Wednesday, December 4, 2013
This morning the thermometer is stuck on 31 degrees. It is pretty rare that we have such a frosty awakening in sunny California. Luckily, I had the foresight to plant my Ghost peppers in a pot. This will make it easy to move my precious peppers under our covered patio to protect them from the chilly frost. While I was transporting these fiery capsicum bombs I noticed several beautiful multicolored semi-ripe peppers. What should I do to preserve them? How about making some Ghost pepper salt?
This idea is not original. In fact preserving things in salt has been around for a very long time even before the conception of the'World Wide Web'. My inspiration comes from Leah (*Tierra Vegetables' ) at the Ferry Plaza. Leah has taken several different breeds of peppers and pureed them. She adds the puree to kosher salt. That's it. We purchased the Ghost pepper salt. You would not believe how fresh and fragrant this salt smells. It also is very, very, very hot. This flavored salt is not for the chile pepper challenged. This will be great used as a finishing salt or as a seasoning marinade. I can think of numerous food applications.
I will attempt to make some of my own Ghost pepper salt later today. But first I am going jump back under the covers because it is cold outside.
Monday, December 2, 2013
‘Celebrate Food’ is the opening proclamation of Hog Heaven sauces. Hog Heaven is created for ‘Foodies’ and is ‘A Sauce for Life’. All we care about is does it taste good? This is the million dollar question we will answer today. Hog Heaven is a company run by Ira Pupko. He is well known in Southern California competition bbq circles. Ira has used his barbeque skills and knowledge to create several, fat free, all natural, preservative free and gluten free bbq sauces. His line of Hog Heaven sauces has several different flavors; Apple Chipotle, Apricot Jalapeno, Original Smokehouse, and Smokehouse Heat. We will try the bold Original Smokehouse on some beef ribs cooked on our new 14.5 Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. I cannot wait. Let’s fire up the grill.
Tomato paste molasses, sugar, distilled vinegar, water, natural smoke flavor, salt, contains less than 2 % each of the following, onion powder, black pepper spices, cayenne pepper are the listed ingredients.
Aroma & Texture;
Smoky tomatoes and molasses leaps from the open bottle top to say ‘Hello’. The barbeque has started even though we have not even lit the fire. The aroma is pleasant. This is a very thick, dark, smooth sauce that pours freely from the bottle.
This is a well balanced sauce. I was a little concerned that the smoke would overpower. This was not the case. The components, tomatoes, sugar, molasses, vinegar, and natural smoke meld together forming a serious bold flavor. This flavor screams barbeque and I am hungry.
Chilebrown has a brand new Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. We have been having a lot of fun cooking various meats to break in this new smoker. Beef ribs would be smoked for approximately three hours to a very tender and succulent state. We smothered the ribs with the ‘Smokehouse’ sauce and returned them to the smoker for several minutes to set the sauce. Have you ever seen a grown man cry with tears of happiness? We were in beef rib nirvana. This sauce is bold and stood up to the rich juicy ribs. It added sweetness with the molasses. The vinegar added a freshness to perk up the flavors to greatness. This was barbeque flavor that we love. Houston we have a lift-off.
Hog Heavens Smokehouse bbq sauce is a bold sauce with smokey molasses and tomato flavor. It was perfect for our beef ribs. It would be a good match for any beef cut that you wanted to barbeque. I believe this sauce would be good to flavor a pot of bbq beans. Ira Pupko of Hog Heaven Sauces has created a sauce that the Chilebrown household proudly endorses. We cannot wait to try the other flavors.
Hog Heaven Sauces
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Do you remember that first kiss? I can remember my first experience with hot sauce and it was with ‘El Yucateco’. It was 30 years ago in Berkeley California at the ‘Santa Fe Bar & Grill’. A young Mark Miller was the chef. We bravely ordered grilled beef hearts. This tasty dish was served with ‘El Yucateco’ sauce as an accompaniment. We loved the heat and the flavor of the sauce more than the beef hearts. The seed has been planted. After this encounter, I have used El Yucateco on almost everything. The hot sauce industry has flourished and grown over the years. I may have strayed to sample and use other sauces. Sometimes we take for granted our roots. Today we will return to an old favorite ‘El Yucateco Chile Habanero’.
Water, habanero peppers, salt, acetic ac., spices, xanthan gum, citric ac, onion powder, sodium benzoate, as a preservative, FD&C yellow no5 , calcium disodium edta, and FD&C blue no1 are the listed ingredients.
Aroma & Texture:
This is a familiar odor that brings back memories. It is an odor of habanero mash distinctly to El Yucateco. It is a thick puree that pours freely from the bottle. No seeds are present. The color is of a bright green that almost glows. This color is not natural but created by dyes. The color is unique and an El Yucateco signature.
This flavor is the nectar and sting of the habanero pepper. How can I describe this staple of thousands of restaurants and home pantries? This sauce does have the electricity and bite of the habanero pepper. The habanero flavor prevails but in the background onions are present. This sauce tastes vibrant, fresh and familiar. The heat shouts the beautiful habanero song of fire..
The habanero sting elevates its playful fire to raise the heat meter to 3 stars out of 5
I have been known to use El Yucateco on almost everything that is edible. Today a special corn dog from a local ‘Carniciera’, bacon & guacamole sandwich and a burger will receive the El Yucateco treatment.
This corn dog was made at a specialty butcher. It is an all beef hot dog that is encrusted in a corn meal crust. This corn dog was very tasty. With El Yucateco my senses were awaken with pepper fire and habanero flavor. I kept adding more sauce. Was I eating a corn dog or just the sauce?
Guacamole is perfect for El Yucateco. I do not consider avocado boring but with the addition of El Yucateco, bacon, mayo and a great roll, we have a fiery sandwich that pleases and teases the senses.
The basic burger became the habanero delight burger with the addition of our sauce. This burger would make J. Wellington Wimpy ask for a hamburger today. (I will gladly pay you Tuesday).
El Yucateco Habanero Chile is a hot sauce that has been around for a long time. It is a staple at many restaurants. I always keep a bottle in my refrigerator. There is a reason for this. El Yucateco Habanero Chile is a great hot sauce. It is hot and is tasty with habanero flavor. There is nothing fancy about it. It is what we love. It goes great with everything. El Yucateco has many other flavors that we would like to share with you in the future.
El Yucateco hot sauces can be bought almost everywhere
Monday, November 25, 2013
The Ferry Plaza in San Francisco is the ultimate foodie paradise. Browsing the many farm stands and shopping at the numerous food purveyors is always an inspiration. 'Rancho Gordo' was our motivation for dinner tonight. Rancho Gordo specializes in dried heirloom beans. So many colors and unique strains of the all tasty legumes are available. They even have several hot sauces to sweeten this deal. Some fresh made corn tortillas made with heirloom corn caught our eye. La Paloma hot sauce, a house salsa would also be added to the cart. The obvious meal to us would be tacos.
A quick stop at our local 'Carniceria' provided some thinly sliced beef that will be perfect for the barbeque. The meal will be simple. Onions, meat and tortillas will all be kissed with hot mesquite fire. This combination will be assembled and slathered with our hot sauce The meat was seasoned with spices. The grill was oiled. The cooking time was short. It was time to eat.
The La Paloma hot sauce was a very mild and tasty sauce. This sauce was made with mild ripe New Mexican chile's. It was perfect for our tacos. The tortillas had a wonderful nutty corn flavor. A trip to the Ferry Plaza was our inspiration for a simple, easy, and so very tasty taco dinner. This is how we roll.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Ms. Goofy and I are both retired from our career jobs at the salt mines. We have plenty of free time for leisure activities and especially for 'Meat Adventures'. The Racing Honda has been screaming on all cylinders lately. Our latest adventure brought us to El Salchiero. This meat emporium has wonderfully different flavored quality bacon. Our latest acquisition is a honey habanero bacon. This combination definitely caught my eye. On the way home, Ms. Goofy had her pedal to the metal, so we could taste our new bacon.
Our trusty black iron pan was emitting a sweet aroma of honey while these rashers cooked. These slices were very meaty. There was a huge sugar/honey content because the bacon began to color and caramelize immediately. We turned the heat to low to not scorch our prize. Bacon avocado sandwiches on a jalapeno cheese roll would be our tasting vehicle. This bacon was sourced by superior quality pigs demonstrated by the flavor of the meat. The meat had a slightly mild beefy type flavor. The habanoeo flavor was present and gave this bacon a very pleasant pepper bite. The sweetness tamed the flame to make this one of the most unique and flavorful bacon ever. What a treat. Till the next Meat Adventure.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
It is Christmas in November at the Chilebrown household. A brand new 14.5 Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker was delivered to our doorstep by the UPS man. I do feel like a kid on Christmas day. I have that tingling nostalgic like feeling that comes from opening and playing with that new toy. This is no toy but the newest model of a smoker created by the Weber corporation. The Smokey Mountain Cooker is a popular smoker that is used by competitors and serious backyard cookers. They come in various sizes and this 14.5 inch grate size is the smallest. The smaller size makes is portable and will use less fuel (charcoal) than the larger models. This 2014 model was only released weeks ago and I was one of the first in line to purchase one. Let's unwrap this barbeque and get cookin.
We built an initial fire to set the paint and burn off any possible contaminants. Our second fire would cook some chicken and Romanesco cauliflower. We also had a casserole of potatoes, onions and bacon positioned underneath our chicken to be smoked and capture the dripping chicken love. We used some peach wood for our smoke. We only needed two full chimneys of charcoal and two cubes of smoking wood. Our little cooker worked like a charm. It bellowed out plumes of smoke. It was the little engine that could sitting next to its larger brothers. Our cooking time was an hour and one half. We were rewarded with tender, juicy smoked chicken. What a treat!
A prime pork roast from U.C. Davis Meat Labs was our next cook. Hickory wood was our flavor tonight. Once again our new cooker did its magic. We are proud to announce a new addition to the Chilebrown arsenal of smokers. What should we cook next?