Sunday, 16 June 2013
Bubble and squeak for breakfast
Bubble and Squeak. Bubble-and-Squeak. What a wonderful name for a dish concocted from of bits and pieces of left-over meat and veggies. Did some poor harassed mother turn from her smoky 1800’s stove and snap out the first words that came to her when her gaggle of half grown boys asked what was for breakfast? Had the oats run out? Was there a glut of potatoes or cabbage needing to be used up? “This lovely mess in the pan, boys, is a modern new breakfast from the city where they call it Bubble and Squeak.”
In my local supermarket, I was amazed recently to see bags of Bubble and Squeak in the freezer section. The photo on the packaging showed a flat yellow thing that looked to be a cross between a fast-food hash brown and a sad piece of crumbed fish - a far distant relative of a hearty country-kitchen fry-up. Traditionally, Bubble and Squeak was made from chopped cold meat fried in lard or butter with cooked potato, cabbage and any other old cooked vegetables, often with a few eggs cracked on top, and served on a big slab of bread, also fried in fat, with a good dollop of black sauce. Once upon a time, working as a pub cook in rural Britain, I made copious amounts of fatty Bubble and Squeak - called Stovies in Scotland - to serve up for breakfast to seedy-looking locals as their preferred hangover cure.
BUBBLE & SQUEAK FRITTER
Makes a generous (low-fat and healthy) weekend breakfast for 1 person, using fresh vegetables rather than left-overs.
You will need: frypan or skillet; small bowl; cutting board and knife; egg lifter.
1. In omelette pan or frypan, lightly fry in a little olive oil,1 small onion, diced, 1 small zucchini, finely sliced
and 6-10 cherry tomatoes, halved.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix with a fork, 1 egg, 1/3 cup self-raising or plain flour, ½ cup milk or water, sprinkle of salt and a good few grinds of fresh black pepper.
3. When onion is transparent and zucchini beginning to colour, spread vegetables evenly across the pan and pour batter over. Cook 5 minutes or until batter has set and edges are browning.
4. On one half, sprinkle small amount of grated cheese and a little diced parsley or sweet basil.
5. To serve, cut the batter twice to make 4 quarter circles. Flip one quarter over the top of its cheese-covered opposite mate, browned-side up, to sandwich the melting cheese between the two pieces.
Serve with toast or crusty bread (+ a rasher of bacon if a cooked breakfast is not complete for you without it), a good cup of fresh coffee and the morning newspaper.
In our family (with English grandmothers on both sides) Bubble and Squeak sometimes appeared at the table on weekends, tipped from the pan onto wholemeal toast. And it was delicious, setting energetic youngsters up for a day of sport and play. As we grew up, we made our own versions, some better than others. Some best forgotten - Beetroot Bubble and Squeak, made by an unsupervised nine-year old, is definitely not to be recommended. But, by process of experimentation, we soon mastered our definitive version - ‘The Magnificent Bubble-and-Squeak Omelette!’
BUBBLE & SQUEAK OMELETTE
This recipe uses last night’s leftover vegetables.
Ingredients: As above, for Bubble & Squeak Fritter, but using diced or roughly smashed left-overs instead of fresh vegetables. ( I used cold cooked potato, carrot, broccoli and some fresh celery.)
1. In pan or skillet, lightly fry diced or smashed vegetables in a little olive oil.
2. Pour batter evenly over vegetables; cook until edges are browning.
3. Sprinkle with cheese. Unlike a serious omelette with several eggs, this version won't fold, so as with the fritter, cut into quarters and sandwich pieces with cheese between.
Next: Bush BBQ (lunch with lizards)
Written and compiled by two frogs