Chilebrown at home

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


What do you think? If you double click you can see a close up.
We bought the House with most of the Rose's. We have had to replace a couple. I especially like the Mr. Lincoln!.

All right, Lets get off this flower stuff and cook some Meat!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Chris has been over the last couple of days. He has been rebuilding our fence. He requested that I make some Barbequed Chile Verde. No Problem! I do not need much of an excuse to fire up the grill and add Meat and Vegetables. I took a little video. The quality is not the greatest. It gives you a little glimpse of the 'Weber with the Motor'. This is a great barbeque. It works like a rotisserie. You can put stuff on and forget about it. I bought this a couple of years back and I think the manufacture is out of business.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Chilebrown wins Asparagus eating contest by eating 8.9 pounds of Deep Fried Asparagus. While being interviewed Chilebrown was asked if he had any thoughts on his accomplishment. "I would like to thank all the people that inspired me. First,my Mom. I want to give a shout out to my dog Mojo. He is a true Trencherman. Last but not least I want to thank Joey Chestnut for actually winning.
Joey Chestnut ate 8.9 pounds of Deep Fried Asparagus in 10 minutes. It was amazing. There was another contestant that only ate 2 pounds and nearly gave it back to the audience. This event is a gastronomical extravaganza. The crowd was crazy with Asparagus Frenzy! It was warm in Stockton California. It was so warm that Martin Yan asked me to step in for his cooking demonstration. I declined and told Martin ,"If Chilebrown can cook, So can you!". He is a trooper and carried on. We had a great time.
The Asparagus Festival only comes around once a year. Joan Jett, War, and Greg Kihn were the music entertainers. It was a day of Fun in the Sun!!!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008


It is time to tweak the recipes for the Dutch Oven Cookoff. It will be held next month at the Rendezvous in Carson City, Nevada. This cornbread recipe caught my eye. The only leavening is baking powder. This will probably be a good thing because Carson City's elevation is 4800 feet. I am not familiar with how a yeast bread would react at this elevation. I normally cook at sea level, so the Rendezvous will be a challenge. My team the "Meatmen" is fired up over this competition. We just came off a Second Place victory at the Sacramento Sportsmen Show. We would like this competition to be a stepping stone to the finals in Utah. This bread has Maple Syrup and dried cranberries in it. I am considering adding corn and bacon to make this a sweet savory bread. I followed the recipe this time.

  1. 1 cup of flour
  2. 1 cup of white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
  3. 1 cup medium grind whole grain cornmeal or regular cornmeal
  4. 1/2 cup of sugar
  5. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  8. 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  9. 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  10. 2 large eggs
  11. 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
  12. 3/4 cup chopped pecans plus 10 pecan halves for garnish
  13. 3/4 cup dried cranberries (4 ounces)

Whisk both flours, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, melted butter, maple syrup, eggs and extract in medium bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stir until blended. Stir in 3/4 cup chopped pecans and cranberries. Spoon butter into pan. Arrange pecan halves in row down center of batter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until Golden brown and knife inserted comes out clean. I really like the Maple flavor. I am going to try adding bacon and corn next time. I will have it down by competition time.

Mojo and Oscar want to remind you that this weekend is the Asparagus Festival. It will be held in Stocton California. We will be there at noon to see if Joey Chestnut can become the Champion Asparagus eater. See you there!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


It was a beautiful day today. It was clear and bright. The weather is supposed to get a little nippy tonight. What a good excuse to fire up the Beehive Oven. (Like I need an excuse). I have had a hankerin to make Empanada's. This is something I have not tried to make. I followed a simple recipe for the dough and winged it for the filling. The nice thing about Empanada's is, you can fill them with about almost anything but Tofu. (YUK!)

2 cups flour
1 cup finely ground corn meal
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 teasp salt
1/2 teasp baking powder

Mix the flour, cornmeal, shortening, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Use your finger to pinch the dry ingredients into the shortening until they begin to combine. Then add water 1 tablespoon at a time and knead the mixture until a dough forms. Knead for an additional 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

1/2 pound sausage
1/2 pound shoulder bacon
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1/8 cup Green Chile Powder
1/2 tsp cumin
salt & pepper

Brown the Sausage and bacon in a skillet. Add your onions and garlic and cook for another 4 minutes. Add the spices and 1/2 cup of water. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Cool and reserve.

Take your dough out of refrigerator and form into 10 balls. Roll the ball into a small flat circle. Take 1 1/2 tablespoon of your filling and place on dough. Fold over and crimp the edges together. Take a fork and dimple the edges. Bake at 400 degrees for aprox 30 minutes or until crust is golden.

These turned out great. The next time I make them I will omit the cornmeal and add an extra cup of flour. Serve them with some Salsa. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I got a boatload of fresh fava beans growing in my front yard. Some of these beans jumped ship and joined a 'Soup Ship' of stock and vegetables. Fava Beans (Broad Beans) are easy to grow and add a little bonus to your soil with nitrogen. These plants are hardy, but may need staking if you have a lot wind. I try to plant my fava's in late November. The Bay Area has a moderate climate and we rarely get a frost. I take up my summer crop and lay down fava's and pea's. My Pea's are not doing so well because of Mojo.

  1. 1 pound fresh Fava beans (Shelled, Blanched, and Peeled)

  2. 4 cups of Stock

  3. salt & pepper

  4. 1/4 cup cream

  5. 1/2 potato sliced thin

Boil the Stock and 1/2 cup of the fresh fava beans and potato slices for 15 minutes. Place in blender with salt,pepper, and cream. Add 1/2 cups of fava beans and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with Cranberry Cornmeal Quick Bread

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

GAY CABALLERO (Very Hot Sauce)

The In-laws were over for a visit this weekend. We wanted to bring them someplace special. We loaded up the Chilemobile and headed to the City. We brought them to "The Ferry Plaza" in San Francisco, California. The 'Ferry Plaza' is a World Class Food Destination. There is a farmers market, food shops, restaurants, and anything your heart desires that is food related. It is a Disneyland for Foodies. Ms. Goofy and I frequent the market at least once a month. There is so much to see and so much to buy! We arrived at the market at 9:00am. It was already getting pretty crowded. We walked by the Rancho Gordo booth and a Hot Sauce grabbed my eye.
I am no stranger to Hot Sauces. I grow numerous varieties of Peppers. This year, I will be attempting to grow the Bhut Jolokia. It is a pepper from India that is 5 times hotter than a Habanero. I am not sure what I am going to do with it. I may make pepper spray to repel elephants. Ms. Goofy and I have attended several Hot Sauce Conventions. I have to have a chile fix daily. When I see a unusual or different sauce, I will have to try it. Rancho Gordo makes quality products so this purchase was a no-brainer.
The first thing I noticed about this sauce was that it had separated. A quick shake of the bottle took care of this. I poured some sauce in a spoon and gave it a quick smell. I smelled cinnamon and cloves. The sauce was not very thick. You could see chile pulp and seeds. I gave it a taste. I tasted cinnamon and cloves with just a little heat.(My heat tolerance is pretty high. So a little heat probably would register medium for a novice.)The bottle lists: Chiles, Vinegar,Spices and Salt. The Vinegar taste was faint. I would guess there might have been a little cumin in there somewhere. Rancho Gordo's web site says this sauce is made from the deArbol chile.
I liked this sauce. It was a little unique because of the cinnamon and clove taste. The heat level was low to medium. I had some with some chicken and rice. It complemented my meal. I will purchase this sauce again.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


It took a couple of moments to figure out why our Peas were not doing so well. We found out why. Mojo has become a Vegan & Carnivore. (Vegarinovre) He just eats whatever he can. There is a Veterinarian term of 'Garbage Gut.' I have caught him several times ripping pea vines out of the yard. Well he cannot get to the Fava Beans. I know he wants to. I planted them last November. I am harvesting the beans now and will be for the next several weeks. It is a Spring Treat. My Dad used to say, "It is a lot of work for what you get". That is true!, but it is worth it. You first have to peal the beans out of their protective Cocoon. Then you have to blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling salter water. If they are young enough you do not have to peel the beans. If they are a little older the blanching will make the peeling easy. Pinch an end and the bean will pop out of its casing. All that is left is a little Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper, and maybe a splash of Vinegar.

Fava Beans are easy to grow. They thrive in poor soil and and return nitrogen to soil. They are a good crop to start in Winter. I will be harvesting for the next couple of weeks. Mojo is Jealous!!!

Friday, April 11, 2008


The Tofu Challenge was an idea of Scott Pinkerton from ‘The Pragmatic Chef’. He claimed I was making fun of some Tofu dish he made. Here is my version of Cedar Plank Roasted Tofu. You may have gathered that I am not a big fan of Tofu. I racked my brain on how I could make it palatable. This dish is really simple to make and the ingredients were purchased at my local supermarket. The main ingredients Cedar Planks and Tofu were both easy to find and inexpensive. A quick marinade of the Tofu, plank it and pop it in the barbeque. I excused myself from tasting the final product. I was bound to be prejudice. I had to find a non biased taster. I search hi and low and came up with by Bro-In-Law John.

John is an Outdoorsman. He is an avid fisherman and a great cook. He once made us a Chili. He put so much effort, sweat and passion into this Chili that he passed out before it was done. John claims that he has never met a ‘Chicken Fried Steak’ that he does not like. I respect his opinion and judgment. I also hope he will let me ride his Harley. John was kind enough to be a judge. Let’s Get Cookin!

1. 1 package firm Tofu 14 ounces
2. 1 Cedar Plank
3. Barbeque Rub (Survival Spice)
4. Olive Oil (Tibvrtini Olio Extra Virgine di Oliva)
5. Salt & Pepper
6. 2 Nails & Hammer
7. 1 jigsaw
8. 1 pair of pliers Take the Tofu out of package and cut in half. Gently take a towel and squeeze as much liquid out as you can. When Tofu is fairly dry, rub it all over with Barbeque Rub. Refrigerate rubbed Tofu for a couple of hours. Soak your Cedar Plank while the Tofu is Marinating. After a couple of hours rub your Tofu slices with Olive Oil, season with salt and pepper and place on Cedar Plank. Take your hammer and nail the Tofu to the Plank. This will secure the Tofu to the Plank and heat will generate through the nail.
Build a medium fire in your barbeque. Today, I am using Mesquite Wood. When coals are ready, place the plank in center of grill. It is a good idea to keep the lid on so the Cedar Plank does not go up in flames. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
This is a crucial step. You should pay close attention to the next couple of instructions. Take your pliers and remove nails. Find a Trash Container away from your house. (Far Away). With you Pliers push the Tofu off the plank into the trash barrel. Take your Jigsaw and slice Cedar Plank into desired serving proportions. How did it taste? Below is an interview with John about the finished product.
Chilebrown: Well John, How did you like the Cedar Plank Roasted Tofu?

John: Chile, it was nice for you to invite me over.

Chilebrown: How did you like it?

John: The beer was ice cold. It whetted my appetite. You want to
pass me that Jug of Kessler.

Chilebrown: The Audience would like to know how you liked the Dish.

John: Did I ever tell you about the Chili I almost made. I put a lot of

Chilebrown: John stop stalling. Tell us about the Dish.

John: All I can say is YUK! And You will never ride my Harley!!!!!

There you go Scott. Steak is good and Tofu is YUK!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Welcome to the final act from the Ultimate Meat Adventure. This is the last of our stash from the Oregon trip last summer. Today's bacon is from Gartner's Meats in Portland Oregon. Gartner's is a Huge Meat Palace. They have every cut of meat imaginable. When you walk in you will walk into a wall of customers. You grab a number and very quickly it will be your turn. You need a little time to soak in all the meat collection.

We have a quality bacon today. Ms. Goofy claims this is her favorite. This bacon grabs you right away with its looks. You can see that the meat to fat ratio is perfect. This is what bacon should look like. We fried some in a pan and the smell perfumed the house with Pork Joy! The texture was wonderful. It was crisp with just a hint of chewiness. This bacon has a lot of sugar in it by evidence of the browning of the pan. When you taste it, it does not taste overly sweet. The salt was present but not overpowering . The same goes with the smoke. The secret to this bacon is Balance. It has a great combination of sugar, salt, and smoke. Today's act will be awarded 4.5 stars out of 5. This bacon is Hot!!! It is time for a new Meat Adventure to restock the Chilebrown Ice Cave.

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Cost: 3.98/pound

Where: 7450 N.E. Killingsworth

Portland, Oregon 97218 503-252-7801

Sunday, April 6, 2008


I was cleaning out the garage for a sale when I happened upon the SMO-KIT. It was made by 'Smokin Tex' Co. I bought it on E-Bay a couple of years back and parked it in the garage. Nobody wanted it at the garage sale, so I thought I would give it a drive. It is a portable smoker that is fueled by a disposable propane bottle. I originally bought it for tailgate parties. Ms. Goofy claims I have too many toys and maybe she might be right-"NOT". Well I backed it out of the garage and stuck a couple of Berkshire Pork Chops in that baby. I smoked them for 20 minutes and finished them off in the oven in my version of Chilebrown-a-Roni.

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1 cup Orzo (rice shaped pasta)
  3. 2 clove garlic chopped
  4. 1/2 onion chopped
  5. 1/2 pound mushrooms sliced
  6. 3 strips bacon chopped
  7. 2 1/2 cups stock or water
  8. salt & pepper
  9. 2 pork chops

Fry the bacon until almost crisp and reserve. Saute the garlic and onion for 4 minutes. Turn up the heat and add rice and orzo. Stir frequently until fragrant (4-5 min). Add stock, mushrooms, bacon, salt and pepper. Bring mixture to simmer. Place your smoke pork chops in center and arrange asparagus. Place in 400 over for approx 40 minutes. Let sit covered for 10 minutes before serving.

The Berkshire Pork is something special. With a kiss of smoke it was GENIUS. Asparagus and rice just kicked it up a notch. The (Smo-Kit) Smokin Tex did the job. I am glad nobody bought it. I am going to bring it to a tailgate party and kick some dishes up to a new level.

Today's Asparagus was from Zukerman's farm. Chris was back and he Rocks! We were glad to see him. He has been absent for a little while because of a health detour. Chris and I will be watching the Asparagus eating contest at the Asparagus Festival. Hope to see you there.


How do you make those 'Mouth Watering' grill marks? You are watching T.V. or reading a magazine and there is an ad for some grilled meat product. There is a perfect piece of protein with a chris cross hatch of grill marks. You know you eat with your eyes first. There is something about that checker board burnt mark about the steak that just says, 'I am delicious." You could take a piece of Tofu and put it on the grill, hatch it and it would look fantabulous. You and I know that Tofu will never be fantabulous. What is it about Grill Marks?

The secret to Grill Marks is a hot fire, clean and oiled grill and patience. I use Mesquite charcoal. I build a fire in a charcoal starter.
Spread your charcoal around to cover the amount of steaks you are cooking. Make sure the fire is hot!!! I seasoned the steaks with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. Clean and oil the grill. I use a steel wire brush. I take a piece of clean oiled cloth and wipe down the grill. Place your steaks on the grill. STEP AWAY! Let them sit for at least 4 minutes. If the fire is flaming put the lid on. After 4 minutes rotate your steak a quarter turn. STEP AWAY! Let cook for another 3 minutes and flip over and cook to desired temperature.
You see flames flying and fat sputtering. It is tempting to flip the steaks before they are marked. You are caramelizing and creating flavor. Resist the urge to flip. I read in Meatpaper that professional photographers use an electric charcoal starter to create grill marks. All you need is patience and a hot fire. Bon App├ętit!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


It is that time of year to break out the portable grills and wash out the ice chests. It is baseball season! Yeah! Tonight is the Oakland A's Home Opener. Peanuts, Popcorn, Crackerjacks and 10 dollar beers. I have been an A's fan since 1968. That was the first year the team moved to Oakland. I was in Elementary School. To go to a game was pure magic. The sights and sounds combined with the crowd was something special. It also helped that I was playing baseball. I thought someday I would be a baseball player. I never made the 'Pro's'. The game is still magic, but for different reasons.
Ms. Goofy and I go to the game and set up a temporary kitchen in the parking lot. We consider ourselves professional tailgaters. You name it, We have cooked it in the parking lot. Baseball games are just a warm up for football season. We only have two hours before a baseball game. We usually limit ourselves to appetizers. Football Games we have 4 hours to cook. We do not hold back then. You meet a lot of people when you are cooking and sharing food. We have a group of friends that get together and participate in the tailgate. It becomes a multicultural potluck of tasty food. You get together and share food and drink and have the bonus of being able to watch a game. We wish our teams would win a game once in a while.
Ms. Goofy has a Bobble Head collection. It is time she dusted them off. See you at the game and be sure to bring some food to share.