My (fantastic) local pub does a pretty good vegan bean burger. It’s a rich thing, hefty on the cumin and sweet potato, and they serve it with a little avocado. A good time. I have, however, taken to polluting its vegan essence by ordering it with a slab of cheese on top. This is, if anything, an even better time. But you have to pick your cheeses.
Sharp cheddar on a bean burger, maybe even Red Leicester or a Wensleydale? Yup, for sure. Mozzarella? Not so much.
It ought to work, but the thick, gentle creaminess of the mozzarella just fights the cumin and the spicy/sweet of the dark beans and sweet potato. Hmm. What to do? Could I hack together a bean burger that would be a bit lighter and fit nicely with some melty-gooey cheese?
The short answer is “kind of”, and the long answer is this week’s experimental recipe.
Continue reading Rocket pesto bean burgers
Here’s one for the tail end of barbecue season. In fact, here’s one I was not quite brave enough to take to a barbecue yesterday (cancelled of course, because Grim Rainy Island).
It’s a bit of an experiment, and it drifted into my head after putting some leftover peanuts into a rather gentler pork burger mix for a different barbecue a few weeks back. It worked, but it made me think: aren’t we tottering close to a Pad Thai vibe here?
Why the heck not. In for a penny.
In, also, for an eye-watering quantity of fish sauce. Damn, that stuff’s pungent. Like, borderline is-this-recipe-worth-it pungent. Oh, it cooks out – it’s great. But there’s ten minutes coming up where you will not enjoy being in your kitchen.
Continue reading Pad Thai inspired pork burgers
Lagging as it does 2-3 years behind Soho, Cambridge has started to accrete gussied-up burger joints at some speed. I went to two last weekend. I wasn’t even trying to have dinner. It just kind of happened. In fact, you’re probably in one now – slices of structurally-unsound brioche passing through you like crumbly, stylized, cosmic rays.
Seriously though, it’s getting daft. There’s the two here, something in Cherry Hinton, and apparently a Greene King “concept pub” in a similar vein on the horizon.
Here’s a quick look at two new-ish ones. Butch Annie’s, which opened a week or two ago in the dead centre of town, and the latest incarnation of The Alex(andra Arms) out Mill Rd way. Spoilers: they’re both reasonably credible alternatives to Byron.
Extra spoilers: STOP WITH THE FUCKING BRIOCHE.
Continue reading Butch Annie’s and The Alex, Cambridge – more burgers
Cambridge is not a great place to have dinner. There are plenty of places to eat, sure, and a burgeoning selection of really good places to buy fresh produce if you’re cooking. But the actual choice of restaurants is poor, and heavy on chains.
Byron is a chain. But it’s a small one, and it isn’t photofit Italian, so it’s worth a mention.
The menu is pretty simple, as you’d expect from a business trading heavily on the idea of doing only one thing and doing it well. “Proper hamburgers” is the shtick, and the selection offers little else. Pick a burger, add some extras or choose a pre-set combo, add sides, and enjoy with an excellent selection of craft beer. It works.
Continue reading Byron, Cambridge – proper burgers? Yep, pretty much.