Bubble and Squeak is an English dish that is traditionally comprised of last night’s leftovers. Whatever meat and vegetables hanging around after a big meal are mashed together with potatoes and fried to a satisfying crisp. The dish is named for the bubbling and squeaking sounds it makes as all of the ingredients fry in the pan. You’ll commonly see veggies such as cabbage, peas, Brussels sprouts, or carrots in this dish, but as with most things in life (including our favorite recipes), toss in whatever you like. The beauty is that it will work just fine.
I found myself with a Tupperware full of leftover mashed sweet potatoes and roasted bananas that I made over the weekend. I wasn’t jazzed about eating it alone, and I certainly didn’t want to throw it out. That’s when I thought of this English staple, which is also very prominent in many Irish pubs around Los Angeles. I’ve never had it with sweet potatoes though, so this seemed like the perfect experiment. I knew it was fate after opening the produce drawer and finding a half-eaten bag of sugar snap peas. All of these ingredients combined would create my own version of Bubble and Squeak with a bit of inspiration from Vegan Yum Yum. Instead of serving it as a large family-style serving, I decided to make smaller cakes for individual servings.
You’ll notice this recipe is vegan. (You may remember Chrystal going vegan for several months last year?) I was in the midst of a 30-day vegan challenge when this dish was created, so no meat in this one. Additionally, I was recently gifted a wonderful spice blend from The Spice House called “Gateway To The North Maple Garlic Seasoning,” which is a mix of maple and brown sugars, coarse salt, peppers, garlic, and onion. I tossed some into the original sweet potato dish since I had it on hand. It added a nice, bold flavor that balanced the sweet with a bit of savory. You can easily order it online, but it’s not a requirement in order to enjoy this excellent side dish or simple snack. Leave it out all together or try it out with your own spice mix. Play on!
Sweet Potato Bubble and Squeak Cakes
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, skin on
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ripe bananas, unpeeled
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance® Buttery Spread
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Gateway To The North Maple Garlic Seasoning, divided (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- 2 cups canola oil, for frying
- Non-dairy sour cream, for topping (optional)
- 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash potatoes and pat them dry with a paper towel. Using a fork or steak knife, carefully poke the surface several times around each potato. Then, place the potatoes on an alumimum foil-lined baking sheet and lightly drizzle with the cooking oil. With your hands, rub each potato to evenly coat with the oil. Add bananas to the baking sheet.
- 2. After about 20 minutes or when the peels have turned black, remove the bananas from the oven. Continue roasting sweet potatoes in the oven for an additional 40-50 minutes, or until potatoes are soft and fully cooked (a knife will easily cut through them, the skin will begin to wrinkle, and the tops and bottoms will be brown). Set aside and let cool to touch.
- 3. When the potatoes are still warm but cool enough to handle, gently peel away the skin using your fingers. Place the peeled potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Using a small knife, make a slit lengthwise down the center of each banana. Gently remove peels and discard. Add bananas to the bowl with potatoes.
- 4. Meanwhile, while potatoes are cooling, bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add chopped sugar snaps and boil for approximately 4 minutes. Drain and add to potato banana mixture. Add Earth Balance, agave syrup, rosemary, 1/2 tablespoon of seasoning mix (if using), salt, and 1 tablespoon of flour. Combine mixture with a potato masher or fork until all ingredients are well combined.
- 5. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of flour and the remaining tablespoon of seasoning. Set aside. Divide mashed potato mixture into 4 balls of equal size, dipping them one at a time into the flour mixture. Cover each ball completely with flour and form into a disc shape using your hands. Place discs on a parchment paper lined plate.
- 6. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of a large cast-iron skillet by 1/4 of an inch. Heat over a medium-high flame. When oil is ready, fry cakes until crispy and golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Set cooked cakes on paper towels and immediately lightly sprinkle with additional spice blend or salt, as desired. Let cool for 2 minutes. Serve immediately with non-dairy sour cream.
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