Archive for November, 2011

I came home from visiting a friend a couple of weekends ago to find a surplus of leftover cabbage had been cooked in my absence. Good old bubble and squeak was the most obvious choice, but naturally, I decided to mix it up a bit. So sweet potato mash replaced regular potatoes and to exotify it even more I used up some mango that was nearing the too-squidgy-to-eat stage as a sort of salsa-esque way of increasing the vitamin and 5-a-day content as well as freshening it up a bit.  Of course, my very good friend with an aversion to any kind of fruit in a savoury situation may take issue with this, but she may have to deal with it this once.

The poached egg also came out of the visit at the weekend as my friend and I decided this song would be the perfect egg poaching theme, and another friend recommended this method for egg poaching. I forgot to grease the cling film before I put the egg in though, so it didn’t come out quite as neatly as it shows in the method. We live and learn.

bubble and squeak with a twist

serves 4

  • 1 onion
  • 1 packet lardons (90g)
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 40g leftover cooked cabbage
  • 1tsp sweet paprika
  • seasoning

Peel and cube potatoes. I boiled the potatoes until soft (about 10 mins), but I had a thought that the bubble and squeak might be a bit more solid if you roasted the potatoes for 20-30 minutes, either way make sure they end up mashed. In another pan fry the lardons in a dry pan, and then add the onion once the have released their fat. Fry until the onions are translucent. Add the bacon and onion to the mash, add the cabbage and paprika and season to taste. Get a big wooden spoon, or something that size, heat a little bit of butter in the frying pan used earlier to fry the bacon and fry the mix in spoonful size splodges, making them into rough patties.

I think if I was making this veggie I would replace the lardons with a smoked cheese, though obviously add it in with the cabbage don’t fry it. Serve with mango salsa and a poached egg.

Mango Salsa

  • 1tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions

Combine in a bowl and stand for 30 minutes before serving.


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Whilst tidying my room, my camera resurfaced, and with it photos of a meal I had completely forgotten about! This is it, the dumpling recipe is the first blog post from the amazing Hollow Legs food blog. I admire blogger Lizzie and reference Hollow Legs a good deal, partly because I am completely incompetent when it comes to Chinese food, but mainly because it is an awesome blog.

I love how the dumplings are all crispy on the bottom and soft and doughy on top. The broth recipe was vaguely based on “Three Shredded and Five Ingredients Soup” from an old regional Chinese cooking book my Dad has. I changed it to suit what I had lying around and to incorporate the leftover pork mince from the dumplings. Before anyone says anything I realise dim sum should be eaten independently and not with soup, but I get a bit edgy when there are no vegetables in a meal and I am after all an ignorant Brit (that, and I love soup…)

potsticker dumplings, makes 15-18

for the dough

  • 100g plain flour
  • 50ml water

for the filling

  • 200g minced pork
  • 2 finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp corn flour
  • pinch of white pepper

Combine the flour and water to make a soft dough, and leave for 30 mins to stand. Mix the filling ingredients and allow them to stand for 30 mins too (while you wait you can get on with the soup…see the next recipe)

Once you’ve waited, knead the dough for a couple of minutes and then roll into a sausage which you can chop into the number of pieces you want. Then make the dough into little balls with your hands, then use a rolling pin to make them into circles and fill with just over a teaspoon of filling. Fold the dough in half over the filling and pinch the tops, folding pleats into them and making sure they sit flat. Put them onto a floured plate until you’ve done all of them.

Thats the fiddly bit, as for cooking them they are super quick, so if you’re making the soup I’d make sure that was simmering away to itself first. If that’s all done or you’re just having these then here’s how to cook them: Get a non stick frying pan and heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in it. Place all the dumplings in, making sure they sit flat. Then fill the pan about a third of the way up with water and put a lid on it. Steam them for 7-10 minutes and then take the lid of and allow all the excess water to evaporate and the bottoms to crisp up. Serve with Chinese black vinegar with matchsticks of ginger in to dip them in.

chinese broccoli and pork broth

serves 4 generously

  • 200-300g minced pork (or whatever you have leftover from the dumplings)
  • 2cm grated ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 50g mixed dried mushrooms, soaked for 30mins in boiling water and drained
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • the egg yolk leftover from the dumplings
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock
Fry the garlic and ginger in vegetable oil for 2 minutes. Add the leeks and cook gently until softened and then add the shrimp paste and pork, and cook until the meat is browned. Add the stock, then slice the mushrooms and add them too. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stir in the whisked egg yolk and then add the broccoli. Season to taste and serve once the broccoli has cooked, but isn’t too soft (about 10 minutes). Serve in bowls with the dumplings on the side.

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