How many of us have searched the far corners of the Internet for recipes that will transform our holiday leftovers from sorry scraps into new heavenly dishes? Well, a few years ago, I realized the British — regular eaters of the traditional Sunday roast — have held the secret for decades. Nay, centuries!
It's called Bubble and Squeak. Adorable, isn't it? It's nothing more than a fried hash of chopped-up leftovers. And the name refers to the sound the hash makes as it's frying in the pan.
There are different schools of thought on the form this hash takes: some people throw it all together in a frying pan and dish it out by the scoop. I, however, subscribe to the school of the individual patty: thick hamburger-style patties that allow for maximum surface area for developing caramelization and crunch.
What everyone agrees on is that mashed potatoes are integral. They're the glue that binds everything together. Though, feel free to throw an egg or two in there to help bind it.
So here's my ridiculously-basic recipe. It's really more like a technique. And because it's super easy and tactile, recruit the kids — it's a fun way to keep the party going after the feast has ended.
Bubble & Squeak
- Chop your leftover vegetables and meat into bite-size pieces.
- Add them to a bowl with mashed potatoes, and use your hands to mix it all into a mash that's reminiscent of making meatballs. If it's not sticking together, add an egg or two to help bind.
- Take handfuls of the mixture and form them into thick patties.
- Heat a frying pan, coating the bottom with the oil of your choice. When a flick of water sputters across the oil, add as many patties to the pan as will fit with an inch or two of space in between. Lower the temperature to medium-high and keep adjusting as you fry.
- Don't move the patties until they have formed a golden crisp coating on the bottom, then flip and fry the other side. Continue until all patties are fried and heated through.
- Serve with leftover cranberry sauce, gravy or a dollop of sour cream. I like a poached or fried egg on top, too.