Friday, February 17, 2012

50 Women Game Changers in Food - #35 Delia Smith - Bubble and Squeak Rösti



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...She is as prolific as Martha Stewart and her voice is heard bell-clear in Britain. I speak, of course, of Delia Smith who is this week's honoree on our journey through Gourmet Live's list of 50 Women Game Changers in Food. She may lack the passion of Elizabeth David, and lead a life that seems almost bland by comparison, but in Britain this plain spoken woman is a force to contend with. Why? I quote now from a profile written about her in The Independent. "Is there anyone who appears duller than Delia Smith? Maybe not; but I would suspect that there are millions of people who are precisely as dull as her: us." Now in her 70's, Delia Smith was born to a working class family and, by her own admission, was just a middling student whose young life was marked by a lack of appreciation. She had no formal training in cooking and, as it turns out, her skill was honed because she wanted to be seen in a more favorable light by a man she had fallen in love with. When that didn't work out, she resolved to become a cook. She arrived in London in 1960 and while working at a travel agency, had dinner in a restaurant called The Singing Chef. She was captivated by the food and soon became a dish-washer at the restaurant. She, by degrees, moved up the restaurant hierarchy and went on to become an assistant at food photo shoots. Her reputation was made when she was able to quickly replace a pie that had been dropped just before a shoot was to began. Word got around and people started to listen to her safe, dependable and basic instructions. She became interested in trying to revive an interest in British food. In 1969, she met Deborah Owen, a newly married literary agent who she taught basic cooking techniques. That acquaintance lead to a job at the Daily Mirror and her career has been on an upward trajectory ever since. Many find her food to be ordinary and her handling of ingredients to be passionless. Yet there she is, larger than life. Her fans, obviously, outnumber her critics. She is Britain's bestselling cookbook writer and the 23 books she has written have sold over 21 million copies worldwide. She has often said she is not a cook. That's probably true, but that overlooks her influence as an arbiter of British eating habits and the way her country cooks. The food world is chock full of saints and sinners who have captured the imagination of the public for reasons that are not always clear. A large segment of Britain heard Delia Smith's voice and responded to it. She has had their ear ever since.

Bubble and squeak is a traditional English dish that is usually made with leftover potatoes and cabbage. The vegetables are fried in a pan until they are well-cooked and brown on both sides. The name comes from the bubble and squeak sounds they make as they cook. This recipe uses fresh vegetables and them cooks them rosti-style. Rosti potatoes are a Swiss dish that is a cross panfried and potato pancakes. Delia's recipe calls for the use of spring greens. Spring greens are actually young, tender cabbage plants that are sold as loose heads of thick green leaves. They do not have the hard core which is found in the middle of fully-grown cabbages. I have never seen them, so I used green the cabbage leaves she suggested as a substitute. This is a nice dish. Mine did not brown in the oven, so I finished them in a skillet before serving. Here is Delia Smith's recipe.


Bubble and Squeak Rösti...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Delia Smith

Ingredients:
1 pound boiling potatoes (about 3 evenly sized potatoes weighing about 5-oz. each)
3 ounces spring greens or green cabbage (trimmed weight)
2 ounces mature Cheddar, coarsely grated
1 level tablespoon plain flour
1 ounce butter
1 dessert spoon olive oil
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Directions:
1) First scrub the potatoes, then place them in a medium saucepan with a little salt. Pour boiling water over to just cover them, then simmer gently with a lid on for 8 minutes. Drain the potatoes, then, while they are cooling, remove any stalks from the spring greens or cabbage and finely shred the leaves into 1/4-inch slices. This is easy if you form them into a roll and then slice them. Drop the spring greens or cabbage into boiling water for 2 minutes only, then drain and dry well.
2) When the potatoes have cooled, peel them, then, using the coarse side of a grater, grate them into a bowl. Season with salt and freshly milled black pepper, then add the grated cheese and greens or cabbage and, using 2 forks, lightly toss together.
3) To assemble the rösti, shape the mixture into rounds 3 inches wide and 1/2-inch thick. Press them firmly together to form little cakes and dust lightly with the flour. If you want to make them ahead, place them on a plate and cover with clingfilm – they will happily sit in the fridge for up to 6 hours.
4) To cook the rösti, pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F., placing the baking tray on the top shelf of the oven. Melt the butter and add the oil, then brush the rösti on both sides with the mixture. When the oven is up to heat, place the rösti on the baking tray and return it to the top shelf of the oven for 15 minutes, then turn the rösti over and cook them for a further 10 minutes. Once cooked, it's all right to keep them warm for up to 30 minutes. Yield: 8 rösti.


The following bloggers are also featuring the recipes of Delia Smith today. I hope you'll pay them all a visit. They are great cooks who have wonderful blogs.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast, Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan - The Spice Garden, Heather - girlichef, Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette - Healthy Living
Mary - One Perfect Bite, Kathleen - Bake Away with Me, Sue - The View from Great Island Barbara - Movable Feasts , Linda A - There and Back Again, Nancy - Picadillo
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits, Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen
Annie - Most Lovely Things, Claudia - Journey of an Italian Cook, Alyce - More Time at the Table, Amrita - Beetles Kitchen Escapades

Next week we will highlight the career and recipes of Edna Lewis. It will be really interesting to see what everyone comes up with. If you'd like to join us please email me for additional information no later than Monday, February 20th.

38 comments:

Ginny said...

This looks just wonderful!! I have heard of this dish, but didn't know what it was! And much as I love the cooking shows, I have never heard of this woman, or seen any of her cookbooks when I browse that section. And she is SO famous!

Alessandra said...

Delia Smith I know, having lived for 6 years in the UK
:-).

Thank you for the reminder, and the recipe.

Have a good weekend

ciao
Alessandra

MissB said...

Wonderful Mary, simply delicious!
Kisses Mary :*

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am afraid I am not a Delia Smith fan despite having one of her books. As for bubble ans squeak, I love it and we had it last weekend for breakfast using left overs. Have a great weekend. Diane

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

She's my hero. I grew up with her in my home and I have all her books. She's a wonderful inspiration and whilst I wouldn't say she was dull I would say she was safe. Lovely stuff!

Big Dude said...

I'd never heard of these, but since I like the ingredients and your shot makes them look so good, I'd like a plate of them right now - 4:45am.

bellini said...

I came expecting Toad in the Hole but instead am delighted by these Bubble and Squeak Roesti! I just have to try them Mary! Very British!

Jenn said...

I'm probably even duller than she is, trust me!! lol
I had my first bubble and squeak just a few years ago at a friend of mines house. Hers were really good and I never did get the recipe. Now I have this one.. thanks so much for sharing!

Susan..... said...

Last St. Patty's Day I made a similar dish and called them "squeatters"...lol

At least I have vindication, and can nah-nah-nah to my family who thought I had completely lost my mind.

Va tutto bene!!

Sue/the view from great island said...

We love the classic Bubble and Squeak, we learned to cook it while we were in London after college, so I have to try this version. Great choice for Delia!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

My guess is that you are right... more folks relate to the common than the extraordinary. Not a bad thing. I had always wondered where the term 'bubble and squeak' came from!! LOL! Have a wonderful day, Mary! blessings ~ tanna

Barbara said...

I quoted extensively from that same article and imagine I will get nailed by Delia fans. (already have in one comment; and BTW: the commentor raved about Delia's Yorkshire Pudding recipe...will look it up now)
Love Bubble and Squeak, Mary. I watched The Two Fat Ladies make it once and they said using lard was imperative to get the proper browning. I didn't find that to be true. Love the idea of making them in individual servings.

Alyce said...

Bubble and Squeak is such a great name. Thanks for making it so we could see what it looks like! Happy Friday from St. Paul.

Lenia said...

Thank you for this delicios recipe,dear Mary!Have a great weekend!

The Blonde Duck said...

Ben and I tried making this once and it was a disaster!

Stephanie said...

These look great! I had them in Switzerland. I'm going to give it a try! :)

Gloria said...

I love Delia Smith recipes, she is amazing! and this look delicious!

Heather @girlichef.com said...

Oh, rosti-style!? They sound amazing. I can just imagine that sharp cheddar with the other ingredients. YUM! Fantastic write-up, as well Mary =)

Susan Lindquist said...

Nothing like a quintessential Brit dish to highlight the 'Queen of British Cooking', as my friend Dom has dubbed Delia. Great writing on this post too, Mary!

Platanos, Mangoes and Me! said...

Beautifully executed.

Selene said...

thanks for the sweet comment! i really appreciate it...

Jeanette said...

I've never had Bubble and Squeak although I've heard of it. Lovely recipe to honor Delia Smith by.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

This is a pretty fascinating story, Mary. You never know what resonates with the public, but there is a case to be made that many of us want guidance from someone "just like us."

Claudia said...

This is a recipe that is perfect "Delia." You made this into a fascinating story - loved reading it. And I love this peasant food - potatoes and cabbage can delight.

laurie said...

oh my gosh, yum yum, we love bubble and squeak in this house I love watching Delia on PBS channels,, she's one of my favorite cooks, I have on of her books too!

SUSANNA said...

Hol aMary, guapa tu

avui ens portes una gran recepta, sana ideal...

mil petonets Susanna

Miranda said...

Never heard of this as it is called, reminds me of potato pancakes though. Sounds lovely!

Mireya @MyHealthyEatingHabits said...

I always thought rosti was an East Indian dish--thank you for clearing that up it's origin. Swiss, English or East Indian it still sounds good to me.

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I've never had bubble and squeak but that is about to change. I've been catching up on your posts while traveling and the corn and hominy casserole sounds delicious. I think it would go great with the catfish

Norma Chang said...

Love that these are baked and not fried, healthy and delicious.

Foodycat said...

She also made the cake on the cover of the Rolling Stones "Let it Bleed"...

annie said...

Mary,
Your dish looks delicious and loved reading more about Delia in your post. I must thank you once again for allowing me to join the group. I have learned so much and must say I am surprised at how many on the list I was unaware of...I will be trying more of Delia's recipes!
xo
annie

Catherine said...

Dear Mary, These would disappear in my kitchen before they made it to the table!! They look so good! Blessings my friend, Catherine xoxo

The Harried Cook said...

Just beautiful, Mary! Beautiful color and texture :) Thanks for sharing!

Joanne said...

I love the texture of rosti and these mix-ins sound so delicious!

Amrita said...

That rosti looks so good, Mary! So delicious! I'm definitely going it try some time. I had the hardest time choosing a dish this week because there were so many I wanted to try. Her recipes are exactly the kind of dishes I love to make :) Have a great weekend, Mary!

tenderb said...

This is on my make list for this week. Prepping for St. Patty's Day.

Kathy said...

Great post, Mary! Love learning so much about these 50 woman! I have never had Bubble and Squeak but have heard of it. Yours looks so tasty. Have a great weekend!

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