When Andrea Golden was in college at Virginia’s George Mason University, her best friend had a cute boyfriend. The boyfriend had a twin.
Andrea and Mark Golden will celebrate their 15th anniversary in October. And besides producing three adorable children, one of their greatest projects has been merging their two cultures through food.
Andrea grew up in the Philippines and came to the United States at the age of 12. She is number six out of seven children in her big Catholic family. Mark is one of four boys who grew up outside Princeton, N.J. in a Jewish family.
Andrea was raised on the vinegary stew called “adobo,” on the various noodle dishes called “pancit” and on spring roll-like “lumpia.” Mark was raised on typical American fare and Jewish specialties such as brisket.
“The very first time she cooked for me she made chicken adobo,” Mark says. “ It was awesome.”
Over the years, Mark has learned to make a mean adobo himself. And Andrea – who is a vegetarian — has perfected the art of brisket, not to mention matzo ball soup. Rather than keep all this goodness to themselves, they regularly share it with friends and family during holidays and at their Friday Shabbat dinners.
“For Shabbat we don’t do just Jewish food,” Andrea says, remembering a recent tofu stir-fry. “We’re trying to capture the spirit of Shabbat. It can be anything that brings our family together.”
— Text by Michele Kayal
— AFR video by Carol Hallowell
Andrea Golden used brisket as a way to understand her husband's Jewish culture and to create a family tradition. When it's cooking, the aroma of beef and wine fills the whole house. Andrea adapted this recipe from one by the Food Network's Tyler Florence.
- 1 (4-pound) beef brisket, first cut
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
- 3/4 bottle dry red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
- 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Drizzle brisket liberally with olive oil, then season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.
Place a large Dutch oven or heavy-based pot over medium-high heat and add roughly 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot, place the meat in the pot and sear on both sides to form a brown crust. Remove from pot and set aside.
Add carrots, onion and celery to the pot. Brown the vegetables, then add garlic, tomatoes, red wine, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and parsley.
Add the brisket back to the pot. Cover and place in the oven for 3 hours, or until the meat falls apart when touched with a fork.
Remove the brisket to a serving platter and let it rest for 15 minutes. Strain out the vegetables and pour off some of the fat. Pour remaining liquid over the brisket.
Slice the brisket across the grain and serve.
This bare bones recipe is the one Andrea Golden used when she first introduced her husband Mark to the Filipino food she grew up with. Mark later perfected his own version.
- 1 pound chicken thighs
- Handful minced garlic
- Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup light soy sauce
- 2 bay leaves, broken into pieces
Rub the chicken with garlic and pepper. In a bowl, stir together vinegar, soy sauce and bay leaf. Put the chicken in a pot and cover with liquid mixture. Cook on low heat for 1 hour, or until meat is cooked through.