Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Look, it's leftovers!

And so begins the post-Christmas culinary clean up. The massive plates of chunked turkey, chestnut stuffing, cranberry sauce, bread sauce and brussels sprouts in the fridge have been staring at us through their gladwrap, but thankfully Nigella has a solution which extends beyond microwaving them to a bad cover version of Christmas dinner. (Although, truth be told, I have done the microwave thang, and they haven't been too shabby as a quick meal, especially to take to work for my break).

224. Bubble & Squeak

I made this for my lunch on Boxing Day, and never having made or eaten it before, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I'd read references to bubble and squeak in cookbooks over the years, and had gotten the impression that it was a very British dish, a sort of mish-mash of random fried leftovers, most suited for a hangover breakfast.

In her instructions for Christmas bubble and squeak, Nigella says to chop and then fry leftover brussels sprouts with an onion and mashed potato, and to top it with a fried or poached egg and optionally some crispy bacon. We didn't have any mashed potatoes with our christmas dinner, but we did have some mashed potato stuffing left over from the roast goose, which provided the perfect amount of potato for a single serving bubble & squeak.

I followed Nigella's instructions, and topped it with a fried egg. (The idea of poaching eggs just gives me a headache, so I never bother).

Bubble and Squeak

Topped with a fried egg

I really liked it! By Boxing Day I was no longer hungover, but for whatever reason, it really it the spot. I'm a huge fan of cabbage, and the fried Brussels sprouts tasted deliciously of fried cabbage, with the chestnuts from the same original dish providing a lovely sweet and mealy contrast.

225. Ed Victor's Turkey Hash

I made Ed Victor's Turkey Hash on the 27th of December, for lunch for my parents and myself. After having made 224 recipes from How to Eat, (and numerous ones from Nigella's other books and columns), I immodestly say that I know a thing or two about Nigella recipes. And as such, I feel qulified to say that this recipe seems out of place in the Nigella opus. First off, it includes green peppers, which Nigella often writes that she never uses. Secondly, it has a pretty random combination of ingredients in there... that is, too random even for Nigella.

Pitted ripe black olives?... Toasted almonds?... Mixed together and added to the aforementioned green pepper, an onion, leftover turkey meat and stuffing, and then bound with beaten eggs and double cream? I wasn't exactly looking forward to the prospect.


After cooking and warming all those unattractive-sounding ingredients in a pan, Ed says to finish it off with grated parmesan on top and brown it under the griller... resulting in an equally unattractive-looking hash.

in pan

The smell, however, was most attractive. This is when I realised why the recipe was included in the book, despite declassé ingredients (pitted and sliced black olives in brine, from a jar, thank-you very much), and odd flavour combinations - it's delicious. And even in the 35 degree heat, (totally inappropriate for turkey, goose, stuffing, bubble & squeak, brussels sprouts, mince pies or hash of any description), we very much enjoyed the hash. It was kind of like a frittata-cum-Chinese-style-omelette, only with a lot more fillings.

With condiments

I have made Nigella's Masalan omelette (Nigella Bites) in the past, and remembered her suggesting HP sauce to go with. The hash smelled vaguely similar, so I went with HP sauce, and my dad went with Worcesteshire sauce. And since we had no reason to worry about culinary image or snobbery, I liberally drowned my serving in Crystal hot sauce.

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