Let's Go: Can I Make Bubble & Squeak Fritters?
Updated: Aug 26
Since I was thinking about Sherlock Holmes for Sherlock Holmes Day :), I decided to try making some British food -- but the limitations were what I had at my place. :) This recipe from myfusseater.com looked good! This was inspired and not really following the exact recipe from myfussyeater.com recipe because I used instant potatoes and dried vegetables. I liked the instructions and the part of adding a little flour and cheese to help it come together.
What is Bubble and Squeak?
Super fun name! It's basically a potato pancake made with leftover vegetables or food. It's similar to latkes. It actually started with beef and cabbage, but some theories are that it is not a coincidence with the food rationing during WW2, potato was switched to the base.
"Bubble and squeak is a quirky name for a dish that is mostly fried leftover vegetables, usually from Sunday lunch—making it popular for Monday lunch or dinner. It's also a popular British appetizer.
The origins of the cute name are not known, but there is a reference in the "Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" from 1785: "Bubble and squeak is beef and cabbage fried together. It is so called from its bubbling up and squeaking while over the fire." Bubble and squeak is also known as bubble or fry. In Ireland, colcannon is made from mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, and onion, and it's very similar to bubble and squeak, as is rumbledethumps in Scotland.'
Bubble and squeak is one of my favorite left-over foods. It’s difficult to give a recipe for it as you just have to use whatever vegetables you have leftover from a nice roast dinner. It turns out it didn’t begin life as fried mashed potato patties, but as something quite different. In The complete economical cook, and frugal housewife: an entirely new system, Mary Holland – in 1837 – describes a recipe that makes use of leftover boiled beef, not potatoes. The beef should be thinly sliced and fried up with chopped boiled cabbage in butter and some salt and pepper. This recipe goes back as far as the mid-eighteenth century. Indeed recipes for it in this form run right up the mid-twentieth century. It cannot be a coincidence that the dish went from beef-based to potato-based at around the same time as the Second World War and rationing.
What I used:
- About 1/2 cup Idahoan Instant Potatoes (made w/ butter and almond milk - didn't havecow milk; worked fine)
- Dried carrots (rehydrated in some water)
- Spinach flakes
- 2 or 3 tablespoons of shredded cheddar
- About 1 or 1/2 tablespoons of Garbanzo Fava flour (not shown - which is gluten-free, but mostly because I'm saving AP flour for baking bread :) )
I rehydrated the carrots in some water.
Then I cooked the instant mashed potatoes. It took 2 min.
I added the cheese, veggies (spinach flakes, strained the carrots - so no water) and garbanzo fava flour and then mixed it all together.
Then I made little patties and sauted them in some oil on medium/medium-high to crisp up each side.
Tip: This worked much better once the mashed potato mixture cooled down to room temp. You could put your mashed potato mixture in the fridge for a couple minutes, but you don't want it to get too cold because it is really quick to brown the outside of the potato pancakes and then the middle of your potato pancake would be cold.
Photo: Not working as well (haha!) vs. Working better (once the mixture cooled down a bit).
RESULT: Success! :)
We are good at this! I call this a success because they taste good! But also because you could not tell from the photo that I made these with instant potatoes or dried veggies. I added some sour cream. Yum!
I'm going to experiment with the ratios of potato with binders (flour and cheese, etc.) for different variations - like a Loaded Baked Potato version for example and I just saw an article for a Scottish variation -- potato scones, which I'm going to try. :)
Give it a try! We are good at this!