Friday, December 25, 2009

There will be posts...

But probably in 2010.

We're going to Ukraine soon and and I'm so excited! This is because in Ukraine, New Year is a major holiday. It is like Christmas is in America. Except that it's sorta like Christmas+Halloween+Thanksgiving+New Year. Yeah. And my BF's mom is a really good cook, so I'm sure I'm going to get to learn lots of cool Russian, Tatar and Ukrainian recipes. Which I will then blog about!

I've been looking through my collection of "draft" posts, and there are a lot of recipes that I want to try. I just feel so much more motivated to cook when the really nice spring and summer produce starts to arrive. (And when I'm not sick, and when my apartment isn't messy...for some reason it's always messier in the winter?)

The most exciting food news lately was that we continued our fledgling tradition of going to a certain restaurant on Christmas Eve for meat fondue. Lots of meat, with 7 different sauces to dip it in, fresh tasty fries, bread and--of course--good red wine. I'm really glad we thought to start that one!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Geneva Restaurant Review: Palais du Saigon (Ferney)

This has very quickly become a favorite. An office mate introduced me and the BF to this place, oh, two weeks ago? Since we've been there twice for dinner and once for lunch.

The biggest reason why? It's cheap (for here). And still quite tasty.

First Impression: Nice looking, if quite typical, Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant. Not very big, but big enough. From the outside it's quite easy to miss. We drove by it several times before being introduced to it by someone else! They are always busy, which is a sign of it's popularity. Nice: they have their own parking lot, you don't have to look for a spot on the street. The only downside is that from where we live you have to take the car, not the bus.

Food: More than reasonably tasty. I think we've tried almost every single soup, and I like them all. They have pho, but it's not as good as in the states. Certainly hits the spot when you have a craving, though. Beef, chicken, scallops, pork and tofu dishes have all been delicious. I really loved the scallops. Portions on the main dishes are big enough to share with one other person if you get a side of rice/noodles and each get an appetizer/soup first.

Drink: Haven't tried the wine list. I always stick with H2O when it comes to Asian food. BF has had beer, Tsing Tao. He liked it.

Price: For this area, it is very, very reasonable. We're talking 20 euros a person for dinner, 10 euros a person with the lunch special! (I know my fellow Americans are probably fainting at that "cheap" dinner price, but here it is, especially for what you get.)

Interesting: They also seem to do a bustling to-go business. Will have to try that out!

Consensus: Love it! I really do like to go every week. We get to eat out without feeling guilty for blowing a ton of money.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


These are Russian hamburger patties/meatballs. They are simple, fast and extremely delicious, especially with mashed potatoes.

1 small onion
50 g bread, stale is ok
Milk enough to soak the bread (~1/3 c)
About 400 g ground beef
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying onions (just a little) and patties (a lot, enough for shallow frying)
Flour for dredging

Let the bread soak up all the milk. It should be soft enough to just be mush, like oatmeal consistency. While it's soaking, fry the onion, diced. I let the onion get a little brown. Mix the bread, onion and beef very well. You should be able to form balls, but they will be a little sticky. Dredge the balls in flour, shaking off excess. Fry in the oil a few minutes each side, till just almost cooked all the way through. Let them drain on a paper towel on a plate, they will finish cooking with carry-over heat.

Notes: I love these! The salting is tricky, I'd rather undersalt than oversalt. We've had a batch both ways, and well, you can always add, but you can't take away.

Seriving Suggestion: The best with mashed potatoes, also good with bread. They are tasty cold but I prefer them warm and juicy. I even chopped up leftovers and put it on top of a plain frozen pizza; that was delicious.