Comfort food is all the rage again (still?) and I made these bubble and squeak patties for a breakfast a week or two ago.
It's funny how people forget these basic ideas and the addition of the fennel or fennel seeds and the crispy bacon as a garnish turns this into a guest-worthy meal. We used to have Bubble and Squeak for dinner often as kids, and actually really looked forward to it!
Egg rings are useful to keep these a uniform shape.
4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 wombok (chinese cabbage), sliced
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes or half diced onion
1/2 small fennel bulb, shredded finely or 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (fennel has an aniseed like flavour, so if you don't like that flavour, leave it out or add a herb of your choice instead)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 rasher of streaky bacon (so NOT the eye) per person to garnish, or just use shredded ham or even leftover corned meat
Preheat the oven to 200C cook the bacon by placing it on some baking paper on a tray, and baking till very crisp, about 20-40 minutes depending on your oven and just how crisp you want it. I like to cut the rasher in half, just for presentation. Remove when crisped to your liking. It can go cold, and still be used to best advantage. If you want to serve it hot, then pop it in to the oven once you've mashed the veges but before you cook the bubble and squeak.
In a large saucepan, place the peeled and diced potato and steam until tender. Do not drain the potatoes when cooked!
Add the wombok and onion or dried onion flakes, to the potatoes in their water and steam for a further 2-3 minutes until the wombok has wilted.
Drain the vegetables well and remove to a large mixing bowl.
Mash together and add the other ingredients. Taste and season if needed.
In a non-stick frypan, heat some oil. Carefully place the egg rings in the pan if you have them. Spoon the bubble and squeak mixture into the egg rings and press to firm the shape up. Fry for about 3-5 minutes on each side until golden. Turn once only. Remember the mixture is cooked, you just want to heat it through and firm it up.
Pop onto your serving plate, top with crisp bacon and serve immediately.
I did these with my 'aged' Balsamic vinegar in a little dish on the side.
You can also garnish these with shredded shallots (spring onion) or toasted nuts if you prefer.
Very nice as a light meal or posh breakfast, and even guests will lap these up :)
I don't add an egg to mine, as they hold together well, but if you're in doubt, add an egg after mashing the veges and allowing them to cool a little.