When I woke up from my tryptophan-induced slumber last Friday, my mind turned to a bulging fridge of leftovers. As usual, there seemed to be more food left over than was actually served on Thanksgiving. It was over an idle slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast that Bubble and Squeak came to me.
What the heck is bubble and squeak? Glad you asked. It's a traditional British dish invented to make use of the leftovers from a Sunday roast. But it works equally well on this side of the pond. Shredded green cabbage is sweated with some onions in butter, then mixed in with the leftover mash to be shaped into patties, browned in butter, and eaten ravenously. It's similar to an Irish dish called colcannon, made up of mashed potatoes and boiled cabbage and butter.
Most anything could be added to the potato mix, including a bit of stuffing or other leftover sides. It can also easily be made from scratch to become a terrifically cheap meal. Following a recipe from April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig, I topped mine with a fried egg.
- 1 pound green or Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced/shredded
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds leftover mashed potatoes, or 1 pound potatoes, boiled and mashed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F. In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and add the onions with a good pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until soft, then add the cabbage. Cook for an additional 15 minutes until the cabbage is tender.
In a large bowl, combine the mashed potatoes with the cabbage mixture, stirring thoroughly to combine. Adjust the seasoning, then mold into 4 patties.
Heat the remaining butter in the same skillet and fry the patties until brown. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and heat through in the oven as the patties come off the skillet. Multiple skillets can be used to expedite things.
When all the patties are in the oven, fry 4 eggs in butter. Serve with freshly cracked black pepper.