Monday, 19 December 2011

Comfort Food: Toad in the Hole aka Clafoutis aux Saucisses

Other than some overnight frosts, we've barely had a cold day so far this December.  Last Thursday, we had a high of 12 degrees, and other than a bitterly cold and windy day on Saturday, we are back up in the high single digits today.  This is, of course, not what my garden needs.  The japonica quince I planted a couple of years ago is quite confused and has been sending out pretty coral coloured flowers with abundance, only to have them nipped at by overnight frosts.  I hope there are some buds left for the spring!

None-the-less, it's perfect Christmas shopping weather, and I've taken the day off work to finish off that task.  Despite the rather unseasonably mild weather, for some reason, this weekend has served an abundance of hearty comfort food and toasty log fires.  There's been a gingery sweet potato soup with chunks of crusty bread, pork chops baked with sauerkraut, onions and bacon, and mounds of fluffy mashed potatoes.  Sticky pear and ginger parkin with custard, and the charmingly named British standard, Toad in the Hole.  I made a decidedly delicious version, with upmarket pretensions, following a Nigel Slater recipe, where the sausages are stripped of their skins, and re-wrapped in proscuitto.  I think it could be renamed quite fairly as Clafoutis aux Saucisses, but I might be getting carried away.  Nigel calls for strongly flavoured, herby sausages, which makes me think of lovely Cumberland sausages, but in Mimico at 5pm on a Friday, the best I could come up with were some mild Italian Sausages, so I boosted the flavour by chopping up fresh sage and rosemary, and rolling the naked sausages generously in that mix before applying the prosuitto.  The result, although not exactly calorie light, was quite delicious.  Accompanied by some onion gravy, made rich with Marsala, it was just the thing to stick to the ribs and keep out any draughts......even if we've been spared the big chill so far!
Toad in the Hole, also known as Clafoutis aux Saucisses, or Virtue in Danger


  1. Hi Donald, looks like you are well into the cooking, even the toad in the hole gets the special touch, Just had an Aitkens sausage roll and its lying in my stomach like a lump of lead, double dose of statins tonight. I see you were at the Duthie park back in July, thats just about five minutes from our house. Thanks for the visit to my site and have a great Christmas.

  2. Mmmm - I love sausage rolls & bridies! I had to have a buttery every day when I was at home in the summer, probably the food I miss most from home - impossible to get anywhere other than Aberdeenshire. I also miss good smoked haddock, which is not available in Toronto. Happy holidays!