Friday, March 16, 2012

St Patrick's Day Bubble and Squeak (Cheat's Version)

In our household, Monday was always leftovers day.  Invariably the Sunday roast joint of meat was served up in a different shape or form (chicken became chicken pot pie, for example).  Sometimes we simply sat down to coldcuts and salad, or to one of my favorites, Bubble and Squeak, or to use its proper Irish name, Colcannon.

In the run up to St Patrick's Day we were chatting with the Catering Manager at Reading Terminal Market, Stormy Lundy, who was reminiscing about  the colcannon her Grandmother used to make - her Grandmother was of Irish descent and knew how to make a decent fry...

Wikipedia enlightened us to the origins of the name of this dish.  Colcannon comes from the Irish word: cál ceannann, meaning "white-headed cabbage."  The etymology of bubble 'n' squeak is less literary: the butter in the frypan causes the cabbage and potatoes to bubble ferociously while the "squeak" refers to the sound the cabbage makes while it is cooking.  Listen closely you'll hear the air escaping as it cooks down!

Talking about the dish with Stormy brought back memories of my own childhood Mondays and even though it's not Monday, I decided to cook bubble and squeak for my family tonight.  Stopped off at Iovine's for a lovely crinkly Savoy cabbage and I was set. 

Got home and realized I had no potatoes, however.  Brainwave.  I had hashed potatoes in the freezer.  So that's what I used, and it worked - perfectly!

Cheat's Bubble n Squeak

2 sticks of butter and a dash of light olive oil
1 large onion chopped finely
1/2 large savoy or white cabbage
1  packet of prepared hash brown potatoes
Plenty of pepper and salt!

1. To save time, cook cabbage in microwave in a small amount of water until the cabbage is soft (about 8-10 mins)
2. Melt butter in frypan and saute the onions 'til soft
3. Drain cabbage and throw in the pan together with your potatoes
4. Cook on high heat for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes turn brown and crispy; keep turning the mixture in the pan to ensure that it doesn't stick and burn.  Be vigilent.

Happy St Paddy's Day. 

Wondering why we say "St Paddy's"? "St Paddy's" comes from St Padraig (the celtic spelling of the Irish saint's name.)  Please don't say "St Patty's Day" -- it drives my Belfast born husband crazeeeeeee.

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