Toad in the Hole.

We’re moving next week, and we’re hiring movers, which we have never done before. We can’t really afford them, but I figure it’s the cost of saving our marriage and friendships, because while our new building has an elevator, our current one doesn’t and we’re on the third floor. This, and the fact that it’s Buy Nothing Day, have reminded me that we have too much stuff – so much stuff, and I wonder how much of it we would even miss if it was gone. You’d be surprised at how many chicken figurines and plastic dinosaurs two people can cram into fewer than 1,000 square feet.

Or maybe you wouldn’t?

One of the things we don’t need to spend so much on is take-out, which we’ve been eating too much of because my job is less a job and more a way of life, and because the dishes are dirty and one of us has to clean them and it isn’t going to be me. But those are excuses, and I know that. I am never so busy that I can’t just take half an hour and make dinner; that I’m doing so little of that is laziness. During the Depression, no one got to say “Uggggh, work sucked today, let’s just get wine and Thai food and watch dumb crap on TV with our pants off.” They might have wanted to, but they turned their powdered milk and canned tomatoes and elbow macaroni into a dish that would span four meals because that’s just what you did.

We need a little more “that’s just what you do” and less “eff, I just don’t feel like it.” I need to stop using fatigue and ennui as an excuse.

It’s Friday, and I probably could have gotten away with just calling in for sushi, but I wanted something homemade, something made out of stuff I have in the cupboards and fridge. So here’s a dish I’ve made a million times, one that won over Nick in the very beginning when he was just a fetus of a husband, back when we were young and never watched TV because we had too many roommates hogging the remote and no cable anyway. It’s something I made here a few years ago, but that has evolved and grown into a better dish – why did I never think to add cheese before?! Anyway, here’s Toad in the Hole: Version 2012. It’s an eggy, pancakey thing – basically Yorkshire pudding with stuff baked in – and it’s good with salad, but it’s better if you serve it with onions and cabbage fried with bacon. Because what isn’t?

Make it vegetarian by folding mushrooms and shallots fried in butter into the batter. Use what you have, but don’t make a special trip to the store. It’s best if your milk and eggs are at room temperature, but it’s not the end of the world if they aren’t.

Toad in the Hole

  • 2 tbsp. butter or two strips of bacon, chopped
  • 2 to 4 sausages
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, milk or buttermilk, eggs, mustard, and salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside.

In a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat, melt butter or cook bacon. If you don’t have a cast iron pan, stick a pie plate in the oven as it preheats.

Melt butter or cook bacon. If cooking bacon, scoop out of the pan and drain it on paper towel. Brown sausages in melted butter or bacon grease – it doesn’t matter if they are cooked through, but you want them brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and slice into bite-sized pieces.

Add bacon, if using, and sausages back to the pan, or to the heated pie plate (if using), pour batter over top, sprinkle with cheese and stick in the oven for 25 minutes, until batter has puffed and turned golden. Slice and serve immediately with mustard or sour cream.

 

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5 thoughts on “Toad in the Hole.

  1. wish I had this recipe yesterday when I cooked sausages with onions in wine sauce. It was good but this looks better. This recipe is going in my ipad Paprika app cache. What looks just as good is your side dish. Is it a cabbage and bacon stir fry???

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  2. Toad in the hole is my go-to dish when I have sausages in my fridge and no inspiration. I will have to jazz them up next time with your cabbage/onion and bacon idea 😉 Good luck with the move!

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  3. I like this post. Everyone could use a little more “that’s just what you do” eh? I have never tried this dish before but the way you describe it as yorkshire pudding with stuff baked in sounds yum!

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  4. American here, we have no Toad in the Hole OR Yorkshire pudding, but I’m with you on the onion/cabbage/bacon thing, my husband would marry me all over again if I served something with that AND sausages 🙂 Hope your new ‘way of life’ is leaving you plenty of time with your little one and your self. Thanks for sharing the updated version, and reminding me to just do it already. 🙂

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  5. Gayle – Sausages in wine? I never thought of that, but it sounds delicious! Do share the recipe? The side dish is cabbage and onions fried with bacon. Very fattening, but also high in fibre so I figure it balances out.

    Angela – it’s a great go-to! I always have milk, flour, and eggs, so we eat this more than our waistlines really need.

    Katherine – it’s so good! Highly recommended, and can even be used as a tool for procrastination when the “just what you do” thing doesn’t pan out 😉

    Hannah – Boys are easily won over, aren’t they! I didn’t have balance or time, but I’m hoping to have it soon – I am moving to a new job, closer to home, with hopefully a little bit more time to spend here. Fingers crossed!

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