Wednesday, August 17, 2011


We have reached another paragraph filled with glorious foods. That's right, we've reached the very first Hogwarts feast! This first item initiates Harry's shock at food which magically appears (thanks to the excellent ministrations of the House Elves):

"He's [Dumbledore's] a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes. Potatoes, Harry? Harry's mouth fell open. The dishes in front of him were now piled with food" (Sorcerer's Stone 123).

Potatoes are mentioned over and over throughout the Harry Potter series, but only four times does Ms. Rowling not specify how the potatoes have been prepared. Since this is one of those times, I shall make the executive decision on what kind of potatoes Percy offered to Harry at his first Hogwarts feast. There is one (perhaps among many, I don't know for sure) classically British dish that is never mentioned in any of the seven Harry Potter books: Bubble and Squeak. And since the main ingredient in Bubble and Squeak is potatoes, and since I've never made it before (and since its name is such fun!), today we shall cook Bubble and Squeak! This recipe comes from the Linda Doeser's cookbook, 100 Best Recipes, Vegetarian.

You Will Need:
1 pound unpeeled potatoes (5 or so should equal about a pound)
generous 1/4 cup butter
salt and pepper
8 oz cabbage (a little less than 1/3 a cabbage)
2-3 Tbs water
4 Tbs corn or vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
a heavy-bottomed pan with lid, and a plate at least as big as the lid.

1. Place your potatoes in a pot of lightly salted water and cook 25 minutes or until tender.
2. Drain, cool, peel, and dice the potatoes into a large bowl.

3. Add all but 2 tsp of the butter to the potatoes and mash until no lumps remain. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Meanwhile, shred the cabbage and place in a heavy-bottomed pan with the remaining butter and 2-3 Tbs water. Cover and cook over low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, for 10 minutes or until tender.

5. Mix the cabbage into the mashed potatoes and season with salt and pepper as needed.

6. Heat half the oil in the heavy-bottomed pan and add the onion. Cook , stirring occasionally, about five minutes or until tender. Arrange the onion evenly over the bottom of the pan.

7. Add the potato-cabbage mixture to the pan and press down with a wooden spoon (or your hands, carefully) to make a flat, even cake.

8. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown. It won't burn, I promise. I was nervous too.
9. Place the plate over top of the pan and invert the potato cake onto the plate.
10. Add the rest of the oil evenly to the pan and return the potato cake into the pan to cook the other side for 15 minutes, until golden brown. This is the point where I learned where the name "Bubble and Squeak" comes from! It really does squeak while it cooks! Loudly! Make it and you'll see what I mean!

11. Transfer back to a plate, cut into wedges, and serve.

Enjoy! For a simple cake of potatoes and cabbage, originally developed to use up leftovers, Bubble and Squeak is pretty delicious!

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