professional recipes

Toad in the hole

Toad in the hole This recipe introduces a very interesting and tasty method for making homemade vegetarian sausages. Once you have mastered the basic principles the ingredients can be varied to produce a variety of different types of sausages. However, making the sauasges can be very time consuming so to save time you can use any commercially produced veggie sausage.

Brown stock

150ml ( cup) olive oil
1 spanish onions
1 carrots
3 stix celery
2 leeks
4 cloves garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary
few sprigs of thyme
4 bay leaves
400ml (2 cups) red wine
2 litres veg stock
2 dessertspoons vegetable bouillion
500ml (1 pint) of passata
handful of dried porcini mushrooms

For the brown stock Saute the onion, carrot, celery, leeks and garlic in the oilve oil slowly until the vegetables are well browned. Add the herbs and then the red wine. Keep simmering until most of the liquid has been reduced out. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer very slowly for one and a half hours. Pass through a sieve and then it will be ready to use in the laksa sauce recipe.

Onion gravy

2 large spanish onions
100g (4oz) butter
2.4 litres (5 pints) stock
2 tbsp cornflour

Cut the onion in half and cut them into thin half moons. Place the butter in a pan over a medium heat and add the onions. Keep sauteeing until they become soft and golden brown. Add the stock and simmer the gravy for about 30 minutes. Mix the cornflour with a little water and whisk it into the simmering gravy to thicken it. Season with a little salt and pepper.

Making the fennel sausages

1 spanish onion
2 large leeks
2 large carrots
4 heads of fennel
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic
3 sprigs rosemary
8 sprigs thyme

3 to 4 eggs
Salt and pepper
300g breadcrumbs
150g veggie parmesan
18 sun dried tomatoes

Stage 1
Chop the onion, carrots, leeks, fennel and garlic. Place some olive in a large pan over a medium heat and add the vegetables. Add the herbs whole - you can pick out the stalks later. Saute the vegetables for about ten minutes stirring regularly then top the pan with a lid and cook it for about an hour - again stirring regularly. The veg at the end shouted be soft but not too browned. Take off the heat and cool.

Stage 2
Place the cooled pan mixture into a food processor with the eggs and season with the salt and pepper. Whizz it to a fine puree. This may have to be done in two batches depending on the size of your processor.

Place the mix in a bowl and fold in the breadcrumbs and the grated parmesan. Leave it to stand in the fridge for an hour or covered overnight if you want to make the fennel sausages the next day.

Stage 3
For the next stage you will need some cling film. Pull a length of film from the roll and place some mixture in a sausage shape in the centre. Roll it in the film and then trim it from the roll. Squeeze the ends to force the mixture into a smooth sausage shape and then twirl the ends to thoroughly seal the mix in.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and boil the sausages for 5 minutes. In this time they will firm up. Cool under a cold running tap. Unwrap and use. You may lose a couple of sausages as a result of badly sealed cling film so always make a few more than you need.

Yorkshire pudding

2.5 pints milk
5 eggs
20oz flour
Salt and pepper

Place the flour in a large bowl and crack the eggs into a well in the centre. Slowly pour in the milk whisking vigorously as you go slowly incorporating the flour from the sides as you go. Whisk to a smooth batter and season to taste.

The toads can be made in large trays or cooked individually. In the restaurant I use foil takeaway containers.

The key to yorkshire puds is cooking them in hot oil. So firstly, put a few dessertspoons of vegetable oil in your trays and put them at the top of a hot oven. Meanwhile unwrap your cooled sausages. After ten minutes the oil will be very hot. Take the trays out of the oven a batch at a time and ladle in some batter mix - about a small ladle full per individual or portion - it should fizzle straight away. Add the sausages and return to the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes at the top of the oven and then cook for another ten in the middle until well browned and risen.

To serve reheat the toads in the oven for ten minutes and serve on mashed potato and swede with plenty of gravy. I haven't included recipes for the mashed vegetables here as they are just a simple case of boiling, mashing and seasoning.

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