|Bangers and Mash|
I have a weakness for English dishes with picturesque names. Even the simplest of these is a riddle. “Bangers and Mash”, or Sausage and Mashed Potatoes, is the simplest to understand. The sausages used in the original recipe, which first came on the scene during World War I when times were tough, were so full of water that they sometimes exploded (Bang!) when they met the heat of the pan. Other dishes are even
descriptive. “Bubble and Squeak”, a
fried patty, is made with leftover vegetables that accompanied the Sunday Roast. It could likely form the basis of an interesting guessing game at the dinner
table. “Angels on Horseback” is
completely oblique. It’s an appetizer or
savory dish that followed the main course at a formal British dinner. "Angels" are oysters, or sometimes scallops, wrapped
in bacon, "Horseback". Try as I did to
find out how on earth this name came about, I was stymied. One British food historian simply gave up and suggested that the dish was actually French and called "Anges en Cheval". This might be the first occurence ever of the British conceding anything to the French. "Angels" are close cousins of
“Devils on Horseback” in which dried fruit replaces the oyster. Both “Angels” and “Devils” have made it to
North America even if their names have not.
Then we come to "Toad in the Hole”.
It may be the oldest of all these dishes and to me, it’s one of the most
delicious. It has no pretensions: It’s
an inexpensive one-dish comfort food that makes a great one plate dinner. And what exactly is “Toad in the Hole” ?
|Bubble and Squeak|
|Angels on Horseback|
|Devils on Horseback|