British Foods ‘Ave The Best Names!
Toad in the Hole? Bubble and Squeak?! ONION GRAVY?!?!? British foods have the best names! In preparation for my move to jolly ol’ England in 6.5 months, I am continuing my British culinary education tonight with some awesomely-named British food.
Why these particular foods? In three words: Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I’ve talked about it before and I’m talking about it again. This Disney film from 1971 was a big part of my childhood and showcases my ideal England. These food names have been burned into my brain since my early years because of this part of the movie (see 6:20-6:33) and when I decided to cook a big English supper these foods were what immediately came to mind.
I decided first and foremostly on Bubble and Squeak. Its name is rumoured to come from the sounds it makes as it cooks. I didn’t hear any of that. Maybe I didn’t have enough fat in the pan. This recipe is how Brits take care of leftovers. Since I don’t eat boiled cabbage in my everyday life, I had to make leftovers in order to make this meal. How lame.
You mix up all your leftover veggies: mashed potatoes, boiled cabbage, I threw in some chives and salt ‘n’ pepa.
I also included genuine British dry mustard, Keen’s! What I love most about this ingredient was that I didn’t go out and buy it because it’s British and I wanted it in my British dinner. My big ol’ Brit of a father had it in his spice cupboard. Yes!
I formed the hash into patties and threw them into a pan of hot oil.
Brown those bad boys up!
That’s them done. Onto the onion gravy! The recipe I followed said to use “2 medium onions, peeled and thinkly sliced”. Ummm, pardon me? Thinkly? Is that thinly or thickly? Since I am not a fan of giant chunks of onion, I minced the shit out of them instead.
Frankie Valli can kiss my tuckus, because I cried like waterfall over these onions (and then swiftly got a massive nose bleed, what’s that all about?). I quickly got over it and started frying them up.
Add lots more other stuff (balsamic vinegar, veggie broth, corn starch, water, more salt ‘n’ pepa), let it thicken up, and you’re riding the gravy train.
And now for Toad in the Hole. I had always mistakenly believed this to be an egg fried in a hole in a piece of toast (and so did Jerri, so I’m not the only confused Canadian wandering around here). Turns out it’s actually sausage (I used Tofurky’s Kielbasa sausage–good choice) with a raised (risen? rised?) dough surrounding it. You’ll see.
I browned the sausage first and then put the batter on/around it and fired it back in the oven.
After a mere 20 minutes in the oven (and a minute or so under the broiler) the Toad came out puffed up and browned.
The next time I make it I will defo double the batter or halve the pan size. Am I right, ladies?! The answer is yes, I am. There was not nearly enough dough.
But the dough that was there was effing delicious, thus the desire for more next time.
So the three elements of our Big British Supper are ready…time to throw them all together! Bubble and Squeak and Toad in the Hole, pre-gravy:
Slather it on:
We’ve learned two things tonight:
1) British food is friggin’ delicious! For all the bitching and moaning Brits do about their national cuisine, I was not expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised with how much flavour it actually had. I’m hoping the same will happen with my expectations of their weather when I arrive later this year. (Fingers crossed.)
2) Onion gravy makes your breath smell like asshole.
I was very happy to be British whilst hoeing into this meal tonight. God Save the Queen!