Category Archives: Restaurants

Sunday Suppers: Potsticker Soup

Saturday, we took an excursion to Boston to see the Huntington Theatre’s matinee of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The plan was to have a quick lunch at the Prudential Center’s Food Court before the show. Our usual favorite there is a bowl of Boston Chowda chowder, but as we passed through, I noticed a new place, CheeseBoy, serving grilled cheese sandwiches, a favorite of mine. It was fast, but tasty! I had a simple grilled cheese (American cheese on Italian bread) with pickles added. Howard had a fancier grilled cheese sandwich (Cheddar on rye) with bacon and pickles. All around, a good fine.

Sometimes, after a matinee, we’ll stay in the city for dinner, but we headed home to relieve Bella. We decided on more fast food for dinner. Five Guys opened nearby in Burlington, and we wanted to check it out. We made the mistake of ordering regular hamburgers, instead of little ones. That’s a double instead of a single, and a single would have been plenty. Next time, we’ll know.

So, today, healthier homemade food seemed in order. There’s nothing like a soup when trying to eat a lighter meal. I found a bag of Trader Joe’s potstickers in the freezer, so I put together an Asian-flavored soup. Chicken stock was simmered with aromatics to flavor the broth. Then, I added carrots and leeks and cooked them until they were no longer crispy. Then, the frozen dumplings cooked in the broth. Finally, I wilted baby spinach in the soup, garnished the bowl with cilantro and Sriracha, and it was dinner. The soup was hearty, but at the same time, not heavy, and most importantly, delicious!

Potsticker Soup
Serves 4

8 cups chicken stock
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons black vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
3 or 4 carrots, peeled and sliced thin on the diagonal
1 leek, white and light green part only, quartered and sliced thin
1 pound bag of frozen potstickers (chicken, pork, or vegetable)
4 cups baby spinach, washed
Cilantro leaves

In a large soup pot, combine chicken stock, ginger, soy sauce, sherry, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes until the broth tastes gingery.

Add the carrots and leeks and simmer until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add frozen potstickers, and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in spinach, and cook until it just wilts, just a minute or two.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves and a squirt of Sriracha.

Restaurant Review: Sweet Cheeks Q

I love barbeque. Of course, I’m completely spoiled because Howard has a genuine Klose smoker from Texas and makes some very fine meat. However, when you find amazing barbeque out, you have to take advantage, especially in the winter months when Howard’s smoker rests under a tarp.

Last fall, I read about Sweet Cheeks Q, which was going to open soon in Boston, near Fenway. One evening, after an afternoon spent in Boston, we stopped by for an early dinner. The restaurant turned out to have been open for only two weeks. What an wonderful surprise. I have to admit that we’ve returned 3 times since November. Twice for dinner and once for lunch.

This is Texas-style barbeque, rubbed with flavor and smoked long and slow. It’s served without sauce, but the meat plates are served with slices of white bread that fill with meat, pickles and onions, and slide through the sauce of your choice: tomato, vinegar, or hot.

So far, we’ve tried the pork belly, pulled pork, brisket, and ribs. They were all tender and lovely, though I think the brisket is my favorite. I’m not a big fan of brisket, but Sweet Checks Q brisket sold me. All the meat is from local farms, sustainably raised, just like what we try to eat at home.

As much as I’ve enjoyed the meat, I think it’s worth the trip to Sweet Cheeks simply for the sides. The two that I think are to die for are: Cita’s broccoli cheese casserole and the farm salad. Cita is the chef’s mother and the casserole is a mix of tender broccoli and a sort of puffy cheese mixture. The farm salad is seared Brussels sprout leaves and arugula tossed with candied hazelnuts, cooked faro, and grapes and a shallot vinaigrette. I could eat an entire bowl of just salad. The mac and cheese is pretty good too, similar to the broccoli casserole with noodles for the veg.

Leftovers have come home with us on all our trips so far, but on our latest visit, we finally tried dessert. We got the giant nutter butter which is a large peanut butter cookie that everyone at the table shared .

I don’t like to take pictures of my food in restaurants, so you’ll have to visit and see for yourself. So, before the Red Sox season opens, I strongly suggest you get yourself over to Sweet Cheeks and try it out. Get there early. On our two dinner visits, we arrived ridiculously early (before 5:30 pm) and the restaurant was packed by 6 pm. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.