When I think of frugal cooking, my mind turns to the year I lived in England, where I discovered such uncomplicated yet satisfying meals as beans on toast and (vegetarian) cottage pie. Of all the traditional British dishes born out of thriftiness, one of my favorites is the leftover potato and cabbage fry-up known as bubble and squeak.
Bubble and squeak is traditionally made from cold leftover vegetables, such as those that accompanied a Sunday roast. The key ingredients are cabbage and potatoes (boiled or mashed) but other leftovers may be thrown in, as well: Brussels sprouts, kale, onions, leeks, carrots, peas, and meat. The ingredients are coarsely chopped, combined, seasoned with salt and pepper (and maybe a little freshly grated nutmeg), and pan fried until crisp and golden. The mixture can be packed down into the pan – causing the cooking sound that gives bubble and squeak its vivid name – or shaped into smaller patties.
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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