Yesterday, determined to beat the rain, I cycled down to the e5 Bakehouse to get a loaf of Hackney Wild. Naturally vegan, this pain de campagne loaf is perfect with anything fried or soupy because it holds together so well, the crust is thin but firm and it will last a good few days under wraps. Teamed together with spicy bubble and squeak, another recipe that's vegan-by-default, and you've got a match made in carb heaven.
Like most recipes that use up leftovers, bubble and squeak isn't meant to look pretty, but the flavour, especially after adding chili oil and paprika, more than makes up for anything lacking looks-wise. It's also the ideal culinary-mop for a hangover, teaming a bit of grease with carbs and something spicy.
Makes a good amount for two, or enough with other dishes for 3-4.
5-6 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped in quarters
50-100ml of chili oil (depending on your own taste)
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Around 200g cabbage leaves, cut into strips with any thick stalk removed
Toasted bread to serve. A simple tomato and basil salad (as pictured) also works really well with the flavours here.
Put the chopped potatoes in a large pan of boiling water with some salt and allow to cook through with a lid on top.
Heat some of the chili oil in a medium frying pan. (You'll be cooking the whole thing in this so it needs to have a large enough bottom to cook evenly, but- not a wok or anything too big that won't be able to keep together when you turn it over.) Sweat the onions and garlic in the pan until they begin to go translucent and season to get the salt and pepper flavouring the dish. After around 3 minutes of frying, add the cabbage and spread it out over the pan and let it cook. Sprinkle over a little paprika and a bit more oil if needed.
Once the potato is cooked, mash and add some oil and paprika also, and mix through. Add some seasoning to taste, keeping in mind the seasoning you've already added to the cabbage and onion. Then begin to spoon into the frying pan, packing it in as you go, so that it is eventually smooth on top and firm.
Allow to sizzle away for about five minutes- then turn off the heat and place a plate over the frying pan. Flip the whole thing over so the plate is now on the bottom, and gently nudge the bubble and squeak out of the frying pan (this takes some guts but just go for it, it doesn't need to look perfect). Hopefully the cabbage and onion have meant everything has stuck together, so slide it back into the pan on the un-fried side and cook for another five minutes.
Serve straight from the pan, on top of toast or fresh salad to counter the oil and potatoes, or just solo with plenty of brown sauce.