Bubble and Squeak is basically left over potato aka bubble and (traditionally) cabbage aka squeak. Yesterday’s leftover leeks also work, but if you have neither, (or even if you do) onion is also good – for me quasi essential. Yesterday’s left over mashed potato (a commodity as rare as hen’s teeth in my house, at the best of times) will not be good if you used cream or milk, ‘cos it just gets too sloppy – kudos to the olive oil mash brigade…yours will do fine 😉
Local sometimes naff caffs may recycle peas and/or carrots, to the displeasure of many punters.
Left over potatoes, squashed or mashed – depending on how chunky you want it, but some must be mashed.
1 chopped onion
Left over cabbage or leek or even kale.
1 tablespoon or less of oil.
Salt and optional pepper
Rosemary – optional for you, but essential for me – v. useful if you have no additional veg.
In a medium to high heat pan, start frying the onion in a teaspoon of oil, and as it begins to soften, add the potato, veg/rosemary if you have any and a pinch of salt. Leave to fry to golden brown and gently crisp up on the bottom. Turn and mash up, leave to go golden brown on the bottom again, repeat this a few times, until the whole thing is flaked/flecked with browned pieces. Add another teaspoon of oil and fry one side (flip) and then the other till crisped up but NOT burnt brown-ness.
I didn’t make any of the above on my mega condiment marathon, in fact I always buy my crispy fried shallots but seeing as the last post was all about alliums, I thought I’d put this up as an addendum – ‘cos you can’t buy them everywhere, and you have to make your own fried onions for biryanis. There are a few tips to getting them crispy without burning them. The shallots used in Asia are the little pink ones you can buy in Vietnamese or African shops, and they and garlic get cut lengthways – onions for biryani generally get across into rings.
Whichever way you cut, they should be fine, 1-2 mm for shallots and garlic, 2-3mm for onions and uniformly sliced – otherwise, some will be in danger of burning and some will remain decidedly uncrisp.
After they’re cut, spread them out and leave them to dry for several hours – all alliums have quite a lot of juice and contain a high level of plant sugars, which contributes to them burning if you don’t do this. In winter, when it’s cold and damp, I put mine on a tray and set it on the radiator.
When you’re ready to cook them, heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a pan or a wok until it is hot, drop in the slivers, turn the heat down to low and watch closely. You want them to be golden brown, but they will continue to cook even after you take them out of the pan. Drain on kitchen towel.
If you’ve made a big batch, they can be stored in a screw top jar after they are cool, but don’t add any salt ‘cos they’ll go soft and leathery. Salt just before serving, if at all.