk in the flour and then leave it until required. Do not re-whisk.
If using this for Yorkshire Pudding only, then the best way to cook it is to pour a little oil...around half a teaspoon each...into muffin tins. Place tin in an oven at 220oC and let the muffin tray heat up until really hot, around 15 minutes for an already heated oven. Take the tin out of the oven using oven gloves and pour the batter into each individual muffin hole. Place in oven for around 15-20 minutes and watch in awe as each little Yorkshire muffin rises and turns golden. Serves best with roast beef and you definitely need gravy! Feel free to use a large tin though...approx. 25cm across for a round one. It will sink in the middle...it is supposed to with this dish and will still taste divine.
So, for Toad in the Hole, do all of the above but do not use a muffin tin; use any casserole dish and pour in a little oil. Place dish in oven for the 15 minutes and then brown off the sausages in a frying pan. Take dish from hot oven, pour in batter which should start to bubble and toss in the sausages...carefully mind you...and place back in the oven for 20-30 minutes. If it looks ready then it's ready. It rises gloriously so serve right away as it can on occasion start to deflate slightly...just like any baked food.
I added some extra hotdog sausages this time. I'm not a huge fan of these with the pudding but the kids love it and Lucy even prefers it. Serve the Toad, pour over beef gravy and watch the happiness....particularly husband.
I reckon this costs £3.47 for the entire dish and could happily feed six so approx. 56 pence per portion! That is what I call a bargain.
£1.40 Half Pack Sausages
£0.50 Hotdogs (Asda special offer)
£1 Asda Freerange Large eggs, approx. 25p each
25pence flour (HomePride)