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
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
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
Apologies for my failing at posting – I spent the last few weeks lost in Asia. Burma to be precise. Correction – Myanmar as they now call it (which is actually disliked by most locals). WOW, what a beautifully, diverse and extremely interesting place. A country with over 130 ethnic groups, multiple different climates, unique landscapes, thousands of pagodas (I am completely “pagoda’d” out by this point, I might even start having nightmares about them…), welcoming people, Buddha!, and so much more. Definitely worth a visit. Of course I ended the trip, like every trip to south east Asia, on a high in Bangkok – also a city worth visiting if you have not yet made it to that corner of the world. The sunset and nighttime views from the various sky bars are priceless.
However, after all this dining on asian food, I started craving a hearty homey dish. Honestly, I never thought I’d need a break from asian food, how wrong I was. So, after having arrived safely on Swiss soil, I decided to satisfy my craving asap. And this is the result. Delish – craving successfully satisfied.
Duck Breast with a Cassis – Thyme Sauce, Homemade Spätzli, Sprouts, Cinnamon Poached Apples and Cranberries
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
WE DID IT!!! My friend and I successfully ran the Race for Life yesterday evening in Battersea Park. It was such a great event with an amazing atmosphere – over 3000 people had signed up to run, jog or walk the distance :-).
I managed the 5k in just over 25 minutes… not too bad for an awful long distance runner. Thank you to everyone for your generous donations, together you helped me raise a grand total of £1’711.00 in aid of Cancer Research UK!!!! If you have not yet donated but still wish to do so, the link below is active until early September:
Moving on to today’s recipe – recently I have started taking one ingredient and basing an entire menu around it. Today’s choice: Polenta. Polenta is great in cakes and breads (nothing beats chilli with cornbread) but also makes a great side to mushroomy dishes. It reminds me of my childhood holidays in the warm italian part of southern Switzerland. The reason behind my choice of polenta is a recent dinner invitation. They served a delicious polenta/lemon/almond cake for dessert. I had two helpings (despite a starter, a main and an exploding food belly). The minute I got home I tried to find a similar recipe, determined to re-create this heavenly lemony dessert. I don’t know if it’s exactly the same recipe, but it sure tasted just as good :-). The strawberry coulis is an addition of mine, I felt the dish needed some fresh fruity sauce to round it off.
Beef Fillet, Mushrooms, Sherry Sauce, Creamy Polenta
adapted from Fast Food by Laurel Glen and Wildeisen