Archive | April, 2012

Boston Marinade

16 Apr

ImageWhen we first moved to Boston, I noticed steak tips on the menu in all the local restaurants. This was new to me, something I hadn’t seen anywhere else I had lived (Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, New Jersey). The meat was grilled and served with fries or on salad or by itself — but it was served everywhere.  It was grilled with some kind of sauce that smelled fantastic, but it wasn’t barbecue.  I decided to try to duplicate the sauce, and in the process, came up with this marinade.  I have no idea if this is what is used on steak tips in the Boston area, but once I came up with this, I started using it all the time:

3/4 cup soy sauce (gluten-free works fine)

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Combine in a glass pan, 9 x 13.

Before you add the meat, taste the sauce and make sure it is balanced. This combination tastes great all by itself, but if you want to add 1/4 tsp powdered garlic and ginger, you can.  (I suggest powdered because fresh garlic and ginger will stick to the grill.)

Trim and marinate whatever cut of meat you plan to use in this mixture and let it sit in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes, more if possible.  Then grill as you usually do.

If you like, you can use the remaining marinade as a sauce: when all the meat is grilled, put the marinade in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Let it boil for at least a minute, and pour it over the meat.  (Or you can make a second batch of marinade to use just for the sauce, if you prefer.)

I like the way this sauce tastes with beef, but it would work with lamb or chicken or even salmon steaks.

It also tastes great with grilled vegetables.  I often grill thick slices of zucchini or pattipan squash and serve it along with the meat.

In fact, if you don’t eat meat at all, you could use the sauce with grilled vegetables, like portobello mushroom caps or thick slices of red onion.

By Randa Dubnick

Image is “Quick View of Boston (Digital Woodcut)” by Randa Dubick

All rights reserved.


Grandma Aptaker’s Chicken Soup with Matza Balls

6 Apr


A few weeks after I got married, my husband’s family came to visit. We lived in a studio apartment in family housing at the University of Colorado in Boulder. I gave Grandma Aptaker a tour of my tiny kitchen (smaller than a coat closet).  She asked me what I had cooked so far, and I told her that I had made green chili. (I am saving my adventures with the green chili recipe for another post.) I was very proud of my green chili, but Grandma Aptaker just looked and me and said, “Vat den, you don’ make chicken soup?”

I told her that I didn’t yet know how.

A few months later, during a visit home to Pueblo, Grandma Aptaker showed me how to make chicken soup.  I listened and watched, and I wrote down what she said and did.  That was the first time I transcribed one of her recipes.  I have always used her recipe to make chicken soup with knaidlach (matza balls) and here it is, just as I wrote it down that day:

Chicken Soup with Knaidlach

Boil together for 1 hour:

1 chicken, 8 cups water (to cover), 1 onion, 1 stalk celery, 2-3 quartered carrots.

Remove chicken and celery.  Season with salt and paper.

While soup is cooking, make knaidlach (matza balls):

Mix 4 eggs, 3/4 cup matzo meal, salt and pepper.

Drop by teaspoonfulls into boiling water (NOT INTO SOUP — it will absorb all the liquid), cover and cook for twenty minutes.

NOTE: You can double the recipe (I usually do), but don’t add too much water.  I usually add extra carrots and celery.

By Randa Dubnick

Image is Matza Ball Soup, drawing by Randa Dubnick

(All rights reserved.)