Serves Two – Four | 40 mins | £3.50
In 2011 I should have learnt to cook. I should have learnt to cook because in those days I was an au pair to three trouble-making little French kids who ran adorable, if ever so slightly menacing circles around me and my friend. When you are an au pair in France you learn to cook, in fact, when you are anything in France for longer than 3 months you learn to cook. I thought I might, with enough lobster-murdering, turn into a modern-day Julia Childs, but, as it happens, I didn’t murder any lobsters and what I actually turned into was a second rate Betty Crocker. I knew how to bake 17 different types of cookie, but the rest was a mystery.
Earlier, a lot earlier, when I was 14 and terrible at maths, I was put in a class with some sort of divine God-human of a teacher with whom I promptly fell in love and to show him, I fell in love with maths. I learnt polynomials, I learnt all about domains and ranges, and most importantly I learnt the absolute value of love as a motivating force. Fast forward almost 7 years, Mr. Surrey has moved to Australia to become a pastor and to save people from their sins and I’m a moderately to massively gay sinner and have stumbled upon love again. She made me prawn and avocado risotto and in-between internal drooling I vowed to become a better cook so as best to impress her. The first time she came around I made her skin a salmon, but I assure you it has been uphill from there.
And so I present one of my earlier, please-like-me-and-later-possibly-even-love-me dishes, an easy one with few ingredients, heaps of love, and that always ALWAYS impresses. As a side note, there might be some/quite a lot left over, sweet potatoes are not yet standardised in size. Luckily, these are great for on top of summer salads or in winter bowls topped with baked beans and mounds of cheese.
2 sweet potatoes
1 medium red onion
1 tins of kidney beans or black beans
2 tbsp of any flour (plain, rice, buckwheat etc.)
Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into bitesize chunks, throw into a saucepan with water to cover and boil until soft. Do NOT buy your sweet potatoes from the creepy man at the corner store (who has been asking you out since you were fourteen) for £1.50 each, buy them from the green grocers for about 30p each
While they are on the hob, peel and finely chop/not-so-finely hack the red onion and fry in a tablespoon or two of any oil
When they are nearly done, drain the kidney beans and throw them into the pan with the onions for a few seconds
When the sweet potatoes are soft, drain them and transfer back to the saucepan adding the onion and the kidney beans
Add a teaspoon of oil, half a teaspoon of chilli powder — you could probably replace this with a finely chopped chilli, if you have it to hand — and smoosh (technical term) with either a hand blender or a fork or your cold bare hands. Careful not to over-blend or they won’t form into proper patties
Form into small tea-cake sized patties
Season the flour with rock salt, pepper, and a bit of paprika if you fancy. Lightly dust the burgers.
Fry on medium high heat in the oil you used for the chopped onion
While they are frying, slice the avocado into strips, season with rock salt and pepper
Serve two burgers per person, artistically drape avocados on top
Impress and Enjoy.
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