The humble sausage. Not the one with the very low meat content and tons of rusk and unmentionables, but a substantial and meat filled variety. It is part of the staple of many a European dinner table.
Andrew: Here we have used a really good pork sausage and red pepper to provide a robust and filling supper for a family. High meat content sausages hold their shape better here.
Dawn: Remember sausages were really developed as a way of making the meat go as far as it could. An excellent dish for economy. Also many sausages come already flavoured and make a wonderful variation on this dish.
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
1 tsp chilli flakes
6 thick sausages
1 red pepper, deseeded and cubed
Olive oil for frying
Salt and pepper for seasoning
400g pappardelle pasta
- In a frying pan, heat a little oil and fry the sausages for 10 minutes, turning frequently until well browned.
- Using a fork and kitchen scissors, cut the sausages into 2cm lengths and allow to continue cooking, so the cut ends take on the same colour.
- Add the onion to the pan at this stage and fry gently for five minutes until it starts to soften and turn translucent.
- Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further 30 seconds. Then the peppers go on and can be cooked until they soften too.
- A splash of wine here, or even vodka, makes for a great flavour.
- Meanwhile put a pan of salted water on to boil and cook the pappardelle according to instructions.
- When the pasta is cooked, stir into the sausage mix,then serve in a large bowl so everyone can help themselves.
Andrew: This was very filling on a chilly late winter evening.
Dawn: I like the vodka twist. The alcohol of course evaporates, but the flavour remains.
Andrew: Which reminds me! Coq au vin?
Dawn: We had better cook that soon hadn’t we?
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Toad in the Hole: an everyday favourite and a tasty meal that can be made as individual portions or one large dish served with lots of vegetables for a filling dinner.
2 tsps of cooking oil
75g of plain flour
200ml of milk
Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, 200°C electric.
- Using a 4 portions Yorkshire pudding tray, put 1/2 tsp of cooking oil into each along with a sausage and place in the oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the sausages are browned and the cooking oil in hot.
Dawn: You can tell the cooking oil is hot because what looks to be a heat haze comes off it.
Andrew: Yes, look for a faint bluey-looking, almost steam-like rising from the cooking oil.
- Meanwhile, make the batter. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack the egg into this well along with the milk. Beat with a hand whisk until smooth.
- Pour the batter carefully into each Yorkshire pudding hole.
Dawn: A tip to ensure the fat is hot enough is to leave the pudding tray in the oven right up until you are ready to add the batter because the success of a Yorkshire pudding is very much in the cooking oil being hot enough to help the batter rise.
Andrew: To make one large Toad in the Hole rather than 4 individual portions, simply use a large oven proof dish and follow the instructions.
- Place the pudding tray back in the hot oven and cook for a 20-25 minutes or until theYorkshire puddings have risen, looking all puffed-up and golden in colour.
- Serve with lots of vegetables and onion gravy, the recipe for which is here: http://wp.me/p3lk3r-em
Andrew: Do you know that the word sausage is derived from Old French saussiche, from the Latin word salsus meaning salted, Dawn?
Dawn: No, I didn’t – but I do now! I don’t think the art of making sausages is French, though: I understand that sausage-making was originally a matter of making the most of all aspects of an animal’s meat as well as being a method of preserving.
Andrew: Yes, absolutely. Without further-ado, let’s not preserve these wonderful looking Toad in the Holes for much longer and tuck in!
This traditional dish is one of many meals on the Cooking Duo’s food blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – and also follow the Twitter feed for lively banter, tips and updates @Love_Food_UK.