I’m going to England in three weeks, and I’m terribly excited. I’ve definitely got Britain on the brain. Since I’m also prone to thinking about food, I started to think about British food. And let me tell you, they sure have us beat when it comes to naming their dishes.
Bubble and Squeak? Come on, that’s brilliant.
This recipe comes straight from the BBC, except I veganized it and added a little something. Bubble and squeak doesn’t need to come in cake form, but when given the choice, I can’t see myself ever not wanting to make it this way. I mean, look at the adorable little cakes, full of squeaky goodness!
So, bubble and squeak, for those who aren’t familiar, is an English dish developed to use up your leftover veggies. The veggies are usually mashed potatoes and cabbage, fried up. Since the dish is designed for leftovers, pretty much anything goes. Carrots, brussels sprouts, seitan, tofu, squash, kale, collards; I imagine you could put anything you want in these, especially if you chop it up pretty small beforehand.
This version is simple: potatoes and brussels sprouts. If you’re unfamiliar with brussels sprouts (one of my all time favorite vegetables, believe it or not), go ahead and read this little sprout primer I wrote before shopping for them.
I think the potato is one of the best Leafy Green Delivery Systems around. If you’ve been meaning to eat more greens but haven’t figure out a way to do it, cook ‘em up, chop ‘em up, and add them to mashed potatoes. You will not be sorry. Give colcannon a shot, or try out this recipe for bubble and squeak.
I added Old Bay seasoning to these instead of plain salt, but you can use either one, or your favorite spice.
Bubble and Squeak Cakes
Makes 8 Cakes
1 kg (2+ pounds) Potatoes (I used around 10 red potatoes, any kind will work)
4 Tbs Earth Balance Margarine
400-500g (14-17 oz) Brussels Sprouts
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
Old Bay Seasoning (1/2 tsp and 1/4 tsp)
Oil for frying
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Peel and chop potatoes into bite sized pieces. Smaller red potatoes need only be quartered. Add potatoes and boil for 12-15 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, chop the ends off the brussels sprouts and remove any bad looking leaves. When there is five minutes left of the potatoes, add the sprouts and cook for four minutes. After four minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl filled with ice water to stop the cooking.
Drain the potatoes and return back to the hot (empty) pot you boiled them in. Turn the heat down to low and let the potatoes dry for 1-2 minutes.
While the potatoes are drying out, drain the sprouts and pat them dry. Shred them finely with a chef’s knife.
Add the Earth Balance to the potatoes and mash well. Mix in the sprouts and 1/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning (or salt) and taste for flavor, adding more seasoning if desired. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Break up the potato mixture into 8 rough patties.
Gently form each one into a smooth, hockey puck like shape. Dip the cake in the seasoned flour mixture. Be gentle, and do this for each patty.
Fry 3-4 patties at a time for 2-3 minutes a side, until golden brown. You may need to re-dip them in flour right before putting them in the oil, so keep it handy. Use two spatulas (or a spatula and a flat wooden spoon) to turn the cakes; you don’t want to splash hot oil all over yourself.
Place fried cakes on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Once all the cakes are fried, you can place the whole sheet of them in the oven for 15 minutes to re-heat and re-crisp them in time for your meal. You can also refrigerate them for up to three days (reheating in the same manner), or freeze them for a month.
I served mine with some lingonberry preserves (that I bought at Ikea. Shhh!), but cranberry sauce or your favorite gravy will go very nicely.