Strange Name, Great Taste — British Isles Friday
Welcome to British Isles Friday! Did you enjoy our links last week? I got a kick out of the video Becca found to demonstrate the variety of British accents. What have you read, watched, or participated in this week that related to the British Isles? Join us for British Isles Friday using the link list below.
For my post this week, I have another class to describe. A couple of weeks ago, I posted photos from a class offered by the Missouri Botanical Garden called The Unofficial Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea. The same teacher, Jane Muscroft of Queen’s Cuisine, taught Strange Name, Great Taste at the Garden this week. We learned to make these traditional British dishes:
- Toad in the Hole
- Bubble and Squeak
- Spotted Dick
Toad in the Hole is Yorkshire Pudding with sausage links baked into it. The sausage peeking out is supposed to look like the toad. American sausage isn’t much like British sausage, so Jane used bratwurst, the closest equivalent in St. Louis. Toad in the Hole is usually made in a casserole dish but baking it in a muffin tin makes a nice version for single servings. The photo shows Jane putting the sausages in the batter with the mirror above so we can see what’s happening on the counter.
For our side dish, we had Bubble and Squeak. Jane said this was always served on Monday evenings when she was growing up, using the leftover potatoes and vegetables from Sunday dinner. The funny name is supposed to reflect the sound the dish makes as it’s being cooked. Mashed potatoes and vegetables are re-heated in a skillet long enough to give the potatoes a brown crust. Here, Jane is turning over the potatoes so more bits of it get browned.
Jane also fixed a warm brown onion gravy to go over our savory dishes. Yorkshire Pudding is an airy bread with a silken texture that made a nice contrast to the spicy sausage — the Toad in the Hole. The Brussels sprouts in our Bubble and Squeak provided good color and flavor to the vegetable dish.
For our dessert, we had English custard spooned over Spotted Dick. Spotted Dick is a steamed pudding made with suet (so, unusual for desserts, Spotted Dick is not traditionally vegetarian). Raisins form the “spots.” There doesn’t seem to be an authoritative answer to why it’s named Dick, but that word didn’t have the same connotation in Britain as it does in the US.
Jane made two puddings for our fairly large class, one is in a glass bowl (in the mirror, it’s just to the right of Jane’s neck) that she later covered with wax paper and then put right into a pot for steaming. She shaped the one under her hand into a log which will go into a steamer basket after being wrapped in wax paper. The log-shaped one reminded Jane of another funny name for this dish — Dead Man’s Arm. Before wax paper became cheap and common, a cook might use an old shirt sleeve as the wrapper for the pudding. (Would you rather eat Spotted Dick or Dead Man’s Arm?)
Spotted Dick, as shown here, is traditionally served with a custard sauce. The class liked the comfort food experience of the pudding along with the slight citrus flavor that came from the lemon zest in the Spotted Dick.
Have you eaten Toad in the Hole, Bubble and Squeak, or Spotted Dick?
Since this was a cooking class, I’ll also link to Weekend Cooking. Check out Beth Fish Reads tomorrow for more culinary posts around the web.
What a fun class that looks- and so good you got to eat some. I’ve eaten bubble and squeak quite a bit- my husband will cook extra mashed potatoes on purpose he loves bubble and squeak so much- it’s a childhood favourite for him. I’ve come to like it too. I’ve not had the other two yet. I did get to try a yorkshire pudding for the first time in London last year, but there was no toad in the hole.
Since we moved to the UK I regularly make Bubble and Squeak. It’s become a household favorite and I didn’t even know what it was before! Up here in Scotland, cock-a-leeky soup is another fav. Love the name, but like much of British cuisine, it is not vegetarian.
In Global Foods you can get Spotted Dick in a can (plus a variant on treacle pudding made with golden syrup) and packets of instant Bird’s Custard.
Mum used to make toad in the hole on a regular basis. Whole Foods sometimes has a raw Pork Banger sausage that is the closest equivalent to a UK one without getting the frozen ones from Global Foods.
And you can make bubble and squeak on the grill. It turns out deliciously smoky.
Bubble and squeak on the grill sounds amazing!
Spotted Dick is delicious and very filling! We used to have it for school dinner pudding when I was growing up.
I make Yorkshire pudding quite often, like last Sunday!!
Love love English sausages or bangers!!
I would love to take a cooking class like this.
Ah, a trip back to childhood with this menu! I love all these comfort foods though they don’t half show just how much fat there used to be in the British diet! Hmm…still is, perhaps…
Looks like fun! I was just visiting with my niece and her husband and daughter who live in the UK. Her husband is a native Brit and when he comes to the States he loves to have an American hamburger and fresh ice cream. He is a great guy. My grand niece of 2 1/2 speaks in full sentences with a British accent. It is too too cute!
Sounds like a fun visit!
I’ve never tried any of these traditional English foods – the closest I’ve come is trying a glass if negus -click this link to see my attempt at traditional Austen negus http://bronasbooks.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/a-glass-or-two-of-negus.html?m=1
I’m on holidays this week, but I’ve add a link to post from last week about the very British Rev. Spooner.
What a great class — I just love the names of those dishes. I had all three more than a few times when I lived in the UK (a long time ago). Now you’re making me want to make a roast with all the traditional accompaniments.
I am not familiar with any of the three dishes. I really like the names of the dishes. The names are quaint and funny all at the same time.
That’s so funny…my family has always called an egg cooked inside a hole cut in a piece of toast “toad in the hole”. Looks like we have been mis-using the term!
See now I want to read a British book for book club so we have the excuse to make these great looking foods!
Fabulous post. Am familiar with all three dishes but haven’t had them in a long, long time. What a great class!
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I wasn’t familiar with any of those recipes – it’s fun to see the prep photos and know ‘why’ they’re called such funny things. Thanks for sharing!
How fun and what interesting names for the dishes 🙂 I love the name Bubble and Squeak and love classes where you get to indulge in the food 🙂
Oops, hope you will link up with Small Victories Sunday, sadly I don’t think I have anything to add in your linky this week! Yikes, I need to catch up on some book review writing cause I know there a few set in UK I haven’t written yet!
Another fun class! That’s a great set-up with the mirror like that. I’ve never seen that before. You got a great photo of it!
I’ve had toad in the hole but never bubble and squeak. I had a canned version f spotted dick but the freshly made version would be amazing! This is a delicious post!
I saw this post on Friday and then got lost somewhere else so I’m glad that you linked up!
I love toad in the hole. When I lived overseas (and honestly, even when we were stationed in Illinois) a can of Heinz Spotted Dick inevitably ended up as some part of the military office Christmas party white elephant gift exchange so that people could giggle like ten year olds about the name. I think that we had a can for about three years before I finally threw it out – now I wish we had tried it!
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