April: a usually wonderful month of the year – flowers start reappearing from their winter sleep, chestnut stands slowly transform into ice cream stands along the lake, winter jackets can finally do what they do best (live in the attic), one can leave work in daylight and even go for a run before the sun sets. Technically so much to love – everyone seems to be in a happy mood now that the cold has passed. Or so we thought it had passed….. last weekend the warmth decided to take a leave of absence making way for some spring snow. How rude!
The snow did not stop me from embracing the supposed spring season – it is finally asparagus time again! A delicious unique vegetable which has the questionable side note of adding a peculiar smell to ones pee. We can count ourselves lucky that not all produce does that….. I wouldn’t want to know what aubergine urine could smell like…. or how about egg? Anyways, in keeping with the season with a hint of snow, I attempted a warming spring pasta dish using six ingredients: asparagus, cream, lemon, garlic, parmesan and, of course, pasta. Turned out yums – perfect for a mid week meal and freezable lunch!
Lemony Asparagus Cream Pasta
One handed cooking didn’t prove to be so easy after all – my meal plan went down the drain. As did all culinary experiments. The most exciting dish was pasta with homemade sauce, which is tasty but definitely nothing to boast about.
For those of you who have never had a cast – cast removal after 6 weeks of immobilisation ist bizarre. Your limb feels as though gravity has no effect and it is floating above your head. It misses its tight cocoon. The stiffness of your joints coming out of a cast is also fascinating. I could hardly move my wrist in any angle. Another fun fact of post cast life: the emerging limb is a lot hairier than before! That’s right – black hair is suddenly everywhere and makes you feel 1/4 bear, without the perks of being able to roar or elegantly catch fish.
Anyways, this syrup definitely needs two hands to make – picking elderflowers with one hand might prove tricky (I even found it difficult with two hands..). Elderflower syrup is an essential ingredient for one of the most refreshing summer drinks on this side of the world – a Hugo = Prosecco + ederflower syrup +fresh mint + soda. Need I say more?
What is your favorite childhood dessert? I’m sure you all have at least one fond sweet memory of either your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen. There are many classic Swiss/German “children’s” desserts I (think) was deprived of in my childhood. Ok, that was phrased wrongly, as you know I was a fussy eater. My elders knew better than to serve me a bowl of something that would come right back their way.
Milchreis (rice pudding) was one of them, rote Grütze (something like a red fruit jelly) the other. After a recent birthday party filled with childhood memories, I decided to see what I missed out on all these years and attempted the latter. Conclusion: Aside from the adult-tailored lemony addition (which is amazing, but not child-friendly), I’m pretty sure I would have liked it back then.
Raspberry “Jelly” with Lemon Mascarpone
adapted from Wildeisen
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
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
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