Sunday Night Takeaway Heaven

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

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Queueing Failures

Happy Saint Nicholas’ Day, a.k.a another one of my favorite days of the year. I hope your stockings were filled with exciting presents and delicious chocolates. Today is one of the few days where people actually queue for something in Switzerland. Queueing for restaurants, bakerys, theatres, etc. isn’t a thing here unlike in London, Manhattan, Sydney, you name it. My most recent queuing failure in London was an attempt to eat at the new Thai place in town – Som Saa. We arrived at 18:30, the wait would have been 2.5 hours…  I then inquired at what time one would have to realistically come to grab a table for “normal dinner times”. The answer: 17:00. Seriously?? Who has time for that?!?

Anyways, one thing the Swiss have understood is the uselessness and inefficiency of queuing. Apart from today – my next queuing failure. On Saint Nicholas’ day, Swiss tradition is to eat a Grättimaa – sweet brioche-like bread heaven shaped like a man, the Grättimaa. If you don’t want to make them yourself, the go to bakery to buy these in town is Gilgen. Naively, I went by early afternoon thinking the rest of the world must be working – my was I taken by surprise – there were 2 queues going right out the door past the next shop! And what’s the magic of queues? They attract more and more people, because whatever is at the end must be good. The beauty of it all – some queuers didn’t even know what they were in line for! By the time I finally managed to order, I whipped out my debit card (having just returned from ‘merica where everything is paid for by card) only to hear the words: “Sorry, our card machine is broken today”. MAJOR FAIL. So I queued for nothing…. at least I know how to make them myself and I can decide on the appropriate sugar to bread ratio ;-).

Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Grättimaa

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adapted from SRF
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Hazelnut Rolls

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

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Happy Blogiversary

Happy second blogiversary to meee!! I cannot believe The Medical Gourmet is already 2 years old – these past two years have flown by. At this point I could get deep and soppy and reflective, but let me not bore you. For all of you who don’t have a reason to drink some bubbly this evening – use my blogiversary as an excuse;-). And, if you are in search of a delicious dessert recipe to go with your bubbly – you can never go wrong with an indulgent citrusy meringue pie. Well, that’s my plan anyways. Cheers to a great year. Happy Wednesday!

Passion Fruit/Lemon Meringue Pie
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Balti Chicken Madras, Homemade Chapati and Cucumber Mint Raita

Here’s a question: Have you ever been accidentally locked in a room somewhere, subsequently had a panic attack because you already pictured yourself dying of starvation in the very near future, and jumped up and down like a frog on crack after finally being found? Last time that happened to me I was luckily not alone – my beloved four-legged bestie kept me company in the tiniest lift on earth for what seemed like forever……. not going to lie, I think I even started crying and calling for my mother…… yeees ok so now we all know I am emotionally unstable, but I was only 12 at this point, ok? Anyhow, after about an hour I was saved and boy I did not set foot into that lift for at least a year.

Now, have you heard of Room Escape? After my childhood experience I never thought I would voluntarily lock myself into a room try to solving puzzles to get out. It was SOOOO MUCH FUN and I recommend you all try it. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like SAW. Although, admittedly, our game-master was pretty creepy – were it not for him I think we’d all still be in there searching for more riddles to solve:-).

As for this recipe, there really isn’t much to say: I love curry, I love raita, and who doesn’t love chapatis??

Balti Chicken Madras, Homemade Chapati and Cucumber Mint Raita

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adapted from Complete Indian Cooking by Mridula Baljekar et al.

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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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Koeksisters

I cannot believe 2 years have passed since my time in Cape Town. Crazy. Such great memories, lots of wine tasting, not so much hospital-work, lots of eating, beaching, exploring and more wine tasting. Best. Elective. Ever. My liver must not have been happy. To reminisce, a friend and I got together one evening this past week. We drank wine from the Peter Falke vineyard (in Stellenbosch), which she still had in her cellar from our trip, and made Koeksisters (finally, this had been our plan for the past two years but somehow…..2 years later there we were). Koeksisters are the unhealthiest but most rewarding small spiced balls of fried dough. The first time we ever tasted them was in the Bo-Kaap neighbourhood of Cape Town, from a small corner shop that sells fresh ones only once or twice a week, usually on a Sunday. They were delish.

BoKaap

A house in Bo Kaap

But just to clarify – there are two types of Koeksisters, the most common ones are shiny braided looking things drenched in syrup or honey, the ones we had in Bo-Kaap which are harder to find, (and tastier in my opinion) are of malay origin. An essential ingredient is ground cardamom, which I knew would be a challenge to find in Switzerland, so a while ago, with this plan on the back of my mind, I seized the opportunity at a local indian shop in Shepherd’s Bush :-). No excuses now – Koeksisters had to be made!! The recipe we used is from a b&b owner we met along the way, so no guarantee for its accuracy – I feel it is more a cross between the shiny braided version and the malay version. In any case, whatever it is we ended up with was tasty 🙂

Koeksisters

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