Saturday, January 17, 2009
Bacon/Stilton Toad in the Hole
So my friend K8 of Of Monkeys and Cupcakes fame is having a little brunch soiree this fine, frigid Saturday afternoon. I was kind of perplexed as to what to make last night, I was plum worn out and my inspiration level was very low. I decided to go back to my doctrine of, "throw bacon in it and people and people will eat it." I am a huge Yorkshire pudding fan from way back, so I decided to throw a couple extras into the old Toad in the Hole recipe.
As I have so many times before, I began with bacon.
Notice that I am cooking the bacon in the dish that I will later be pouring the Yorkshire pudding batter into. This serves the twofold purpose of bringing a nice amount of bacon grease into the party and providing the heated cooking vessel required for a properly risen final pudding. This particular bacon is for a second dish that I may or may not post about depending on whether or not people think that it is good.
Next I moved on to the sausage component of the dish, and what is better than sausage? Bacon wrapped sausage.
Don't they look like some sort of larvae? These chubby little guys went into the oven until the bacon was crisp and the sausage was cooked through. I placed the sausage in the baking dish with the bacon drippings (sweet, oily, excretion of the gods).
Next I prepared the Yorkshire pudding batter. I make this by feeling as have generations of English housewives at innumerable Sunday roast dinners. There are many recipes, but I usually use about 3 cups flour, 3 cups milk, 4 eggs plus one yolk, salt, and about 1/3-1/2 cup drippings whisked together in my standing mixer. This makes an enormous batch. I poured the batter over the lovely sausages and let them float to random positions, I like the random look in my dishes.
This went into the oven at 425 for about 15 minutes before I introduced the cheese. I am using Stilton here.
If you don't know what Stilton is I probably don't want to talk to you (kidding, kidding). The "traditional king of cheeses" is an English product which you might imagine as an excellent cheddar mixed with a delicious bleu. This, of course, is a gross simplification as Stilton is a complex and delicious animal. It is also pricey, this small wedge cost 9 dollars. I am thinking about writing to Pres. Obama about reducing the exorbitant cheese tariffs(have you heard about the 300% on roquefort?). I crumbled this on top of the almost half way done Toad in the Hole so that it would not sink to the bottom of the batter. The dish continued cooking at 425 for a cumulative total of 35 minutes and came out beautifully browned and delicious looking.
The verdict is still out on this one as it is presently warming in my oven in preparation for bringing it over to K8's house. Unfortunately, I had to cook this last night. I have had yet another rough week and I knew I would not have the energy to cook this morning. Usually, Yorkshire pudding or Toad in the Hole should be eaten immediately out of the oven, but I think this will still be enjoyable.