Mark and I have been planning our two-week long trip to Europe for about a year now. I say this with tongue-in-cheek because we have been busier than we thought this past year and planning a trip to Europe was kind of put to a screeching halt once we bought our tickets 8 months ago. In the last 8 months, we haven’t cracked open a travel book, or booked our hotels for that matter until 2 weeks before our flight was scheduled for departure. Not the best way to go about planning a trip out of the country, FYI. You see, we were not just going to one country, we were going to three countries, four five cities (e.g., London, Paris, Brugge, Amsterdam, and unexpected Haarlem). And mind you, they were each crammed with historical value that really should have been planned well in advance. So for Mark and I, we had to nuzzle our noses in travel books as soon as the plane prepared for take-off two weeks ago.
Shockingly we were able to squeeze in all of the things we really wanted to do and see on our trip. The only lemon we bumped into in Europe, that ended up turning into lemonade, was some minor details with our city/hotel booking arrangements. We were able to book most of our hotels with no trouble at all, except towards the end of our trip, which is something we will definitely prepare for on future vacations. Just in case you accidentally book a trip over a holiday (for us, Easter) and ALL of the hotels are fully booked in the city that you are going to, because of that holiday, please plan ahead using a good 2-4 month buffer when booking your hotel. For example, apparently European families love to spend their Easter holiday in Amsterdam for the week, which we had no clue about, much less realized we were even going to be gone over Easter holiday (I hate when holidays change calendar days every year!). Because of this ‘Easter in Amsterdam’ phenomenon, hotels were fully booked, forcing us to cut our stay in Amsterdam short, to two days instead of four (and luckily, the Amsterdam hotel we scrounged up came from a prior cancellation). Here’s where the lemon turns into lemonade, We were able to reserve two nights in the beautiful, yet quaint town of Haarlem, only a 20 minute train ride from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam. We couldn’t ask for anything more perfect, it was just what the doctor ordered after spending the last week and a half living the busy life of Paris and London. What made this unforeseen excursion even better, was the hotel we stayed in had free access to a computer with Internet, hence why this recipe was finally being written and now posted!
I made this recipe over 1 month ago, it was part of my English dinner I made for Mark’s English Aunt. Bubbles and Squeak is simply mashed potatoes with cooked cabbage, then molded into a mini patty, gently dredged in flour, and lightly fried. So simple and yet so flavorful and good.
Ingredients ~ Vegetarian / Vegan Version: use vegetable broth in replacement of beef broth (Vegans – replace butter with a Vegan butter-substitute like, Earth Balance)
5 medium waxy potatoes (roughly 6 cups chopped), chopped, preferably with skin left on, but that’s just me
1 medium head of cabbage, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup beef broth
4 tablespoons of butter
Olive oil, for frying
1 cup of flour (put into a large bowl for dredging patties in)
In two separate pots, on two separate burners over a medium-high heat, fill one pot halfway with water, lightly salted, and the second pot filled with 1 cup of beef broth. Add chopped potatoes to the salt water pot and bring to a boil. Then add chopped cabbage to the beef broth filled pot, bringing it to a boil, as well. Boil potatoes until tender and mashable (about 15-20 minutes) and cabbage until soft and translucent (about 10 minutes). Turn both burners off and drain water from potatoes and begin to mash with butter, garlic powder, and salt.
Start spooning in the beef broth from the cooked cabbage and continue mashing potatoes until smooth. Then mash in the cooked cabbage with the potatoes.
Set aside potatoes for a few minutes, to slightly cool enough for handling.
Once potato mash is cool enough to the touch, spoon mashed potatoes into the palm of your hand and shape it into a patty, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick and slightly smaller than your palm. Gently dredge patty into a bowl of flour, and set aside on a clean plate. Meanwhile, heat a large iron skillet up over a medium-high heat and pour a couple of glugs of olive oil into the skillet, letting the oil heat up for a couple of minutes.
Once oil is heated, gently lay three to four floured patties into the hot oil and cook until lightly browned on one side, then flip patties and do the same to the opposite side. Lay patties on a paper-lined plate and serve hot!