Upon returning from an exciting Scandinavian road trip I feel I need to detox. Firstly from alcohol, secondly from meat/fish. The Scandinavians have some incredible fresh fish, smoked shrimps and I’m sure you’ve all heard of the famous swedish meatballs. Let me tell you, Ikea’s meatballs are surprisingly good in comparison to the ones you’ll find in a proper restaurant.
Anyways, after 2 weeks my body has started to strike and seems to be craving vegetarian alternatives. And no, the new Ikea vegetarian hot dog does not count (although it is admittedly delicious). Meatless Monday has been around for long – high time to add it to my routine. Inspired by all the beetroot Scandinavians include in their dishes, especially hummus, I attempted a vegetable/feta galette. I went all out and even made the pastry from scratch, apologies for the rustic look. A great start to the week with perfect leftovers for lunch.
Beetroot, Carrot, Leek and Feta Galette
adapted from a friends farm to home vegetable subscription
I hope you all spent a fabulous Easter with your family, ate delicious roasted lamb, drank some fruity wine and indulged in things you gave up for Lent. Our Easter felt a bit more like Christmas, waking up to at least 15cm of fresh snow each morning. Great for everyone who can ski – spring skiing is the best. Not so fun for people like moi who are one-armed and banned from all winter sports. I did make good use of my ski pass though and soaked up some sun on the top of mountains. Wonderful.
Need an idea of what to do with some left over chocolate bunnies? How about trying this classic, adapted from an Italian chef – Gennaro Contaldo. It’s one of the last desserts I made for my father and to my (and his) surprise he declared it better than his beloved Stalden chocolate crème (a Nestlé dessert classic for the true Swiss). Now, my friends, trust me when I say that is a compliment. See for yourself.
Chocolate Amaretto Pudding
One of the best inventions (if you can call it that) nature has brought with itself is honey. In any form, in any meal, in chapstick, in skin cream, in a hair mask – it always seems to find its place successfully. I completely understand and support it being the most important food in Winnie-the-Pooh’s universe.
My father’s family used to have beehives up on an Alp when he was a child (how Swiss, right?), yielding over a yearly supply of the golden goodness. We regularly try to inspire him to set one up again masking it as a new retirement project…. so far we have failed. On a recent road trip along the West Coast I came across an amazing shop revolving around bee keeping and honey in Portland, OR. I almost took the invisible project a step further by buying all the essentials for a DIY beehive… lucky for my father the only item I left the store with was a honey-inspired cookbook. And here you have it, a twist on one of their recipes – duck and honey are a great couple. Let me know what you think!
Oven Roasted Duck with a Raspberry Honey Sauce
inspired by The Fresh Honey Cookbook
Happy Saturday and happy spring! Spring has finally arrived – and my what an impression has it decided to make this year. Apparently, this side of the world, March 2017 is the warmest since I don’t know how many years. Great for summer lovers, not so good for our glaciers and passionate hibernators. What does this mean for culinary nerds? Time for fresh and light treats. Also, time to bring dusty kitchen gadgets back to life.
My newest gadget? A sous-vide cooker. Best. Christmas. Present. Ever. (No offence to all others – your gifts were great too..). Now, what does that mean? To cook under vacuum. That’s right – you vacuum pack/seal everything before cooking it in a water bath, allowing your whatever to be completely evenly cooked at a constant low-ish temperature. Super exciting. Amazing results. Totally worth the effort. And you can even control it via bluetooth/wi-fi. I don’t think I have managed to serve such tender duck before in my life.
Anyways, back to spring. And time for a dessert. Spring desserts = berries & lemon. Ok, that’s a lie, all desserts must include some sort of citrus if you ask me, not matter what the season. Now, to incorporate my sous vide into the equation I came up with:
lemon + berries + fresh + sous vide = sous vide lemon cheesecake topped with berries
Obviously. Ok, not quite. It was the first water-bath dessert that came to mind. Nevertheless, fitting and worth a try. It turned out surprisingly well, although, the consistency could be improved. If you happen to have such a gadget at home – go ahead and try it. If not, it’s high time to invest your money into something useful ;-).
Sous Vide Lemon Cheesecake
How was everyone’s 2016? Glad for it to be over? Mine wasn’t too bad actually – I spent most of it travelling, finally had some successful dates (noone thought that would ever happen) and managed not to get fired during my probation period – how on earth will 2017 top that?? Positive thinking: as long as the new year starts with a delicious meal, some bacon, all the wine and good company, nothing can go wrong :-).
Luckily I’m not on call for new years eve and don’t have to spend it wearing a surgical mask to protect me from my Influenza patient cohort. That’s right, my ward has been transformed into an isolation ward with polymorbid patients who have sadly caught the flu. My, did I underestimate the seriousness of the flu until being exposed to it daily – these people are sick. Roche must be loving my hospital – we are probably the prime customer when it comes to their “Anti-Flu-Agent” Tamiflu. Not like it actually works as promised. But hey, at least we support the best industry of the first world…… should have bought some shares, damnit. Anyways – lesson learnt: as much as you hate getting jabs – the flu jab is worth it!
And if you are still fighting over what to cook tonight – try this. Quick, simple, impressive and tasty. Also, who are we kidding, bacon is always a winner.
Bacon and Thyme Infused Filet of Pork Dipped in a Creamy Tomato Sauce
T-2 days until I am officially unemployed for 2 months! Scary! Anyone have a guide to leading the life of a pensioner?
In my hospital, tradition calls for junior doctors to spoil their co-workers with a sweet breakfast sometime around their last day of work. Another compulsory “cake baking” moment in the life of a junior doctor, respectively surgeon in training, is after being allowed to operate something for the first time. There is an unwritten rule stating one has to bring a cake after each new surgical achievement. Sneaky, sneaky surgeons. Now, instead of always bringing cake, I figured I could be creative and bring rolls. Who doesn’t like rolls? My personal favorite – cinnamon rolls – would be a tad too intense for my Swiss colleagues to digest at 8 am. So I decided to stay on the safe side and made these hazelnut rolls – NOM. Secret ingredient: a hint of cinnamon, obvs.
Nussschnecken – Hazelnut Rolls
Happy Sunday, Happy Whitsun – more like yay for having an extra day off work – three-day weekend hello:-)… For most of us, that is – maybe I should have thought about rough working hours before starting my degree, but really, as if I was mature enough to think that far ahead at 17. Also, apparently abiding by the labour law is overrated. Although, compared to junior doctors in the UK, I don’t think us Swiss are doing all too bad. Yet, lack of sleep is still inevitable. How was I supposed to know that 8 hours of sleep was going to be a must in the future? I envy all those who can function on less… how do you do it? Also, how do you not look like someone punched you? And don’t say coffee, there has to be another secret….
Back to the three-day weekend – I hope you have all embarked on an exciting road trip to some warm place in the south and are spending your days at a beach with a cold glass of Rosé to accompany the line fish of the day. Mhmm that sounds wonderful. For all medics who are dreaming of this scenario, here is a recipe to recreate an almost as satisfactory milieu at home. Open your favorite bottle of Rosé, put your feet up, forget all annoying GOMER’s*of the past 12 hours, turn on Netflix, watch something brainless and relax.
Herby Crusted Cod