time + alcohol + time + cleaning + time + creativity + time + new kitchen + cravings
Revival of The Medical Gourmet.
Just over a year ago the last sign of life made it to this blog….the horror! It’s not like I didn’t cook for 365 days and lived off of take away… on the contrary, I still love spending time in the kitchen and getting creative – I guess commuting, outdoor adventures and travels came in the way.
But, thankfully we now have Corona in our lives, which is forcing us to stay at home and generously bestowing us with the chance of really getting to know ourselves, our brilliant sides and our flaws. Or, if you already feel you have connected with your inner self and are content, you can finally focus on all the cleaning and cooking you have never done before.
I am one of the lucky bunch who gets to work “normally” during this pandemic (ah, how I dream of home office days in pyjamas). It is fascinating to see what our healthcare system has managed to create in the shortest period of time. Apparently all specialties suddenly CAN work together. It is admirable to see multiple teams become one, have each others back in all situations, and pass on their knowledge. In my hospital we set up a new ICU ward, trained all staff necessary to run it, changed rota’s, gave up holidays and weekends, all in time for day X, as we called it.
The illness is no fun and is definitely no normal flu as many people seem to think. Granted, working in the ICU I only see the worst end of the spectrum. It causes insane inflammation, an intense cytokin storm, an impaired gas exchange which can’t keep all organs trying to function in form of an ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) and probably leaves its survivors with life long impairments. It can be lethal. And putting someone on a ventilator, as one reads in the news, doesn’t solve the problem. They need a break/help from breathing for about 2-3 weeks whilst in an induced coma, which brings along potential failure of other organ systems with it. So when you are told to social distance – please do.
Back to the food business. What is a period of isolation without a warming piece of baked deliciousness? Not even worth trying out! So if you are on a back log in the baking department, here is a slightly spiced zucchini bread attempt of mine. My new oven did surprisingly well – I am sure yours will too.
For the next 6 weeks fate has decided to give me a new challenge: learn to cook with one hand. How come? After a wonderful girlie weekend filled with fresh mountain air, snow, saunas, steambaths, delicious food, excellent company and a terrifying but harmless mass collision on skis, we decided to end the fun with a bang: sledding. Sounded like a great idea. Proved to be a great idea, however, only until two of us lost control, flung ourselves off the sled in an attempt to brake, as one has learnt to as a child. We successfully came to a grinding halt. Sadly, three of our bones were none too pleased with the speed of our stop. Where did the two junior doctors, who clearly don’t know how to sled, end up? Their favorite place: the ER. Diagnosis? Fractures, to be precise 3 of them, fairly divided between the two of us (mine being the fractured wrist). The best part: we got matching green casts! Needless to say, we sure did end our holiday with a bang and a great story. Also, note to self: never go sledding again.
Now, as for one-handed cooking – it’s really not that easy. I miss my left hand! But, never give up and accept the challenge. Here my first successful one-handed dish. Simple (even with one hand), heart warming and delicious.
Cauliflower, Brussels Sprout and Bacon Gratin
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
Any american football fans around? Rumor has it that if you live stateside, Sunday night football is holy. Apparently there is even a theme song welcoming viewers back. Part of the tradition also includes ordering take-out (usually pizza) – the best part in my opinion. Personally, not being such a fan of the sport, one can easily reach a compromise with moi regarding what TV channel will run if the words take out and seamless are mentioned. (Un)lucky for me – my better half is currently based in Trumpland, so I actually have to hang out in New York occasionally. First thing I ever ordered on seamless? Sesame Broccoli Chicken – sticky take away heaven.
Now, sadly, my home town doesn’t offer such a tasty range of unhealthy goodness delivered straight to your doorstep. My solution? Try to recreate. What occasion? Sunday night Academy Awards. Instead of drowning in ones sorrows about celebrities and their perfect bodies, one can drown in some sticky home-made chinese dish. Doesn’t sound too bad? Also, sooooo much better than football. So if you’re still arguing about what’s for dinner – head to the shops and have a go! I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Sesame Broccoli Chicken
I hope most of you are lucky enough to dig into a turkey, some stuffing, some sprouts, some mash, a spiced cranberry sauce and most importantly, a slice of pumpkin pie. This will be my 2nd Thanksgiving stateside, actually my 2nd in Manhattan. Last years orphan event in Soho starring a 22 lbs turkey, prepared by Australians no less, will be hard to top, but I’m just as excited.
When I was little we used to always celebrate Thanksgiving in Switzerland thanks to an American family member. Sadly I can only vaguely remember the (extraordinary) extent of the buffet, but I’m told it was out of this world. And me being the difficult child I was didn’t eat any of it. WHAAAAT??? All the goodness I missed out on. Hard to believe with my current appetite and food obsession.
That being said, its high time to catch up on the culinary delights of this holiday, starting with the best part: pumpkin pie. Happy Thanksgiving!
Delicious Pumpkin Pie
Only 6 months until my favorite time of the year! Meanwhile, most boys favorite time of 2106 started yesterday with the European Football Championship in France. Did you watch the opening game? Are you as excited about it as I am? I even have a Swiss jersey ^^.
Ok, who am I kidding, I don’t think I will watch more than 2 games (despite being a retired middle school footballer). But, lucky for us girls, the season of men free evenings has officially started! Time to hang out, catch up on all the face mask – nailart – yoga – wine&dine – gossip evenings you’ve missed out on over the past two years. Now we are talking. Here is a simple, yet delicious, recipe for exactly one of those evenings. Let it bake while your paint your nails, drink some wine and relax.
Smoked Salmon and Spinach Quiche
So, agreed, probably not the most beautiful quiche you have ever seen, but it was made with all the love
HAPPY BIRTDHAY to a very special man in my life, who has supported me since day 1, no matter how difficult I’ve been in the past 25 years (yes, these type of men do exist). Thank you!
I don’t know if you recall the birthday craze two years ago where I baked 5 cakes for one celebration. And there weren’t even many leftovers! Lucky for me, after a certain age, big birthdays only come once every 5 or 10 years (depending how excited the birthday child gets). This year, having reduced the guestlist from roughly 50 to an intimate family affair, one cake fed all. Not just any cake, but my grandma’s famous chocolatey, flourless, moist, gluten free, almondy heaven. It was praised by all tasters. One even demanded I post the recipe online. So here you go, try and recreate, let me know how it goes, invite me to taste and judge, but most importantly – enjoy.
Grandma’s Chocolate Cake
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL! I cannot believe another year has already passed – and boy what a crazy one it was…. so many fantastic moments, a few not so fun times, yet somehow I feel no different to December 2014 (apart from the odd new wrinkle or two). I also don’t really feel like the holiday season has properly started – let me blame that on the lack of snow. WHERE ARE YOU?
Nonetheless, it is truly a wonderful time of the year filled with family traditions, games, mulled wine, presents and exorbitant amounts of food. I’m pretty sure you all have either a lunch or dinner invitation/duty on the 25th. For those of you out there who haven’t had a chance to bake christmas cookies, but promised to bring something homemade along on Christmas day, these hazelnut bites are perfect – unique, nutty, spicy, gluten-free, lactose-free (sadly not vegan – haha) and delicious. Berner Lebkuchen is a special sort of “gingerbread” from my home town – a.k.a. the capital city of Switzerland. Traditionally it comes decorated with the cantons coat of arms – a rude bear sticking its tongue out. Personally I prefer the bite size finish – one doesn’t feel so bad about eating more than two ;-).
Berner Lebkuchen Bites
adapted from Wildeisen
Time for a post. Time for dessert. Using possibly the best fruit of the winter season – blood oranges. NOMNOMNOM.
My new favourite city: New York. Even better: New York before Christmas. Not Thanksgiving though – because oh my is Black Friday crazy (I tell you – stay away from the shops or practice boxing before going in..). Anyways, NYC in the holiday season is truly magical – beautiful Christmas lights, ice rinks in central and bryant park, Christmas music playing in all cafe’s, millions of holiday markets, the Rockettes (hahahahahahaha), waaaay too much good food – what’s not to like? Ok, you Londoners are probably thinking – their Subway is disgusting – true that, true that, in comparison your Tube could almost be mistaken for Swiss public transport;-). One of the best experiences I had while meandering about the city was up north in Harlem. My mother would be proud – I went to church on Sunday – a Baptist church – WOW. Breathtaking. Amazing. If you love gospel music, don’t mind putting on your Sunday’s best and dare yourself to travel above 120th street it is worth the trip. It was something kind of like this: Enjoy. And if church doesn’t quite fulfil your expectations, why not head to the Red Rooster for a gospel brunch.
Blood Orange Mousse with Almond Brittle
adapted from greatbritishchefs
Happy Summer to you all!!! I hope you are all soaking up some sun and working on the tan;-) And so sorry for not posting….. this seems to follow my last years trend of not posting during this time of year either…. work and life just seem to have sucked me in and kept me farfar away from WordPress. Slowly I am having withdrawal symptoms -.-. Time to catch up. And what better way to begin the new recipe season than with a delicious french citrusy inspired dessert? Yes, I know my last post was about the Champagne Region and now I’m talking about France again… you must think I am french crazy. So. Not. True. But, quite frankly, they do know how to enjoy life with excellent cuisine – the wine, the ham, the endless fruit markets, not to forget the daily fresh baguette, the seafood and of course all the pâtisserie mmhhhmmmmm. My current favourite français dessert: Tarte au citron +/- meringuée. NOM. I cannot get enough of that goodness!
When recently invited to an Apéro Riche in the Basque Region, I, being me, immediately offered to bring a dessert, with Tarte au citron on the back of my mind. Admittedly, a Tarte is not the best for a standing dinner, but, nevertheless, I was determined to make lemon curd play the lead role. What did I end up with? A sharp lemon curd topped with a refreshing berry coulis and wild berries. The guests loved it. Let me know what you think:-)
Lemon Curd with Berry Coulis