American diner style

“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” – Samuel Johnson

London has so much to offer, you can never be bored here. If you know the right websites, magazine, Twitter accounts, people, you can always find some new activity to take on at the weekend. I’m very active on Twitter (I’m @MisSeffay), can’t spend a single day without it and love discovering new foodies experience on it. Some of my favourite London food&drinks Twitter accounts are: @DiningClub@forkanddram@NoshableAdam@LondonPopups@edible_exp … and I’m certainly forgetting many (any suggestions welcome, wink wink).

But on Saturday it was a friend,  not specialised websites, who suggested an afternoon of great fun for our taste buds: MEANTIME BREW FEST – an afternoon of beer tasting at the Meantime Old Brewery in sunny Greenwich. We tasted lagers (filtered and unfiltered), we tasted ales, we tasted stouts; and we even tasted ales that looked that stout and stouts that tasted like ale! There were hundreds of different varieties of beers, mainly brewed by Meantime but not only, classified by their origin: London, Europe, Americas. We wish we could have tasted more of them, but after 5 hours of consistent sipping, we were a bit pissed I must admit and wisely decided to head home.

But, of course, we were also hungry by then (although we had a snack at the Brew Fest… erm) and started plotting on what delicious dinner we could treat ourselves to once home. It wasn’t long before we decided that what a person needs after hours of beer drinking is a good old cheeseburger. And chips. And onion rings.

And this is how our whole-wheat cheeseburger, paprika sweet potato chips and onion rings were born.

Whole-wheat cheeseburger with paprika sweet potato chips and onion rings1


  • 150 grams minced beef
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • Dried rosemary
  • A few sun-dried tomatoes or preserved roasted peppers
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt & pepper
  • + 2 slices of mature Cheddar

Place all the ingredients (except the Cheddar) in a bowl and mix using your hands and releasing any stress you may have accumulated during the week. Then shape into patties. Now, you feel better and the burgers are ready to grill. Cook under the grill for about 10-15 minutes turning once. When almost cooked, place a slice of Cheddar on top for added naughtiness.

To serve:

  • 2 large burger buns (whole-wheat is yummy and healthier)
  • 2 spoonfull of mayonnaise
  • 1 handfull of watercress salad
  • 2 preserved baby beetroot, sliced thinly
  • 4 slices of tomato

Spread mayo on the bottom bun. Layer with thinly sliced baby beetroot, salad and tomato. Arrange the cooked burger and Cheddar on top, with the sauce of your choice (or none if you’re like me).


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • Smoked paprika powder
  • Salt

Slice the sweet potatoes in long wedges, skin on. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle with paprika powder and olive oil and make sure all potatoes are covered in spices and oil. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Take out of the oven and season with salt.


  • 2 large white onions, sliced into thick rings
  • 100 grams plain flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg white beaten stiff
  • 1 table spoon vegetal oil
  • 150 ml of milk
  • To deep-fry: ground-nut oil (no need to use litres of it, you just need to fill 1/3 of your pan at most)

That was my first time making onion rings and this recipe (found on the BBC GoodFood website) is incredibly easy and light. Well, the onion rings are still deep-fried, but the batter is light!

Stir the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt, make a well in the centre for the egg yolks, oil and milk. Mix to a smooth batter and stand in the fridge for a little bit (recipe says 30 minutes but I couldn’t wait for longer than 10 minutes). Heat your ground-nut oil to 190c. Fold the  beaten egg white into the batter, dip the onion rings in. Fry in batches (for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown). Place on sheets of kitchen roll to get rid of the excessive oil, salt, serve immediately.

Onion rings are a dream. Wonder if I could try oven baking them for a healthier solution to my fatty cravings… ?

Meantime Brew Fest


Grilled sweet potato, chickpea & chorizo salad

London is currently undergoing a heatwave. We are absolutely not complaining nor moaning about the long-expected heat, but  the evenings can be a bit wet and sweaty in our 1st floor Victorian conversion flat! Therefore, we need to limit the amount of time we spend by the oven and stove as well as the calories we put in our bodies during these times of drowsy torpor.

One of our favourite mid-week meal is sweet potato, chickpea and chorizo hash (for which a great recipe can be found here, compliments of the BBC Good Food website). I thought I should adapt this to the hot weather and therefore decided to make it into a salad. It worked and we both enjoyed it a lot. Then we had a naughty shop-bought vanilla and chocolate ice-cream but shhhhh…

Sweet potato, chickpea and chorizo salad

INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings)

  • 1 chorizo, diced
  • your selection of mixed salad (I used lettuce and our homegrown rocket salad)
  • 3 sweet potatoes, skin on and roughly chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas, softened if needed (chipmuncher likes his very soft so I always empty the can in a colander and pour a kettle of boiling water on top to soften the chickpeas)
  • fresh thyme
  • 4 eggs
  • feta to taste, diced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • olive oil & balsamic vinegar


  • Pre-boil your sweet potatoes in salted water for 5 minutes.
  • Pan-fry the diced chorizo in a dry pan (and throw away any oil and fat that oozes out) and reserve on kitchen towel when dry and coloured.
  • While the sweet potatoes and chorizo cook, put your salad mix in a salad bowl with the cheese and chickpeas.
  • As soon as the sweet potatoes are soft, transfer to a baking tray, sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper & fresh thyme and place under the grill for 10-15 minutes (or until coloured).
  • Poach your eggs in a shallow pan of water and wine vinegar (ok, I’ll admit, I’m TERRIBLE at cooking eggs, and scared to death at the idea of it, so chipmuncher is always the one doing any eggy jobs around the kitchen)
  • As soon as the sweet potatoes are grilled and coloured, take off the grill.
  • Assemble the salad: add the chorizo and sweet potatoes to your mix, season with oil & vinegar and plate up.
  • Place your poached eggs on top of each plate serving.
  • Eat immediately.
  • IDEA: if you want to spice things up, sprinkle your sweet potatoes with paprika  before putting under the grill.

Grilling sweet potatoes with fresh thyme

Assembling the salad

Plating up the sweet potato salad