Katsu Curry

Time for something savoury, don’t you think? This dish was inspired by my neighbours, a wonderful Japanese and Chinese couple, who are sadly moving very soon. Last week they invited us round for a delicious leaving apéro – my does she know how to cook – I was in Japanese finger food heaven. One of the highlights were the pork panko meatballs. I don’t know what it is about panko, but when it comes to breaded meats – panko breadcrumbs win, 200% of the time. Your good old classic breadcrumbs are lame in comparison.

Determined to try make something using the panko breadcrumbs, I ended up attempting a Japanese classic – chicken katsu curry. Not too bad for a first go. Sorry for the picture – definitely not a stunner.

Chicken Katsu Curry

katsu curry

adapted from bbcgoodfood

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Champagne is ALWAYS the answer

What better way is there to enjoy a warm Summer’s evening than with a delicious salad and a refreshing glass of Champagne? Transfer this scenario to the actual Champagne region in France. Now we are talking! This past weekend I was lucky enough to take part in such a road trip to this specific region and oh my was it amazing. Cycling through vineyards around Épernay with the most beautiful views, beginning the day with bubblies, exploring Champagne cellars, ending the day with bubblies, what more does one need for a Saturday? For all of you haven’t managed to make a brief escape in this direction: plan it and add it to your bucket list. Once you do go, don’t fill your car with too much of the golden bubbly goodness, as it’s cellar life is only 3 years after sale. So, if you have a lonely bottle at home sitting in the corner waiting for that special occasion, which you bought just under 3 years ago, it’s high time to invent that special occasion and indulge! And if I live in your proximity, don’t forget to invite me.

Below you will find a salad which, in my eyes, is a perfect accompaniment for a glass of your favourite Champagne. Apologies for the picture, it does not do the dish justice at all.

Proscuitto, Basil, Mozzarella and Fig Salad

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Duck Breast with a Cassis – Thyme Sauce, Homemade Spätzli, Sprouts, Cinnamon Poached Apples and Cranberries

Apologies for my failing at posting – I spent the last few weeks lost in Asia. Burma to be precise. Correction – Myanmar as they now call it (which is actually disliked by most locals). WOW, what a beautifully, diverse and extremely interesting place. A country with over 130 ethnic groups, multiple different climates, unique landscapes, thousands of pagodas (I am completely “pagoda’d” out by this point, I might even start having nightmares about them…), welcoming people, Buddha!, and so much more. Definitely worth a visit. Of course I ended the trip, like every trip to south east Asia, on a high in Bangkok – also a city worth visiting if you have not yet made it to that corner of the world. The sunset and nighttime views from the various sky bars are priceless.

However, after all this dining on asian food, I started craving a hearty homey dish. Honestly, I never thought I’d need a break from asian food, how wrong I was. So, after having arrived safely on Swiss soil, I decided to satisfy my craving asap. And this is the result. Delish – craving successfully satisfied.

Duck Breast with a Cassis – Thyme Sauce, Homemade Spätzli, Sprouts, Cinnamon Poached Apples and Cranberries

Duck, spätzli, cassis sauce

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Honey Glazed Duck with Spiced Lentils and Mash

I’m sure you all heard or read about the Swiss National Bank’s dramatic economic move this past week: that’s right, it’s the Swiss Franc I’m talking about. Without warning, sneaky as we are, our National bank decided to get rid of the cap they had placed on the Euro-CHF exchange rate in 2011. The Swiss Franc is now, as all other currencies, floating freely. How deceivingly lovely that sounds. Regarding food shopping – it’s a dream with France and Germany only one hill away – perfect for a maniac like myself! As soon as my next inspiration struck I decided to hit the road and cross borders – top on my list: Duck and Lentils. C’est français n’est pas? Alors, l’excuse parfaite pour acheter ces ingrédients en France. In all seriousness, I should probably be supporting the Swiss economy after last weeks madness….. maybe next time :-).

Honey Glazed Duck with Spiced Lentils and Mash

duck with honey and lentils

adapted from bbc.co.uk/food

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Leftover Turkey: A Different Kind of Chilli

Every year on the 26th December I stare at the turkey leftovers and ask myself: what shall we create this time? Our family standard is to pretend that turkey is venison – we reheat it in a sauce we otherwise usually make with game and serve it with Spätzli and some veg. However, this year I felt like mixing it up a little, checked out some recipes online and decided to attempt this one. Admittedly, it doesn’t remind me all too much of the chilli con carne I usually make, but it was still tasty. Let me know what you think!

 Chilli con Turkey

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adapted from jamieoliver
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Caramelised Onion, Goat’s Cheese and Thyme Tart

Every year on the 25th December my mom goes all out for Christmas Dinner: Turkey, Sausage, Sage & Onion Stuffing, Mash, Sprouts, Cranberry Sauce, followed by a traditional Christmas Pudding with an extremely alcoholic sauce. The pudding is usually courtesy of a very close family friend and, as you may know, has to be made two months in advance. As you might remember from a previous post, I actually assisted in the making of the Pudding this year. Of course one can’t just spend a whole afternoon making dessert on an empty stomach – the Chef de la Cuisine decided to whip us Pudding helpers something up for lunch. At first I was very sceptical when the menu was announced. Honestly, I am not the biggest fan of goat’s cheese. Nonetheless I decided to be adventurous and tried the tart – and LOVED it so much that I had to remake it a week later. E voilà.   P.S. The Medical Gourmet’s (mom’s) Christmas Dinner Recipe will follow in a years time…. I got so excited about eating two nights ago I completely forgot to capture the moment photographically. Something for all you out there to look forward to :-).

Caramelised Onion, Goat’s Cheese and Thyme Tart

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Moroccan Chicken Tagine

Can you believe it’s already almost Christmas again?? Personally, I am quite excited for my favourite season of the year – the lights, the smell of gingerbread, the food, the mood, everything about it basically. There are two reasons Christmas came to mind. First being that today I actually helped a friend start on making Christmas puddings. Yes, you heard right, we were making dessert for December 25th on the October 12th . Bizarre. But the pudding has to sit for around 8 weeks to fully allow all of the flavours to develop. Boy was it hard not to dig in to the gooey, raisiny, spice filled boozy mess. My mouth is drooling just thinking about it.
Second being today’s recipe. In recent years, my brother and I had decided to give our family & close family friends group excursions as a Christmas present (makes it sooo much easier and the outings are super fun). A few weeks ago we finally organised our last years gift – an evening/dinner/drinks on a small ferry in the middle of the Rhine. What flavour packed dish is better made in advance (30 year old boats sadly don’t have cooking facilities) than a tagine or a chilli? We opted for the more “exotic” of the two which went down extremely well.

Moroccan Chicken Tagine

tagine

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Asian Marinated Salmon with Sesame Seeds and Glazed Pak Choi

I would like to apologise for the lack of posts. Main reason being: I moved into a new flat (yay!!) but didn’t manage to get my Internet installed for 3 whole weeks! Imagine a blogger without Internet for that time…. I almost went insane. Kidding. It wasn’t that bad. Quite freeing actually. On top of moving I also started a new job at the same time, which has admittedly been great but hahaha good-bye social life with having to get up at 5:30 on a daily basis.

Anyways back to today’s recipe: it is a delicious healthy summer alternative to your standard BBQ. Citrus fruits and fish just work. And add some asian veg on the side, voilà. Perfection! Ok, maybe not michelin star perfection, but medicalgourmet perfection 🙂

 

Asian Marinated Salmon with Sesame Seeds and Glazed Pak Choi

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Pad Thai Gai

Only a few weeks after having left London I was presenting with withdrawal symptoms. The only cure – book flights. There are a few things I have to do on each trip to LDN. Besides the obligatory dose of culture (this time round I saw The 39 Steps and went to a rather disappointing photography exhibition), being the crazy foodie I am, I always test a new restaurant. The most recent location choices were successful – for those of you who have already tasted their way through my previously posted secret list, I present you with a few more options worth trying:

The Shed – Notting Hill Gate, excellent british cuisine with a modern twist, but beware of the aubergine caviar…. seems like the chef has a slight garlic obsession
Banh Mi Bay – Vietnamese near Holborn, their vietnamese spring rolls are to die for
The Lodge Cafe – Hyde Park Corner, opened only 3 weeks ago in a former information office, nice sandwiches, salads, yoghurts, perfect for an afternoon in the park
Madison Rooftop Tapas & Cocktail Bar – great views of St.Pauls, I don’t know why I never came across this venue before

Moving on to today’s recipe. Pad Thai is an asian classic and unless you’re allergic to peanuts, you can’t go wrong with this dish. With a lack of good and affordable asian cuisine in my city, I took it upon myself to attempt making Pad Thai. It’s actually quite simple and sooooooo rewarding. Bean sprouts, scrambled eggs, peanuts and limes….. mhhmmmmm!

Pad Thai Gai

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Ebola Virus – Beware!

For those of you who have been reading the news, I’m sure Ebola Virus Disease rings a bell. The recent outbreak of this filovirus, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, in West Africa has already caused 729 deaths in Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia.  Four of the five Ebola viral species can infect humans, with 90% of cases being fatal. The natural hosts are fruit bats, however infections have also been documented in chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines. Transmission from animal-to-human or human-to-human results through direct contact with blood, secretions and bodily fluids. Apparently semen is still infectious up to 7 weeks after recovery. After an incubation period of 2-21 days, the virus presents with a sudden fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and a sore throat. Vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver functions follow. There is also potential for internal and external bleeding. Amongst other blood results, one expects to find elevated liver enzymes and low white blood cell and platelet counts.  Sadly there is no treatment or vaccine available, leaving patients with supportive care.
According to Médecins sans Frontieres, the epidemic is now out of control. There is a high chance of the virus spreading via international air travel and aid workers. The WHO suggests the following for reducing the risk of infection in people:

  • “Reducing the risk of wildlife-to-human transmission from contact with infected fruit bats or monkeys/apes and the consumption of their raw meat. Animals should be handled with gloves and other appropriate protective clothing. Animal products (blood and meat) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption.
  • Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission in the community arising from direct or close contact with infected patients, particularly with their bodily fluids. Close physical contact with Ebola patients should be avoided. Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients at home. Regular hand washing is required after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home.
  • Communities affected by Ebola should inform the population about the nature of the disease and about outbreak containment measures, including burial of the dead. People who have died from Ebola should be promptly and safely buried.”

As the risk of the epidemic spreading to Europe is present, I thought it was important to bring this virus to your attention. It is spreading like wildfire.

On a different note, today’s recipe is great for a Summer picnic in the park. I was initially sceptical about roasting grapes but WOW it makes such a difference in flavour. The caramelised pecans are an addition of my own, recently I have come to realise that caramelised nuts are perfect with almost any dish, especially salads and asian cuisine. Enjoy!

Roasted Carrot and Grape Rice Salad with Green Beans, Rocket and Caramelised PecansIMG_3015

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