Chilebrown at home

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Prob'ly die in a small town
Oh, those small communities

John Cougar Mellencamp

I have been living in Rodeo, California for the last 17 years. This is my adopted small town We are located 30 miles from the City.(San Francisco). It is a long hard 30 miles because of the traffic and congestion. Rodeo in the 1890's was a stockyard and meat processing plant for the Union Stock Yard Company. Later Rodeo was known for its Bass fishing. It was a great spot for launching your boat to the bay. Now Rodeo is a small community trying to rebuild. Our downtown is a whopping three blocks long. We do not even have a Starbucks. What we do have is a community. We have little league baseball, a few restaurants, post office, local barber and most of all 'Lakeman's Club'. Today I would like to share this gem of an establishment.

George Lakeman is the owner, bartender, and cook at 'Lakeman's Club'. This was originally his father's. and now George and family run the establishment. When you walk into Lakeman's, George will greet you with a cheerful "How are you doing Young Man". Now George has earned the right to call you young man because he is 93 years young. He faithfully opens the doors at 9:30 am Wednesday through Saturday. This interior of the bar is a step back to a gentler age. The wooden flours give a creak crying a long history of patrons. The actual bar has a giant mirror that is surrounded by curved mahogany. You will find no ferns tucked into this scenery. There is a juke box with an eclectic mix of tunes. There are a bunch of big band selections for George and friends. There is a small kitchen with a vintage stove. The menus selection is very small. If you go you will have to have George make one of his famous linguisa sandwiches. George has a regular clientele of locals, retired people and a few working men. It is a quiet crowd and George will be sure to talk to everybody. This may be the last place on earth to buy a bottle of beer for 2.75 cents. Beer and wine are the only alcohol served.

Rodeo is a small town and a lot of people like it this way. Lakeman's Club is very special. Come on by and see for yourself. Just do not tell anybody about it. It is our secret.

Lakemans Club
512 First St.
Rodeo, Ca. 94572 510-799-9767

Friday, June 26, 2009


Oh Boy, do We have fun cooking!. We are cooking a corned beef brisket on the barbeque tonight. A couple of accompaniments would be nice. Some beautiful fresh corn was found at our local 'Mega-Wally-Mart'. Some starch would round off this meal. How about making some fresh pasta. No problem at the Mad Meat Genius Kitchen. Flour, eggs, salt, olive oil and a fancy Kitchen-Aide pasta roller will do us just fine.

Another kitchen tool that is nice is a 'Tavolini'. This is a pastry/pasta board given to Italian brides as a wedding present. Chilebrown has never been an Italian bride, but I can swear about the awesome results a designated flour board will give you. When you make pasta on this board, music will fill the air with a flair of romance. 'Ah, cut it out.' This is a wooden board that is only used for flour and liquid manipulation. Nothing else! It has a lip on the edge to grasp your counter for pasta kneading sessions. You never wash this board. You scrape the excess flour away and keep it in a dry place.

  1. 4 eggs
  2. 4 cups of flour
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 3 tablespoons olive oil

Make a well with the flour. Beat your eggs with salt and olive oil. Place liquids in center of flour volcano and combine. Knead for 10 minutes. You will have a very stiff dough. Wrap in cellophane and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll dough into fine sheets and cut into desired shapes.

This pasta cooks very fast. Some boiling salted water and maybe 5 minutes at the most. The pasta will float to the surface when it is done. Watch your pot,taste and remove the pasta before it gets overdone.

Serve this pasta with your favorite sauce. Tonight's pasta is covered with last years harvest of tomato bounty and is chaperoned with a little barbeque corned beef. Oh Yeah, we are having fun!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009



Tonight's performance will bring two performers to the stage. These two acts were discovered on a meat adventure to Reno. These two bellies of cured delight were found at a market called "Butcher Boy".We have a maple flavored bacon and a regular flavor to entertain. Both of these bacon's have a mysterious origin. It should be a good show.


Why are these bacon's mysterious? We asked the butcher that was on duty, if he could tell us anything about these bacon's. He was not privileged to the bacon secrets and referred us to the manager. The manager was very nice and gave us a card referring us to the Meat manager. This must be some special secret bacon. Two e-mails later, No response from the meat manager. We will have to rely on an old fashioned method to review these cured slabs. We will rely on our taste buds. Dr. Biggles will assist in the tasting.

Both these bacon's are beautiful. The meat to fat ratio leans to the meaty side. There is only a faint odor of smoke. The one fantastic smell that grabs your attention is maple. Once this pack was open, a craving of pancakes immediately grabs your sensors. Both were fried in black iron.

Maple, Maple, Maple is in the air and in our pores. This bacon needs to be cooked on a low heat because of the sugar content. Too high a heat will burn this rash of bacon. Both bacon's crisp up very nice. Dr. Biggles with camera in one hand and bacon in the other exclaimed his sensational enjoyment of these pork treats. This bacon could be the next Gold Standard of Bacon. The key is balance. The regular bacon had the right combination of sweet and salt. If there was any fault, it would be low smoke level. This point is only minor and is overlooked after tasting.

The maple bacon is over the top delicious. It is sweet and smokey. The meat had a wonderful chew to it. It has a dark color because of the sugar caramelization. Ms. Goofy wants pancakes. The whole house smells like maple. Now for the verdict.

Both of these bacon's were stupendous. The regular will receive a 3.75 stars out of 5. The maple bacon will receive a 4 stars out of 5. These scores reflect a deduction of .25 stars. Everybody may love a mystery, but it does not make good business. I wish we could of had a little more information on our purchase.

Butcher Boy Prime

Rating: Regular 3.75 stars out of 5
Maple 4 stars our of 5
Cost: 6.98/pound
Where: 7300 South Virginia
Reno, Nevada, 89511

Photos by Reverend Biggles

(except this one)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


How hard can it be to make mustard? I am constantly buying little two ounce jars of flavored mustard's. They can get pretty pricey. Sweet hot honey mustard is my all time favorite. It was time to make some of my own mustard. Today we are going to make a Guinness Mustard. The recipe uses a handful of ingredients for a big payoff of flavor. It also use Guinness beer. Need I say more.
  1. 2 12 ounce bottles of Guinness (one is for the cook)
  2. 10 ounces of brown mustard seeds
  3. 1 cup red wine vinegar
  4. 1 tablespoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon pepper
  6. 1/4 teaspoon of each cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and allspice.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and cover for 2 days. That is it. How hard was that. This is a little to easy. There is only one step more. After 2 days place in food processor and process to desired consistency. Refrigerate.

This mustard smells wonderful. Coming out of the food processor the aroma of mustard and spice was scrumptious. An initial taste on a cracker was a palate awakening. Let me warn you. Freshly ground mustard is very powerful. It has a horseradish type of bite. The combination of beer and spices was too good to be true. This will have to be sampled with a sandwich.

It just so happens we barbequed a turkey last night. A turkey sandwich is in order. "Great Turkey Balls of Fire". I got a little carried away on the mustard. This was one spicey sandwich. It is so easy to make mustard. We now have mustard for a month or two. The flavors are supposed to mellow with time. This will give me time to dream up some new flavors. Do you think some chile's and honey might be involved?


It is always a treat to find a local hot sauce. Today we have found a green hot sauce from Dixon California. This sauce is sold from a Produce store located right off the Dixon exit on California Interstate 80. This is a wonderful store stocked with fruits, nuts and a lot of local vegetables. This bottle of green heat caught my eye.

The ingredients listed on the bottle claim to be all natural. Jalapeno, Habanero, Wine Vinegar and onion puree are the main ingredients. The sauce is a course puree. There is some texture to this concoction. A quick taste on a spoon was tried. This is one flavorful sauce. It definitely had a jalapeno and onion flavor. I think I have found green gold. The burn was a medium heat. Just enough to grab your attention, but not enough to make you gasp. Now for a real taste treat.

Microwaved Pork Rinds did not exist in my world till today. I never new such a product ever existed. Once I found them, I had to have them. This will be the perfect vehicle for my 'green gold'. The package directions were followed to release the chicharonne bonanza. The verde sauce was applied liberally and I was in 'Spicy Hot Fried Pork Fat Heaven'. Oh Yeah!!!!!
This sauce is a winner. I will have to return to the Dixon Fruit Market and stock up.
Dixon Fruit Market
7808 Batavia Rd.
Dixon, CA. 95620 (707) 678-4211

Photos by Dr. Biggles

Friday, June 19, 2009


It is that time of year that the farmer's markets are starting to spill over with summer bounty. Napa, California has an evening market, called Chef's Market. It is a festive affair with live music, wine tasting, and chef's demonstrations. This was one Hot market. I mean that literally. The thermometer was pushing 90 degrees at 5:00 pm.

Being a market, in Napa, there must be wine. There were plenty of choices of grape to taste and imbibe.


Thursday Evenings 5pm-9pm

May 21- through July 30

First Street, Downtown Napa

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Somebody had to do it. Boca Java has created a coffee blend called 'Maple Bacon Morning'. Of course it had to be tested in the name of Mad Meat Genius research. It has a wonderful maple fragrance in its package and while it is brewing. Once the coffee is done the maple aroma still lingers with the brew. A sip did not deliver any maple or bacon taste. It was a good tasting coffee. Where's the bacon? Boca Java got me to bite the hook. Sometimes a novelty is just that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The Meatmen and Meatwoman cooked up a storm at the Rendezvous festival this year. We needed something to bring our dishes to the next level. We needed a sauce to spice up our food. We reached out for a bottle of "Carson City BBQ Hot Sauce".
This bottle has a devil on the label, promising some Rippin Hot delights. Will it deliver? We have brought in a special taster today. His name is Oscar and he is a dog. Oscar is a hot sauce aficionado. His resume for hot sauce expertise is extensive. One time he ate a whole jalapeno and did not even flinch. We did have to clean the carpets.

Oscar tried some Carson City Hot Sauce on a cookie. Here is his review:"Woof, Woof, Woof, meow, Woof, Woof and Woof" (Taste's like a weak Tobasco with a little smoke.)

There you have it from one happy Doggy.


It was a very pleasant day in Carson City for the Rendezvous festival. There was a slight cloud cover and a tiny breeze to bring the thermometer to the low 70's. This was great weather to fire up the cast iron vessels for a cook off. The theme of the Rendezvous, was life in the 1800's. There were a lot of people in costume. Civil War reenactors staged a mock fight. Those cannons sure were loud. I am not sure who won. Music, food and lots of crafts rounded out this event. We were there for the Dutch Oven Cook off.
The Meatmen and Meatwoman, gave their best effort to claim victory. There was a little controversy about the Judges credentials and judging experience. This will not be discussed on this forum because it might be considered 'Sour Grapes'. One gentleman came by our booth, once, twice and a third time for a sample of our food. This gesture made our effort
worth everything. This is what we compete for. It was reported later that the 'Space Shuttle Endeavour' saw the grin on my face!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the recipe for the "PEOPLE'S CHOICE" winner. It is a sweet savory cornbread. I used home smoked bacon.
1 cup of bread flour
1 cup of white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
1 cup medium grind whole grain cornmeal or regular cornmeal
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup dried cranberries (4 ounces)
1 cup of corn
2 slices of cooked bacon chopped

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.

After the festival, Ms. Goofy and I managed to have a couple of Meat Adventures. We picked up some chorizo from a wonderful Basque restaurant.(Villa Basque Deli & Cafe). Two new bacon's were discovered at "Butcher Boy" in Reno. Several local Hot Sauces were found. Our adventure ended at Harrah's Steak House for a gastronomical extravaganza dinner.
It was a great weekend. Once Ms. Goofy unloads the car and puts everything away we can start to sample our bounty!
Hairy Scary Lampshade In Our Room

Sunday, June 14, 2009


The Meatmen and Meatwomen took 'Second Place' in the team competition. Yours truly took first place in the 'Peoples Choice' award for bread. Good times. More later.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Actually it should be the Meatmen and Meatwoman(Sophie). We are oiling our pots and stacking our charcoal. The fires will be built and the competition will begin at the 'Rendezvous' in Carson City Nevada. The Meatmen will be challenged by other iron pot contestants. The contest will be to cook a Main course, Bread and Dessert in dutch ovens in a three hour time period. Charcoal will be the required fuel to heat these cooking vessels. We have high hopes for a victorious Sunday. Hope to see you there!
Rendezvous Carson City, Nevada June 12,13 & 14

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


This is Hot Sauce from California Interstate 5. Granzella's is a pit stop for all traveler's on the main travel artery of the Golden State. Granzella's is a traveler's delight. Home cooking, souvenirs, deli, lounge, motor home parking, olives, gourmet items to go and Granzella's hot sauces are there to experience at Granzella's. Today we are trying the house brand of "Good and Evil" hot sauce.

The ingredients are a 'hodge podge' of fruit and peppers. Habanero, Jalapeno, Red Bell peppers, ginger, garlic and orange juice are just a few ingredients. A little sample was poured on to a plate. The sauce was fairly thin. You can see some little flakes of the Red Bell pepper. A clean finger was inserted into this bulls eye of flavor. The first hit on the tongue was orange and ginger. There was only a little flair of heat. This sauce definitely leans toward the sweet side.

The taste test was with some fried chicken and salad. This was a good accompaniment to this fried fowl of goodness. It was a little too good. The heat was just not there. I wish it was a little more evil.

451 6th St.
Williams, California. 95987 530-473-5583

Saturday, June 6, 2009


It was a dark and stormy night. Well maybe it was a little overcast. This was the perfect excuse to make some Focaccia. As you may know, bread baking in the oven will omit a wonderful aroma that will lift your spirits and float your boat. Something like that. We just happened to have a 25 pound sack of bread flour.

This flour was obtained at Moore's flour mill in Redding Ca. They grind all their grains on the premise. This place is run and owned by the son of Bob Moore. Bob Moore originally started this mill and moved on to Oregon and built his empire of Bobs Red Mill. Moores is a great place to find any type of flour or grains for your baking needs.

  1. 4 cups bread flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1 tablespoon yeast
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 1 1/2 cups warm water
Proof the yeast in water for 5 minutes. Add rest of ingredients and knead till you have a nice dough. Place in oiled bowl and let rise for aprox 1 1/2 hours. Take a well oiled baking sheet and press dough onto sheet with your fingers. Press out into rectangle. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for another 45 minutes. Drizzle more olive oil over top and bake in 400 oven for aprox 35 minutes.