Spargel und Schinkli
When I took Home Economics in the eighth and ninth grade, we were bussed to another school halfway across town because ours lacked kitchen facilities.
Highlights of our cooking included taco salad (a bag of corn chips emptied onto iceberg lettuce) and orange smoothies (frozen orange juice concentrate from a can, mixed with ice cream and raw eggs).
During the smoothie class, some students stole cans of orange concentrate, and emptied them out the window of the bus onto unsuspecting cars while we drove back to our school.
When Sam took the equivalent Swiss cooking classes, the students costed their menus, visited the supermarkets themselves, and made their meals according to their budget.
He was not allowed to use store bought mayonnaise and had to make his from scratch.
Our "textbook" was a few stapled sheets of paper.
Sam's was the classic recipe book Tip Topf, a standard for all Swiss classrooms—also in the Romandie (Croqu'Menu) and Ticino (Cosa Bolle in Pentola?, which translates as What Bubbles in the Pot? but basically means What's Cooking?).
Make your own Mayonnaise
The sauce chapter of Tip Topf details how to make your own mayonnaise, and it's this recipe that I typically use today.
I know it's much easier to buy a tube, but impossibly light, creamy, homemade mayo is not only more delicious, it's also surprisingly easy to make, especially with an immersion blender.
Pair it with ham, asparagus, and a poached egg for a perfect light spring dinner.
150 ml oil
1 tsp lemon juice
more salt and pepper to season
With an immersion blender or food processor:
Crack the egg into a tall bowl or measuring cup.
Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend the egg with the salt for a few minutes, until thick.
With the blender running continuously, pour the oil in a very slow stream. Keep blending until thick and creamy.
Use just the egg yolk. Crack this into a tall bowl or measuring cup.
Blend the egg with the salt for a few minutes, until thick.
While continuously whisking, drip the oil in drop by drop. Don't stop whisking, and don't add more than a dribble at a time or the mixture will not thicken.
Once all the oil is incorporated, blend in the lemon juice. Taste, and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Keep refrigerated until use.
- If you are making this by hand and prefer a thicker mayonnaise, only use the yolks.
- Canola, sunflower, or groundnut oils are a good choice. You can also mix oils, adding the last 30 ml as oilve oil.
- You can add different flavourings to your mayo like a teaspoon of dijon mustard or chopped garlic.
- If necessary, replace raw eggs with pasteurized.
1 quick Nuss Schinkli (also called Rollschinken or Rollschinkli), cooked according to the package instructions
1 bundle asparagus, lightly steamed
1 batch homemade mayonnaise, recipe above
1 poached egg per person
Slice the cooked ham very thinly and arrange on your plate.
Once the asparagus are steamed to your liking, then arrange on the ham.
Add a generous dollop of mayonnaise.
Top with a poached egg.
- Nuss Schinkli are super easy boil in a bag hams that are already cooked, and you warm them up for about an hour in simmering water. You can also wrap them in dough and bake them (recipe here).
- Wondering what part of the pig the Schinkli comes from? Here's my post on Swiss (German) Cuts of Pork (and there's also Swiss (German) Cuts of Beef).