What is there to say about a dish which rejoices in the name of Toad in the Hole? Who thought of that? And who kept using it??? I prefer to think of it as a sausage puff, if only because I keep getting toad in the hole confused with bubble and squeak.
This dish is very much like popovers and yorkshire pudding - a fluffy batter that is cooked with butter or pan drippings to create a puffy, crusty oven cake. In this case you add things like sausage, and if you like vegetables, and maybe you sprinkle some cheese over all of it when it's nearly ready. You can do nearly anything with this quick easy dish, so that like quiche, you can get many different flavors out of a single basic idea. Since I don't eat meat, I'll even sometimes put the meat all at one end and make one side of it vegetarian for me. So much easier than making two meals!
1 c. milk
1 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of cayenne powder
2 Tb butter
1 large sausage (or two if you prefer)
a scant 1/4 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup blanced broccoli florets (optional)
1/2 cup cheese such as asiago, or fontina for melting (optional)
Beat 2 eggs and 1/2 t salt together. Add alternately 1 c. milk and 1 c. sifted flour and cayenne. Let stand, covered, for at least 1 hr. Time saving tip: you can mix this up in the morning while you're making breakfast, and let it stand all day to cook when you get home.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. I like to cut my sausange into 1 inch thick slices and cook them in a small oven proof pan while it's preheating. You can also slice and brown on the stove instead. Place 2 T. butter in a 10" gratin pan and put it in the preheated 450 oven until sizzling. Mix the batter with the sliced and browned sausage. Add 2 T chopped parsley. If you are using broccoli, add that too. Place batter in pan and make sure sausage/veggies is distributed evenly. You can also pour the batter in the pan, and then distribute the sausage etc. by hand.
Bake at 450 for 15 min and reduce to 375 for 10 min. It you feel like adding cheese on top, do it in the last 5 minutes. Serves 3-4.