How to use leftovers, aka Bubble & Squeak


The best kinds of leftovers, are really dishes that don’t feel as if you’re actually eating leftovers. Case in point a childhood favourite of mine, Bubble & Squeak (Wikki). Also known as a popular dish from the children’s classic Wind in the Willows,

`Now, cheer up, Toad,’ she said, coaxingly, on entering, `and sit up and dry your eyes and be a sensible animal. And do try and eat a bit of dinner. See, I’ve brought you some of mine, hot from the oven!’

It was bubble-and-squeak, between two plates, and its fragrance filled the narrow cell. The penetrating smell of cabbage reached the nose of Toad as he lay prostrate in his misery on the floor, and gave him the idea for a moment that perhaps life was not such a blank and desperate thing as he had imagined. But still he wailed, and kicked with his legs, and refused to be comforted. So the wise girl retired for the time, but, of course, a good deal of the smell of hot cabbage remained behind, as it will do, and Toad, between his sobs, sniffed and reflected, and gradually began to think new and inspiring thoughts: of chivalry, and poetry, and deeds still to be done; of broad meadows, and cattle browsing in them, raked by sun and wind; of kitchen-gardens, and straight herb-borders, and warm snap-dragon beset by bees; and of the comforting clink of dishes set down on the table at Toad Hall, and the scrape of chair-legs on the floor as every one pulled himself close up to his work. The air of the narrow cell took a rosy tinge; he began to think of his friends, and how they would surely be able to do something; of lawyers, and how they would have enjoyed his case, and what an ass he had been not to get in a few; and lastly, he thought of his own great cleverness and resource, and all that he was capable of if he only gave his great mind to it; and the cure was almost complete.

Wind In The Willows, Chapter 8; Toad`s Adventures, by Kenneth Grahame

Unfortunately my Bubble & Squeak doesn’t have any cabbage, as I’m a big fan of peas right now. I’d be interested in knowing if anyone has other childhood food favorites from story books too?

Firstly you’ll need some left over veg as this is primarily a dish made from left overs! I prefer not to cook with meat in the fritter and (I’ll usually add crispy Proscuitto in this case, or sausages etc.) I also like to dress it up with fresh salad greens and as (I’m on a pea kick) at the moment, those go in as well.

There’s no recipe as such because ideally, Bubble & Squeak is made from whatever is in the contents of your fridge. Having said that you will need some pantry items (and optional extras) to bring it all together.

Assortment of Leftover vegetables, (mine were all pre roasted ) which adds to the flavour.
Beans or green peas,
1 cup of grated Cheese
1 egg
Splash of milk
3tbsp of plain flour,
Oil for the pan.

Optional: crispy Proscuitto.

Take some Green peas or beans & the smashed up veg. Don’t worry about mashing them too much, just get the vegetables to a good consistency, similar to a batter.

You’d be mistaken for thinking the orange stuff was carrot, in fact it’s a red rubicon cheese which brings a nice gooeyness to the patties. I’d add lots of pepper too and any other seasoning you like.

Add 1 egg, a few tablespoons of plain flour and a dash of milk to bring it all together.

Pan fry some Proscuitto (optional) and cook the fritters on the side. Cook on each side until crisp and golden, then flip. Repeat for remaining batter.

Plate up your very fancy leftovers and enjoy!!!