RECIPE: Bubble and Squeak

bubble and squeak

The other day I posted a recipe for loaded potato skins and mentioned ways that you can then use up the leftover potato. Next, I posted a recipe for tuna fishcakes that I made using my own leftover potatoes. I planned to write a few more recipes for ways to use up leftovers, including one for bubble and squeak. It is like the people over at the Daily Post read my mind with today’s prompt which is ‘bubble‘. 

Bubble and squeak is a British dish that is traditionally made using leftover mashed potatoes and cabbage. However, you can make it using any leftover vegetables and will taste different depending on which vegetables you use. I have written this differently to my other recipes in the sense that it does not have specific quantities, it is just what you have leftover. It is really easy to make and ideal for those on a budget. It is also suitable for vegetarians. Here is a recipe for bubble and squeak.

Ingredients for Bubble and Squeak

  • Leftover mashed potatoes
  • Leftover cabbage and any other leftover vegetables
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper

How to Make Bubble and Squeak

  1. Combine the mashed potatoes and leftover vegetables in a mixing bowl.
  2. Season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
  4. Fry the onions for five minutes until softened.
  5. Spoon the onions from the pan into the mixing bowl with the vegetables and stir in well.
  6. Transfer the mixture to the frying pan and press down with the back of a spoon.
  7. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the bubble and squeak is golden brown and crispy.
  8. Flip it over in the pan using a flatfish lift and repeat so both sides are golden.
  9. Transfer to a plate and cut into slices to serve.
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RECIPE: Crunchy Tuna Fishcakes with Lightly Spiced Mayonnaise

fishcakes 1

This is one of my children’s favourite meals, so it is something I make fairly often. Yesterday, I posted a recipe for loaded potato skins and I wrote a note that you shouldn’t waste the insides of the potatoes as you can use them for many other dishes. I used mine to create the fishcakes that are photographed here. However, I have written the recipe in the way I make the fishcakes when I do not have leftover potato flesh making mashed potatoes from scratch. If you are using leftovers, then simply skip that part of the recipe and move straight on to the stage where you are combining the potatoes with the other ingredients. These fishcakes are good for those on a budget and really simple to make. However, it can get a little messy assembling them, but this is why my kids love cooking these with me. You can serve them one fishcake each for a starter or two for a main course. Here is an easy recipe for tuna fishcakes with lightly spiced mayonnaise. This makes enough for eight fishcakes.

Ingredients for Tuna Fishcakes

  • 6 large white potatoes
  • 2 tins of tuna
  • 1 200g tin sweetcorn
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tbsp plain flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for Lightly Spiced Mayonnaise

  • 8 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

How to Make Tuna Fishcakes and Lightly Spiced Mayonnaise

  1. Peel the potatoes and quarter them.
  2. Add to a pan of salted boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes or until soft.
  3. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan but not over the heat.
  4. Mash the potatoes with either a masher or a fork.
  5. Put the mashed potatoes in a mixing bowl and leave to cool for ten minutes.
  6. Drain the tins of tuna and sweetcorn thoroughly.
  7. Add both the tuna and the sweetcorn to the potato.
  8. Using a fork, work the potato, tuna, and sweetcorn together.
  9. Beat one of the eggs in a cup or bowl and then add to the tuna and potato mix.
  10. Stir the beaten the mixture as this will help to bind the ingredients together.
  11. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir through again.
  12. Divide the mixture into eight balls and press into patties on your work surface.
  13. Put them on a baking tray and transfer to the refrigerator for ten minutes. This will prevent them from falling apart when you are adding the coating.
  14. While the fishcakes are in the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 180C/ gas mark 4.
  15. Beat the second egg in a small bowl.
  16. Add the flour to a side plate and season with black pepper.
  17. Crush the packets of ready salted crisps and then put half of them onto a side plate.
  18. Remove your fishcakes from the refrigerator.
  19. One at a time, dip them on both sides in the seasoned flour first, then into the beaten egg, and finally pat them onto the crushed crisps.
  20. As each one is coated, put it back on the baking tray.
  21. Repeat this until all the fishcakes are coated. When you have run out of crisps, simply add the other two bags fo crushed crisps to the plate. If you have crisps leftover in the bowl, pat the crumbs into the top of the fishcakes.
  22. Put the baking tray in the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the top of the fishcakes are turning golden.
  23. Remove from the oven and turn the fishcakes over using a flatfish lift.
  24. Return to the oven for a further ten minutes, or until the fishcakes are golden and crunchy on both sides. 
  25. While the fishcakes are cooking, spoon the mayonnaise into a bowl.
  26. Add the chilli powder and smoked paprika. Stir in well.
  27. Serve the fishcakes with a side salad and a generous dollop of lightly spiced mayonnaise.

RECIPE: Loaded Potato Skins with Soured Cream and Chive Dip

skins 1

Pre-recipe warning, this one is not good for the waistline. However, it is absolutely delicious! This is the sort of comfort food that you can serve at any time of the year and as either a starter or a main meal, depending on the size of the portion. Here is an easy recipe for loaded potato skins that makes 24 skins. 

Ingredients for Loaded Potato Skins

  • 6 large white potatoes
  • 250g hard cheese, such as Cheddar, grated
  • 6 rashers of bacon
  • To serve- soured cream and chives

How to Make Loaded Potato Skins

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ gas mark 4.
  2. Wash and dry the potatoes and put on a baking tray.
  3. Put the tray in the oven and cook for approximately 45 minutes or until the skins are beginning to brown and the potatoes feel soft when you squeeze them (using an oven glove). 
  4. 10 minutes before the potatoes are cooked, add the rashers of bacon to another baking tray and put in the oven so they are cooked and ready to remove at the same time as the potatoes.Turn off the oven.
  5. Leave the potatoes on the side to cool and break your bacon into small pieces. 
  6. When the potatoes are cooled, cut in half.
  7. Scoop out most of the soft potato flesh to leave hollow skins with just a thin layer of potato. (See tip for ways to use the leftover potato).
  8. Turn on your deep fat fryer and set to around 180C.
  9. While this is heating, cut the potatoes lengthways so that each potato skin is a quarter of a potato. 
  10. Fry the potato skins in batches for five minutes until browned and crispy and then transfer onto the baking tray. 
  11. Sprinkle over the cheese and pieces of bacon.
  12. Turn on the grill and place the loaded potato skins under for long enough to melt the cheese.
  13. Serve the skins with a dollop of soured cream sprinkled with chopped chives. 

TIPS

Don’t waste the potato filling! There are plenty of things you can do with it. Since cooking the loaded potato skins yesterday, I have made crunchy tuna fishcakes for tea tonight. You can also mash it up to serve with meat or as a topping for a fish pie or cottage pie. 

 

RECIPE: Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Garlic Butter

caulif 1

Over the past couple of months, I have heard several celebrity chefs raving about whole roasted cauliflowers on various television series. As my family loves cauliflower, it is something I have been meaning to try for a while. I did a bit of recipe research on the Internet and then developed my own idea for a recipe last night. This is now tried and tested and was a big hit with my clan. It also smells amazing while it is cooking. Here is a simple recipe for a whole roasted cauliflower with lemon and garlic butter.

Ingredients for Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Garlic Butter

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 50g butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

How to Make Whole Roasted Lemon and Garlic Butter

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
  2. Remove the leaves and the base of the stalk from the cauliflower and sit in an ovenproof dish.
  3. Put the butter in a dish and melt in the microwave on a medium setting for one minute.
  4. Add the crushed garlic, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the butter.
  5. Drizzle the mixture over the top of the cauliflower.
  6. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Cover the ovenproof dish in kitchen foil and put in the oven for 30 minutes.
  8. Take the dish out of the oven and remove the kitchen foil.
  9. Using oven gloves, tip the dish slightly so the butter pools in the lower section of the dish.
  10. Use a spoon to scoop up the juices and drizzle over the top of the cauliflower. 
  11. Return to the oven without the foil for a further 15 minutes or until the top of the cauliflower is beginning to brown.
  12. Serve either whole on a plate for people to help themselves or broken into florets and added to their plates. 
  13. Drizzle over any remaining lemon and garlic butter.

 

The Things My Children Observe and Learn in the Kitchen

s in the kitchen

I love cooking with my children, even though it is something I have been criticized for in the past. In my opinion, cooking is also a great way of teaching your children a variety of new skills. Spending time with them in the kitchen is a great way for them to observe and learn and is also something that they enjoy!

The most obvious skill they learn is how to cook. It astounds me how many people reach adulthood without having learned to cook because nobody taught them when they were growing up. Not everyone is going to become a brilliant cook, but there are basic skills that everyone should learn so they can make themselves a simple, healthy, and nutritious meal.

There are many other skills that children can learn in the kitchen. For example, the whole process of cooking is quite scientific and reading instructions from an ingredient packet or recipe book is an easy way to get them reading without them noticing. There are some great opportunities to teach them math skills, too. Measuring, temperature, and counting all come into preparing food at some stage.

More important than any educational lesson I can teach my children in the kitchen is the value of spending time together as a family. Meal times are family times in my house and this goes from the meal preparation to dining together. It is the only time of the day when we are all in the same room and it is when we share the events of our days. 

boys at tea

 

Written in response to the prompt ‘observe’.

10 Great Dips and Accompaniments to Try This Summer

tom dip

 

As the warmer months are approaching, you will probably want some lighter meals to enjoy and may even consider eating outdoors as a family or inviting guests around to your home. If so, dips and accompaniments are ideal for serving along with crudites, homemade flatbreads, breadsticks, and snacks. Here are ten great dips and accompaniments to try this summer. 

  1. Bean Dip
  2. Spicy Tomato Dip
  3. Baba Ganoush
  4. Salsa
  5. Mango Salsa
  6. Raita
  7. Guacamole
  8. Blue Cheese Dip
  9. Humous
  10. Funky red cabbage slaw

RECIPE: Easy Bean Dip

bean dip

This easy bean dip is a tasty but low-fat option to serve on a buffet or as a snack. It is surprisingly quick and simple to make and the result is delicious considering the lack of effort required to make this dip. Here is an easy recipe for bean dip. 

Ingredients for Bean Dip

  • 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans. 
  • 4 heaped tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

How to Make Bean Dip

  1. Put half the beans and chickpeas into a food processor with the yoghurt, lemon juice, cumin, and garlic.
  2. Blitz into a smooth paste. 
  3. Add the remaining beans and chickpeas along with the lemon zest.
  4. Blitz only quickly to get a chunky bean dip. 
  5. Serve with crudites, flatbreads, or other dipping ingredients.