Erm, remember how I said I almost never buy meat? Toad in the Hole is my one exception. Every few months, I think oh my goodness, I miss it, and so I have to make it again, in all its greasy glory. Imagine, if you will, the taste of crisp-skinned sizzling sausage, embraced by a bread-like batter – crunchy and savory on the edges, tender within – the epitome of comfort food. And it’s very easy, though it does require a little patience.
Toad in the Hole
1 lb sausage (uncooked or precooked; both are good)
1 T oil
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 t thyme (or another herb complementary to the sausage)
Turn the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the oil in a heavy pan – a loaf pan, tart pan (pictured), or 8×8 cake pan are all fine. Separate the sausage into segments, or cut it into large segments if it’s one long piece. Put them in the pan and shake ’em around to grease them. Bake in the oven until the sausage is cooked and barely starting to brown (maybe 20-30 minutes), shaking occasionally to prevent sticking.
While the sausage is cooking, whisk together the remaining ingredients until completely smooth and slightly foamy. When the sausage is done, turn the oven up to 450 degrees. As quickly as you possibly can, pull the pan out of the oven, pour the batter in and around the sausages, and put it back in the oven. Bake for another 30 minutes, until the batter is puffy and golden-brown. Serve immediately; like a souffle, the batter will deflate soon after it leaves the oven, although it’ll still be tasty.