Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Style Bubble & Squeak

Last night I did my 'summer style' fish and chips. Well, tonight was another English classic - bubble and squeak. First, a bit of background: bubble and squeak is the quintessential British 'day after' dish. Take all the left-over veg from a Sunday roast dinner, say mashed spuds, carrots, peas, turnip and so on. Then squelch it all down into a well-oiled (or buttered), screaming hot pan. Form a large, slightly ugly pancake from this mashed concoction and listen as the liquid starts to steam and pop and, well, 'bubble and squeak'. Now let's turn this on it's head and do it as a summer dish.

I had a solid two cups of left-over mashed potatoes from my wisdom teeth extraction meals a few day's previously. I also had that left-over vegetable sauté from the previous night's fish and chips. This included summer squash, zucchini, and some diced, fresh tomato. I took this colourful mix of summer vegetables and chopped them up coarsely until they resembled chunky confetti. Then I folded this into the mashed spuds along with one fresh egg, a couple of tablespoons of all purpose flour, a handful of bread crumbs, a generous grating of Parmesan cheese and some seasoning. Squash this luxuriously sticky mess together until everything is well incorporated and then form it into a four larg-ish patties. Coat the patties in more breadcrumbs, and then get them into a medium hot pan with shimmering olive oil. The bubbling and the squeaking will commence. After about five minutes, the underside will have browned nicely, then flip each individual patty. They will be a bit fiddly, but it doesn't really matter, because it's going to end up as a solid mass eventually. Once you've flipped them all, then squash it all together until if forms one solid pancake. Creating the individual little cakes makes the first flip possible, after which, you want a proper bubble and squeak which is one giant, dodgy-looking pancake. Let this side brown nicely, and just before it's done, sprinkle some capers atop the mess and then grate some proper Parmesan reggiano over the works. If bubble and squeak existed in Italy, it would probably look like this. Anyway, I served it with some of those oil packed chilies from Puglia. This dish was a smashing success and I would eat it every day if I could. Honest.

Anyway, it accompanied some simple sautéed chicken, a salad of lamb's lettuce and some farm-fresh green peas. Summer supping at its best.

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