How to Cook Everything: Hospital During this most recent ongoing stay in the hospital, just after they announced that I would need to receive three days of IV steroids to suppress my one-again misfiring immune system until it stops bludgeoning my body to death from the inside, I had a revelation: three days of IV drugs, and short ribs sous codes at 129 degrees cook ideally for 72 hours. Coincidence? Or golden opportunity.
This is an untapped market to introduce modernist cooking techniques, dishes, and ingredients to one of the last untouched venues for food--the hospital. The precision equipment in a hospital, the highly trained technicians, and the interminable lengths of time provide a fertile opportunity for the hospital cook, especially considering that hospital food is almost universally and deservedly reviled as some of the worst fucking food on the planet.
Here is a Menu for Modernist Cuisine From Your Hospital Bed.
72 Hour Sous Vide Short Ribs and Intravenous Steroids
1. Separate Boneless Short Ribs into one pound portions. Vacuum seal, preferably double-bagging to avoid the risk of a leak ruining the short ribs.
2. Start your immersion circulator to prepare a water bath at 129 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bagged short ribs in water bath, covering your pot with tin foil to reduce evaporation.
3. Prepare an IV mixture of 1 gram methylprednisolone sodium and 100mL sodium chloride. 0.9% (normal saline) to infuse at 100mL/hr over 60 minutes. Flush the IV site with a syringe of saline. Repeat every 24 hours for 72 hours, monitoring for effect.
4. After final IV infusion, remove short ribs from water bath and remove from vacuum bags, drying on sterile gauze pads. Chill in the nurses break room fridge until ready to serve, and then proceed to sear.
5. IF SEARING USING DEFIBRILLATOR PADDLES: place short ribs on a non-conductive surface, such a clean medical plastic bedpan. Place electrodes on short rib surface; they will be applied either via solid gel or wet gel; either will provide a sufficient sear. Charge the defibrillator and deliver shocks until the desired crust is achieved. Serve immediately. There is no need to rest meat prepared via sous vide and defibrillator paddle.
6. IF SEARING USING MEDICAL AIR OR PURE OXYGEN. The best quality dear can be applied via the judicious use of medical air, or preferably, pure oxygen. This is not recommended if you are lightheaded, fatigued, or having trouble holding steady, as misdirected gouts of pure oxygenated flame has deleterious effects upon your short ribs, life, and hospital complex. Medical air, which is essentially clean breathing air, is safer, due to it being primarily oxygen, but it will result in a less satisfying sear, albeit one that is easier to survive.
Light the air on fire and apply to short rib surface until desired crust is achieved. Plate and serve as quickly after treating your burns as possible. Your burns do not need to rest before being served.
7. serve with a single packed slice of white bread, and apple juice.
Sous Vide Pruno
The equipment used for modernist cuisine and the relative lack of guards tossing one's hospital room coupled with easy access to fruit cocktail, fruit, sugar, and ketchup packets, makes your room the ideal place to make homemade artisanal hootch. Whether it's advisable to drink shitty illicit alcohol in your condition on that blend of antibiotic load is up to you and your doctor, who you can conveniently summon 34 hours a day at any stage in this process by pressing that big red button right there on your bed. Sous vide pruno will probably make your heart palpitations worse, so please make sure you're keeping up with your metoprolol prescription. The last thing you want is the feeling that you're going to die hard hung your pruno buzz.
1. Get a shitload of oranges, as much fruit cocktail or sliced peaches as you can, at least five ketchup packets, and 60 packets of sugar. Peel the oranges, and toss everything into a large sealable medical specimen bag.
2. Add a couple slices of individually packaged white bread into the mix, to provide enough yeast to get the process running.
3. Seal the bag, and pound to a pulp. If you're not very strong and have the joint pain that accompanies lupus, using the rolling blood pressure machine as a ersatz rolling pin is an excellent shortcut here.
4. Immerse the bag for 15-30 minutes in tap-hot water. If you are doing sous vide short ribs and intravenous steroids at the same time, you can add this to the water as well; 129 is a perfect temperature. Please make sure while dunking the bag in the water that you don't dunk your IV site into the water; immersing it in water can foul the site and ruin the recipe.
5. After 15-30 minutes, remove bag from water and place in a warm secure spot, wrapped in the thin shitty scratchy blanket provided for your hospital bed; this is a much better use for it than trying to count on it to work as a blanket. Love the pruno bag perhaps under your adjustable hospital bed in a place where it will not get crushed as you continually readjust your hospital bed in a quixotic attempt to find the most comfortable position available, which is always not the position you're in at the moment.
6. Sous vide the bag daily for 15-30 minutes, returning to your hiding place after each cook session. Do this for 5-7 days, venting the bag of excess gas from time to time periodically as the bag inflates.
7. Strain through three sheets of sterile medical gauze, into an unused bedside urinal (basically a little pitcher that attached to the side of your bed for people to pee into if they're not able to walk to the bathroom).
8. Drink at your leisure.
9. Call your doctor. Please. They should know what you've done and how it will affect your treatment while there's still time, and they're going to wonder why you're blind, incoherent, and can't stop crying.
In the tradition of Japanese cream puffs Beard Papa, dessert is cream puffs assembled right at your hospital bed.
Once again using the medical air spigot at your bed, cream puffs can be injected fresh upon demand, filling a choux pastry shell with your choice of whipped cream custard. Assemble at your leisure. Consume immediately. Please just make sure to use the medical air, as the pure oxygen will over-aerate the custard and run the risk of breaking.