Chilebrown at home

Friday, October 23, 2009



Trixie, You stole and broke our hearts in a brief instant. Why did you have to leave us so soon? We will cherish every moment that we did have. We love you little Trixie. Paul Peggy, Oscar and Mojo.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Here is something just for fun. Give it a try.
Image was created by

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Three local hot sauces were discovered at the Tierra Vegetable booth at the Ferry Plaza market in San Francisco Ca. Tierra Vegetables has been an inspiration for Chilebrown's hot sauce obsession for a very long time. Lee and her 'shoeless' brother Wayne grow and smoke peppers in Santa Rosa California. They have a commercial kitchen were they have been turning out some fiery pepper jams and hot sauces. They recently have pickled cucumbers and various other veggies. When ever a new hot sauce comes out, I am first in line. These hot sauces are seasonal and are produced in a limited number.
The Trinity consists of three sauces, 'Strawberry Latern', Roasted Green Chile, No 1' and 'Roasted Farm Blend No 1.' Today we are going to try the Strawberry Latern. The ingredients listed are Strawberries, Chiles, Vinegar and Salt. I assume this is the Latern pepper which is similar to the habanero. The color is a brownish red. It is fairly thick and coarse. There are little flecks of red. I am not sure if this is from the strawberries or peppers. A faint strawberry smell will greet your nostrils at first whiff. Now for the taste. After initial contact with your tongue, strawberries and sweetness will prepare you for the rush of heat that catches the back of your throat. This heat is not over powering. It is quite pleasant. The combination of sweet hot is surprisingly great.

I was skeptical of a sweet hot sauce. The final verdict should be tried with some food. A quick trip to the Colonel to pick up some chicken. I had two choices of chicken. (The Original or the Extra Greasy.) I chose the latter and topped them off with some onion rings. The food was devoured with great pleasure. This sauce has a one-two punch. The sweet strawberry lulls you into a calm before the storm of heat. It complimented my food and brought it to a new level. This bottle will not last long.

Friday, October 16, 2009


The smoker is on full load today. We have two types of bacon and short ribs slowly smoking in the Weber Smoky Mountain Smoker. The air is thick with peach, hickory and sugar maple wood aroma. My skin and clothes are permeated with the sweet nectar of smoke. The temperature in the smoker is hovering around 230 degrees. I only had to send Ms. Goofy to open a vent twice. The couch is the perfect place to control and monitor the smoking process. If you look at my opening picture, You will see me watching basketball with a temperature monitor. There is a method to my madness.

The first bacon is a command performance by the 'Great White Hunter'. The recipe is nitrate free and was created by Alton Brown of the Food Network. It has a sweet molasses kick. A three day soak in salt, sugar, apple cider and molasses is all that is needed. This will be smoked for 5 hours until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.

The second bac0n is a cured boneless shoulder. It is called 'Buckboard Bacon. It was rubbed with a cure that was made by 'High Mountain Seasoning'. This rubbed butt was held in the Chilebrown Ice Cave for 10 days. A quick rinse with water and returned to the Ice Cave to form a pellicle. This was also smoked to 15o degrees. It took 7 hours or 14 reruns of 'I Love Lucy'.

The final entry into the smoke cavern was some short ribs. They were on sale at the local Wally-Mart. These beef ribs are very tough and loaded with fat. These are perfect to cook low and slow in the smoker. They were smothered in mustard and then some home made rub was applied. They were cooked for 7 hours. The meat was falling off the bone. OH my they were good.
This is how I roll. The smoker got a work out and I watched a lot of T.V. "HEY LUCY I'M HOME"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I gave my dad a pumpkin plant 20 years ago. He nurtured this plant. He watered, fertilized and added a whole lot of love. The final weight was 92 pounds. He was very proud. The pumpkins that I grew were no match for this 'Great Pumpkin.

My dad has passed but the memory of Dad and this Great Pumpkin has lived on. My sister, ''The President of Cookies' has teased me over the years that Dads' achievement would never be duplicated. The last two years, she has given me Christmas presents of seeds from Giant pumpkins. I have tried and tried to match the 92 pounds. I do not have the magical green thumb that my father possessed. This year success has finally come to the pumpkin patch. This behemoth squash has tipped the scales at 120 pounds. The best part of this is, I know that my Dad would of been proud of me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


What the heck is pellicle? This is when you take protein and prepare the outer layer to receive smoke. Well this is my definition that I will stand by.These are some other definitions of pellicle.

I am smoking Buckboard Bacon, and some' Nitrate Free' Bacon tomorrow. They need to form a pellicle. This is created by a fan or letting them stay in the refrigerator overnight. i am using the refer method. "Oh stop it", I still get drug tested. After 12 hours they will have a pellicle shine and will be ready to accept the smoking process.

Stay tuned for further smoking . I also have some beef shortribs to load up the smoker. I hope our storm in the East Bay will subside.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Today's Meat Adventure takes us to Northern California. We are going to visit 'R & R Quality Meats' and Kent's Meats both located in Redding. Redding is located at the base of the Shasta Dam and is home to the world famous Sundial Bridge. Redding just so happens to be where my bro-in-law parks his Harley that he will not let me ride.

R & R is a full service Meat Market. It is a very popular place that is well staffed. The place is crowded but you will receive service promptly. We were amused by pig shaped out of ground pork. Some pork bellies and some beautiful beef ribs were purchased. The bellies will be cured into some bacon. R & R is a great place to pick up any protein that you may need.
Our next stop is Kents Meats. We are visiting Kents to pick up a ham and some bacon that is smoked on the premise. Kents is an all purpose market. They have a well stocked produce section and all the basic grocery items. They also have some cured pork products. They make their own sausage and smoke various meat products. We filled up our ice chest with sausage, bacon and ham. It is time to fire up the barbeque.

2105 East St.
Redding Ca. 96001

Kents Meat and Groceries
8080 Airport Rd
Redding, CA 96002-9445
(530) 365-4322

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Every other year the Chilebrown household replenishes the Chipotle pepper supply in the pantry. It was time to break out the designated chile smoker. A combination of woods was used. Peach, Hickory, Almond and Sugar maple blended to create a perfume of smoke that should be bottled. Ms. Goofy and I went to the Alemany market in San Francisco to buy 10 pounds of ripe red jalapenos. Once smoked, these peppers will compact to one pound of pure smoke heaven.

Once the peppers are purchased, give them a good rinse with water and let them air dry. The smoke should be a cold smoke. The temperature should never go over 125 degrees. Six to ten charcoal briquettes were ignited away from the smoker. The lit charcoal was place in an offset firebox. The combination of woods was placed on top of the live charcoal. All the vents were closed to keep the heat low. I would let the fire and smoke burn out and would start the process over. This went on over a three day period. The chile's absorbed a good amount of smoke. They were then finished off in a dehydrator. This only took a 24 hour period.

We now have a two year supply of home smoked chipotle. If you try this at home, be sure to clean your smoker of all grease. You do not want your peppers to taste like last nights brisket. A designated chile smoker is the way to go. It is time to make some salsa.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Ms. Goofy and Chilebrown are vacationing in Scotts Valley visiting some friends in Northern California. A pleasant afternoon lunch and liquid refreshments were enjoyed at the Etna Brewing Company. Etna Ca. is a historical area that is located on a historic route from California to Oregon. There have been numerous breweries to quench the thirst of travelers and settlers on this route. The latest brewery is a great lunch and liquid refilling station.
We met the 'Brewmeister and Brewmissus', Bill Behm and Debra, award winning brewers. They were enthusiastic and fun with a tour of the brew area. They recommended trying the 'Clubfoot Ale'. It was made from hops growing in front of the brewpub. It also tipped the meters at 10% alcohol. This was some smooth tasting brew. It just had a very hoppy kick with a smooth finish. You would never guess the octane level was so high. Ms. Goofy had a 'Mossback IPA.' This brew was a hoppy treat also.
The Etna Brewing Company is a small brewery that has some great beer. They have a lunch menu that will rock your boat. Ms. Goofy had the killer tortilla soup. I think they only distribute beer locally in California. If you are privileged to happen upon Etna Ca. give them a visit. You can visit the website at:

Monday, October 5, 2009


A trip to Alemany Farmers market was an adventure in the unknown fruit department. We found the Dragon fruit. This fruit from a cactus is very colorful and pretty. It sometimes is called a strawberry pear.We asked the vendor a couple of questions. She suggested we chill the fruit to improve the taste. One was purchased and and placed it in our politicaly correct cloth vegetable container.

Once we got home the fruit was placed in the Chilebrown Ice Cave. A short while later it was sliced open. It had an interesting speckled interior. The texture was like a stiff pudding. It did not have a lof of flavor. I would compare it to a kiwi but not as sweet. There just was not a lot to it. Our curiosity was satisfied. I am going to fry up some bacon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Chilebrown is in trouble from square one. I received an invitation to go to an exclusive club. The rules are simple. No Women, booze, fishing, football and good eats. How could I turn down an offer like this. The 'Under The Bridge Club' is held once a month at the 'Crocket Bass Club. This Club has been around for a very long time. The views of the Carquinez Strait are magnificent. There is a pier to dock your boat and cast a line to catch a trophy fish.

We arrived at the Club at the crack of dawn, sort of, around 900 am. John fired up the stove and cooked us eggs Benedict with potato's, ham, bacon and his special Hollandaise sauce. This was just the start of a day of eating and imbibing.

Wings, Tri-Tip, Onion rings, stuffed Jalapenos. zucchinis strips, freshly caught flounder, numerous styles of sausage, bread, chips. and a bucket of different flavored boozes these are a few of my favorite things. Julia Andrew's could not burst out into song to make this menu prettier.

One Bay Area team won. Two were embarrassed again. I was privileged to be inviteded to the "Under the Bridge Club" We had a great time with our Brotherhood of gourmands and sports enthusiast. Will somebody call Ms. Goofy and plead my case so I can leave the couch!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


San Francisco the city of Cable Cars, Bridges, Great Restaurants and the Ferry Plaza was our episode this morning . The Ferry Plaza is a world class food destination. On Saturday's they have the best produce California has to offer. Inside the Plaza you can shop for any ingredient you could ever dream of. What did Chilebrown buy on this excursion to food mecca? A bag of 'Grandma Utz's handcooked potato chips was procured These slivers of spud are fried in the nectar from the Heavens. (Lard)

These chips are the real deal. They taste the way chips used to taste. They were found at Boccalone, my favorite place to get a meat cup. Next time you take a vacation and visit San Francisco be sure to pick up a bag of Grandma Utzs Handcoooked Potato Chips.

P.S. They are actually made in Pennsylvania

Friday, October 2, 2009


A previous tasting of 'Skillets' Bacon Jam brought out some not so positive reviews from the Mad Meat Genius 'Bacon Revue' board. I just so happen to be surfing by the The Bacon Show , when lo and behold, a recipe for Bacon Jam jumped into the Que of things to do. All the ingredients were on hand in the pantry. Why not? Let's give it a shot. Bacon, maple syrup and onions are slowly cooked to form a sweet savory accompaniment. Below, the recipe reprinted from The Bacon Show.

Bacon Jam

  1. 2 pounds bacon, preferably smoked and cured
  2. 4 small to medium yellow onions, julienned
  3. smoked paprika, or sweet Hungarian
  4. freshly ground celery seed
  5. freshly ground cumin
  6. freshly ground black pepper
  7. 1-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  8. 1/3 cup maple syrup
Cut bacon into quarter length strips. Place in dutch oven or heavy deep skillet, and render on the lowest heat possible until bacon is browned but not too crisp. Stir occasionally. About 1 hour.Remove bacon with slotted spoon, reserve in bowl.Place onions in bacon grease on lowest flame. Stirring every 15 minutes, keep going low and slow until onions are caramelized most of the way through and very sweet. About 3 to 5 hours.When you are getting close to removing the onions, add paprika, ground celery seed and ground cumin to pot, to taste. About a healthy pinch or three of each. Freshly crack some black pepper to taste, then remove onions with slotted spoon (taking some bacon grease with you), and place into a blender.Place reserved bacon into blender along with a tablespoon or three of apple cider vinegar, and about a 1/3 cup of real maple syrup. Blitz in blender until a rough puree forms. Keep it rustic unless you want a fine smooth texture.Taste, adjust syrup, salt, and other seasonings to taste.

The first taste was served on some hme made cheddar cheese crackers. Well they actually turned out to be a cross between a cracker and a biscuit. Never the less the crackers were rich and cheesy on their own. The bacon jam was sweet and savory with little bites of bacon. The maple syrup just took the caramelized onion and made them scream with sweet sugary delight. The texture was rustic. Little crunches of bacon were a treat that was neat. Lets try it on a hamburger. To be more precise a bacon/burger. This bacon/ burger will have a dollop of bacon jam, home grown tomato and lettuce served on a dutch crunch roll. This burger was so good, it should be illegal. Did I just say that? Making home made bacon jam is a time commitment. The ingredients are few, but melt together for a sweet, savory treat.