We had to leave you with the most interesting dish for last.. Toad in the hole is yet another unique English creation from the 18th century consisting of Yorkshire pudding with sausages and herbs. This was another dish that was developed by the lower class using common ingredients to make a meal with sustenance to yet them through the work day. Originally meat such as sausage was more expensive so game, fowl, or even kidney meat was used.
If your are wondering where the name stems from you aren’t alone! We were quite curious to discover the reason behind the cheeky name. It literally was named after the title suggests- toads peering out of crevice. Another thought to the name came from a golf tournament in Northumberland where a toad poked his head out of a hole which caused the golfers ball to pop out.
The key to making the Yorkshire pudding is chilling the batter and pouring it into the hot baking pan to get a dramatic rise. It is a simple enough recipe if you follow the steps. As for the onion gravy you essentially caramelize the onions and get a jammy consistency that makes for a good pairing to the pudding and sausage. This heavier meal works well with a vegetable side of salad.
This last dish was a nice sweet and savory combination. The pastry was soft and we found the onions to be especially sweet. It was yet another meal like no other and fun to make. This dish was worthy of 7.5/10.
Toad in the Hole
This humorously named dish is easy to make if you follow the directions to a T.
8pork sausages we used a link of kielbasa that we cut into smaller pieces
salt and pepperto preference
Red Onion Gravy
2red onionssliced thinly
2tsplight brown sugar
2cupshot beef stock(480ml)
salt and pepperto taste
10fresh thyme sprigs
First you will make the pudding. Place flour in a jug and form a well in the center. Add eggs to the middle and whisk with the flour gradually working from the center out. Add milk and whisk well. It will likely be a lumpy in texture which is fine.
Allow batter to refrigerate for 1 hour (can chill longer but no longer than over night). The chilling will allow for a good rise!
Preheat the oven to 425F. Place sausages/kielbasa in a large baking dish and drizzle oil over them. Place them in the oven to cook 15-20 minutes or until browned. While this cooks slice the onions.
Next is the fun part! Take out the pudding mixture and add in salt and pepper. Safely, open the oven door and pull out the tray quickly pouring the batter over the sausages/kielbasa. Close the door immediately and allow to cook for 25-35 minutes. The pudding should rise and be golden in color.
While this cooks it's time to make the gravy. Place oil and butter in a large fry pan at medium heat. Place onions and sugar into pan reducing the heat to medium-low. Allow onions to cook for 15-20 minutes giving a stir every few minutes. The onions should caramelize. Heat beef stock at this time.
Sprinkle the flour over the onions cooking for 2 minutes. Add the hot stock and whisk until the gravy thickens. Add the salt, pepper, and Worchestershire sauce and keep at low heat to keep warm.
Once the Toad in the Hole is done allow to cool 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle thyme over the top and serve with red onion gravy. Enjoy!
Keyword England, toad in the hole, Yorkshire pudding
Welcome to the Netherlands, a Northwestern European country which borders the North Sea, Belgium, and Germany. Netherlands means “low-lying country” which is indeed a true fact. The country is relatively flat with 25% of the country being below sea level, and 50% 3ft or less above sea level. When many think of Netherlands you think of tulips right? Even though the Dutch are the world’s largest exporters of flower bulbs, tulips are not native. Tulips originate in Turkey and were imported in the 16th century. Another big export of the country is beer which they rank the 2nd largest in the world. The Dutch really like their booze because they are also the inventors of gin which was created in the 16th century and introduced to the British. Sounds like they know how to have a good time!
When it comes to the cuisine of Netherlands the country is relatively healthy and is the 2nd largest exporter of vegetables in the world. With veggies on the mind there are two other key ingredients to the Dutch dinner- meat and potatoes! Back in the 1800s potatoes were eaten with every meal since they were widely available and inexpensive. With colonization and trading of goods during the Golden Age (1581 to 1672) Dutch cuisine is quite the fusion of flavors. The national dish of the Netherlands is called stamppot, doesn’t that sound appetizing?
There are a variety of ways to prepare stamppot, but the base always is mashed potatoes. The variations come from the vegetables that are mixed in, whatever is available in the kitchen! This meal is said to be one of the oldest Dutch meals and used to be a staple dish in the winter. Using the seasons past crops and the heartiness of the potatoes and sausage left you warm and full with little expense. Boerenkool translates to kale and is the type of stamppot I prepared with the addition of carrots. This is the recipe I used.
The meal was easy enough to prepare. I made a basic gravy using a rue which turned out to be more pale than I had anticipated- I suspect I needed more time to get the deeper brown color. I substituted my go to kielbasa for the sausage because of the more desirable texture and leaner meat (I go for turkey). I made sure to liberally season the potatoes with nutmeg, nothing is worse than bland mashed potatoes!
We found this dish to be very hearty with a nice mix of veggies and kielbasa. The warmth from the nutmeg was notable and a pleasant. The gravy paired well, however it also made the dish heavier and more filling. I didn’t chop the kale fine enough, but I think this element helped lighten the meal. We rated it 6.5/10.
Shockingly I have never had poutine before, but I sure am ready! Poutine is slang in Québec for mess. It dates back to the 1950s when it was first served in rural locations as a snack. Cheese curds were widely available due to the number of fromageries (cheese shop aka heaven) in there area. The creation was first thought to be made in Warwick from one customer’s request. At the time the request was thought to be odd and make for a messy snack, but it soon became popular. Gravy was not introduced until customers complained the cheesy/fry mix got cold too quickly. Hot gravy served as a way to prolong the warmth of the dish. Over time this savory dish has become a Québécois staple and can be found in fine dining to McDonald’s.
Unfortunately I could not get my hands on cheese curds which broke my heart as I can put down half a package in one sitting- no judgement. I read that mozzarella broken into chunks can be used as a substitution so that’s what I did. I went be this recipe except I used package gravy, oh well. I can certainly say now I will definitely have poutine again, but with crispier fries and actual cheese curds. The gravy naturally pairs well with the fries since mashed potatoes and gravy are a match in the US! We rated the dish an average of 6/10. I would rate it higher with the above changes.