British kids like Harry and Hermione find foods with the strangest names on their school menus. Which of these dishes isn’t like the others… Is it Bubble and Squeak? Rumbledethumps? Hash? Or Spotted Dick? Here’s a hint: Think potatoes.
Eat your veggies
Bubble and Squeak are best friends. The dish named after them is made with leftover veggies from a roast dinner. It’s mainly mashed-up potatoes and cabbage. But you can throw in carrots, peas, Brussels sprouts, whatever.
Bubble and Squeak could be one of the earliest of the fast foods. A recipe for it first came to light in 1804. Now, it turns up on school lunch menus in England all the time. Try the recipe at the end of this post. I use sweet potatoes, rather than the white ones. White potatoes are only a breath away from sugar once they hit your stomach. Sweet potatoes provide energy longer.
Rumbledethumps is the Scottish versoin of Bubble and Squeak, made from left-overs. Wave your wand at my recipe below to learn how to make it fresh.
Harry might have had trouble identifying the third potato dish in my list of funny-sounding foods. That’s because hash turns up more often in North America. Hash browns are made from raw potatoes that are grated and squeezed (to get out extra liquid) before they’re fried. Left-over cooked potatoes that are sliced (not mashed) before popping them in a frying pan are usually called home fries but are sometimes confusingly served as hash browns. Hash dishes are often served for breakfast. I usually say “No thanks,” though, when they’re offered. I’d rather fill up on breakfast foods that last longer in my tummy than potatoes do.
The remaining dish with a colorful name, spotted dick, has no business on our list of potato recipes. But it would have been a favorite with Harry Potter. It’s a steamed pudding! Learn how to make it in my next post.
Easy Bubble and squeak recipe
Use up your left-over veggies. Eat this potato dish with meat on the side, as protein slows the digestion of the potato.
- 1 tablespoon butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup onion, finely chopped
- Leftover mashed potato (use sweet potatoes if you have them for a healthier version)
- Any leftover vegetables: cabbage, turnip, peas, carrots, Brussels Sprouts, etc., finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fried bacon pieces (optional)
- In a large frying pan melt the butter and oil together, add the chopped onion and bacon if using, and fry gently for 3 minutes or until soft.
- Turn the heat up slightly and add the mashed potato and vegetables. Fry for 10 minutes turning over in the melted oil two or three times ensuring the potato and vegetables are thoroughly reheated. Press the potato mixture on to the base of the pan with a spatula and leave to brown for 1 minute. Flip over and repeat. Or make small patties, like I did.
- Serve and cast a spell on your table for good health and happy mealtimes!
Fresh Rumbledethumps Recipe
- 1/2 cup onion
- 1 cup cabbage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 3 boiled potatoes (preferably sweet ones) mashed with 1 tablespoon butter and a little salt and pepper
- 1 egg (optional)
- 1/2 cup well drained cottage cheese (optional)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Shred onion and cabbage. A food processor works nicely.
- Lightly saute them in the oil and a dab of butter, until the onion is transparent and the cabbage wilted.
- Mash the boiled potatoes with a little butter, salt and pepper and stir in the onions and cabbage. My suggestions: Add a half cup well-drained cottage cheese and/or an egg to the mix. Use sweet potatoes instead of white ones.
- Put all this in an oven-proof dish and top with shredded cheese.
- Pop the dish in an oven preheated to 350°C and bake until golden brown.
Note: The cottage cheese and egg increase the protein in the dish. Protein slows down digestion of the potato, so you don’t get an energy surge from the dish. Sweet potatoes are digested more slowly than white ones and have added vitamins. They make a healthy substitute!