Chilebrown at home


Let's get Cookin!!!

Monday, February 8, 2016


What a yawner of a game. Fumbles, turnovers and what the heck is a 'Puppy-Monkey-Baby? The highlight of our game was some bacon wrapped stuffed mushrooms. The stuffing was cream cheese and some home made sausage from our friend Jim. Recipe here. Congratulations to the Denver Broncos for your victory and please bring back Prince at halftime.

Saturday, February 6, 2016


Beefy Stroganoff is on the plate today. This is an easy but decadent dish to warm the souls and bellies of a cold Mad Meat Genius who is longing for spring and the beginning of bbq season. This comforting dish will be made with some very special aged USDA choice sirloin steak procured from Willowside Meats of Santa Rosa. In the Mad Meat Genius tradition we do not actually follow a recipe but just wing it following some basic guidelines. I will provide these guidelines below. Please feel to add or subtract ingredients to your whim.

Beefy Stroganoff
  • 1 1/2 pds of sirloin steak sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup wine
  • 1 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 pound of mushrooms sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste

Season the sliced beef with salt and pepper. Stir in flour to coat beef. We then brown the seasoned and flour dusted beef in a pan  heated high with a couple tablespoons of oil. The goal is to sear and brown but not fully cook the beef. The beef is cooked for approximately one minute a side. The beef is removed and reserved.

Turn down the heat of the pan to medium and add another tablespoon of oil. Add onions, mushrooms and garlic and sautéed briefly. You will notice beautiful browned fond leftover from the beef cooking. Watch the color of this fond to not burn. When it turns a very deep brown add the wine to deglaze. Simmer mixture until wine is almost evaporated. Stir in your beef broth. Simmer for six or 7 minutes. The mixture should thicken to a wonderful thin gravy like consistency. Taste and season appropriately. Return the beef and drippings to the pans and simmer for 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream. It is time to eat.

This wonderful dish was served over egg noodles. This is the perfect dish for a cold, wet, wintery day. I cannot emphasize how wonderful the beef flavor is with our aged sirloin. The sour cream adds a decadence to a beefy explosion of flavors. You are saying to yourself, how rich this dish is when all of a sudden a bite of mushrooms & onions, that have a slightly fresh tang from the wine, will just get up and hit you; BAMM. I am in Beefy Stroganoff heaven.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


We have been having a lot of fun experiencing the intense flavor of Berkshire pork. We returned to the Hanson Family Farms market booth and procured some Berkshire pork ribs. The ribs were St. Louis style cut and frozen. This was a small rack and only weighed in at just under two pounds. I am not sure if this was a small pig or if this is typical of the breed. The cost was 10 dollars a pound and set us back almost a Jefferson. These special ribs would be cooked in our trusty smoker. Let's build a fire.

We used apple wood chunks as our wood flavoring smoke today. The ribs were seasoned with our rub of the day. I did not trim a lot of fat leaving more fat than usual. I was concerned of the small size of this rack. It was thin. The ribs stayed in the smoker for two hours. They looked and smelled fantastic. These ribs would not be sauced. We wanted to experience the true Berkshire flavor with no distractions. We brought them inside for a very long 20 minute rest period.

The flavor of Berkshire pork is something that really needs to be experienced. This was no exception. The tenderness today was not a high scorer. It did fall of the bone but had a little chew to the bite. I believe this was because of the size and the technique of our cook. This rack was devoured and enjoyed. Would I buy Berkshire pork ribs again and would they do well in competition? To have a chance in competition these ribs would have to be bigger with more meat. They would have to be of consistent size to insure proper cooking technique to achieve ultimate tenderness. I personally will not buy these ribs again. We did love the flavor but at 10 dollars a pound a wonderful Berkshire chop would be preferred.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


We are making some cornbread with some freshly ground cornmeal from  ‘Bloody Butcher Corn’. Bloody Butcher Corn is something with such a fun name I could not pass this up at the farmers market. It was procured from ‘Full Belly Farms. This is an organic heirloom variety of dent corn. Dent corn is a field variety known for its high starch content. This variety dates back to the 1800’s. The name Bloody Butcher gets its influence from the blood red kernels of the corn. It has been coarsely ground leaving a beautiful red flecked cornmeal.  Let’s make some cornbread.

I will refer you to a past post for the cornbread recipe. (Recipe Here).  I changed the recipe slightly by using a half cup more of the Bloody Butcher and a half cup less of the white flour. This cornmeal is really colorful. The batter has a red hue that really catches your eye. The house smelled wonderful with roasted corn aroma as the bread baked.  The cornbread had a beautiful reddish hue as it emerged from the oven. This particular bread turned out a little denser than normal possibly because of the flour ratios. The flavor department went to the top floor on this bread. Deep rich corn flavor delivered  with this wonderful bread. Ms. Goofy made some honey butter to make this a decadent accompaniment to our meal. I think I will attempt to make some polenta next.

Friday, January 29, 2016


All is quiet on the bbq front. Things may be dormant in the bbq competition world but that does not stop our bbq cookers from cranking out fantastic meals. Ms. Goofy gifted me an assortment of Snake River Farms steaks for Christmas. We broke out the filet mignon last night. Oh what a beefy treat. These were so tender and rich with 'Umami' flavor. (Umami, for the non-hipster crowd, is a term that describes a savory delicious flavor). Did anybody mention, I love steak?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


We have 'Macon Bacon' on the table today, another bacon themed product from Tres Bien Cremery, which we found at our local farmers market..The label promises real bacon and cheese, two of my favorite ingredients.The ingredients are few with no preservatives added.  At 32 dollars a pound this better be good. We will give this a test run with some burgers.

The wrapper is removed to reveal a smoky bacon fragrance. I take a small nibble and yes I do taste bacon. The bacon is chopped very fine too also give this cheese a little texture. Cheese and bacon as promised and delivered with Macon Bacon. A couple of chunks are used to top a burger. It melts fine enough. The cheese is good but the bacon flavor and textue gets a little lost with the burger. This cheese and bacon product from Tres Bien Creamery is fine enough but at 32 dollars a pound I will pass.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


The football playoffs are about to begin. It may be a good idea to lay a brunch foundation for all of the revelry and couch coaching ahead. We are going to Sunday brunch at the Galileo Club in Richmond California. My application was recently put in for an associate membership. I have been accepted and only have to attend the business meeting to make it official. I can only apply for an associate membership even though I love pasta, Dean Martin and grew up in the Rockridge District an Italian neighborhood. My heritage is not Italian but I am privileged and honored to be accepted as an associate member. We now have dining privileges and will be partaking in Sunday brunch.

The Galileo Club was founded in 1932 in Richmond California. Richmond has seen better days.  During World War II this neighborhood thrived with its ship building community. The building is plain except for its marquee sign and Italian colors but once inside you are amazed at the beauty and warmth of this social club. There are two large halls with bars, amenities and even several bocce ball courts. Then there is the main dining hall where the food action happens. Let the brunch begin.

What a spread we have today. Eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, pancakes, potatoes, mimosas, and even a special station for biscuits & gravy were available. Now that is what I am talking about. There was a very special station of home baked goods made by the women’s auxiliary. Cakes, cookies and my all-time favorite, biscotti made for many choices. I had to use restraint with all this great food. I did grab a piece of fruit to make this a healthy meal. This was the perfect way to start out a football Sunday. Look out couch, here I come.