Chilebrown at home

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


We are polishing our judges badges in preparation for the Way Out West Bbq Championship that will be held this 4th of July weekend in Stockton California. Reverend Biggles is driving the bus to Stockton. Hop on board for a fun day with barbeque.

I have a volunteer sunflower that is 10 feet tall. I am a little frightened of it.

Monday, June 28, 2010


(Kobe on right)
Harry Stewart, the owner of 'The Great American Barbeque, serves some award winning barbeque. Harry competes in numerous barbeque competitions and has been quite successful accumulating awards. When Harry mentioned he served Kobe-style beef brisket at his restaurant, I began to drool with anticipation of tasting this exotic bovine. Kobe beef generally means a cut of meat from the Wagyu breed of cattle. This beef is renowned for its flavor, tenderness, and fatty well marbled texture. In Japan according to popular belief the Wagyu cattle receive one beer per day and are massaged with warm sake. Today's Kobe beef was from the Masami ranch located near Redding California.

Harry does not serve the Kobe brisket all the time. We called and arranged a time he would be serving this special beef. We wanted to compare and taste the Kobe side by side with some regular brisket. Kobe beef is graded above the 'Prime, Choice, Select" grades. Harry explained this beef was rated 'Kobe Supreme 10". This regular brisket was no chump. It had a pretty impressive pedigree itself of USDA Choice grade Black Angus. This will be a battle of two heavy hitters.

Both briskets were smoked for 15 hours, flavored and fueled by oak wood. They were both rubbed with a dry rub. Harry mentioned the Kobe was rubbed with a sweeter rub because it is a sweeter meat. They were both pulled out of the smoker and place on the cutting board. (Kobe is positioned on the left of the image.) You will notice the Wagyu does not have a distinctive flat and point shape of the regular brisket. Harry took a wickedly sharp knife and began to carve. Both of these brisket oozed with juices of flavor. I wanted to take a straw and suck the cutting board.

Now for the verdict. The Kobe was so very tender with a beef flavor that had a hint of sweetness. If you place a bite in your mouth and closed your eyes, the beefy rich flavor will take you on joy ride of meat pleasure. How did the regular brisket compare to the Kobe? This Black Angus was also on the tender juicy love train of beef flavor. It may have been a tad less tender and maybe not as sweet, but would be a stellar and superior meal on its own. I would like to give credit to Harry for smoking both these cuts of beef to maximize the flavor and bring out the tenderness.

(Kobe on bottom)

Was the Kobe superior to the regular brisket? This would be a close call. The Kobe beef cost twice as much as the regular. The Kobe-style may have a subtle difference of sweetness and texture from the Black Angus. I am declaring a tie. The Kobe is something that I would recommend to experience. Harry has worked magic with both of these cuts of meat and I would recommend both. What a beefy day!

The Great American Barbeque

Saturday, June 26, 2010


'Come Join The Fun' was what was advertised at the Solano county fair. We decided to go because we heard that there might be chocolate covered bacon and onion rings. Our visit to the fair was very brief. I am not sure if it was the economy or the twelve dollar beers. The fair was a pathetic shell of its former glory. Vendors, exhibitors, entertainers and customers were sparse. We never did find chocolate covered bacon. We decided to go home and create some fun of our own. We are going to make some pulled pork appetizers.


  1. 1 cup chopped pulled pork
  2. 8 ounces of cream cheese softened
  3. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  4. 3 tablespoons barbeque sauce
  5. salt & pepper
  6. 1 pound package of wonton wrappers
  7. 1 egg beaten

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Take a won-ton wrapper and place in your hand. Dip a finger in beaten egg and run your finger around perimeter of wrapper. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in center of wrapper. Fold wrapper in half and press edges. Heat some oil to 375 degrees. Fry until golden brown. (Aprox 3 minutes).

I am not sure how these compare to chocolate covered bacon but they sure hit the spot. These smoky, creamy pillows of love were a porky delight. It is a great use of leftover pulled pork. The uncooked pork pillows will freeze very well for use at a later time. See you soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


The pantry is low on supplies. I am almost out of bacon so it may be time to go on a Meat Adventure.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


"Turkey always and turkey all ways!"

Why do we only enjoy Turkey one day a year? There is nothing better than a hot turkey sandwich smothered in gravy served with a side of stuffing. If you live in Santa Rosa California you will be located near a wonderful restaurant that serves turkey dishes all year long. Willie Bird restaurant showcases the Willie Bird turkey in numerous dishes. The Willie Bird is a fresh free range turkey that has a phenomenal taste and texture.

Willie Birds restaurant has been around for 30 years. They specialize in comfort food that is served in huge proportions and is priced very reasonably. We arrived around the noon hour. There is a huge dark mahogany bar that was well stocked with adult libations. We hunkered up to the bar and were greeted by the friendly local clientele. After a pint of 'Russian River Blind Pig IPA" we chose a seat in the dining room. The menu is turkey specific but you can order steaks or burgers if you must. My plate of choice was a 'turkey fried steak' smothered in cream gravy with a side order of stuffing. Ms. Goofy wanted a open face turkey sandwich that also was smothered in gravy. It is a good thing we are in training for the 'Couch Olympics".

Willie Birds is a unique restaurant that showcases turkey. We enjoyed our experience and indulged in some very comforting food. I might suggest to stay away from the Turkey Bacon but would highly recommend anything else. We plan to return soon, but for now, we are in training on the couch.

Willie Bird's Restaurant

1150 Santa Rosa Ave

Santa Rosa, CA


Saturday, June 19, 2010


Some of the tools of the trade that make Meat Adventures happen are Google and a GPS machine. It is always nice to find a local treasure. Fritz's Quality Meats is a local find. Concord California is only a 30 minute drive from our abode. Fritz's is a tiny meat market that stocks some high quality meats.

When you walk through the door you will be greeted with a display case full of meat and fish. On the counter some home made spice rub is for sale. The owner Rocky will cut and wrap any cut of meat you desire. Rocky is very friendly and helpful. He does make a house breakfast sausage. Prime Smoke Meats smoked pork chops and bacon are carried here. This small shop has been in existence for a long time. One throw back to the past is the metal rail that snakes along the ceiling. This was used to hang and slide sides of beef from a truck to the walk-in refrigerator.

Fritz's is a link to the past. The corner butcher has been lost to the Mega-Wally-Marts. It is refreshing to see and support business's like Fritz's. We picked up a Flank steak and some of Rockys home made horseradich sauce. They both were delicious. I am looking forward to the next Meat Adventure.

Fritz's Quality Meats & Catering
3495 Clayton Rd
Concord, CA 94519
(925) 685-8204

Friday, June 18, 2010


Limoncello is easy to make. It takes, lemons, vodka, patience and a whole lot of Love! Once you have endured the interval of time, you will be rewarded with a lemon liquor of the 'Devine.' Mix with some seltzer and you have a refreshing cocktail.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Have you noticed all the pepper flavored snack products lately. I have a weakness for jalapeno flavored chips. The combination of salt and heat is the perfect accompaniment for one of my favorite adult beverages. Of course, this combination is consumed in moderation. (Did I just write that.) We have discovered a new jalapeno chip that is unique. Deano's Jalapeno Chips are actually a real jalapeno chip that has been deep fried and coated in a seasoning.

Deano's is a small company located in Stowe Vermont. Deano's takes a medium hot jalapeno pepper grown in Texas and adds a cheddar coating. They also claim; "no potatoes were maimed or injured in the making of this product." We ordered a couple of bags to give them a try.

These jalapeno chips should be labeled as a controlled substance. They are that addicting. Your first bite will start you crunching crispy jalapeno slices. It is no surprise that they taste like wonderful jalapeno's that are dipped in a cheddar cheese sauce. The taste is like a crunchy 'Jalapeno Popper'. The flavor and salt teases your taste buds into wanting and craving more chips. Deano's where have you been all my life?

Deano's Jalapeno Chips are a brilliant unique tasty product. Unfortunately the only way to buy these chips is to live in Vermont or by mail order. Hopefully someday they will be available on the West Coast.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


It has been my privilege, to search for new and or old breakfast eating establishments that serve pork chops. We have found deep fried, barbequed and grilled served with eggs. Today we are traveling to an old local favorite in San Pablo California called Sukie's Country Kitchen. I received a hot tip many moons ago by a trusted barbeque ally and a pork chop enthusiast himself, Reverend Biggles. It was time to take the plunge to pork chop enlightenment.

Sukie's outside looks like any other breakfast establishment that was built in the 70's. Once you go in to this nondescript building you will be greeted by a "Cheers' like atmosphere. Everybody knows everybody. We were outsiders but were treated with a warming respect. We were seated and proceeded to go through a breakfast routine that is repeated millions of times everyday throughout our country. There was one big difference. We were on a mission to eat pork chops and share with them with you.

Two pork chops seared on a sizzling flat top accompanied by two homemade biscuits smothered in a country cream gravy were injected into my awaiting food consumption receptacle. These pork chops rocked my world. They were seasoned with salt and pepper and fried to a perfect degree of doneness. They weeped pork juice into my cream gravy. The biscuits where light and fluffy. The gravy mixed with the pork tears of joy, was the perfect medium to cover these pillows of love. Oh, and Ms. Goofy had an omelet.

Suki Country Kitchen is a comforting old time breakfast restaurant. There will be no surprises here. If you want to have an inexpensive, filling, and great breakfast come to Suki's. Oh by the by, Ms. Goofy said her home fries were to die for.

Sukie's Country Kitchen
2400 El Portal Av.
San Pablo Ca. 94806 (510) 233-5856)

Friday, June 11, 2010


'Jumpin Jehosophat', Jason, from the Hot Sauce Planet has sent me a bottle of "Pappy's XXX White Lightnin" barbeque sauce. This sauce proclaims that it is 'All the Love You'll Ever Need'. We shall soon see about that. I like this sauce right off the bat even before tasting it. One of the ingredients is Bourbon. Yes, that is right we have an adult barbeque sauce that also give us a matter of fact nutritional statement; "If you are truly concerned about it maybe you should be eating tofu'. I am sold but we will give it a taste test for giggles.

This barbeque sauce has a barrel full of the usual suspects of ingredients. Kentucky bourbon is listed as being less than 3 percent of the volume. The heat is fueled by habanero powder. Seeds are present in a fairly course brick red easy pouring sauce. The first smell is of smoke.(hickory listed) and finishes as a sweet smelling tomato mixture.

The taste is smoky sweet. There is a nice little after burn that will embrace your taste sensors. This sauce leans to the sweet side but is a good mix of smoke, heat and sweet. Now, I have a personnel history of bourbon consumption but I did not taste this Kentucky staple. The real test will be on some food.

Our local fast food burger emporium has been hawking barbequed ribs. In the name of research we decided to give them a try. Wow!, was that a mistake. These ribs were expensive, salt bombs on a stick. Even Pappy's could not rescue this fiasco. The sauce did prove to be delicious as a dipping sauce for the onion rings. The sweet with the warming effect of the habanero made our onion rings fit for a Burger King. We shall give Pappys another try on some meat barbequed at our home.

A corned beef roast and some chicken were smoked on the Smokenator 1000. The sauce was added at the end of the cooking time. Pappys XXX White Lightnin was a keeper. This sauce is complex with all its flavor. Bourbon probably adds to the sweetness. What is good about this sauce is the nice balance of sweet, heat, smoke and flavor. You can order Pappy's at the good people at Hot Sauce Planet.

Hot Sauce Planet

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


"Laissez les bons temps rouler." Tonight on stage is a Cajun delight with a Zydeco twist. We are going to dance to a bacon from Willow Glen Meats & Smokehouse located in San Jose California. This bacon should get your toes tapping and your body swaying. Let the good times roll.

This slab has a dark brownish red shade of seasoning and smoke blanketing the outer surface. The rind has been removed for easy slicing. Once the slab has been sliced, the meat to fat ratio is revealed. This is one meaty slab of pork belly. The bacon was sizzling away in our trusty black iron pan when it was noticed that the slices started to brown too quickly. This was because of the high sugar content. We lowered the heat and crisped up these rashers properly.

We put on some Zydeco music and let the bacon dance on the floor of our tastebuds. The balance of sugar and salt was excellent. The flavor of pork shined through with a little taste of spice. This spice had a faint but noticeable warming sensation. My guess would be paprika. The smoke and paprika were subtle and welcome combination. All of the components, sugar, salt, paprika, smoke, meat/fat added up to one delicious Cajun Bacon. Willow Glens Cajun Bacon will receive 4 stars out 5.

Rating; 4 stars out of 5
Price: 4.89/pound
Where: Willow Glen Meats & Smokehouse
885 Delmas Av. San Jose, Ca. 95215 (408) 279-4009

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Guns are everywhere. Penn Valley California has their own 'drive by' shooting problems. There is a huge difference between urban shootings and Penn Valley shootings. The drive bys are done on horses, in a rodeo arena and the victims are defenseless balloons mounted on a pole. After the shootings a huge championship barbeque is held to celebrate. On Saturday the ‘2nd Annual Smokin in the Oaks BBQ Championship” was held. This brought out 32 teams to compete in a KCBS sanctioned showdown. The usual suspects, chicken, pork ribs, pork, and brisket were cooked in many different barbeque cookers. Ms. Goofy and I were present to help judge these barbequed delights.

It was warm and muggy in the cooking arena. Smoke filled the air with sweet barbeque aroma. The black iron were lined up to feed the hungry mass of cooks. Some competitors had been up all night cooking and needed a rest.

I would like to point out this one cooker that is called the Bubba keg. This rig caught my attention because of its unique shape and special feature. This cooker has a special adapter which allows you to attach it to a trailer hitch on your pick-up truck bumper. You could drive your Bubba keg to work, school, church and be ready to cook. Now that is what I am talking about!

The meat was cooked and presented to the judges. When the food is such a high caliper of perfection, it makes our job of judging difficult. We were up to the challenge and picked the winners. After eating all this wonderful food it was time for a Margarita. It was a good thing one of the competiors brought a blender.

It was a beautiful day in Penn Valley. It was fun to see the shooting demonstrations. It was just like being in the old west except the bad guys were mounted balloons. Thirty two competitors all cooked some fantastic food. Congratulations to Harry Soo of 'Slap Yo Daddy' barbeque team for winning 'Grand Champion". We hope to return next year.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


If bacon grew on trees, is when pigs will fly. When we are not on Meat Adventures or cooking on one of our barbeque's we are usually puttering around the garden. Growing fresh vegetables and flowers can be relaxing and rewarding. Picking a fresh tomato and combining it with some home grown peppers is one of the highlights of summer. A lot of our tomato's and peppers are purchased as small plants from various nurseries. To find and grow more exotic and unusual varieties of plants, seeds will have to be used. It is very satisfying to take a tiny seed and witness its birth and growth to fruition.

The Bay Area has several wonderful resources to obtain seeds for free. Our local public library, has a seed lending library. The Richmond Public Library will lend you seeds for free. They only ask that you return some seeds at a later date. This will promote seed saving and make the program self-sustaining. The first step is to sign up and attend an orientation meeting. You will then be on your way to growing that special bacon tree. B.A.S.I.L. is another Bay Area organization dedicated to seed saving. I think this is a great idea and will be supporting both organizations. Let's get growing!

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Sometimes on Craigslist you can find some wonderful barbeque treasures. Somebody was selling a PizzaQue and I could not resist. A Pizzaque is a ceramic stone that is housed in a stainless steel base which has a thermometer. This would be perfect for pizza. Last night was the maiden voyage for this new barbeque tool/toy. This pizza would have all premium ingredients. The crust would be made with a sourdough starter. Four types of cheese would melt together to form a gooey delicious pie. To put this pizza over the top some sausage from Willow Glen Meats would garnish the top.

The instructions for the PizzaQue are simple. Light a fire, let the stone heat and then cook. That is what we did. I used a chimney full of briquet's. The thermometer registered 600 degrees. I am a little skeptical on this reading. We cooked our pizza for about 10 minutes. It looked oh so very good. It even tasted better than it looked. Now the reason I am skeptical on the temperature reading is because the crust bottom never crisped up as it should. It was cooked, but not to the degree our wood burning oven could achieve.

The PizzaQue will take its place in the Mad Meat Genius arsenal of barbeque tools. It is a lot of fun cooking pizza on the barbeque.