Chilebrown at home

Friday, October 31, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008


You know Nueske is the new Gold Standard in my book. Nueske had a free shipping offer that we could not refuse. We ordered a ham and some bacon. Ms. Goofy had her good eye on bacon burgers. This is hamburger meat with ground Nueske bacon. This is a no brainer. We fired up our environmentally correct charcoal and cooked a couple of these patties. We cooked a couple of pieces of Nueske Bacon to put our burgers over the top. Wait!, I am not finished. I cooked some homemade English muffins and topped it off with Pt Reyes White Cheddar. It does not get any better.!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Today we are going to try to reduce my carbon foot print. This will be accomplished by trying a ‘Green’ charcoal. Green Hearts just so happens to make a charcoal that uses no fossil fuels. It is made from eucalyptus trees, a renewable resource. The first step is to procure the charcoal. The only place in the Bay Area that carries Green Heart
is Whole Foods. The closest one is 13 miles away in Berkeley.

It is time to fire up Black Bart. Black Bart is a very large truck. It stands 7 ½ feet tall and 21 feet long. Black Bart has special mufflers. These mufflers are very loud to warn all wildlife to not cross the road. Bart gets good gas mileage, down hill with the engine off. I can only do this late at night, because, when the engine is off the power steering locks up.
It is off to Berkeley, but first a stop at Starbucks. I bring a commuter cup to cut down on paper consumption. You have to remember to bring the cup into the store. No worries, I recycled the paper cup in the compost pile. At least it looked like a compost pile. There were a lot of cups and wrappers lying in a flower bed. Bart was doing well in the bumper to bumper traffic. We traveled the 12 miles in less than an hour. We went into Whole Foods and bought the charcoal. The trip home was a lot shorter. Thankfully I only had to stop for gas once.

Green hearts is made by the Soler Co. The eucalyptus for this charcoal is grown in Brazil on a plantation. They claim :{ When you grill on your barbecue with “Green Hearts” Briquettes, you generate carbon which is captured by the growing tree. The amount of Co2 emitted when you barbecue is equal to the Co2 absorbed by the planted trees that are used to produce “Green Hearts” BBQ Charcoal Briquettes. This is what we call the carbon neutral cycle.} They also say that their charcoal will burn hotter and longer than normal briquettes. We are going to attempt an unscientific experiment to back up this claim.
We are going to compare the heat level of 4 lit Green Heart charcoals versus the heat of 4 lit Kingsford charcoals. Both charcoals will be lit in separate chimney charcoal starters. The temperatures will be taken in 30 minute intervals with a laser thermometer. Finally some rib eye steaks will be grilled to see if there is a flavor profile. Gentlemen start your charcoals.

The first thing you notice about Green Hearts is its cute heart shape. I weighed 4 charcoals of each brand. They weighed 4 ounces each. We are on an equal playing field. The charcoals were pretty well lit around 930 am. The Kingsford was at 862 degrees versus the Green charcoal at 800 degrees. I do have to say that the Green charcoal was not fully lit. One half an hour later the Green charcoal had shot up to 850 degrees while the Kingsford had dropped to 775 degrees. Fast forward an hour 1100 am and the Green charcoal had dropped to 610 degrees and the Kingsford to 525 degrees. The Kingsford has a spike of heat. The Green Hearts definitely burns hotter and longer. I am not sure if this is such a victory. We will move on to the taste teste.

Eucalyptus wood is a hard wood. It burns hot and fast. If you have ever smelled a Eucalyptus tree it smells like cough syrup.. It has a property of not letting anything grow under its canopy of leaves. I am a little hesitant in trying this charcoal. I do not want to alter any taste of my premium steak.Here we go. We are using two Rib Eye Steaks with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. That is all the seasoning we need. The charcoal has burned down and we are cooking. 4 to 5 minutes on each side. We are looking for medium rare.
Beehive Mac & Cheese
The steaks turned out stellar. There was no eucalyptus hint of smoke What do I think of Green Hearts charcoal?
There was no hint of eucalyptus at all. I was a little worried. This charcoal burned hotter and longer than the National brand.. The cost was 9 dollars for 5 pounds of this special charcoal. Oh Wow, oh Wow!!!!!!.
Of course I want to save the planet. According to this bag of charcoal, I can slow down 'Global Warming" . I do not think I will be buying anymore bags of Green Hearts. There must be a better way to stop Global Warming.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


This last weekend some 'Hard Red Winter Wheat' flour was picked up from 'Eatwell' farms at the Ferry Plaza'.I am not really sure why they call it Expresso. When there is flour there will be bread. It is time to break out the Chilebrown dutch oven and accesories. Today's bread will be a simple yeast bread. It will be sweetened with a heaping tablespoon of honey. There will be two rises and then it will be cooked in a cast iron dutch oven. If you do not own a dutch oven you can use your home oven.


  1. 1 heaping tablespoon of honey
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat dutch oven
  4. 2 cups whole wheat flour (Eatwell)
  5. 2 cups bread flour
  6. 1 1/2 cup luke warm water
  7. 1 tablespoon of yeast

Combine yeast and water and let sit for 5 minutes or until yeast blooms. Add honey, salt oil and 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Mix well. Add 1 1/2 cup of bread flour. Mix well and turn onto floured cutting board. Knead for 10 minutes. Add last 1/2 cup of flour if dough is sticking to cutting board.

Place in lightly oiled bowl and let rise for 2 hours. Oil your dutch oven with oil. Punch down bread and place in oiled dutch oven. Let rise for 1 hour.

Place 18 hot coals on top lid and 9 on bottom. Rotate lid and oven, one quarter turn, every 15 minutes. Cook for approximately 40 minutes. You can check for being done by inserting knife into bread. If it pulls out clean you should be okay. If the top is not brown enough and the bread is nearly done, remove all bottom coals and only use top heat for the last 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the coals and the lid. Let sit for 2 minutes and remove bread to wire cooling rack. Let rest for 20 minutes.

This bread was nutty with a little hint of sweetness. The Expresso flour really shined through. I could of eaten the whole loaf with just a little butter. It was even better the next day for sandwiches.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


It was time to make our monthly pilgrimage to the Ferry Plaza. We can drive to San Francisco in 25 minutes with no traffic. You may notice how that disclaimer of no traffic was thrown in. Saturday morning's are usually good. Our drive was without incident. There is a parking lot that charges five dollars that is about 6 blocks away. That is a bona fide bargain in the City. It is exciting to go to the Ferry Plaza Market Place, You can find any food item that you may ever want at 'Top of the Mark' quality. We have been going for awhile and are first name basis with some vendors.
Chris is one of the Head Honchos at Zuckerman Farms. They are based in Stocton Ca. They specialize in asparagus and potatoes. Chris is a big University of California Football fan. (Go Bears). We have to go by and say hello to Chris. If you get a chance to visit him, ask for some asparagus raviolis. He sometimes hides them for special customers.

I have to give special Kudos to Leah from Tierra Vegetables. I have known Leah and her 'Shoeless Brother' for over 15 years. Leah inspired me to smoke my own jalapenos to make chipotle. I can partly blame her for my chile obsession. Today we bought a Mayan Habanero Sauce from her. It is called Mateo Granados "El Yuca". I cannot wait to try it. Leah gave us a sample of a pepper called Paper Lantern. I know she just wanted to see my reaction to this pepper. I was brave and took a healthy bite. The swelling in my tongue has finally gone down.

We love to go to the Ferry Plaza. We do a lot of food browsing. Every time we go there we find something new and exciting. I feel like a tourist in my own neighborhood. Give it a try!

Friday, October 17, 2008


A pretty name for a pretty pepper. The origin is from Trinidad. It is in the Habanero family of peppers. This pepper could be mistaken for the almighty 'Hab' The color is a bright yellow. It is a little later in the morning, so instead of trying this pepper with coffee, It will be tried with an ice cold beverage. This beverage will be a malted, carbonated, light and very slightly hopped.

Perfume in the name may be a little misleading. No odor, pleasant or not was detected. A deep breath was taken, and the small tip of the pepper was consumed. Surprise, Surprise, there was no burn. In fact this pepper is very mild. The taste was a little like a bell. It was not very sweet, which was a surprise. When peppers turn from green to their color a little sweetness is usually detected.

The Trinidad Perfume is a beautiful ornamental pepper. It is a welcome addition to the Chilebrown Pepper Patch.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


The weather has been beautiful the last couple of day. There are still peppers to pick. The name of this pepper is Aji Rojo. This pepper has an Andean origin. It is not very red. It is a chocolate brown in color. Sliced open it it has a deep burgundy red interior. Let me go get a cup of coffee and we will try a little bite.

This pepper has a little bite. There is a gentle warmth throughout my mouth. It does not have the kick of the heavy hitters, like a habanero or a Bhutt. It would be a welcome addition to any salsa.
The last picture is of the infamous Peter Pepper. I will say no more.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Today in the Bacon theater we have a guest Director. His name is Zachary. He has the bloodlines of a true champion. He is in the eighth grade and he likes to listen to Van Halen. He claims that all his Fathers friends are 'Meat Freaks'. He is the son of the infamous Dr. Biggles. We welcome him to the bacon tasting circle. The bacon was cooked outside on the Weber. The second act is some Hot Wings with Biggles Buck Tooth Revenge Sauce.

Some bacon was picked up at Wolfsen's in Gustine California. They did not have any slab bacon, so a pound of sliced was purchased. The bacon will be cooked on my new Cowboy Wok. It is recommended to cook bacon on the Wok to help cure the pan. We can kill two birds with one stone. The Weber was fired up with one of my favorite "Man Toys", the blow torch. When you fire up mesquite charcoal with a blow torch, you need to step back. The sparks were flying every which way. I need to purchase some safety goggles and a fire proof suit. I did not set anything on fire except the charcoal. The Cowboy Wok fits perfectly in the Weber. The Wok was placed in the Weber and the bacon was fried. Zachary became impatient because of his desire to taste the cured pork belly delights. The bacon was cooked and drained on some paper towels. The Wok was removed and a cast iron cooking grate was the replacement. Some wings were then cooked to taste some Biggles Buck Tooth Revenge.

The Wolfsen's bacon crisped up really nice. We were all in agreement about the good quality of this bacon. At first bite you noticed a hint of sweetness. The smoke was present but not overpowering. The balance was just right. This was proven by Zachary's consumption of piece after piece of bacon. This bacon is a good 'Work Horse' bacon. There is nothing that really reaches out and grabs you. It is just very pleasant with a good balance of sweet and smoke. Today's bacon will receive 4 stars out of 5.

The wings were only dressed with salt and pepper. Dr. Biggles was Manning the Que. He turned and coddled these chicken parts. When they were browned and done to almost perfection, We doused a couple in 'Biggles Bucktooth Revenge'. It was time to try some of this Devil Burners sauce. Twenty four hours mellowed out this sauce of the Ages. You could actually eat some with out experiencing numbness. Once again the all important balance was what we were trying to achieve. It was definitely hot and not for the weak.The onions and garlic shined through. The molasses rounded out the punch. Bucktooth Revenge had a kick and flavor that cannot be beat. Look for "Biggles Bucktooth Revenge" at your local specialty and grocery stores in the future.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Price: 4.99/pd

Where: Wolfsen's Meat & Sausage
358 South Ave.
Gustine, California

Thanks Zachary and welcome to the the 'Inner Circle of Bacon'. Thankyou Revererend Biggles for all the photos. You can view a couple more at

Friday, October 10, 2008



The Chilebrown garden has a bounty of late produce. One pepper stands out. It is the Bhut Jolokia.The Bhut Jolokia is the new pepper of choice in the "Pepper Community". It is supposed to be five time hotter than the Habanero. The origin of this pepper is from India. I bought 3 plants from Cross Country Nurseries It is a beautiful plant. It is a long season growing plant. You need 150 days to mature the plant to harvest a pepper. That is a long four months in' Bay Area Speak''; I had good results with one of my plants that was by the sunny side of my house in a pot. What should I do with them.?

When is the last time you ate a Habanero? They are fruity Hot.The Bhut Jolokia is similar. If you can survive the burn you will be rewarded (?) with a fruity,floral type flavor. We did a taste test and the results are here. Now is the time to use them in a sauce.

  1. 1 tsp salt
  2. 1/4 cup vinegar
  3. 1/8 cup Worcestershire
  4. 1 cup water
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1 small onion chopped fine
  7. 3 cloves garlic chopped fine
  8. 1 tablespoon chile powder
  9. 4 tomatoes peeled and chopped
  10. 1/8 cup molasses
  11. 4 BHUT JOLKIA Peppers chopped
  12. 2 cloves garlic
  13. 2 tablespoons butter

Take the butter and simmer the onions and garlic. Add the the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Let cool slighty and run through a sieve.

These are all approximations. I cannot tell you the precise measurements. The Reverend Biggles has sworn me to not tell the exact amount's. This concoction was simmered for 45 minutes and then put through a strainer. Let's just say a little dab will do you. I did a taste test with some Beef Ribs. I smoked them in the Smokenator 100. I put some sauce on the last half hour. I only put Biggles Bucktooth Revenge on one rib. I had to feed Ms.Goofy. and she was not to happy about the Beezlebob sauce.

Biggles Bucktooth Revenge is the bomb. I have taken a couple of chomps off of the rib. I cannot feel half of my mouth. I think there is a lot of flavor involved. This sauce is not for the indivual who will Poo, Poo at heat levels. This is a sauce for the Ages. This sauce is for the Cookies, Zoomies,Pragmatics,Bunrabs,Slim Pikins,Dagny's, Liteluvr's and the Sour Doughs of the Cyberworld.!

Smokenator 1000
Mojo grabbed a bite of rib that fell on the floor. He is okay. It took awhile!


The Salsa Trail had ended and it was time to come home. A brief detour through Las Vegas was in order. A lot of food has been consumed this last week. Hopefully a Meat Adventure could be squeezed in on our last leg of the journey. Alien Fresh Jerky caught our eye in Baker, California. A quick pit stop was in order because of the creepy family sitting out front. Something with more meat was our quest. Wolfsen's would be our next stop.

Wolfsen's is located in Gustine California. It is 5 miles off the interstate 5. An easy way to remember directions, is to take the the famous 'Anderson's Pea Soup' exit and keep going until you arrive in Gustine. Gustine is home of the nations largest Festa and steeped in Portuguese tradition according to their website. It is also home to Wolfesn's Meat & Sausage Co.

Wolfsen's is sausage heaven. They feature over 60 types of fresh and smoked sausage. It will be my duty to try all 60 someday. They do have a sausage tasting October 4 at the town Oktoberfest. It will be on my calender for next year. Wolfsen's smokes and cures bacon, hams turkeys and salmon. Of course some bacon was procured. They have Jerky and roasts. They also serve sandwiches and have a deli counter. A very nice touch to Wolfsen's is the price. We are so used to paying the Bay Area surcharge, this was a breath of fresh air to the wallet.

The ice chest was loaded and homeward bound we were. This Meat Adventure to Wolfsen's was the icing on the cake for a wonderful vacation.
Wolfsen's Meat & Sausage
358 South Ave.
Gustine, California

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


How hot is to hot? I usually have some sort of pepper or hot sauce daily. I love the flavor, taste and the rush with all things peppers. Sometimes you have to draw the line. I crossed that line the other day. I crossed it with 'Beelze Bob's Breath Barbeque Sauce".

Some ribs and chicken were smoked in the Smokenator 1000. They were cooked low and slow. As a rule when I order barbeque from a restaurant, the sauce is always ordered on the side. Good barbeque does not need a slathering of sauce. Sauce can be used to hide an inferior 'Que'. When meat is smoked at the Chilebrown house, sauce is served on the side, except today. The ribs were almost done. A quick trip to the Chilebrown pantry and a bottle of barbeque sauce was grabbed. A bottle from Memphis Minnies was chosen. The bottle was opened and slathered over the finishing meat. The meal was looking stellar. Some Thai peanut coleslaw and some black bean corn salsa were the sides. The ribs were falling of the bone. Wow, they had a blast of heat. I was taken back a few notches. I went and grabbed the bottle of sauce. The ingredients had habanero chili and red chili flakes. Oh yes it does. There is a warning on the bottle that says: "ITS STUPID HOT. Ms. Goofy took one bite. That was enough for her. Her dinner consisted of sides only. I had a lot of leftovers.

Beezle Bob's Breath Barbeque Sauce is not for the timid. You can purchase it at Memphis Minnies. Beezle Bob's will be used on some hot wings next. I will have to eat them by myself.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Today on stage we have a unique act. This show will be sweet. The Revue will feature Maple Sugar Cured bacon from the Freedom Meat Lockers.

Ms. Goofy and I recently had a Meat Adventure to Freedom California. The Freedom Meat Lockers is a huge Meat Palace. We were tempted by this cure of bacon. When you first open this packet of Maple Love, the sweet smell of Smoke and Maple will envelop you. Once the heat starts to render the
fat, the whole house will smell of Maple Syrup. We have never, ever had a bacon that was so odoriferous. It can drive one to making pancakes.
How did it taste? Like its smell, it was maple sweet. The smoke was present, but not overpowering. The texture was crisp with a little chew. The bacon did not taste salty. In fact this was a Maple Bomb. It was a little to sweet for my palate. We will award this bacon 3.5 stars out of 5.
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Cost: 5.98/pound
Where: Freedom Meat Lockers
160 Hi Grade Ln
Freedom, Ca. 95019

Friday, October 3, 2008


We had a home base in Safford Arizona for three days . We stayed at the historic Olny house. This was a bed & breakfast built in 1890 in a Western Colonial style . Our hosts Chris and Deborah went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. They served us a wonderful breakfast. It was a very quiet and comfortable establishment. It was the perfect place to recover from our daily calorie intake.

The Salsa Festival was held Friday and Saturday. It was held in the town square of Safford. There was Salsa Tasting and a Hot Air balloon demonstration. The Hot Air Balloon's were pretty spectacular lit up in the early evening'

Saturday's highlight was the Jalapeno eating contest. I was too full to enter. It is a good thing because I think I could of been a contender. There was a salsa contest. Most of the restaurants on the trail entered. They did not enter the Usual salsa, but salsa made especially for the competition. It was a pleasant local event.

Everybody we met in Arizona was very friendly. Our visit to the Tortilla factory was a lot of fun. The Owners knew right away that we were tourists. I am wondering if my camera, plaid shorts and Hawaiian shirt gave us away. He right away brought us a steaming hot, fresh, tortillas. He invited us in the back to look at his operation.

We were watching the Raider Game at the Manor House. The 'Head Cook Joe', was taking a break and watching the game with us. He was impressed that we traveled from California. He then made us a special salsa. It was the best of our trip. He also made us spectacular dinner. We experienced a part of the country that we would of never of thought of visiting. The Salsa Trail and Festival brought us to this part of Arizona. We are a lot richer for the experience. (and a lot heavier).