Just about one month ago I traded my scalpel for a stethoscope, a neurological tuning fork and an ECG compass. What was I thinking?!? No, honestly, these past weeks have been fascinating to say the least, I finally feel like a true medic. Ok, let’s not exaggerate, I finally feel like I could become one…… somtime….. once I’ve managed to drag myself ashore from drowning in the sea of internal medicine. I cannot believe med school is only 3 years back…. Coming from 2 years of operating fun times, my present job makes me question my memory – do I have retrograde amnesia for literally all of those 6 years spent at school? Well, I certainly feel like I do. Maybe I should get myself checked out by a neurologist.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the following before:
“What’s the difference between a physician, a surgeon and a pathologist ?
The physician knows everything and does nothing.
The surgeon knows nothing and does everything.
The pathologist knows everything, but always a week too late.”
My current status: ex surgeon, novel physician = knows nothing and does nothing. Sounds about right. Luckily enough, my previous work experience helped me in perfecting the poker face – a very important asset. Who am I kidding, beginnings are always hard – as long as everyone survives along the way one must embrace each step.
The following recipe made my beginning a lot easier – a homey, warming, hearty pumpkin soup. There is nothing better than coming home to delicious left overs which get better day by day. Admittedly, pumpkin is one of my favorite fruits (who would have thought it’s a fruit…weird right?) – perfect to turn into a curried soup or a spiced pie. Also, perfect to carve for Halloween, although that is sadly still on my bucket list. Anyways, for all you professional beginners out there – buy a pumpkin and treat your soul to some (fruity) goodness. Let me know what you think!
The Medic’s Amazing Pumpkin Soup
I’m sure you have all heard of kale (if not, go read about it here – haha ok, so not quite the kale I had in mind, but who knew it was also a beautiful boy). If I recall correctly, the hype about this, let’s face it, not so special cabbage, started a couple of years back in Europe. Everyone was crazy about it. Kale chips, kale salad, kale pesto, kale soup, not to forget kale juice, the list goes on. Personally, I never understood the hype. Now, I must admit, it’s probably due to my only kale experience in 2014 being unsatisfying – kale crisps from Pret. The flavour wasn’t right, they weren’t satisfying, and honestly – fried cabbage? – not my thing.
In most aspects of life I’m not really one to follow trends, I would say I’m always at least a few trend-generations behind. One of my exes always tried to widen my music-horizon by constantly showing me new songs. I’d listen to them once, label them as terrible, forget them for 6 months, then hear them on the radio, fall in love with them and proudly show my ex the greatest new songs of the month. Classic. And how often did this happen? All the time. After a while he gave up. Understandable. Same story with kale, only here it took me years, not just months. How have I lived without it?? In my opinion, the best use of kale is in a curry. YUMS – so here you go, try it.
Butternut Squash, Sprout, Chickpea and Kale Curry
As previously promised – a post for my Swiss readers. Respectively, for Swiss residents.
Yes!! If your sweet tastebuds have been craving a bite of The Medical Gourmet’s creations all along (and you have not yet been lucky enough to try any) – head to The Nail Stop in Gstaad this afternoon. Never heard of it? It’s probably the cutest nail salon ever. Interestingly, it is also the first nail salon in the town/village of Gstaad to date. Looks like the creators discovered a niche. And boy, what a successful one. It is booming! Having opened a few years ago in a small location, it has sadly/luckily had to relocate to a bigger space. Lucky for me, the owner decided to add a Café featuring the one or other medical gourmet special. With winter finally arriving and village life picking up it is high time for the first cupcake special. Head down this afternoon, grab a bite, enjoy.
And for those of you too far away to actually drop by – try the recipe below, add more spice, maybe puree the pumpkin yourself and let me know how it turns out:-).
HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY to me!!! It’s like I have two birthdays worth celebrating annually from now on – exciting:-) I cannot believe a year has passed since I spent hours with my other half in my tiny flat in Chelsea trying to figure out how to best take a picture that would adequately represent the medical gourmet. Good times. Good memories. Didn’t turn out too bad right?
In celebration of this day – a small sweet treat for a spring and late summer culinary sin which reminds the palate of Christmas. Served with bubblies, obviously. No birthday of mine could go without!
Apple and Red Currant Crumble Bars
adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery
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
adapted from bbc.co.uk/food
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.
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 🙂
Time for a savoury dish. And a random life story: So, this past Lent I felt I had to cleanse my body of all accumulated badness and decided to give up 3 of my favourite things: alcohol, Nutella and red bull. As these 3 unhealthy items are so easily replaced with worse, I found myself eating more sweets and cakes than usual…… so much for the “cleansing”. Next Lent I should probably omit sweet things in general….. although, that would probably trigger a depression…. lucky I can prescribe medication (ha, kidding, note to self: do not self medicate!). Anyways, having survived Lent physically and psychologically undamaged, a celebration was in order. A friend had given up meat, so we thought MeatLiquor was the perfect venue. Starting with a cocktail called “Game Over” (of which they actually only serve a maximum of two per customer due to ridiculous amounts of alcohol) at 6pm, I already feared the worst for my liver (and brain). 2 burgers and surprisingly buzz-free from the oh so promising “game over” later, we decided to return to a more cost-effective drink: wine. One glass turned into two turned into lets go drink a bottle at yours turned into falling asleep before midnight and waking up the next day with a sudden epiphany of why I gave up alcohol in the first place.
Lucky for me, indian is the one cuisine I thoroughly enjoy without a glass of wine. It just doesn’t match. A cold beer, possibly, but fortunately for me and my Lent endeavours, I don’t like beer. With a craving for indian food and living too far away from any decent indian restaurants which don’t require 45 mins queueing, I decided to make an all time indian favourite – butter chicken – from scratch. Naturally I asked an indian friend if this recipe was somewhat legitimate before buying a zillion ingredients. She approved. I cooked. We (she) generously adjusted the spice levels. Then ate. Verdict: YUM.
Indian Butter Chicken