There are quite a few English dishes that have odd, almost whimsical, names.
- Pigs in Blankets – Sausage rolls.
- Angels on Horseback – An oyster wrapped in bacon and then grilled.
- Devils on Horseback – A pitted date, filled with a fruit chutney, wrapped in bacon and grilled.
- Bubble and Squeak – Either mashed or broken down roast potatoes and cabbage (plus any other left over veg) fried until crisp.
- Stargazey Pie – Pilchards, eggs and potatoes baked into a pie with the heads of the pilchard poking out.
- Bedfordshire Clanger – A large sausage roll shaped pasty. Made with a suet crust and filled at one end with a savoury meat and vegetable mix and at the other a sweet fruit filling. A whole meal in one roll.
- Love in Disguise – A calf’s heart that is stuffed and then boiled.
- Cullen Skink – A thick soup made up of potatoes, onions and smoked haddock.
- Eton Mess – A mixture of strawberries and broken pieces of meringue mixed together with cream.
- Spotted Dick – A suet pudding filled with dried fruit and then steamed or boiled and served with custard.
- Toad in the Hole – Sausages baked in a Yorkshire pudding batter, although traditionally any left over meat was used.
Some are more appetising than others. Some have never (and will never) graced my table. But Toad in the hole is a regular. Served with mashed potatoes and a thick onion gravy it is heart warming winter fare. But we are in spring! So what do you do when your little munchkins request it? Well there are just some things that get you ‘Great Mummy’ points. Buying them a bag of cheeseo’s when I go to pay for petrol at the servo, or stopping to get them icy poles on the way home from school, making tents under the table for them to eat their lunch when the picnic is rained off, making carrot soup (my kids love it!) , those kind of things.
Yesterday Mr 4 told me to sit down and have a coffee with his pretend mummy! Hmmmm, time to win a few more ‘Great Mummy’ points! So when toad in the hole was requested I said “of course” and put the oven on. There were sausages in the fridge so I was good to go.
But I was still faced with the winter food in spring dilemma. So I spruced it up a little, I mean everyone loves food when it is shrunk down, miniature anything is so much better, well as long as you can eat lots of them. Otherwise it is just a small portion! So individual toad in the holes it was. I piled them all on one plate, put apple slices, cucumber sticks and carrot batons on another and we ate these sat outside. Winter turned into Spring. And I admit we picked them up as though they were sausage rolls, another point to Mummy!
I use 2 standard 6 hole muffin tins, although I am thinking these would make great, one mouthful, canapé style toad in the holes if I used mini muffin tins and just a small piece of sausage…Definitely one to try. If you want something bigger, then you could use the american muffin tins and make 6 larger toad in the hole.
I also use my blender to mix the batter, but a hand held mixer, or a whisk will do the job just as well. I am just messy and I like the fact the blender contains everything!
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Individual Toad in the Hole
- 150 ml milk
- 150 ml water
- 2 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 125 g plain flour
- 12 pork chipolata sausages or 6 standard pork sausages cut in half
- vegetable oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/fan forced 200°C/gas mark 7.
- Pour the milk and water into the blender (or bowl)
- Add the eggs and a pinch of salt.
- Wizz until combined.
- Add the flour and mix well on a medium/high setting until there are no lumps.
- Set the batter aside for 10 minutes.
- Pour a small amount of oil into 12 holes of a standard muffin tin. (I use two 6 hole tins)
- Place the muffin tins in the oven to heat up whilst the batter rests.
- Carefully remove the tins from the oven and add a sausage to each hole.
- Pour over the batter and bake in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Enjoy in the garden with salad or more traditionally covered in gravy.