Bubble and Squeak

October 31st, 2013

I created this quintessential version of British pub fare out of necessity.  I had leftover mashed potatoes and a half of a head of Savoy cabbage just waiting in the crisper.  The British dish of bubble and squeak is said to have been named after the sounds that the potato and cabbage mixture makes as it sautes.  Our trip to England a few years ago was an impressive experience on many levels.  But the food was not one of them.   However there are many dishes that the British do well.  I love Jamie Oliver’s Steak and Guinness Pie that I blogged about here.  I did a French version of Shepherd’s pie on this post.  Bangers and Mash are right up my alley.  And now I can wholeheartedly recommend Bubble and Squeak.

What is not to love about buttery mashed potatoes paired with sauteed cabbage.  If you leave it in the skillet for a while it will develop a nice brown crisp exterior.  I did not cook my mixture to a crisp, but loved the way that it is easy to mold it into a round disc of goodness.  The cabbage lightens the potatoes without being intrusive.  As a matter of fact, I would call this a perfect marriage of ingredients.

This went particularly well with the pork roast I had made.  British food may not be my favorite cuisine, but you have to give them credit for their imaginative food names.  How many of the following can you identify:  Sussex heavies, brewis, covach, water souchy, buckings, solloghan, whipped syllabub, oon, rumbledethumps, inky pinky, baps, haggamuggie, snoodie, clod, claggaum fadge, blaaad, curlie-murlies, or fairy butter?  For now, I am sticking to bubble and squeak.

So bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.  Happy Halloween everyone.  The above picture was taken at a recent visit to Replacements LTD, a wonderful warehouse and showroom for your favorite china patterns and more.

BUBBLE AND SQUEAK (Adapted from Gourmet Magazine)

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 pound Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cover potatoes with cold salted water and bring to a boil, then boil, uncovered, until tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 18 minutes.  Drain in a colander.

Heat butter in a 10-inch heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute cabbage with salt and pepper, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add potatoes, mashing and stirring them into cabbage while leaving some lumps and pressing to form a cake.

Cook, without stirring, until underside is crusty and golden, about 10 minutes.

Printable recipe

Fullsteam Beer Dinner at Herons

October 13th, 2013

One of the premier destinations in Cary, North Carolina is the Umstead Hotel & Spa.  Its restaurant, Herons, is a five-diamond designated AAA establishment and Executive Chef Scott Crawford has been a three time semifinalist for a James Beard Award as best chef in the Southeast.   We have been fortunate to eat at Herons on two occasions. The first time was three years ago at a wine and barbecue pairing dinner.  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to talk with Chef Crawford and he was generous to the extreme by sending me some of his barbecue sauce recipes.  You can find them on my blog post about the event here.

Earlier this month our Son and DIL treated us to a Beer Pairing dinner there for our birthdays.  Chef Crawford joined up with Sean Lilly Wilson, Chief Executive Optimist and Founder of Fullsteam Brewery in Durham, NC.

I was amused by this picture of  Sean Wilson that appears on his website.  All I can say is that the above picture of him looks nothing like the guy in the three-piece suit that entertained us the evening of the dinner. That night he looked like the successful businessman that he is.   He is also a semifinalist for a James Beard award for Outstanding Wine, Spirtis or Beer Professional for 2013.  Sean has worked very hard for the beer industry in North Carolina.  He successfully lead the Pop the Cap campaign to change the State’s ABV cap from 6% to 15% alcohol content in 2005.  Raising the ABV cap has resulted in the proliferation of local micro breweries with a craft beer mentality.  In our area, Asheville has become a leader in the craft beer industry.  But the Raleigh Durham Triangle area is also going strong. What I appreciate about Fullsteam Brewery in Durham is Sean’s philosophy of plow-to-pint production.  He supports local agriculture by using barley, rye and other grains grown in North Carolina.  Some of his beers even use locally grown apples and sweet potatoes.  His enthusiasm is contagious and it was obvious that he and Chef Crawford had fun pairing his flavorful beers with the Chef’s delicious food.  Here is the menu.

 The first course was a passed appetizer on the patio.  It was Crab and Corn Fritters with Squash Butter and was served with Fullsteam’s El Toro Cream Ale.  I did not get a picture of the appetizer but it was so good that I am going to try to duplicate it.  The El Toro Ale is brewed with 100% NC barley and corn.  This straw-colored beer is unpretentious and very drinkable.  “A perfect beverage when you just want a beer.”  It was also perfect with the corn fritter.

The second course was Coal Roasted Gold Beets with citrus, smoked firewood honey and Almond Crunch.  It was paired with Hula Hoop Rye IPA.  Hula Hoop is a single hop rye brewed with NC rye, pungent apollo hops and crunchy granola.  Apollo hops are strong with notes of grapefruit, orange, pine, resin, spice and cannabis.  Do you see a pattern here?  The pairing was perfect.

The third course was Bacon Crusted Quail with Foie Gras, Hazelnuts, Date Butter and Pickled Pears, paired with  R&D Flanders Red Ale.   Quoting Sean here about this beer, “the  R&D Flanders Red Ale is a single batch of 10 gallons brewed on our home brew system.  Kevin, one of our brewers, brewed the beer last year and it had been aging for about 18 months.  It’s a sour ale with roeselare wild yeast and traditional beer ingredients; no curious Southern add ons.  The wild yeast lends a wonderful acidity that refreshes the palette, standing up well to that decadent foie gras.  A lighter beer would have gotten lost.  A hoppy beer would have overwhelmed the palette.  It was my favorite pairing of the evening.”  I have to agree with him.  Both the quail dish and the beer were brilliant.

The Main Course was Spice Roasted Venison Loin with Bourbon Buttered Sweet Potatoes, Caramelized Onions, Trumpet Mushrooms and Rosemary Madeira Jus.  This was paired with Fullsteam’s IGOR Imperial Stout.   IGOR has a big aroma of roasted grains with overtones of dark fruit and coffee.  It is aged in bourbon barrels for three months before being bottled.  The big flavors of the meat and sweet potatoes paired well with this strong stout. We would like to try using this beer in Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Beef, Guinness, and Cheese Pie  that I wrote a post about in 2011. It would be delicious.

Dessert from pastry chef Daniel Benjamin, was called Cheddar Apple Pie.  It consisted of a Cheddar Parfait, Warm Cider Caramel and an Apple Pop Tart.  The crumbled cheddar on top of the parfait added just the right note to the whole dessert.  It was not too sweet but totally complex in flavor.  The dessert was paired with Fullsteam’s The Common Good.  This beer is a combination of NC malted barley, corn grits and Pippen apples.  There were wonderful overtones of cider here.

The collaboration of Executive Chef Scott Crawford of Herons and Chief Executive Optimist of  Fullsteam Brewery, Sean Lilly Wilson, was meant to be.  They both embrace the philosophy of the farm to table movement and execute their passions to perfection  They should take this show on the road.   Thank you both for a wonderful evening.

Beef, Guinness and Cheese Pie

May 6th, 2011
Jamie Oliver has a way with food that always surprises me.  He makes it look so easy and strikes down all of the conventional wisdom that I have always taken for granted.  This beef, Guinness and cheese pie is an Irish version of the English steak and kidney pie.  It includes two of the ingredients that Ireland is famous for, beef and Guinness Stout.
Jamie’s show, Jamie at Home, appears on the Cooking Channel.  His rustic kitchen and abundant garden are the scenes for all of his cooking.  He works fast and throws his dishes together with ease and aplomb.  While watching him make this beef pie I was amazed at how quickly it all came together.  He did not take time to brown the meat, which I always have done in batches.  He threw it all in the pot, swirled it around with the vegetables and then tore (rather than sliced up) his mushrooms and added them to the mix.  We have all gotten used to Ina Garten’s expression, “How easy is that?”  With Jamie it is “brilliant” and when a dish is finished and shown to the camera it is “Happy days”.
Even though he makes it look easy this dish did take a little time.  But I did feel liberated to be able to do a little dumping.  I cooked the onions for a long time to get them browned and caramelized, added the garlic and rosemary, the “knob” of butter, and then the chopped carrots and celery.  I cooked these for a few minutes, then dumped all of the beef into the pot, added the flour and swirled it around for a few minutes.  The Guinness Stout went in, I brought it to a boil. and put it in the oven to cook.  “Brilliant”.
The next step is the pastry.  This also is fairly easy.  Use two sheets of puff pastry rolled slightly to fit your dish.  Place one in the casserole and brush the edges with a beaten egg.  Lightly score the second piece.

Add the cooked stew to the casserole to which you have added a handful of white cheedar cheese and then sprinkle the top with another handful of white cheddar.  Place the second piece of pastry on the top and rustically seal and bunch the pastry together.  Give the pastry an egg wash and put it back in the oven to brown and puff.

Serve the beef pie with cooked peas.  “Happy Days”.  We loved this dish.  Here is Jamie’s recipe.

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.