Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Bubble and Squeak

As a dish made of leftovers, this is best if the cabbage was cooked a day or so before. It also doesn't harm if the mashed potato is from the day before or even if it is scraped from the top of a cottage pie or somewhere else. I'd imagine you could mash pre-cooked chips or croquettes or the like, but haven't tried it.

If you don't have leftover potato, peel and cut into roughly equal portions some potatoes: the better the potatoes, the better the mash, so something named rather than "baking potatoes" or "white potatoes" will work best. Put into a pan of lightly salted water and boil until you can pass a knife through one without pushing. Drain the water off.

Mash (or better still rice) the potatoes with some butter or olive oil.

If you don't have leftover cabbage, roughly chop your cabbage. If you have a stove-top steamer, steam for a minimum amount of time. If not, boil a pan of water and drop the cabbage in. It really doesn't take long either way. Minutes. The less the better.

Chop an onion. Put a bit of butter in a pan, melt it and add the onion. Wait for the onion to go translucent (see-through). Medium heat is best (too hot it'll caramelise, too cold it'll just sit there). When the onion is done, chuck in the cabbage and stir up. Now chuck in the potato mash. Add some pepper (and salt if your blood pressure is normal) and mix up.

The mixture can now be set aside until you're ready to use the oven for something else. When you are, place the mixture in a shallow baking pan and smooth over, or divide into balls, or put into Yorkshire Pudding trays, or whatever suits you best. Oven cook for as long as possible, until you see signs of browning on the top.

Note that it doesn't matter if any part goes cold during the making of this, so it's perfectly possible to do all of this using just one pan, a colander and a baking tray.

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