Chilebrown at home


Let's get Cookin!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2017


One can never have too many knives or barbeques is what I always say. Ms. Goofy may disagree. This latest acquisition is a "German Army Bordmesser Rigg Knife". It has a beautiful 'Marlinspike'. It also comes with a razor sharp blade made of  "AISI 420 stainless steel". This is a quality old stock/new German Navy knife. The gold lettering etched on the handle; 'BUND' translates to army. What is a Marlinspike you might ask?. It is used in marine ropework to assist in tying and untying of knotts. I think it will do well at our next crab feed. Stay sharp my friends.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


My sister, The President of Cookies, has hit another one out of the park this Christmas time.  This box of spices entitled the "Grill & Broil" was under the yule tide tree. Penzeys is a popular retailer of spices throughout the country. I am no stranger to their spice blends and have purchased chili blends in the past. This collection has four different blends of spices: Cajun, BBQ 3000, Galena Street and 4/S seasoned salt. This should be a lot of fun. We are gong to try the BBQ 3000 rub on some stuffed pork chops tonight.

We opened the top of BBQ 3000 to unleash a fragrant bouquet of freshly ground spices. I did glance at the ingredient list and was impressed that no preservatives are listed. The stuffed pork chops were liberally dusted with this blend and given an hour to do its magic. They were browned on the stovetop and finished in the oven. Now before you begin, the brocolli is only a food prop. These chops looked fantastic. The spice blend complimented and enhanced our stuffed pork chop experience. There was a hint of smoke flavoring that was subtle and not overpowering. This blend was fun and we look forward to trying Penzeys other "Grill & Broil" offerings.

Penzeys Spices

Monday, January 9, 2017


This is a new year to continue the journey in search of the ultimate plate of Chileverde. We are visiting El Trompudo in El Sobrante, California. We are going on a hot tip from a friend. El Trompudo is located in an old Foster Freeze. It has been several different restaurants over the years. My understanding is the owners of El Trompudo got their start in the food truck trade. This brick and mortar has their own parking lot so 'Parking Karma' was not needed. Let's begin this new year with our fingers crossed.

The interior of El Trompudo is bright and clean. You place your order at the counter and your meal will be delivered to your table. The menu is small but my favorite go-to dish of Chileverde is offered. With your order you receive a small basket of tortilla chips. You are pointed to the direction of a salsa bar. I love salsa bars. This salsa bar looks fantastic. There is a creamy avocado, roasted chile, pico de gallo,  tomatillo ,dried chile and pickled vegetables for your pleasure. They all taste very good but none are very hot. Our plates were delivered quickly.

This plate of Chileverde looked fantastic. It was a generous plate of cubed pork swimming in a flavorful green gravy of chile love. A very big bonus was the in-house made tortillas that accompanied this dish. The dishwasher duties would be easy because I cleaned this plate very well. Was this the ultimate plate of Chileverde? It comes very close. My only wish was this plate had more chile flavor and heat. This minor critique will spark the continuation of my journey. I would like to mention the prices. They are more than reasonable and a very good deal for a delicous comforiting lunch.The journey continues in search for the ultimate Chileverde but we shall not hesitate to return to El Trompudo. Thumbs Up.

El Trompudo
3850 San Pablo Dam Rd,
 El Sobrante, CA 94803

Friday, January 6, 2017


My sister, "The President of Cookies" knows me pretty well. It is a safe bet to get me bacon themed products for Christmas. She did just that by gifting me a bag of "Slim Jim", 'Maple Flavored Bacon Jerky". This product is made from 100 percent bacon boasts the package. The package also claims; "Made From Stuff Guys Need". All righty then. Let's just skip the ingredient list on this journey. We will only concentrate on the taste today.

This product tastes fantastic. It has all the right moves. It is salty, sweet with maple flavor, and chewy like jerky should be. This is the real bacon deal. I am glad to not look at the ingredient list because the flavor rings the bell. What is nice about this product it needs no refrigeration. I can just shove the bag in my pocket and grab a bacon snack whenever I so desire. Most excellent.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


The new, latest, greatest, fastest, new & improved two channel thermometer from Thermoworks is on the table today. Having an accurate thermometer is a very important tool for successful barbeque. Thermoworks makes quality products and when they came out with "Smoke" myself and the rest of the bbq community lined up for purchase. This is not a review per se but I would like to give you a look and tell you about some of the features. Let's begin with the price. The new 'Smoke' will set you back with shipping about a "C-Note" a Benjamin, and or 100 dollars. Is this a lot of money? Can you put a price on quality? We shall see.

The Smoke system comes with a receiver, a base unit, and two temperature probes with grill clip. The base unit and receiver runs on "AA" batteries which are included. The set up and programming is very simple. The base unit is set up with user friendly interface. To set high and low target temperatures is as easy as pushing a button. There is a handy wrist strap on the receiver to wear it  while watching your favorite sporting event. The range that the base unit will communicate to the receiver is an impressive 300 feet of sight. This unit is splashproof but probably should not be taken deep sea diving. The claim is these are commercial-grade temperature probes. This system has many bells and whistles.

We tested the Smoke system on our New Years ham. It seemed to work very fine. We are happy with the initial cook. Let's go back to our question of; Is this a lot of money? Unfortunately this is a question that only you can answer. I have owned numerous brands and types of thermometers. One common problem is the thermometer probes burn out and replacing them can cost as almost as much as the unit. These probes claim to be professional grade. This unit is the fastest on the market. The interface and programming of the base unit is very simple and user friendly. (big plus) Thermoworks has a reputation for making quality products which I own several. One hundred dollars is a small price to pay if it delivers quality cooks. Stay tuned for updates.


Saturday, December 31, 2016


Blade magazine is devoted to the knife enthusiast. They publish an issue monthly but seem to be three months a head of schedule. In December I received the March 2017 issue. This particular month features a very special knife enthusiast. Yes, yours truly is featured in the "The Knife I Carry" section of the magazine. I submitted an image and text to be entered in a contest to win a knife. Maybe it was shameless promotion or possibly the need for another knife. (Never ask Ms. Goofy if I need a new knife or bbq.) Needless to say I am tickled pink to be included in Blade magazine.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Bob Kramer is a 'Master Bladesmith'. He is the who's who in the knife making world. The blade material, design and craftsmanship make these knives extraordinaire. His knives are sought after by top notch, high end and celebrity chefs. At one time he would sell you his custom hand made knives, but to purchase you had to be put on a waiting list. I was on this waiting list and purchased a complete set over a ten year period. He then partnered with the famous J. A. Henckel Company out of Germany to mas produce his line of knives. You can go to a department store and buy this set for around 2500 dollars.To actually purchase a Bob Kramer handmade knife these days is almost impossible unless you have a very large bank account. He occasionally sells his handmade knifes on e-bay which sells in the thousands for a single knife. I had the opportunity to purchase a handmade custom Bob Kramer "Picnic Knife". I did not hesitate for this acquisition.

This knife is considered a 'Friction Folder' knife. A friction folder is a folding knife that doesn't use a lock or springs. It uses the handle's friction against the tang to stay open. The blade is made of 'AEB-L Straight Stainless Steel' which is the material razor blades are made of. The handle is made of carbon fiber. When the blade is open the edge of the blade tang doubles as a bottle opener. This knife feels very good in the hand. A friend asked me if I was actually going to use this knife or mount it for display. It is a beauty and a fair question. I plan to use it on special occasions.

This is one fine knife. I feel privileged and a little bit lucky to own one. These knives sold out immediately. Ms. Goofy and I met Bob Kramer when his shop was in Seattle. He gave us a tour of his knife shop. After meeting Bob and seeing the process you will understand why his knives are so sought after. I think we will go on a picnic.