Sunday, November 10, 2013

Toad in the Hole - West Virginia Style

This is a traditional British dish akin to their Yorkshire Pudding. But in West Virginia as in other parts of Appalachia, we have great pork products. This recipe uses those tasty little rolls of sausage. We bought several pounds from the FFA at the Harvest Festival and I wanted to try this dish with the last of them.

The British would traditionally serve this for dinner with lots of onion gravy and mashed potatoes. But in my house, sausages cooked in essentially pancake batter are breakfast fare and best topped with maple syrup.

I used a blender to mix the batter, but a bowl and whisk would work as well. Be sure to use a deep baking dish. This batter rises like a soufflé or popover.

This was very tasty and good looking with the nicely browned sausages peeking through the lightly browned and fluffy baked custard (pudding?). It was not soggy and not dry – just right. Yum!

Serves 3 to 4

1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt

2 Tbsp bacon grease

10 (1/2 pound) skinless pork country sage sausages  

Put milk, eggs, flour and salt into blender jar. Cover and process at medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Let rest 30 minutes.

Set oven to 450ºF. Lightly coat a deep two quart baking dish with canola oil spray. Drop bacon grease in dish and put it in the oven to preheat.

Fry sausages in skillet until just browned. Take off heat and set aside until batter is ready. (When thirty minutes of rest is done.)

When batter is rested, open oven door, slide out oven rack a bit and lay sausages in hot baking dish. Pour and scrape batter out of blender and over sausages.

Close door and do not open for thirty minutes. Do not bang or stomp in kitchen so as to jar batter while it rises. The secret to a fluffy dish is the hot fat, the hot oven and no jarring.

Serve immediately, as it deflates as it cools.

Top with hot maple syrup, and serve with an over-easy egg and some fresh fruit on the side.

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