Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spinning one's wheels

Sometimes, I feel like these guys:

"Oh, I'll totally have a handle on the work/studying/writing/NAQT editing/cleaning/exercising by tonight! I can cook then! No fattening snacking instead of healthful postable dinner for me tonight!" Probably should have anticipated that it was going to be a Red Queen kind of week. (Side note: the one floppy ear on the right-hand pooch is so damn cute)

I've actually been doing a lot of cooking, if not blogging. From asparagus souffle to blackberry muffins to things that did in fact get photographed, we've been eating well here in the MD Stomach kitchen. We've also been heinously busy. Andy has his quals coming up--think an oral version of Step 1, except what you have done with your life so far also counts--and I'm juggling my final core clerkship with papers and applying for away electives and trying to ignore this slight hip injury so I can finally get that double-bodyweight one-rep max on deadlift.

Add to all this the fact that on average I've been having four residency-related nightmares* a week--I show up to an interview in jeans and a T-shirt, I forget to apply because I can't decide between neuro ID and EM, I apply to one and they tell me I would only have been accepted to the other... long story short, it's corgi time. But at last, I offer some photos and recipes for those of you who eventuallymaybejustmight have time to do something with them.

First, the magic pasta dish.

Slice some Kumato tomatoes.

Trim and slice a couple oyster mushrooms.

Sear those slices until they look like this; also sear the
tomato slices until they're just soft

Boil fresh pappardelle to al dente.

Chop up some Taleggio, one of my favorite cheeses.
Mix it all together with roasted pine nuts, chopped fresh
basil, toasted sliced garlic, and lots of olive oil.


Chewy coffee caramels
1 pint heavy cream
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1 1/4 cups honey or light corn syrup or some combination
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 tsp coffee extract, or 1 tbsp reduced espresso or instant espresso

Line a 9 x 13 baking sheet with parchment paper; lightly oil the parchment paper. Melt the butter with the sugars, heavy cream, and honey/syrup in a large pot (trust me, it will more than double in volume); stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads 248 to 250 degrees F (depending on how firm you want the caramel). Remove from the heat and add the salt and extract/coffee. Mix vigorously and immediately spread on lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a tidbit more salt and cool for at least 2 hours before cutting and eating.

These were great on whole wheat buns with loads of vegetables.

Adzuki bean burgers
250 g adzuki beans, cooked until soft
1/2 bell pepper
1 very large or 2 regular carrots
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp miso paste
1 egg
zest of 1 lemon or lime
1 1/2 tbsp wheat gluten
1/3 to 1/2 cup rolled oats
wheat germ or besan to bind (I did half and half; you could probably use whole wheat flour)
paprika, cumin seeds, salt, and pepper to taste

Chop, shred, or grate the vegetables very fine. Mix everything together. Spray each side of the raw burger with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees, 10 minutes each side, until firm but still moist at the center.

And finally, a recipe for these blackberry muffins I made for the people I'm working with at Bellevue. They came out great. The best part: you can mix up the dry ingredients in batches and measure them out like homemade Bisquick. Except tastier.

Blackberry muffins
195 g flour (about 1.5 cups)
125 g sugar (about 3/4 cup)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
pinch cinnamon
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon, or whole lemon if you want it really lemony
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (or yogurt thinned with water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla if that's your thang)
2/3 to 1 cup fresh blackberries, sliced into thirds

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line 8 muffin cups. Mix together the dry ingredients. In a large liquid measuring cup, add the egg to the vegetable oil. Add buttermilk until the cup is filled to the one-cup line, then mix in lemon juice and zest and extracts. Gently mix this into the flour mixture until just blended. Toss the blackberries very well in flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the tops are just springy and a knife or toothpick comes out with crumbs clinging to it.

*Most amusing one to date: I get admitted to the locked psych unit where I'm currently working because I was insane to think I would match into a residency at all. The best part of the dream is that my (in reality ridiculously kind, exceedingly smart) attending cruelly mocked me for my protests and attempts to explain why I was not insane and should be discharged. I don't think I'm supposed to be empathizing with my patients like this.

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