Toad in the hole, which generally involves neither toads nor holes, is really a perfect food. Browned sausages, nestled into a creamy batter with crisp, buttery edges – what is there not to like? And not only is it delicious – it’s both fast and easy. The other day we went out for a drink after work, came home and threw one of these together, and had dinner by 7.
I don’t claim that my toad in the hole is particularly authentic – I’ve never eaten anyone’s version but my own – but I think it’s pretty great. I learned recently that some people put sauce or gravy on their toad in the hole. I’ve always found it plenty interesting au naturale, but why not experiment? I did try tossing a bit of fresh chopped sage into the batter, and I loved how it smelled while it baked.
Some sort of soup or vegetable is recommended unless you, unlike me, can eat a plateful of sausages with butter on them and not feel guilty. I like a salad of mixed greens with a garlic-mustard vinaigrette, to cut through the richness. A glass of red wine or a bitter beer is a nice addition.
Toad in the Hole
- 1 scant cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- 2 eggs
- half a pound of breakfast sausages
- 1 Tbsp butter
Mix the batter first so it has time to sit: Put the flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl and pour in the milk and water. Whisk together, then beat in the eggs. Whisk until completely smooth and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Place a cast-iron skillet over medium high heat and put in the sausages. Cook, turning often, until they are browned on all sides. Put in the butter and let it melt; make sure the pan is well coated with fat (you might be able to skip the butter if your sausages are fatty enough). Arrange the sausages evenly in the pan, then give the batter another stir and pour it over. Pop the pan in the oven and bake 20 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350° and bake another 10 minutes.
Serves 4 if you have side dishes or everyone’s being restrained; more likely to serve two with a bit of salad on the side. I’m not sure I’ve ever had leftovers of this.