Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Traditional British Food, Part 33: First Anniversary

It's been a little over a year since my first "Traditional British Food" post and I'd like to celebrate with an extremely British meal: Toad-in-the-Hole with Buttery Cabbage.

Funny name for sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding batter and then covered in oniony gravy

serves 4

12 ounces breakfast sausage links (try to get some that are nice and sage-y)
about a dozen fresh sage leaves, chiffonade
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup milk

1/2 small onion caramelized using 1/2 tablespoon olive oil or
1/4 cup caramelized onions
1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup dry red wine

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place a 1-quart casserole in the oven.

If you are caramelizing your onions, do so while the oven preheats. Feel free to make as much as you'd like, because caramelized onions are really tasty in other things, as well. Instructions here.

When the oven has almost come to temperature, heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. When heated, add the sausages and sear on all sides. Turn the heat down to low and cook the sausages, turning occasionally, while you prepare the Yorkshire pudding batter.

In a mixing bowl, add the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Add the egg and a bit of the milk. Whisk well, adding milk gradually, until batter is smooth. Stir in the sage.

When the oven comes up to temperature, pour the sausages into the pre-heated casserole along with any fat they've yielded. Set the skillet aside. Cover the sausages with the Yorkshire pudding batter and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until batter is puffed and lightly browned. Don't open the oven door!

To make the gravy: place the sausage skillet back on the hob over high heat. When it has gotten hot, pour in the stock and wine and deglaze the pan. Reduce as desired and turn down heat to low. Stir in the 1/4 cup of caramelized onions.

Serve Toad-in-the-Hole immediately (leftovers won't do so well) covered in gravy (or maple syrup, Paul's favorite).

Buttery Cabbage
Try this even if you "don't like" cabbage. It's too buttery and lemony to be icky.

serves 4

1 head green cabbage, outer leaves discarded
4 tablespoons butter
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper

Add water to your steamer pot and put on the stove over high heat. Quarter the cabbage and place it in the steamer basket. When the water in the pot has come to a boil, place the basket over the pot, cover and steam for about 8 minutes, or until cabbage can be pierced with a fork but isn't falling apart.

Meanwhile, melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the cabbage is done, place each quarter on a plate (like a wedge salad), stir the lemon juice into the butter, and pour over the cabbage.

Reading/watching recommendations:
  • Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene- wryly humorous yet suspenseful; smart escapist reading
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1949)- rather sympathetic portrayal of man who bumps off inconvenient aunts, uncles and cousins who stand between him and a dukedom
  • The Country Wife (Donald McWhinnie, 1977)- stars Helen Mirren and Anthony Andrews, well-done adaptation; you know, it's really difficult to find Restoration comedies on DVD, so you should take advantage of this one, which is part of the Helen Mirren at the BBC DVD collection

1 comment:

  1. Okay, I think a more appetizing name is in order. I mean, really, Toad in a Hole? Just the thought of eating a toad turns me off! It looks much better than its name implies. Looking forward to seeing you soon!


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