Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bubble and Squeak

I made a passing reference to Bubble and Squeak back in the summer when I had a head of cabbage on hand. I bring it up now, because you just might have the right combination of leftovers to make this dish sometime after Thanksgiving.

Bubble and Squeak has a place in the pantheon of British Foods With Odd Names. Basically, it's a shallow-fried pancake or hash made from leftover potatoes and vegetables. Cabbage is a traditional ingredient, but you can use whatever greens or vegetables you have on hand. Throw in some chopped herbs, too, if you'd like (mmmm, sage and rosemary would be good). Use the directions below as a very loose guide.

Bubble and Squeak

(adapted from The Frugal Gourmet by Jeff Smith)

3 potatoes, boiled and smashed, or leftover mashed potatoes
4 cups chopped, cooked cabbage, or other cooked greens, such as kale or chard
1/2 medium onion, peeled and chopped (sauteed, if you choose, but it's not necessary)
1 raw zucchini, grated (or try cooked Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or carrot)
olive oil

Gently mix the potatoes, greens, and vegetables. Lumps are good; you are not looking for a smooth paste. If your potatoes are too cold to mix, warm them a bit in the microwave first.

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the potato-vegetable mixture, press it into the skillet bottom, and let it heat and brown. Flip it in sections to brown both sides or stir it like hash until it's evenly cooked and hot throughout. Serve with salad, leftover meat, or scrambled eggs.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Supermarket Season

chard with applesWe're probably not eating much local produce these days -- it's hard to know where the vegetables in our Big Chain Supermarket come from -- but the "seasonal" eating continues. I couldn't resist the Bright Lights Swiss chard. Try it with apples and carmelized onions for a colorful side dish. The sweetness of the onion and the fruit offsets the natural bitterness of the chard. I served the chard with pasta and fish, but it would go equally well with poultry or beef.

Swiss Chard With Apple and Carmelized Onion

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 Cortland apples, large dice, with peel on (about 2 cups)
1 bunch Swiss chard, washed, stems and leaves separated and chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet that has a lid. Cook the onion over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes or until the onion begins to brown and carmelize. Stir in the apple and Swiss chard stems, and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, cover the skillet, and cook for 5 minutes more or until the chard is wilted to your liking. Season with salt and pepper if you wish.