A Harmony of Flavors

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A New "Old" Recipe: Bubble and Squeak

Searching for ideas yesterday I came up with Bubble and Squeak. You may not be familiar with this uniquely titled meal from Britain. I had no idea what it was. It is a cousin to the Irish Colcannon, which many have heard of, but still doesn't quite cover it.

Bubble and Squeak: last night's dinner
Bubble and Squeak is usually made from the leftovers of a Sunday roast meat and vegetable dish. Since the British like their "mash" (potatoes) and use quite a lot of the cruciferous vegetables that are so good for us, those are often what are thrown together to make this dish. The name apparently comes from the sounds made when the dish is cooking, i.e. bubbling and squeaking. This easy meal is really a hash of a sort, with left over vegetables thrown together and fried in a pan. Another way it is served is in patties, smashing all the vegetables together and frying the individual Bubble and Squeak patties. Commonly used are potatoes, either mashed, or chunks of cooked potatoes from the roast that are smashed together with an "anything goes" mixture of other vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, carrots, "Swedes" or rutabaga, parsnips or Brussels sprouts. At one time it was common for bits of meats to be mixed in also. Meat is a less common addition these days, though it is often served alongside, like with bacon, ham or sausage.

This hash dish can be served as breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It can be a side dish or the main event; terribly versatile all around. It appears that it is making a comeback, as some of the more top chefs are making new versions of Bubble and Squeak, and not necessarily from leftovers. Seeing all this, I decided to try my hand and see what I could come up with. On top of all this versatility, it is also Gluten Free.

Bubble and Squeak Patties for breakfast with eggs
I had potatoes, cabbage, onions and bacon, so that's where I started. I also love parsnips mixed in with the potatoes when I make mashed potatoes. That was how I proceeded; first cooking potatoes and parsnips together. I fried bacon, then once the bacon was removed I added in onions to fry, and then a little garlic. I added in sliced cabbage and cooked it all together. I mashed the potatoes and parsnips with butter and cream cheese (which is my norm), and added in the bacon and other vegetables. 

All I can say is "Oh my, that was good." It was my dinner last night all by itself. The flavors together were just perfect. Once it cooled, I formed the rest into patties and this morning I fried them up along with some eggs and it was just as good the second time around.

I urge you to try either my recipe or make one up yourself. There is no hard and fast rule. Use up leftovers or make a new meal. This is so rewarding and delicious, I believe it will be an addition to your repertoire of recipes soon.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and sign up for my Newsletter.