Chilebrown at home

Friday, November 28, 2008


Baconnaise is the new taste treat in the Chilebrown pantry. The beginning of crab season has started and crab and Baconnaise might just be the winning combination. It is off to the the local International Market for live crab. This beauty weighed out at 2 1/2 pounds. The price is still pretty high because of Thanksgiving and the local catch has not been very productive. The crab was secured in the back of the car. It still made a lot of noise trying to escape its fate of a boiling cauldron of water. Once the crab was dispatched and cooked it was combined with Baconnaise and a couple other ingredients. Form into patties and fry in a butter and oil combination. It does not get any better.

  1. 1 live crab or 1 pound of lump crab meat
  2. 1/4 cup of Baconnaise
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 cup and 1 cup of bread crumbs
  5. 1 stalk of celery chopped fine
  6. 1 green onion chopped fine
  7. pinch of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredient reserving 1 cup of bread crumbs. Form into patties and coat with reserved bread crumbs. Refrigerate patties for at least one hour to firm. Fry in a combination of butter and oil. Fry over medium high heat. Cook until a brown crust forms on one side. Flip over and cook for another minute or two. The object is to form a crust and heat the center. Be careful to not overcook because they are gentle.

Are you ready for the results? We kicked it up one notch farther and added a little dab of Baconnaise on the side. You will never order Crab Cakes from a restaurant ever again if you make these. These cakes had just a little hint of bacon flavor. The crab taste shined through as it should. After another cake, the couch will be taken, with left over Turkey and a Jar of Baconnaise!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We are cooking our bird on the grill. This has worked for us for years. The only problem is the gravy. Wood chips and ashes usually make it to our dripping pan. The turkey drippings are laced with harsh and bitter remnants. Gravy is one of the best components of Thanksgiving. It is a link to gather all the parts of the meal together. Jello salad and pumpkin pie can be kicked up a notch with a little spot of gravy. Gravy makes the world go round.
The culprit used was picked up at Trader Joe's. Boxed Gravy, I am so sorry, Dr. Biggles, to let you down. Every thing will be so good. I am a gravy looser!!!!!
Pecan Apple Pie

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Fruitcake, Love it or Leave it, most people fall into either of the two categories. Fruitcake has been the butt of many jokes. There is even a novelty blow up fruitcake, called the INFLATABLE FRUITCAKE, of course. You may have had a fruitcake with citron and maraschino cherries that is dry and hard as a brick. This has slighted the image of fruitcake. There is another school of fruitcake thought.

Thanks to my Mother, who introduced Me to quality fruitcakes. These are made with dried fruits, nuts, sweet butter, flour, sugar, and a whole lot of love. It is not cheap to make fruitcake. Nothing but quality ingredients will do. Once you have tasted a piece, you will be a convert too. You may even join the 'Society" for the Protection and Preservation of Fruitcake'.

    Ms. Goofy and I traveled to to the Alemany Farmers Market to purchase the bulk of the ingredients. We bought fresh eggs and a bevy of dried fruits. Some of these fruits included; Raisins, Apricots,Figs, Plums and Peaches We found some great Medjool dates. A quick pit stop to the liquor store for an optional bottle of Brandy. Did I mention this cake is for Adults Only. We made it home to the Chilebrown Fruitcake Factory and got down to the first step off marination. This step is crucial. Sample your brandy for quality control. Good luck!


    1. 4 pounds of dried mixed fruits
    2. 1 pound of mixed whole nuts
    3. 1 cup of brandy
    4. 1 tablespoon instant coffee
    5. 1/4 cup of molasses
    6. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ground cloves, ground allspice, ground mace
    7. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    8. 3 1/2 cups flour
    9. 1 tablespoons baking powder
    10. 2 sticks butter
    11. 1 1/2 cups white sugar and 1 1/2 brown sugar
    12. 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
    13. 6 large eggs

    Take all the dried fruit and cut into chunks. Place in large bowl with nuts. Add instant coffee, molasses, spices and salt. Pour cup of brandy over mix and let marinade overnight.

    The next day, mix in 1 cup of flour into fruit mixture. Mix well and reserve.

    Beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. When fluffy add eggs one at a time until well blended.Blend the rest of the flower and baking powder. Add vanilla. Take mixture and add to fruit and flour mixture. You probably will have to use your hands. It is a stiff mixture.

    This will make 16 cups of fruitcake. Find some appropriate baking pans. I have used store bought decorative paper pans. You can purchase these at Sur La Table. You can use small loaf pans. Whatever you use, butter them well so the fruitcake will not stick. I line the bottom of loaf pans with wax paper and butter both sides.

    Bake at 275 for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. It may take longer. Test with a clean knife. Insert knife into cake. It should pull out clean. Remove from pans and let cool on cookies cooling rack.

    This next step is to lace with brandy. This is optional but necessary to experience the fruitcake at its best. Take a skewer and poke holes in the top of the loaf. Take a quarter cup of brandy and brush into top of cake. Wrap in plastic and then tin foil. Let rest for a couple of weeks. The resting gives the cake time to soak in the alcohol and mature the flavors.

    Fruitcake is a labor of love. A quality cake is to be cherished. A tiny piece will go a long way. The cake will last a long time if properly stored. I will leave you with a parody song about fruit cake.

    Sung to Last Train to Clarksville (Monkees) and Modified by Chef Frank

    Eat the last piece of fruitcake

    that we got from Auntie Mabel

    We can't keep it in the kitchen

    'cause it broke right through the table

    and the floor

    Oh no no no

    Oh no no no

    "Cause your father lost a filling

    and your sister broke a cap

    And I lost a half a filling,

    the rest is on a string tied to the door

    Oh no no no

    Oh no no no

    And I don't think I can chew gum anymore

    Eat the last piece of fruitcake

    that came via forklift

    Or use it for a doorstop

    Might as well get some good use out of this gift.

    Oh no no no

    Oh no no no



    Eat the last piece of fruitcake

    That we have in our homeI don't know how old it is

    But I bet that it was baked by Wilma Flintstone

    Oh no no no

    Oh no no no

    And I don't think that I like her anymore.


    The Meatmen will be competing at the Sportsmen Show in Sacramento on January 17 2009. We will be competing in a three-pot dutch oven cook off. A three-pot cook off comprises of cooking a main dish, dessert, and a bread. My contribution to the team is to usually make the bread. It is something I enjoy and have had some success in past competitions. This competition will see a jalapeno cheese bread created. To achieve success one must practice. The best part about practicing is you get to eat and share your experiments. Let's get cookin!


    1. 1 teaspoon yeast
    2. 1 3/4 cups water
    3. 4 cups flours
    4. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
    5. 1/4 cup oil
    6. 5 tablespoons chopped jalapeno (3 peppers)
    7. 5 ounces grated cheddar cheese
    8. 1 1/2 ounce grated parmesan cheese
    9. 1 egg beaten

    Add yeast to water and let proof. Mix together flour, yeast, oil and salt. Knead for 5 minutes. Add cheeses and jalapeno reserving 1/4 cup parmesan,1 tablespoon jalapeno, and 2 tablespoons cheddar. Knead for another couple of minutes. Let rise in an oiled bowl for 1 1/2 hours. Take dough and place in well oiled dutch oven. Punch down and let rise for another hour. Brush top of bread with egg. Spread remaining cheese and peppers on top. Bake in Dutch oven. If using a home oven bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.

    This bread was spectacular. I would not have won with this particular bread. There was a small area that was a little underdone. No problem, that is what practice is all about. See you at the Sportsmen Show.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008


    What the heck is a Rambutan? It sure caught our eye at the Alemany Farmer's Market. It is an exotic fruit from Southeast Asia. If you live in Malaysia, Rambutan would be fairly common. Rambutan in Malaysian means hairy. This seems appropriate when you see this fruit. It has fleshy pliable spikes. The Rambutan is a very colorful eye catching red . We asked the vendor what does it taste like. He told us it has a taste like a lychee. Since I have no idea what a lychee taste like, we bought one.

    Once home, the Rambutan was sliced around the center. One side of the skin was peeled away. A pale white flesh is revealed. Under this flesh is a seed. We cut a small piece and tasted. It was sweet. The texture could be compared to a grape. It was pleasant in curious sort of way. I guess you could make a jam or jellies with them. The Rambutan will be left out of the Holiday fruitcake this year.

    Saturday, November 15, 2008


    Zoomie at Zoomie Station just bought a beautiful new basket to bring to the market. I of course teased her about it. The wheels in my head started to spin. What do you bring to the market? It can say a lot about the person. It can reflect your personality, life views and even political affiliations. Ms Goofy and I headed to the Alemany and Ferry Plaza to do research on this subject. We also picked up the ingredients for fruitcake and a weird fruit called Rambutin. We had fun eavesdropping on peoples market retrieving vessels. Zoomie, I guess, I was just a little jealous about your new basket. I usually just pile plastic bags on Ms. Goofy until she cannot carry any more.

    Looking for Parking

    PoliticalThe Cadillac of the Ferry PlazaTourist If you do not have a bag there are plenty to purchase.


    We needed something to accompany our steaks. For some reason Won Ton Soup just seemed right. Store bought won tons have usually been used in past soups. Today home made won ton will be attempted. A recipe was found and changed to suit the Chilebrown palate. You know that means the addition of some pepper. It is a little time consuming to fold the Won Tons. You will be rewarded with little pillows of pasta joy!


    1. Won Ton Wrappers
    2. 2 green onions finely chopped
    3. 1 clove garlic finely chopped
    4. 1 jalapeno finally chopped
    5. 1 pound pork sausage
    6. 1 teaspoon ginger finely chopped
    7. 2 cups Napa Cabbage finely chopped
    8. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    9. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    10. 2 tablespoons water chestnuts finally chopped


    1. 8 cups of stock of choice
    2. 1 cup sliced mushrooms
    3. 3 green onions sliced
    4. 1/4 cup water chestnuts sliced
    5. 1/4 fish sauce

    To make Won Tons assemble all ingredients in bowl except wrappers. Mix well. Place a wrapper on cutting board. Have a glass of water nearby. Dip your finger in water and moisten the edge of the wrapper. Place 1 teaspoon in center of wrapper. (Do not try to overfill, it doesn't work). Fold in half to form a triangle. Take two edges and fold together. Pinch all the edges to form a seal. I am not sure if this is a true Won Ton fold. It looks more like a tortellini. Hey, it worked for me. Place packets on wax paper and pop in freezer for 14 minutes. I have found that the pasta will stay together better when cooked if frozen.

    Heat the broth to a simmer and add all ingredients. Cook for 10 minutes. Take a separate pot and fill with water. Bring to boil. Lower to simmer and add frozen Won Tons. Cook for 6 minutes. Drain and add to stock.

    This soup hit the spot. It does take a commitment of time. It was the perfect accompaniment to our steaks. If Chilebrown can cook, so can you! (Sorry Yan)

    Friday, November 14, 2008


    The endless, ageless, question; What's for dinner? Tonight Steaks and hopefully Won Ton Soup. I am going to give it a shot. Stay tuned!

    Saturday, November 8, 2008


    It is overcast and it looks like rain. Wait a minute, let me use another line. It was a 'Dark and Stormy' night . The Chilebrown household was hungry and needed to be fed before the storm. The Mad Meat Genius needed to conduct one more experiment. He grabbed a chicken and dispatched all the bones. He stuffed it with secret ingredients and built a bonfire. This bonfire would be the fuel to calm the storm of his Madness.

    Well sort off. It is an experiment. A boned chicken stuffed with a secret rice ingredient (San Francisco Treat), salami and cooked in the beehive oven. It is overcast today. The Beehive Oven has a calming effect when being fired up. It is better than a fish bowl or the boob tube. We are using almond wood to stoke the innards of the oven. Once it gets to temperature, it will cook the stuffed chicken. The stuffed chicken is propped up on a trivet of sliced potatoes and carrots. It will be cooked for approx 45 minutes. The Beehive has an intense heat. I had to cover the chicken with foil, because the skin started to burn.

    The ingredients are simple. Chicken, Rice Mix, Salami and Rub. Take a very sharp knife and remove bones. Cook your rice mix and cool. Place salami and rice mixture in deboned chicken. Tie with string and rub with your favorite rub. Today Survival Spice was used for the rub. Place in oven and cook for 1 hour or 45 minutes in Beehive.

    Now the hard part. Let it rest for 20 minutes. All the goodness has to re-organize to let you experience the event. This event was Superb. We sliced it and served it with gravy. You have to have 'The Gravy.' We threw in some green stuff to throw off the Reverend Biggles. The trivet of carrots and potatoes were so good that Ms. Goofy asked me to Marry her again. I agreed and we relished our experiment. It may has been a "Dark and Stormy' night, but we ate like Kings & Queens.

    Thursday, November 6, 2008


    Chilebrown is my name and peppers are my game. Mad Meat Genius has searched the country high and low for the newest, finest capsicum buzz. It is a special treat when you find a sauce in your own backyard. Today we have found Hot Sauces from Triple T Ranch & Farm. They are located in Santa Rosa Ca. They grow apples, peppers, greens, and you name it. They grow organically and just so happen to bottle hot sauces. They have 4 different hot sauces. They are made seasonally and sold in a few farmers market. What is so special about them? They are made by organic peppers. There are no preservatives or crazy additives. What you see is what you get. It is basically, peppers, kosher salt and vinegar. Today we are trying the "911" sauce.

    I traveled to the Marin Farmers Market and met Larry at the Triple T Ranch booth. You have to be named Larry to work at the Triple T. Apparently there are three Larry's in the Triple T clan. He had a bounty of colorful peppers. Larry went in the back and brought me some secret stash of his sauce. There is "911', 'Hopn' Jalapeno'(green) ,'Hopn' Jalapeno'(red), and 'Da Blend'. Luckily he had everything today. This is a seasonal product, so when it is gone you are just plum out of luck.

    The '911' sauces ingredients are: Habaneros, Scotch Bonnets, Thai Dragons, Vinegar and Kosher Salt. There is a not a lot to it. There is a lot in the flavor. Of course it burns! It burns so good. It is not as hot as you would imagine. It has a potent, but flavorful taste. It has a clean taste of peppers. The vinegar and salt just highlight your pepper flavor A few drops will do you.
    These sauces are limited. I look forward to them each year.

    Triple 'T' Ranch & Farm
    Larry Tristano
    Santa Rosa, CA 95409
    Phone: 707.529.3941

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008


    Mojo is hoping to get a taste of the latest bacon product. It is Baconnaise. What could be greater than bacon flavored mayonnaise. The Wacky people at Bacon Salt have just released a new product called Baconnaise. This will probably be the best new food product since sliced bread. They claim there is no artificial flavors. There is the regular and the lite version. Today we are testing the regular. Mojo is going to be very dissappointed when he learns that he will not be involved in the tasting

    When you first open the lid of Baconnaise you will smell a pleasant mayonnaise smell. There is a faint odor of bacon also. I tried a little spoonful by itself. It was creamy and smooth with a very slight hint of smoke. It had bacon flavor, but it was not overpowering. Then it was tried with some crackers and salami. Look out sliced bread. This new product is a winner. The blending of mayonnaise and bacon was brilliant. Eating this product straight out of the jar as a meal would not be far fetched. Baconnaise would be great in dips and salads. The possibilities are endless. The ultimate test will be in a 'BLT'. Would that be overkill? I cannot wait to find out.

    Saturday, November 1, 2008


    Ever get a hankerin for a dish you used to make. A dish that used to be one of your standards that has been on the back shelf of your recipe recollection. Chicken Enchiladas a comfort dish that is satisfying and easy to make. Roll some tortillas around some chicken, smother them in some sauce & cheese and bake them. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. I will throw in a couple of Chilebrown twists. The chicken will be baked in a Weber on a 'Weber' beer can roaster. Some red chile powder that was picked up on the Salsa Trail will be used in the sauce.(gravy). Let's start by cooking the chicken.

    This chicken will be cooked on a Weber Beer Can Roaster. This is a device that props up the chicken by impaling it with a hollow throne. The throne is hollow to hold liquid. The theory is the chicken will cook and the liquid will steam the interior. There is a non stick bowl to catch all the chicken drippings. You place the chicken and the holder on a medium heat on a covered barbeque or oven. You walk away and return in an hour. The chicken turns out moist and juicy. You will never buy a Supermarket roasted chicken again if you try this method. Wash and dry your chicken first. Rub your favorite rub to cover the chicken. I am using Survival Spice today. Start your fire. I am using Green Heart charcoal. When the coals are ready place chicken in middle of grill. Remove in 1 hour and let cool completely. Remove chicken from bone. Shred into bite size pieces and reserve.

    1. 1 cup of chile powder (The best you can find)
    2. 1 teaspoon of cumin
    3. 2 teaspoons of salt
    4. 2 teaspoon of sugar
    5. 2 strips of bacon chopped fine
    6. 4 cups of water
    7. 1/2 onion chopped fine

    Cook bacon and onion for 5 minutes. Add flour and cook for 3 minutes stirring constantly.Then add the water add spices and simmer for 30 minutes. The sauce should thicken.

    Take 1/3 cup of sauce and mix with your chicken. Use a casserol pan and coat bottom with a cup of sauce. Take tortillas and roll with chicken. Place in pan. Cover with sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

    Oh it was so good I forgot to snap a shot. Enchiladas are a good comforting meal!!!!

    Ms. Goofy Carving