Bangers - for today's purposes- are both noisy fireworks and a slang word for sausages. If you thought differently, then please stop sniggering at the back and pay attention.
Because Bonfire Night (November 5th) is no laughing matter and is taken very seriously here in Sussex.
In the 19th Century there grew up 'the cult of the Sussex martyrs' (commemorating the deaths of the 17 Protestant Lewes martyrs during the reign of Mary Tudor) and the Sussex bonfire societies began to develop. Now there is a society for practically every village or town in Sussex and they spend all year planning their costumes, processions and their bonfire (and effigy to burn).
I'm not a big fan of effigy-burning or of noisy fireworks - but I've gradually been won over by the Battel Bonfire Boyes (the oldest of the societies) who host a magnificent procession and firework display on the famous battle ground of the Battle of Hastings.
Last year they burned the News of the World in effigy- much better choice than the pope-burning, firework-throwing hooligan-fest which is the Lewes bonfire.
Whilst not much liking the idea of firework nights, I do think back happily to standing by a bonfire, drinking tomato soup, cooking baked potatoes in the embers, eating hot dogs and remembering bonfire parties with my children where we put sparklers in the top of 'Bonfire Cake' ( said cake pictured below ).
As ever, it's the food that makes the occasion.
So, back to the sausages- which are today's blog ingredient of choice.
This week I've used several different types of sausages to make my recipes: chipolatas, meaty Toulouse sausages, sausagemeat, cocktail sausages and fiery chilli bangers.
First up, I made a batch of sticky glazed chipolatas:
|Sticky glazed sausages|
|Stuffed Baked Potatoes|
You can pop them into hot dog rolls and munch them round the bonfire with a mug of spicy tomato soup (as in the old days) or with a hot baked potato-
|Spiced tomato soup|
|Bangers and Mash|
Or lay them on a bed of mash or Colcannon and pour on that honey and mustard gravy. You can make a children's version with cocktail sausages too :
|Bangers and Mash Hedgehog|
Or put them into a traditional Toad-in-the-Hole:
Make a batter with 150g plain flour, 2 eggs, a pinch of salt and 150 ml milk.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a roasting dish in the oven at 200 degrees until it begins to smoke slightly, quickly lay in the sausages and pour the batter around them. Cook for 30 minutes or until the batter is risen and crispy.
Don't forget the honey and mustard gravy.
Butchers, farm shops (and supermarkets) have a really good range of sausages now: everything from traditional pork to those made with local ales or even Marmite!
I bought some fiery chilli sausages locally for these next two recipes- but you could use Merguez or chorizo.
First take the sausages out of their skins and combine with some plain pork sausagemeat, some breadcrumbs and some finely chopped spring onion. Divide the mixture into two and use one for the first recipe and one for the second.
Shape the meat into patties and fry in hot oil until browned and cooked through. Serve with tabbouleh and some tomato salsa.(Just use the search box to find the salad recipe).
The other half of the meat mixture I rolled in blanched cabbage leaves and made Stuffed Cabbage Rolls as below (again the recipe is elsewhere on the blog, just search for it):
|Stuffed Cabbage Rolls|
|Sausages with lentils|
I've used a picture from the Net above as my own refused to be photogenic, and looked less than appetizing. Although I assure you it was delicious!
Alright, I'll show you- but you mustn't laugh.
Is that sniggering I can hear at the back?