MAD MEAT GENIUS

MAD MEAT GENIUS
Chilebrown at home

Barbeque

Barbeque
Let's get Cookin!!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY





I have reached a Milestone in my life today. I have hit the half-century mark. I have some mixed feelings. Most of these feelings are good. I do wonder what happened to the last 20 years. Time sure fly's when you are on a 'Meat Adventure'. The one thing I know, is, I have family and friends. I am very lucky!!.




Check out the Logo my sister made for me. As soon as I figure it out, it will be included in the cover shot. My Sister's name is "The President of Cookies". It is a long story!




I have a cheesecake to try. I know it is the Bomb, because my Mom made it. Thanks Mom!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

FAVA FLOWERS & MEXICAN FERTILIZER



The fava bean plants in my garden are flowering. This is a sign that spring is right around the corner. Spring vegetables are my favorite. I love artichokes, fava's, peas and asparagus. Fava's are easy to grow. My dad used to have a saying about Fava's.

Mexican Fertilizer

My first experience with gardening was quiet by accident! I was a teenager living with my parents, upstairs; overlooking the backyard garden. It was the ‘Party 70’s’.’ Cheech and Chong’ were our”Role Models and Heroes”. Smoking was very” Kool and Hip” according to them. The ‘Smoke of the Day’, had a by product of “Stems and Seeds That You Don’t Need”. I had an idea of recycling then. It was to throw the waste out my window.Little did I know the consequences!

My father went to the “ ‘Navelet’ gardening center downtown”. Apparently there was a bunch of plants growing below my window that he could not identify. He had brought them some samples of the plants,. He returned: “’Paul’, I need to talk to you!” I did not have a clue what he wanted. My dad looked pretty serious! What did he want? My father replied, with a very disappointing tone,” I just got back from ‘Navelets’, they told me the sample from underneath your window was cannabis.” My mouth dropped, and before I could reply, my father said,” It must be that Mexican Fertilizer”


My Father was a Gardner by trade. ”World War II “came around and he served. He returned, married, and had two children. He had a career at the Post Office; He still made time to tend his garden. Flowers were his specialty. There was a lot of pride grown in his garden.. Being a juvenile, I was an unwilling participant in the mowing and cleanup of my father’s garden.
The experiences I had with my father made an impression. I am now experiencing joy in the garden. I did get to share my garden with my father in his later days. He would love the flowers and produce I would bring him. The majority of the plants I grew were from seed, and some were heirloom. He was now gardening through me. It was a time that we were together.


I went to Berkeley to buy a Haas Avocado tree. I knew my dad was in the hospital. When I returned, there was a phone call from the chaplain. I did not know how to deal with the sorrow, so I planted the tree. I named the tree “Dad”.
“Dad” I won’t be using any of that Mexican Fertilizer.


WILLIAM ALBERT BROWN (1918-2004)
FAVAS
"A LOT OF WORK FOR WHAT YOU GET"

Monday, February 25, 2008

BACON REVUE (VANDE ROSE)


This last Saturday we had a bacon tasting at the Meathenge labatories. 'Vande Rose' was one of the bacons we tasted. This producer is located in Oskaloosa,Iowa. They use Premium Duroc Pork. This was a most excellent bacon. It had a lot of Meat to fat ratio. This bacon is smoked with applewood but did not have a big smoke profile. The texture was firm and chewy. This bacon was salted to perfection. The taste had a real pork flavor. We tasted it next to the Nueske bacon. I think it is a little unfair to compare the two. The Nueske grabbed you with its big smoke.I did the only fair thing. I tried it again the next day, and then again the next day. On its own Vande Rose was premium bacon. It just had this 'Real Pork Flavor' and that is why I am going to give it 4 stars out of 5.

Vande Rose
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Price: ? This was a birthday gift (Thanks Larry)
Where:
Preferred Meats
700 Julie Ann Way
Oakland, CA
(800) 397-6328
http://preferredmeats.com

Photgraph by Dr. Biggles

Sunday, February 24, 2008

BACON REVUE (NUESKE)




You may have noticed the new title of the Bacon Review. It is now the "Bacon Revue". It is now the Theater of Bacon. I think this title is more appropriate. Thanks Dr. Biggles. This Saturday we were camped out before the storm at the Meathenge Laboratory. We had a bacon tasting seminar. The Sourdough Monkey Clan was present as well as Myself and the Dr. One of the Bacons we tasted was Nueske. This bacon was the smoke Bomb. It had a great texture. It was meaty.It was not overly sweet. The Nueske bacon was the crowd favorite. It was the favorite of the little Monkey Zoe. I am going to have to agree. It had the right balance of salt,sweet and gave you a jolt of smoke. I am going to give it a 4 and 1/2 stars.
Nueske
BaconRating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Cost: 7/pd. (Shipping not included)
Where: Barons In the Alameda Marketplace
1650 Park St., in Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 864-1915 or mail order directly from Nueske

Photographs by Dr. Biggles

Saturday, February 23, 2008

PULLED PORK



One of my favorite barbeque dishes is Pulled Pork. This dish takes an investment of time. I think it is worth every morsel of smoky goodness. It involves smoking a Boston Butt of Pork for almost 12 hours. I use a ‘Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker’. It is a full proof easy tool to achieve great results. I got up at 3 am to start the fire. It is stormin outside. It took about an hour to get everything going. I then went back to bed. I had to kick the dogs out of my spot. My fancy thermometers have alarms if the temperatures fall or rise from the correct smoking temperature. Let’s go into some more detail

1 8 pd Boston Pork Butt
1 cup of Rub (Wild Willy’s Number One-derful Rub)
A handful of wood chunks for smoking

The night before you are going to smoke your roast, rub it down with rub, refrigerate. Take the roast out of the refrigerator while you are starting the fire. I use Kingsford charcoal. I also use a propane torch to start my fire. This torch means business so be careful! When the charcoal has a white ash add wood chunks, fill water pan and assemble smoker. Place meat in smoker and go back to bed.

I have two Nu-Temp thermometers to regulate the heat and cooking time. One probe is in the Meat to let me know when the roast is done (195). The other is in the cooking chamber to let me know what temperature the smoker is at. (225-250 degrees). Both of these transmitters send to a base station. You can see it on the arm of my chair, while I am watching TV.(Chilebrown at Home picture) I can just let Ms. Goofy know to open or close a vent on the smoker or if I am low on beer. Ha!

I let the roast cook for 8 hours and then I wrap it in foil and return it to smoker. After eight hours it has had plenty of smoke. The hard part is waiting the rest of the time till the roast reaches an internal temperature of 195. When it reaches this temperature take it off the smoker and let it rest for 45 minutes.

I like to serve this with coleslaw and baked beans. It tastes great by itself. To make pull pork sandwiches take a serving size hunk of pork and separate with two forks. Place in a sauté pan and add some of your favorite barbeque sauce and heat mixture. Traditionally it is served on hamburger buns. I made some home-made buns.
Enjoy!!!!!

RUB



I actually had a couple of requests for my Rub recipe. It is no secret I use ‘Wild Willy’s Number One-derful Rub’
recipe from “Smoke & Spice” (Cheryl and Bill Jamison).This is an all purpose rub that I use for Pork, Beef and Chicken. There is a secret that I will share with you. You need to use the freshest spices you can find. I am lucky to have access to several spice stores that sell in bulk. I go to
Milan International
990 University Avenue
(between 8th St & 9th St)
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 843-9600
They have every spice you could ever imagine. They also have a lot of Indian products that are very interesting and unusual to me. They have a high turnover of their products. That means that they have fresh spices. That is the key to this recipe. The ingredients are simple and easy to put together.

Wild Willy's Number One-derful Rub

3/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup black pepper (freshly ground, important)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne

Stir together. That’s it.

This rub has so many uses. It is great on Ribs, Chicken etc. I even use a tablespoon in my baked beans tomorrow it is going on a Boston Butt for pulled pork sandwiches. Oh Yeah!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

MEME


Well as you may have gathered I am a little new to this game. I have been Meme. I still am not sure what that means.

The rules are:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names, linking to them.
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

I am not the greatest speller. I thought maybe it had something to do with a character on the Drew Carrey Show. Her name is spelled Mimi. Oh well, I was tagged by the infamous Dr.(Rev)Biggles


FACTS:
1) I played Robin Hood in an elementary school Fashion Show and wore Green Tights.
2) Vegetables are Kool!
3) There is a Pay Phone in my Living Room.
4) Sometimes, I Visualize Whirled Peas!
5) Someday I will play Harold Hill in the Music Man.

"The Pragmatic Chef",
"Slim Pickins Pork"
"Pluto Demoted",
"A Year in Bread"
"Mr. Baconpants.com"

Monday, February 18, 2008

SHARP KNIVES


Do you feel comfortable with your knife? Does it have that edge that will slice through a tomato without ripping it apart? Have you ever tried to sharpen a knife yourself and it came out duller than before. I have. I have always admired those people that would take a knife and run it across a stone to a razor finish. I have tried and tried. I have had people show me again and again. Well I had resigned to having my knives sharpened professionally. One day I read about the ‘Edge Pro’.
http://www.edgeproinc.com/
It sounded like something I could manage.
Edge Pro is located in Mt. Hood, Oregon. Ms. Goofy and I were on the ‘Ultimate Meat Adventure’ and we would be in that area. I made an appointment to meet the Owner and Inventor Ben Dale. Ben gave us a demonstration and had me try it out on a knife that I had brought along. It took a little practice but Ben was very patient. Ben started to demonstrate a couple of advanced techniques of actually putting a polish on an edge. You could see the passion in his demonstration. I was sold right there.
I have my Edge Pro now. My knives are sharp. Boy are they sharp. It takes a little practice, but is something that is not difficult. You select the angle for your knife. You select the stone. You start out with a rougher stone and work to a smoother stone. Your knife lies on a table and the stone is set at the perfect angle. You draw the stone over your blade. You finish the process with a ceramic steel.
I am not going to recommend this to everyone. I think most people can get by using a Steel and having there knives sharpened professionally. If you are a Freak like Me, then you will have to get an Edge Pro. My knives are an important part of my cooking. Being sharp is a necessity. This is a great tool.
Edge Pro
P.O. Box 95 HR, OR 97031
541-387-2222
www.edgeproinc.com



Sunday, February 17, 2008

PIZZA


It is pizza time. We have some great pepperoni and sausage from the Fatted Calf. I will make a homemade crust and some sauce using some pancetta for flavor. It will get cooked in the Beehive Oven fired with almond wood. Let’s start off with the dough

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (I use Honey)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour (1 cup more as needed)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
Combine water, honey, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes until yeast starts to bloom. In a food processor combine all ingredients and mix until dough forms ball and pulls away from side of bowl. You may have to add a little more flour. Knead on a floured board for 10 minutes. Place in Ziploc bag and put in refrigerator for 24 hours.

Sauce

1 large slice of Pancetta diced
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
Salt & Pepper
1 small onion diced
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar

Cooked the diced pancetta in large sauté pan for 5 minutes. Add the onions and sauté for another couple of minutes. Add the paste cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar,oregano, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Arrange all your ingredients. Roll out the dough and assemble the pizza pie.

When the moon hits your eye
Like a big-a pizza pie
That's amore
When the world seems to shine
Like you've had too much wine
That's amore

The pizza pie only takes a few minutes in the Beehive. So I am going to sing a little more.

Bells'll ring
Ting-a-ling-a-ling
Ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita bella"
Hearts'll play
Tippi-tippi-tay
Tippi-tippi-tay
Like a gay tarantella

Oh, I am so sorry. That is our theme song. The pizza was great. So until we meat again.


When the stars make you drool
Joost-a like pasta fazool
That's amore
When you dance down the street
With a cloud at your feet, you're in love
When you walk in a dream
But you know you're not dreamin', signore
'Scusami, but you see
Back in old Napoli, that's amore

(When the moon hits your eye)
(Like a big-a pizza pie, that's amore)

That's amore






SMOKED PORK CHOPS


You have been good to yourself. You have been exercising. You have not had that extra piece of dessert. Well it is time to have a big old piece of Pork. I have been craving a smoked Pork Chop. This is a beautiful specimen. We got it last summer on our ‘Ultimate Meat Adventure'.It was from the ‘Original Bavarian Sausage Delicatessen’ in Tigard Oregon. This was a fun shop. It was full of German Products. They had a large assortment of sausages. They had the most unusual black forest bacon. It even smelled wonderful in the shop.

This Chop has been smoked till cooked. It basically just needs to be heated. I dredged the chop in flour. I heated a cast iron pan. When hot I added a little oil and seared the Chop on both sides. I removed the Chop and browned a cup of rice in the remaining oil. I then added a little salt and pepper, 1 ½ cup of water and the chops. It then went into a 400 oven for 15 minutes. I served it with a little steamed asparagus.

This Pork Chop was so smoky, sweet, juicy delicious that I want to pack the car and drive back up to the Original Bavarian Sausage Delicatessen. If only it was a little closer.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

CARDOON




Celery on Steroids? We shall see! This Cardoon was picked up at the Alemany Market from the Molinari Farm vendors. The lady selling this vegetable was kind enough to tell me how to prepare them. I wonder how many times a day she has to tell this story.

Trim your Cardoon. Cut away the base, tops and any blemished areas. Peel off the leaves. Be careful, because there ares some little thorns. Cut into 2 inch lengths or whatever recipe you are going to make.

Start a big pot of water to boil. You should add salt and 1 lemon quarterd.(seeds and all). When the water start to boil, put in Cardoon pieces. Let them simmer 10-20 minute or so. Cool and make bread crumbs.

I take left over bread and toast lightly in the toaster oven. Pulse in a food processor to crumbs.

Dredge cool Cardoon pieces in salt & peppered flour, egg wash and bread crumb mixture.

Fry in 350 degree oil of choice until Golden.
VERDICT

These taste treats where the Bomb! It had a little artichoke hint in the flavor. I think these are the perfect appetizers. I am hooked. They were great, but I need a Meat fix. Stay Tuned!


Friday, February 15, 2008

ALEMANY FARMERS MARKET







We set the alarm. Ms. Goofy made coffee. We were on the road by 7:30 a.m. We were on our way to The Alemany Farmers Market. . The Alemany Farmers Market is the original Farmers Market in the Bay Area. This location has been there since 1947. My father used to drag me there in the 60's. Little did I know he was on to something. This is not your Yuppie, Polished and Place to Be Seen Market. This is a honest place to buy produce directly from the farmers. The produce is not all organic. It can get crowded. Pushing and shoving seems to be the norm. It is a great place to buy veggies at a reasonable price.

This is one of our favorite markets to go to. Today we were in search of the first Asparagus of the Season. We scored from Couture Farms located in Kettleman City. We also found a vegetable that I have never heard of Cardoon. The Cardoon is from Molinari Farm. It is in the picture located next to the Rappini. It looks like a celery on steroids. It is supposed to taste like artichoke. I am going to give it a shot.

I am going to end today on a sad note. Chris from Zuckerman farms has had a major health setback. We hope that he has a speedy recovery. Get well Chris!

Alemany Farmers Market
100 Alemany Blvd.
San Francisco, CA.
Open Saturday
















Thursday, February 14, 2008

VALENTINES DAY


Happy Valentines Day to everyone. I hope you have someone special that you can share this day with. I am married to a Beautiful, and Wonderful Women named Ms. Goofy. She knows me like a book. She left me a present this morning that has me grinning ear to ear.

It is the Executive model of the Air Grill. http://www.air-grill.com/ . It is a valuable tool for starting charcoal or wood fires. It is a very simple design. When you have stubborn charcoal that will not light, just start fanning the fire with the Air Grill and within seconds you are going to have a bonfire. I use it to get the fire going in my Beehive Oven. I also use it to get our fireplace started. I am one happy camper.

I LOVE YOU! Ms. Goofy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

BACON REVIEW



We picked up some Pancetta at the Fatted Calf. This is some good looking bacon. I have to be honest and say I do not know a lot about Pancetta. This is what I found out .

Pancetta is an Italian bacon that is cured with salt, pepper, and other spices, but is not smoked. Unlike English and American bacon, which are taken from the sides and belly of the pig, may be smoked, and are usually cut into slices, pancetta comes only from the belly, is salt-cured but not smoked, and is generally sold rolled up into sausage shapes. So in all fairness I am going to give it a 5 out of 5 rating. The recipe below sold me.


Rating : 5 out of 5
Price : ?
Where : Fatted CalfThe Oxbow Public Market644 C First StreetNapa, CA 94559
Phone (707) 256-3684email: contact@fattedcalf.com


Rachael Ray is the Perky celebrity host of a Cooking Show on the Food Network. I hate to admit that she is on our TV a lot. One of her catch phrases is to say. " I am going to use some E V O O " (Extra Virgin Olive Oil). If you slow down the Audio, she is actually saying, " I am going to drink some Red Bull". She has a recipe for Creamy Spaghetti and Beans. I will never make fun of her again after trying this recipe. Ms. Goofy made it the other night using the Pancetta from Fatted Calf.



Creamy Spaghetti and Beans

5 to 6 cups chicken stock, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive, oil 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 pound chunk pancetta chopped into small dice, 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 pound spaghetti, 1 medium onion, chopped 2 carrots, cut into a small dice 1 fresh bay leaf 5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme 1 (15-ounce) can Roman beans or small white beans (recommended: Goya brand) Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup dry white wine, eyeball it 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Place the stock in a sauce pot and warm it over medium heat then reduce to simmer.

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil and the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the pancetta to brown slightly. Next add the garlic and spaghetti and toast the noodles lightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions and carrots, bay and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Soften veggies a bit, 5 minutes. Add wine and allow it to be completely absorbed. Add beans then add a few ladles of stock and stir the pasta. Keep adding stock a few ladles at a time allowing liquids to be mostly absorbed before adding more, as if you were preparing a risotto. When liquids are absorbed and spaghetti is cooked to al dente, 12-15 minutes, stir in cheese. Adjust salt and pepper. Turn off heat and stir another minute. Remove the bay and thyme stems. Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with lots of parsley.



Tuesday, February 12, 2008

BACON REVIEW


Some of you might know that I love bacon. We have traveled great distances to find the 'Gold Standard of Bacon'. There was a butcher in Bend Oregon called "A & B Meats". This was the 'Gold Standard'. Alas, they have retired. Ms. Goofy and I are on a quest to find the killer bacon. I am going to start a feature called the "Bacon Review". If you have any suggestions for finding some good bacon, let me know.

Fatted Calf

This is a new store that has opened up in Napa. We took a Meat Adventure to visit it last Saturday. It has a lot of cured meats. They were giving samples of a Pork Roast that they had just cooked. You would not believe how wonderful the store smelled.
The bacon looks beautiful. The rind is off. {Some people like the rind on. I do not understand why people like the rind on. They call it bacon gum. I call it insanity. Why would you put gum on a Prime Rib? }. The bacon had a mellow smoke smell. It was not very pronounced. It was not real meaty. I sliced it and cooked it in cast iron pan. It had a nice pork flavor. It seemed to have the right amount of saltiness. I wish it could of had a little more smoke. Overall, I would rate this bacon a 3 out of 5. It was very good, but it did not have that something, to make it stand out.

Rating: 3 out of 5
Price : 10/pd
Where : The Oxbow Public Market 644 C First StreetNapa, CA 94559 Phone (707) 256- 3684 email: contact@fattedcalf.com


Monday, February 11, 2008

TWO TONE SOURDOUGH BREAD















One of my hobbies is cooking in Dutch Ovens. I have entered a couple of contests and have had some sucess. It is amazing what you can cook in a Dutch Oven. It actually can be more consistent in temperature than your home oven. I have been having some fun cooking Sourdough bread in my Dutch Oven. I was gifted the starter by Dylan of 'Sourdough Monkey Wrangler'. I am on a team called "The Meat Men". We will be competing this June in Carson City at the "Rendezvous Day" event. http://www.eventsnevada.com/rendezvous.htm . We just finished competing in the 'Three Pot Cookoff' at the 'Sportsmen' Show at Cal Expo. Here are some pictures of the event.
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups water, 1 tablespoons yeast, 4 cups white bread flour, 2 cups whole wheat
flour, 2 teasp salt, 1 cup of sourdourgh starter, 1 tablespon honey, 1/4 cup oil


Proof yeast in water for 10 minutes. Add starter,honey,1 tablespoon of oil and two cups of flour. Mix and let rest for 1/2 hour. Divide dough mixture into two halfs. Add two cups of whole wheat flour and 1 teaspoon of salt and nead for 5 minutes. Take other half and add two cups of white flour and 1 teaspoon of salt and nead for 5 minutes. Lest rest for 15 minutes. Roll each half into logs 1 1/2 in by 12 in. Let rest 15 min. Line both roll side by side and twist together. Take the twist and make a circle. Use the rest of the oil and coat the dutch oven liberally. Place dough mixture into oven and let rise 45 minutes. Bake for aprox 45 minutes.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

FATTED CALF







We have been ready all week to go on a "Meat Adventure" to the new "Fatted Calf". store in Napa. Dr. Biggles and Jan went up to the 'Grand Opening. I was so jealous!

Reverend Biggles, called Dylan . Have you seen Dylan lately.? He looks like he should be the next "PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES. or JESUS CHRIST.? Well we all hooked up and went on a Meat Adventure..It was a lot of fun. We had to search out the chain drains. How can you go wrong when you have a Big ole Pork Roast (Stuffed) for samples.

I am going to vote for Dylan because he makes the killer Stout!

CHILEVERDE



"In some social circles, I am known as Chileverde". That is a quote from my infamous 6 minutes of fame on Joey Altman's "Bay Cafe". I now go by Chilebrown. Today I am making my award winning Chileverde. Well, sort of award winning. It took the 'Peoples Choice' award at the "Calistoga Beer,Sausage and Chili Festival". The judges voted the Police Captain First and the Fire Chief Second. I have a little twist to kick up my chili. I barbeque all the vegetables and Meat. Lets start with the ingredients.

8 pounds of Pork Shoulder (Butt)
cilantro
1 pound of tomatillas
1 TBL honey
2 onions
1 TBL cumin
Dry Rub
salt and pepper
1 TBL oregano
1 head of garlic
8-10 large Anaheim style peppers. If you can get New Hatch, I am jealous.

Take the Pork Shoulder and cut into 3 or 4 large steaks. Take a dry rub and rub the meat( I am using 'Survival Spice' http://desertislandfoods.com/detail.aspx?ID=1 )
Fire up your barbeque. Today I am using a custom Weber. It has a motor on the bottom. The Motor drives a shaft that rotates the grill. It is pretty slick. You do not have hot spots. You can basicaly just put the meat on the grill,put the lid on and walk away. I let them cook for about 30 minutes on a Medium Heat.
Take the meat off and let cool. I then cut the meat into small cubes. I discard as much fat and gristle that I can.
It is now time to grill the vegetables. I wrap the garlic in foil. I cut the onion into quarters. I get a good char on everything. Let them cool. Place everything in a food processor with the cilantro. Add a little water to get things turning. Pulse until you have a chunky mixture.
Combine your veggies and meat mixture. Add honey, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Add some more water to make a thick soupy mixture. Simmer for aprox 1 hour.
I like to serve the chili over rice with a dallop of Sour Cream





Friday, February 8, 2008

SOURDOUGH BREAD




I am still learning about tempatures and baking times in the Beehive Oven. It will get crazy hot and I need to let the tempature drop for baking. I measured 500 degrees when I put the bread in. When you close the door the tempature rises. This loaf got a little crusty on the outside. It was delicous. It had a tang from the sourdough. I just sliced it and served it with Fresh Butter from Spring Hill Farms.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

BEEHIVE OVEN


Two Christmas's ago Ms. Goofy bought me a wood burning oven. It is called the Beehive. I am firing it up today. I use almond wood. It is a hard wood and has a mellow smoke profile. When you cook in the Beehive, you really do not get a smoky flavor. It can cook a very high heat. I have got it up to 900 degrees measured by my digital laser themometer. (That is another story). At 900 degrees you cannot really cook anything except burnt toast. When it cools down, to say 600 degrees you can make the killer pizza. You let it cool down some more and Beer Can Chicken is the way to go. Bread is on the list. I am still experimenting with the tempature and cooking times.

Today I am making a Sourdough Bread. My friend Dylan from Sourdough Monkey Wrangler gave me a sourdough starter. I have been keeping it active. Sourdough Starter is one of the simple pleasures of life. All it takes is flour,water, and a little patience. You then get this living "Mother" (Sourdough Term). It can be used for yeast and flavor for you baking. My recipe today is simple.

2 cups starter 3 tablespoons honey

4 cups bread flour 1 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons oil


Knead this all together. Let rise for 1 to 2 hours, Until it doubles. Punch down and shape and let rise for another 45 minutes. Bake for aprox 40 minutes at 450.

FAJITAS


Last night we had Fajitas. I took some beef shoulder and rubbed a dry rub of salt,pepper and chile powder. I then cut several colored bell peppers a onion and cut them into strips. The Monterey market had some really nice asparagus so I added them to my Veggies. I just added Salt, Pepper and some Olive Oil. I let both the meat and veggies sit for an hour at room tempature.

I used Mesquite Charcoal in my Weber. I started the fire with a Chimney starter. Mesquite burns hot and fast. You can see my vegetable holder. It is great for grilling. It is nonstick and has holes in it for smoky goodness. It took less than 10 minutes for everything to cook. You can see a couple of chicken thighs on the grill. They took longer. Oh by the way, I hate to admit, they were for Mojo and Oscar. My two very spoiled Golden Lap Dog Retrievers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

THE ULTIMATE MEAT ADVENTURE


Last Summer Ms. Goofy and took a vacation to Oregon. We planned our trip to visit smokehouses and butchers throughout the state. I would like to share this adventure with you. My good friend Dr. Biggles at Meathenge published the original posting. You can view it at




This weekend, Dr. Biggles, Ms. Goofy and Myself are going on a Meat Adventure to napa to visit the new Fatted Calf store. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

POOR LITTLE ORPHAN BOY MOJO


I was trimming some Rose Bushes on the side of the House. I could hear a whining in the background. I looked up and saw Mojo and Oscar. They were both prancing like they had to take a leek really bad. I ignored them at first. The whining became even louder. I thought maybe they had a mouse trapped. I had to go rescue the brave boys. Well, I saved them. It was a orange ball with a stripe that was caught between the barbeques. Poor Little Orphan Boy Mojo.!!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

THIRD PLACE


Yes, I am very happy. I took third place at the Hot Wing Contest and the Hot Sauce Blog. http://www.hotsauceblog.com/ . My wings are entitled "GREEN WINGS AND HAM". They were spicy.