Bubble and squeak in one piece

Hi kids.

I’m Andy, the supposedly lovely partner mentioned over in the sidebar. I’m responsible for many things, including the blog title (she wasn’t supposed to take it seriously – sorry), being a half-arsed sysadmin for the server which this blog runs on, taste-testing pretty much every recipe that you’ve seen here (it’s a hard life), and knocking Kate up.

Anyway, I’ve finally got a chance to share my own opinions after months of them being suppressed by the Kateian dictatorship, which doesn’t want to hear any voices of dissent because Kate’s afraid of the truth.((And it’s definitely not just because I could have done this ages ago and I’m just too lazy)) That’s right, I’m guest-blogging, bitches. Do you think you can take it?

Anyway, the immediate catalyst for doing this post was that I just cooked a very extemporaneous dish which turned out nice, and also that I need to entertain myself because Kate is firmly ensconced in the Australian Open sportsball semi-finals at this moment, which I don’t particularly care for.((Shock and outrage! Gender stereotypes something something)).

My cooking style, as you will gather if I manage to do any more posts and you manage to read any of them, is more towards simple and hearty than the more involved and creative stuff that Kate invents and then tells everyone about. The one I’m doing here is bubble and squeak (very loosely inspired by a sidebar recipe in the classic Stephanie Alexander book). I’ve never managed to make this work nicely before – it always falls apart during cooking – but tonight I decided, spurred on by a cabbage surplus((In my experience, this just means having cabbage. I love it, but it goes such a long way)), to try a new variation, and gosh darn it, it worked. Spoiler: the secret was to cook it like a Spanish omelette, so you never have to turn it over at all.

The Recipe

  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes, sliced (preferably Kipfler((I feel that cooking with Kipflers is kind of cheating because they taste so damn nice without much effort)))
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten.
  • 2 cups (I think) cabbage, sliced
  • Olive oil and/or butter
  • Herbs etc (I used a handful of parsley, some thyme, and some sliced spring onion)
  • Grated cheddar

Anyway, it’s bubble and squeak, which is the classic recipe for just chucking in what you want, so don’t take the ingredients list too seriously. But it probably helps to have something squidgy (like potato) and some vegetables with have long strands (like onion and cabbage) to give it some structural integrity.

  1.  Slice the potatoes and steam them, until well-cooked (you could alternatively boil them whole).
  2. Meanwhile,  heat a frypan containing a generous splash of oil over medium heat, and add the onions. After five minutes add the celery. Stir often until nicely caramelised (about 10-15 minutes I guess?).
  3. Also meanwhile (look at all our multitasking!) in another frypan, fry the cabbage over medium heat in a little butter or oil. After a few minutes, add 1/3 cup of vegetable stock ((use Massel stock cubes, which are great)) and cover for a few minutes before uncovering and continuing to cook until the liquid has evaporated. I think this is braising. Whatever it’s called, it’s tasty, but you could skip the stock if you’re feeling lazy (in that case, you could just cook the cabbage by adding it to onion along with the celery, and save on washing)
  4. Roughly crush the cooked potatoes with a fork, and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Mix the beaten eggs and herbs with the crushed potatoes, and add salt/pepper to taste.
  6. Find an oven-safe frypan – preferably a fairly small one, so that the bubble and squeak has some depth (and thus structural integrity) to it. We have a cheap black steel pan (about 18cm across the bottom) which does great for this job, and is an non-stick as any teflon (this also happened to be the pan which I’d cooked the onions in).
  7. Once the onions and cabbage are cooked, add a splash of oil or butter to the pan, then add the onions followed by the cabbage and the potato & egg mix. Mix slightly so that the potatoes, cabbage and onion are somewhat incorporated.
  8. Pre-heat your griller to moderate temperature
  9. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes
  10. Put the pan under the griller and cook for a further five minutes until the top side is slightly firm. Add cheese and cook for another two minutes or so to melt the cheese
  11. Extract from the pan by using the fantastic double-plate method which Stephanie Alexander recommends for Spanish omelettes. Put a plate on top of the pan, and invert the whole lot, so the bubble and squeak falls out in one piece. Then get another plate and put it on top of the first plate and invert the whole thing again, so you get the cheesy side on top.
  12. Divide it up and eat it. Serves 2–3 people.
Bubble and Squeak – The bit we hadn't eaten yet when I realised I should blog this bad boy.

Wow, that ended up sounding complicated. It’s not really. Basically, as long as you put cooked veggies, including potato and cabbage, into a frypan with some egg and cook it, it’ll probably be tasty.