Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Toad in the Hole is worth two in the garden...


and a piece, ready for syrup...

From "The Splendid Spoonful," by Barbara Lauterbach, adapted** to veg by ME; variations, also by me.


1 C AP/unbleached flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/4 C whole milk ( or soymilk, which works sooo wonderfully, or almond milk, which works but doesn't rise as high and light; 1/2 & 1/2 is excellent, too)

freshly ground black pepper

12 oz. link breakfast soysage, or 3/4 package Gimme Lean sausage style, rolled into link shapes, or small patties

2 Tbsp canola or olive oil

warm syrup & Frank's hot sauce, for serving

In a medium bowl, sift the flour and salt together. Make a well in the center and pour the eggs in the well. Stir in the milk in a slow, steady stream, beginning in the center and gradually working in all the flour from the sides.
When the mixture is well-blended, add pepper to taste and strain through a sieve into a bowl or large measuring cup.

LET REST for 30 minutes.

Place oven rack in middle of oven and preheat to 475 degrees F.

Add the oil to a 9x11-inch baking pan (I use my 10-inch iron skilllet, it's perfect!) and place the pan in the preheated oven. When the fat is very hot but not smoking, place sausages in pan and pour batter over. Return pan to oven and reduce heat to 425 F.

Bake the custard for 25-30 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Cut into squares, (for us, four triangle portions) including some "toads" in each portion. Serve immediately with warmed maple syrup, or for Mari, hot sauce.

This couldn't be easier, takes almost no prep time, and uses pantry ingredients and not a lot of added fat. Nothing better in front of a fire with some coffee, syrup and hot sauce. Very satisfying: it's a cold weather staple around here.

**The original recipe uses meat breakfast sausages or British bangers that are basically parboiled before using.

Two frequent variations-- and their variations!

Chocolate Mandarin or Cherry-Chocolate

Follow above recipe, subbing 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder for an equal amount of flour, and adding 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar or regular sugar and few drops vanilla.
Drain a small can of mandarin oranges OR tart cherries in syrup, reserving syrup/juices from fruit, and use 1 C fruit, or a lttle more, in place of sausages. Right before pouring batter over fruit, fold in 1/3 C chocolate chips, if desired. Bake as usual.
While custard is baking, add 1 C water and 2 tsp cornstarch (dissolved in the water) to reserved juices in small saucepan, stir and simmer until thickened to a nice syrupy consistency. Serve this sauce instead of maple syrup.

Apple Cinnamon

Peel and chunk 1-2 small apples and saute in butter with cinnamon and a sprinkle of sugar till soft. Place in bottom of pan instead of sausages in key recipe. Add a dash each of cinnamon and ginger, and 1 tbsp sugar, to batter as well. Bake as usual. If desired, you can add a handful of butterscotch chips or cinnamon chips with this one-- but thoroughly grease your baking pan first, use the oil but don't preheat pan, as batter sticks a little with this one. It still comes out well!

Eat something goood today! Peace, Mari

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