A smattering of things from life and food
Sent to me from a friend in merry old England
Serves 2-3 People
6 good quality pork sausages - about 14oz (400g)
1 tablespoon groundnut or other flavorless oil (if necessary)
For the batter:
For the onion gravy:
Pre-heat the oven to 425F (220C)
Begin by making the batter, and to do this sieve the flour into a large bowl,
holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing. Now, with the back of a
spoon, make a well in the centre, break the egg into it and add some salt and
Measure the milk and 2 fl oz (55 ml) water in a measuring jug, then, using an
electric hand whisk on a slow speed, begin to whisk the egg into the flour – as you
whisk, the flour around the edges will slowly be incorporated. Then add the liquid
gradually, stopping to scrape the flour into the mixture.
Whisk until the batter is smooth. Now the batter is ready for use, and although it’s
been rumored that batter left to stand is better, I have never found this, so just
make it whenever it’s convenient.
Place the sliced onions in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of the oil and the sugar and toss
the onions around to get the lightest coating, then spread them on the baking tray.
Next arrange the sausages in a roasting tin, then place the onions on a high shelf
in the oven, with the sausages on a lower shelf, and set a timer for 10 minutes.
When the timer goes off, remove the sausages from the oven but leave the onions in for a further 4-5 minutes – they need to be nicely blackened round the edges. When they are ready, remove them and leave to one side.
Place the roasting tin containing the sausages over direct heat on the cooker top
with the heat turned to medium and, if the sausages haven’t released much fat, add the tablespoon of oil. When the tin is really hot and the oil is beginning to
shimmer – it must be searing hot – quickly pour the batter in all around the
sausages. Immediately return the roasting tin to the oven, this time on the highest
shelf, and cook the whole thing for 30 minutes.
Now for the gravy.
First add the Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder to the stock, add the onions from the baking tray into a medium-sized pan. Now add the second teaspoon of oil and, using a wooden spoon, stir in the plain flour. Stir all this together over a medium heat and then switch to a whisk, then gradually add the stock to the pan, whisking all the time, until it’s all in. Bring it up to simmering point and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Taste to check the seasoning, then pour into a warmed serving jug. When the toad (batter mixture with the sausages) is ready, it should be puffed brown and crisp and the centre should look cooked and not too squidgy.
Serve it immediately with the gravy, and it’s absolutely wonderful with mashed potato.
Heat oven to 350°F. In 2-quart saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and bouillon granules. Gradually stir in milk, cooking and stirring
constantly with wire whisk, until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in mayonnaise and
mustard until well blended.
In un-greased 12x8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish, arrange broccoli spears. Top
with chicken. Spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.
In small bowl, mix topping ingredients; sprinkle over top. Bake about 30 minutes or
until thoroughly heated.
ALTERNATE VERSION Chicken Divan
Soak dried mushrooms in 1/2 cup (125 ml) hot water for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim fat from beef; cut meat into 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) cubes and set aside.
In Dutch oven, saute bacon over medium-high heat until crisp; transfer to paper
towel-lined plate. Drain fat from pan.
Add 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the oil to pan; brown beef, in 3 batches and adding remaining oil as necessary. Transfer to bowl. Drain fat from pan. Add chopped onion, carrot, garlic, salt and pepper to pan; cook over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with flour; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Reserving soaking liquid, remove mushrooms and chop; add to pan along with soaking liquid, wine and broth. Bring to boil, scraping up any brown bits. Tie parsley, thyme and bay leaves together with string. Add to pan along with bacon, beef and any juices. Cover and braise in 325°F (160°C) oven until meat is fork-tender, 2-1/2 to 3 hours.
Meanwhile, in pot of boiling water, boil pearl onions for 3 minutes; drain and chill in cold water. Peel and trim, leaving root ends intact. In skillet, melt butter over medium heat; brown pearl onions, about 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer to bowl. Add mushrooms to skillet; fry until browned, about 5 minutes.
With slotted spoon, remove beef to separate bowl. Add pearl onions, mushrooms and brandy to liquid in Dutch oven; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened and onions are tender, about 25 minutes. Discard herbs. Return beef to pan and heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.
MAKES: 8 CORN DOGS
ACTIVE TIME:15 MIN
START TO FINISH: 45 MIN
EQUIPMENT: a grill pan; 8 wooden ice-pop sticks; a deep-fat thermometer.
Oil grill pan, then grill hot dogs over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and cool slightly, then insert a wooden stick into each hot dog. Put 3 Tbsp flour on another plate and roll hot dogs in flour to coat, shaking off excess. Heat 3 inches oil to 350°F in a deep 3-qt heavy pot over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, whisk together cornmeal, remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, cayenne, and 3/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Add eggs 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in buttermilk.
Transfer some of batter to a tall glass, filling it almost to the top.
Working in batches of 2 or 3, dip hot dogs, 1 at a time, into glass of batter to coat (add more batter to glass if necessary), then fry, turning occasionally, until batter is cooked through and golden-brown all over, about 3 minutes. Transfer corn dogs to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 350°F and refill glass with batter between batches.
ACCOMPANIMENTS: ketchup and mustard