Whilst doing a spot of gardening, we came upon this little fellow pictured above. Who knew toads actually resided in holes? Next we’ll be seeing Mr. Toad whizzing by in a Model T, having a wild old ride with his freewheeling amphibian companion.
When we think of Toad-In-The-Hole, we think of one of our favorite brunchtime recipes. We do a truffled version in our book Campfire Cookers: Adventuresome Recipes and Other Curiosities for the Great Outdoors (out June 1 from Stewart, Tabori, & Chang) over the open fire, but this dish is a snap to replicate in one’s home oven. But of course, it makes a brilliant treat for patio dining!
Provides four to six portions
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for coating
1 pound good-quality pork sausage, cut in half crosswise
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 generous pinch kosher salt
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Coat the interior of a 2-quart soufflé pan or baking dish with the additional oil, taking care that the sides are not neglected. Place the pan in the oven to warm.
2. In a skillet set over medium-high heat, warm 2 teaspoons of the oil. Add the sausages and brown well on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, and salt until few lumps remain.
3. When the sausages are ready, carefully remove the warm pan from the oven. Scrape the sausages and their meaty juices into the pan and scatter the thyme sprigs on top. Pour the batter over the sausage-thyme mixture and return the pan to the oven. Bake until the pudding has puffed and the edges are a crisp, golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot, in or out-of-doors!