The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.

NO.52
SPRING2017

Bombay bubble & squeak

Bombay bubble & squeak appears in Toast: The Cookbook by Raquel Pelzel. The concept, an entire book of recipes reliant on toast, does not withstand much scrutiny. For instance, Fergus Henderson does not even serve toast with his Scottish mince (tatties please) but Pelzel smears a slice with mince and calls the pile new. All is redeemed, however, by the quality of the often imaginative recipes, including this one, although the bubble and squeak hardly requires toast to represent a treat. Four servings of BS on a Raft.


 

 Cabbages.png

  • ¼ small Savoy cabbage cut into ½ inch ribbons
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch discs
  • ½ an onion, sliced into thin crescents
  • 2 Tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • heaped teaspoon or more curry powder
  • good salt (like Maldon)
  • 2 potatoes (not too big; Yukon Gold or something similar) peeled and cut into chunks for boiling
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 3 Tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 2 generous Tablespoons minced scallion greens
  • a heap of chopped cilantro
  • 4 big slices of good thick toast
  • the chutney of your choice

 

Preheat the oven to 400˚.

  1. Toss the cabbage, carrots and onion with the oil, curry and some salt. Spread the composition onto a baking sheet until the cabbage and onions brown, usually in about 30 minutes: Shove the vegetables around the sheet at halftime.
  2. Boil the potatoes with the turmeric until tender but not decomposed, usually for less than 15 minutes. Drain them.
  3. Scald the milk and mash the potatoes coarsely, incorporate 2 Tablespoons of the butter and salt to taste.
  4. Stir the curried vegetables into the potatoes, followed bt the scallion and cilantro.
  5. Divide the mixture into for balls, flatten them into irregular discs that will fit your toast and fry them in the last Tablespoon of butter over medium high heat until brown and crisp, usually in about 5 minutes.
  6. Smear each slice of toast with chutney and press a vegetal disc down onto each one.

 

Notes:

-Pelzel uses olive oil, which is neither Anglo- nor Indian nor Anglo-Indian, to toss the vegetable mix. Clarified butter or ghee, depending on your continent, may be even better than our neutral oil.

-She also specifies red onion, which seems a bit out of place but is a lot prettier.

-We have introduced the scallion greens.

-A seasoned cast iron skillet or nonstick pan is essential to keep the bubble and squeak from sticking and tearing; perhaps a bit more butter than Pelzel or we recommend might be prudent.

-Other vegetables, usually leftover, find a home with bubble and squeak in a lot of British kitchens. The use of fresh stuff has undeniable appeal, but if you have any cooked cabbage, cauliflower, sprouts, summer squash, zucchini or other used vegetables lurking in the nether depth of your refrigerator they too will make a dish more than passable.

-Whether purposeful or not, Pelzel’s use of the imperial name for what has been Mumbai for some time is delightful in connection with this most British dish. It uses, after all, curry powder.