Bubble and squeak
This is one of those surprisingly mouthwatering things made up of very ordinary ingredients (even leftovers potentially), which, once mastered, will be a regular feature for dinner. I’ve made this several times now: mashed potatoes, cabbage, onion, garlic, and lots of butter. Individually, the ingredients aren’t all that special (except for the garlic and butter), but together…oh my. Oh. MY. It’s not effortless of course, and for some, the flipping process will have you either exceptionally smug or screaming in anguish. However, even if your bubble and squeak ends up more of a pile of vegetables rather than a cake-like looking thing, it won’t affect the taste at all, I promise. If you’ve been freaked out, don’t be: this requires one pan and one large bowl, so it’s not hard, and has plenty of time where you just leave the thing to bubble and squeak without having to touch it (in fact, touching it during that time will bring you peril later on, trust me). So even though in total this might take about 45 minutes to make, 30 of that you’ll be free to whip up a simple salad on the side, or whatever else you may like. Also, it’s incredibly versatile: In the pictured one, I added some shredded silverbeet I threw into the pan with my cabbage, and it worked great (by which I mean I didn’t taste the silverbeet :P). Here’s some encouragement:
Never mind that the other half ended up being more of the aforementioned “pile” of veges…but yesh. Also, do I get bragging rights that this salad was made with vegetables that were entirely home grown? By moi?
It’s just a simple variety of lettuces, baby bok choy leaves, tomatoes, and radishes. Easiest veges to grow ever, and so versatile…anyway. Onto bubbling and squeaking!
Bubble and squeak adapted from Linda Fraser’s essential vegetarian cookbook.
Makes one 1″ thick (approx) 24cm wide “cake” (to serve 2 as a large side or 4 as a small side). Use a larger pan if needed, and make sure you have a plate the same size to invert the cake onto.
Either: approx 2c ready mashed potato,
or 600g raw potatoes, cut so that each piece is 2″ max width/length, pricked with a sharp knife at several points. Don’t need to skin.
1 onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped
approx 250g thinly sliced raw green cabbage or 200g cabbage cooked (or other veges, see suggestions at end)
30g butter, split into two lots. Extra if using raw vegetables.
salt and pepper, plus any herbs you want (sage, thyme and/or oregano work well)
If using raw vegetables:
Put potatoes into a glass bowl and microwave for 3 mins on high. Flip each bit 180 degrees, then microwave for another 3 minutes on high or until a sharp knife inserted goes in easily (ahem). Cut potatoes up and mash roughly.
In the same pan you’ll use for the bubble and squeak, cook onions, cabbage and herbs with salt and pepper to taste in some butter on a medium heat until the vegetables are beginning to turn golden. Add garlic, cook for another minute, then remove from heat and add to mashed potatoes.
Mix everything together (except for butter), so that it is relatively uniform. Melt half the butter (approx 15g) in the pan you’ll use to cook the bubble and squeak (you absolutely must use a non stick pan or you will drive yourself mad), on the lowest heat setting on your cooker. Add the potato and vege mix to the pan, patting it down and levelling to make a cake that fills the pan. Once flattened, set a timer for 15 mins, and let cook for the full 15 mins WITHOUT TOUCHING IT. This is very important.
After 15 minutes, place a plate on the frypan (clean side down), and as quickly as you can, invert the cake onto the plate (you want to minimise the time the pan and plate are not horizontal). The cooked side should be a deliciously golden brown. Melt the second half of the butter in the pan, and very carefully shuffle/slide the cake back into the pan (try not to nudge it in with anything, as this will munt the shape of it). Once back in the pan, tuck any loose bits (if you have any) back in to form the cake shape again. Let cook for another 15 minutes (I suggest setting that timer again).
After the second side is cooked, either invert or slide it onto the same plate you used earlier. Cut into quarters. If it falls apart, don’t worry too much, just serve it in a pile – the taste of this will totally win you over again! Best served with a salad.
Instead of cabbage, you could try cooked chopped cauliflower, chopped brocolli, brussels sprouts, shredded silverbeet or spinach, shredded carrots, chopped green peppers, chopped mushrooms…just don’t use veges that will emit a lot of water once cooked, unless you use it with cabbage (spinach is one example).