Some times it’s the simple food that is the most rewarding both to cook and eat. I love a plate of good old fashioned bubble and squeak and if I’m in the mood for a bit of luxury I’ll top it with a pool of butter and a poached hens egg.
This recipe for bubble and squeak is a great way to use up all those left over veggies from a good roast dinner and if you want to dress it up a little top it with smoked salmon and crème fraiche before serving…just the ticket with a glass of something sparkling, after all even leftovers can be decadent!
250g left over roast potatoes (or a mix of roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips), roughly chopped
125g cooked, leftover, Brussels sprouts
generous knob of butter
4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
Vegetable oil, to fry
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Put the potatoes or root vegetable mixture in a large bowl or saucepan and mash them roughly. Shred the Brussels sprouts and mix them with the potato.
Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and then add the spring onions. Fry for a couple of minutes until softened, but not browned and then tip them into the potato mixture. Season well.
Dust your hands with flour, then shape the mixture into four small, flattish cakes.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes to ensure that the cake hold together well when fried.
Remove the chilled cakes from the fridge and dust them lightly with flour. Pour enough oil into your frying pan to just coat the bottom. Put on a medium-high heat to warm, then add the cakes.
Fry for about three minutes on each side, so they develop a golden crust, then divide between plates and top with either a pouched egg, some fried bacon or a generous dollop of crème fraiche and some smoked salmon. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Food has always been of great importance to Seren and despite her being renowned for her historical recipe recreations, her culinary skills were not honed, in the kitchens of top restaurants, but in the home kitchen from the age of being able to hold a wooden spoon.
When Seren was born her mother was taken ill and so she spent her early years being cared for by her grandmother, Minnie. This was to prove instrumental in the development of Seren’s love of cooking, for her grandmother was an accomplished cook, who’s kitchen was always awash with terrine’s, home-made pastry and traditional puddings. Minnie’s love of good food and her zest for life meant Seren’s childhood was filled with days of hedgerow picking, baking, traditional preserving and cooking recipes from the depths of a family copy of, Mrs. Beeton. She learned from an early age how to make Victorian puddings alongside elaborate noble pies and perhaps this explains her love of pastry making and the reason she won an accolade from The Great British Pie Awards this year.
Today Seren has great skill in bringing historical food to life and making it accessible and understandable to the modern cook and diner. Her enthusiasm and love of historical food and British cooking is evident in her presentations and she loves to revive forgotten recipes. She recently took part in ITV1’s Country House Sunday and has given live cookery demonstrations across the country at food festivals, historical houses and castles.
Trained as a herbalist and nutritionist, she has a deep understanding of improving health through food. Her interest in historic remedies and herbal folklore eventually extended to researching British food history, and reignited her early passion for cooking. Fifteen years on and Seren has amassed extensive knowledge and is now renowned for her historical food recreations and interpretations.
Seren’s interest in food history does not just extend to old recipes and cooking techniques, but to ingredients and manufacturers. From the age of fourteen Seren has collected food and drink packaging from early Victorian to the 1960’s. Her collection is now extensive and provides a wonderful snapshot in time that accompanies her vast knowledge of the development of British food and drink companies throughout history. She also has a huge collection of antique kitchenalia and moulds which she uses to replicate historical recipes and portray past eras.
Her training in herbalism and nutrition has not been wasted for despite her merits as a food historian and period cook she also delights in creating British Classic dishes for those with food allergies and intolerances (such as gluten and dairy intolerant). Her botanical knowledge has made her a keen wild food educator and forager that lends unusual as well as historical twists to all her cooking. There are also many points at which food and medicine intertwine throughout history and Seren is able to portray these developments and has also undertaken a lot of research into the British spice trade.
To Seren historical food is not a job, but a way of life.
Visit Seren's blog: Serenity Kitchen