A trip to London last Saturday to see the Chuck Close exhibition (stunning) and a wander up and down Berwick Street to go record shopping followed by a decent smoked bean burrito (again) at Mildred’s in Soho.
London for me comes in usually two style of visits, the sadly more common visit is a commute driven frenzy where I never have time which leaves me feeling stupidly anxious more than anything, and then paradoxically there is the odd more relaxed visit where things are at a much more suitable weekend pace.
The balance of both hasn’t been found yet and I don’t think I will find it, but on Saturday on a crisp blue sky morning coming out of London Bridge station and also remembering the location of last Summers visit to Borough Markets it was a nice thing to suddenly remember and a change from the maddening fast pace of the underground. It’s a London thing to sell prosciutto ham at 100g for a tenner, parmesan also for the same weight for six quid, pricey yes but presented and cared for by street vendors who know their products. Still though, a tenner is always going to be lot of money for prosciutto regardless.
There were also jugs of pimms for sale next to hearty bowls of soup, it truly is the end of April – the time of this month that doesn’t know if it is coming or going weather wise. It’s cold in the shade and warm in the light at the moment, blossoms are late and have been only around for two or so weeks.
We settled after a browse of the market on buying some great feta and bean burgers with a healthy and fruity pomegranate salad which tasted fresh and good for us. Served in a box and as we stood eating it tasted like the street food I want to eat.
My search for a decent non meat burger goes on, the burger didn’t have all the answers but it was pretty good all the same. The frangipan cakes afterwards were tempting too but not bought, although some middle-aged French tourists were going mad with enthusiasm. A proper compliment if I ever did see one.
Here’s my version of a vegetarian burger, it’s really a patty of sorts. It’s not overly bearing with heat, well it is but take away the heat by adding less chilli powder. It’s more so flavoured by spices and aromatics. The fiery wasabi mayo bites through and adds a delightful cool yet hot kick.
You can adapt this recipe to your own tastes and flavorings as you cook. Burgers demand creativity in the kitchen.
- Hot and Spicy Bean Burgers with Wasabi Mayo
2 x 400 g tins of kidney beans
100 g fresh bread crumbs
2 teaspoons of chilli powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
A pinch of chilli flakes
1 fresh egg beaten
A small bunch of coriander
6 burger buns
Cheese, salad leaves, gherkins, red onion, jalapeno.
1. Heat the grill to high, tip the beans in to a large mixing bowl and crush with a fork. Leave some beans as they are to maintain an interesting texture.
2. Add the breadcrumbs, cayenne, chilli powder, chilli flakes and the egg. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Take the wet mixture, mold into thick patties. You can freeze these now if you want to for a later time. Put the patties on to a baking tray, and grill them for 5-8 minutes on each side. Be careful to not let them burn.
4. While the patties are cooking, get your buns ready and add your sauces/salad and onion as you see fit. I like mine with plenty of Dijon mustard and ketchup. Add some gherkins and jalapenos.
5. Also, get some mayonnaise and add wasabi paste to the mayonnaise to taste. I like my wasabi a lot, but be careful as your nose will run if it is really hot.
6. Top the burgers with cheese for the last-minute, add the burgers to the rolls. Eat at once, or like I did at the work surface. This kind of food demands that kind of eating.