Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Fred, not Murphy

Those black-marinated steaks I mentioned last week were not Murphy steaks -- they were Fred's steaks, available only at Schaub's Temple for Meat, Fish & Poultry. The store is a dream, but first the steaks. In their own words:

About 40 years ago, Fred was working in his meat market in Los Gatos when he came up with a recipe for a steak marinade that was out of this world -- in both appearance and taste. True, the black seasoning didn't look eye appealing. But when he cooked on of those steaks, he discovered that the seasoning formed a crust, sealing in the juices. Steaks marinated in his secret recipe were great, but the sirloins were remarkably tender and flavorful.

Word spread about his famous "Marinated Sirloins." Soon people began coming from out of town just to try one of "Fred's Steaks." We closed that market in 1979, but customers used to stop me on the street to ask where they could get more "Fred's Steaks."

When I opened the market in Palo Alto in 1988, I was sure you would love these steaks; that's when I convinced Fred to part with the recipe.

Fred passed away in 1996, but his steaks live on. So if you enjoy them as much as I do, let me know; Fred was my dad.

I love it when food comes with a story. David Schaub, I love those steaks as much as you do! OK, but here's my guess at the secret recipe: charred aromatics. I think they grill onions, garlic, and herbs until they're carbonized, mixes it all with butter and olive oil, and then slather the mixture on. Will I ever know for sure? It's one of the great mysteries of the world.

I hereby pledge not to spend our family's entire income on more of Fred's steaks; nor on heirloom tomatoes. It will be hard, because they taste so much better than the other tomatoes and because they cost so much more than the other tomatoes.

What also tastes good is the 2004 Santa Cruz Mountains by Ridge Vineyards. We tasted it and a few others when we visited this afternoon. The views alone are worth the ride.

By the way, thanks for the good advice on Trader Joe's pizza dough. I added flour and pre-baked the crust and they came out perfectly.


Janet M Kincaid said...

Adriana: Ask your neighbors where their weekly farmers market is at. When I lived in Walnut Creek, there was an excellent one every Sunday in the parking lot of the city library. A farmers market is a great place to find heirloom tomatoes without breaking the bank.

Also, have you discovered Molly Stone's yet? Pricey, but a good source for organic yummies and obscure goodies, not to mention stuff for picnics. We use to go there often to get salads and breads and cheeses and such when we wanted something quick and light to take to the beach.

Glad to hear the pizza dough worked better this time!

Anne Bradshaw said...

Oooh, I wish I lived out your way instead of in the desert mountains. I totally love organic food and farmers market produce. We have a health food store about 20 minutes away, but it still isn't the same. Not enough variety and not always fresh.

England, before we left ten years ago, was more into organic foods than the US, and when we visited last year, we noticed things had moved forward even more. Most grocery stores carried it. I drooled. Sounds like California is fast catching up--overtaking even.