MAD MEAT GENIUS

MAD MEAT GENIUS
Chilebrown at home

Barbeque

Barbeque
Let's get Cookin!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

BOTTO BISTRO



The Mad Meat Genius received a hot tip of a local Italian restaurant called Botto Bistro. It is a local business in Richmond California that specializes in house made pastas and pizza. They also are having an ongoing battle with the 'Review site", 'Yelp". They are encouraging all patrons to post negative review on their restaurant. That is a story for another day. The Great White Hunter and I were having lunch to experience Botto Bistro.


. RAVIOLI DI RAPE E SALSICCIA ALL' AMATRICIANA $19
Homemade ravioli filled with sausage, broccoli rabe, garlic,
San Marzano tomato sauce, pancetta, onion, peperoncino.

Botto is situated on the outskirts of the Industrial area (World War II Liberty shipyards and Ford tank plant) and across the freeway from the 'Iron Triangle in a small strip mall. Parking karma was not needed on this food destination. We arrived at the opening bell at 11;00am to an empty restaurant. By the time we had left the place was full. Botto is a small place that probably seats approximately 30 diners. You place your order at the counter, pay and have a seat. House made pizza and pasta are the specialties. Paninis, salads,bread, house made foccacia and home made desserts are available. The menu is written in a sarcastic humorous tone probably because of their 'Yelp' debate?


The Great White Hunter and I both ordered the ravioli, house made foccacia and split an extra order of meatballs. We both enjoyed our lunch. The pancetta added a saltiness that added a layer of Umami. (somebody slap me for saying Umami). The sauce was the boss. Rich from the tomato and decadent with the pancetta. The raviolis were soft pillows of sausage and broccoli. They were fantastic. We used the homemade foccacia to get every last drop of the sauce.
   We really enjoyed our lunch and hope to return and try other menu items like their pizza. I noticed several other diners with their personal pizza and they looked fantastic. We have only scratched the ravioli surface of Botto Bistro.

2171 Meeker Ave,
 Richmond, CA 94804

Sunday, August 21, 2016

OAKTOWN THROWDOWN


We are in Oakland California to visit the Art & Soul Festival which is also sponsoring two KCBS bbq competitions. There is a "Professional" division four meat competition consisting of Chicken, ribs, pork and brisket. There was also a backyard division three meat competition consisting of chicken, ribs and tri-tip. Ms. Goofy and I like this event especially since this is my hometown turf. I no longer reside in Oakland but my formative years were spent in this colorful city. Yes, I am a product of the Oakland Public School System and proud of it. This event is held in the revitalized downtown area. This is not the downtown of my youth but a hipster haven of shops, clubs and trendy restaurants. Let's have some fun.





We will start with the end. Congratulations to the "Kid". Zach Galiste of the bbq competition team "Son of Smoke"/ Zach is on fire with back to back Grand Championships trophies.  Did I mention that Zach is only 18 years old. The new generation of bbq competitors have arrived. I know Zach's father Derrick is smiling ear to ear.



We finished our judging duties and experienced what the festival offered. We strolled in the cool shadows of towering office building to experience the day. Lot's of art was offered for sale. There was plenty of food to be had. There were several music stages that pumped out some soulful tunes. We even ran into Hillary Clinton. She looked a little stiff and cardboard like today.





The Art & Soul festival in Oakland is an event we look forward too. We cannot wait till next year. Congratulation to the young phenom Zach. Your dynasty has only begone. What a great day. We have to wait a whole week for the next bbq competition that will be held in Penn. Valley. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

FAMOUS DAVE"S REVISITED (AGAIN)


We really want to love 'Famous Dave's. (again). Our last visit to the new branch in Alameda had a few minor hiccups.  Sheryl Baca, General Manager listened of our concerns and responded with a very nice apology and gift certificates for a return visit. This is a big score in the customer service department. With gift certificates in hand we returned to revisit Famous Dave's once again.


This visit the "Great White Hunter' tagged along for back up food critique. He is in training for the 2020 Olympics Cycling team so his appetite was ready. Our server and hostess were pleasant and professional. Ms. Goofy and I decided to try the burgers and our guest the ribs. We shared a very tasty appetizer of burnt ends. The burnt ends were smoky, decadent cubes of meat candy. It was served with onion rings, pickled onions and some very tasty house made pickles. Our meal was off to a good start.


One thing Famous Dave's does right is the food presentation. Each of our plates (trays) was arranged artistically to tantalize and tease our taste buds. The Great White Hunters ribs looked beautiful. He enjoyed them evident by the plate of cleaned rib bones. My burger was called the "Ultimate" that included brisket burger, pulled pork, jalapeno bacon and cheese. It looked like a beautiful hot mess at first. This combination worked and made for a finger licken good meal. Ms. Goofy enjoyed her burger.
  Okay, We love Famous Dave's again. Famous Dave's made all the right moves on this visit. I am sure we will visit Famous Dave's in the future. That is all for now. This weekend we will be judging in Oakland California at the 'Art & Soul' festival. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

GILROY GARLIC FRIES


I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. McDonald's has cashed in on a West Coast food staple that we are all familiar with. They are selling 'Gilroy Garlic Fries". They have been around these parts for quit a while. The San Francisco Giants have been selling garlic fries since the Candlestick days. Gilroy claims to be the garlic capital of the world. McDonald's with their marketing genius have cashed in on an addicting burger accompaniment. This is from Micky D's website;  "Our World Famous Fries® made even more delicious with a savory blend of ingredients like olive oil, Parmesan, parsley and garlic from the Garlic Capital of the World, Gilroy, California."
  A medium order of garlic fries sent me back a whopping three dollars and 26 cents. I got them to go but tried one before I got in the car. The temperature was not very hot. They claim each batch is made to order. O.K. It took me exactly 4 minutes to get home. These fries were soggy and room temperature. Yes, there was a good amount of garlic and cheese. It did taste okay if you could get past the temperature and sogginess.  Will I return and give them another chance. Probably not....."Fool me once".

Sunday, August 7, 2016

CLAYTON'S RIB COOK-OFF

I want some ribs.
This weekend brings us to Clayton California for the 7th Annual Clayton Rib Cook-Off'. This is a local event that has been growing in popularity each year. Downtown Clayton is transformed into a mecca for bbq lovers this weekend. This year the cook-off has decided to bring in the Kansas City Barbecue Society to sanction this event. The categories are chicken and ribs. Since there will only be two meats and not the four meats of chicken, ribs, pork shoulder and brisket this contest will be classified as a 'Competition Series' that is not a qualifier for the "Jack Daniels" finale. There will be a mix of Pro teams and Backyard teams competing in their respective divisions. Let's take a look.



Our friend and celebrity bbq chef Donna Fong was representing KCBS as a bbq ambassador. She conducted demonstrations in competition cooking. She provided some very detailed and possibly secret steps to achieving competition bbq. Who knew how involved it is to just trim chicken?. Donna also provided yummy bbq samples to her attentive pupils at the end of her talk.



How do you like this custom bbq built out of old satellite dishes.I was also impressed by the huge commercial smoker pictured above. I love to browse and experience all the different and unique cookers that you find at these events. We also saw many Weber's and Green Eggs to prove that you can win on almost any style of cooker..




This was another fun day of barbeque activities. The local crowd of Clayton had a lot to be proud of. Fun, sun, music and good eats for everyone. Congratulations to our friends Jack & Gina of Big Shot BBQ for winning Grand Championship of the Pro division. They took a first in chicken and ribs which is very impressive. I will report back at a later date who won the Backyard division.as soon as I know. I hope your weekend was as fun and tasty as ours. 




Friday, August 5, 2016

DUTCH OVEN CORDON BLEU



We have a lot of fun cooking in the Dutch oven. It is the perfect vessel to cook dinner and not warm up the kitchen on a hot summer day. Today we are making my version of Dutch Oven Cordon Bleu. This is not my original idea and will have Chilebrown twists that deviate from the original recipe. This recipe consists of seasoned chicken, Yukon gold potatoes, Canadian bacon (My friend Jon, gave me some of his home cured Canadian Bacon), red onions that are topped with a cheese and breadcrumb mixture. It is all baked in a Dutch oven. What fun.


Ingredients:

1 chicken breast, split, skinned and cut into 1/4 inch medallions
1 red onion sliced into ¼ inch slices.
2 Yukon Gold potatoes sliced into ¼ slices
¾ pd. Of sliced Canadian bacon
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup of shredded cheese (I used a mixture of cheddar, parmesan and mozzarella)
1 green apple cored but leave the bottom intact
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Salt & pepper to taste


Oil the Dutch oven to prevent sticking. I marinated the potato slices in olive oil, chopped garlic and salt & pepper. The chicken medallions were seasoned with bbq rub. (Your choice). The next step is to create a circle of ingredients around the interior of the Dutch Oven. Start with the potato, then the chicken, Canadian Bacon, onion slice and repeat to create a circle. Season with more salt & pepper if desired. I then placed in the center a cored apple with the bottom intact and put 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Pretty fancy don’t you think? It is time to cook.

We used 9 charcoals on the bottom and 15 charcoals on the top for a 20 minute cook or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Then I combine the cheese and breadcrumbs. They are sprinkled on top of the mixture and baked for another 10 minutes or browned.


Winner, Winner, Cordon Blue dinner was a success. This is a rich and decadent savory dish. The homemade Canadian bacon took on a crispness that was over the top yummy. The cheese and breadcrumb mixture really adds a decadent touch. The next time it is too hot to cook in the kitchen give this recipe a try.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

CRUMBLE & WHISK PATISSERIE


I love cheesecake. Cheesecake puts me in my happy spot. Crumble & Whisk Patisserie is a more than just a cheesecake purveyor. They are a creator of artistic culinary cheesecake masterpieces. Crumble & Whisk is a company that sells high end works of edible art. Charles Farrier is the owner slash baker slash dessert genius. He creates his cheesecakes in a culinary kitchen in San Francisco and sells them online. I took advantage of a Groupon coupon to experience a lemon cheesecake.


This cake was almost to beautiful to eat. Of course it did not take me long to experience this decadent treat. The cream cheese base of the cheesecake was light and fluffy. The crust was crisp and cookie like. The topping was a lemon curd that put this masterpiece over the top. I even had to scold Ms. Goofy for sneaking finger swipes of this delicious and artistic topping. Berries and candied lemon peel gilded the lily. Oh happy days. This was a treat. Wold you like to experience a cheesecake by Crumble & Whisk Patisserie. The contacts are below.

Crumble & Whisk Patisserie 

 Charles FarriĆ©r
Owner/Chef
 415 237-3318