Chilebrown at home

Friday, December 30, 2011


Christmas Raviolis. Wow how come we are so lucky? The best sauce , meatballs and home made raviolis in the whole wide world.
The meatballs were made on an assembly line of love. Two fine Italian daughters, Susan and Carol spent a lot of time making these treats. How did Ms. Goofy and I deserve this special family delight? I am grateful and we want to Thankyou so very much you two wonderful friends, Hey Susan, you are a big ole spicy meatball. We love you guys!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Yesterday we embarked on a mini-meat adventure to Sonoma County. We had the destination of Willowside Meats to pick up our pre-ordered ‘Prime”, prime rib roast. This roast has been aging in their meat lockers. This will be a New Years treat for celebration of the holiday. On our way to Santa Rosa we would be driving by our good friend Angelo, the owner of Angelo’s Smokehouse. It just would not be a meat adventure without visiting our friend.

Angelo was in the process of loading up his smoker with various fish. He had freshly caught salmon, tuna, and trout. These fish had been soaking in a secret brine. They were rinsed with fresh water and then coated with spices and brown sugar. This brined and spiced fish will visit his smoker for several hours and smoky treats will emerge. We observed and conversed with Angelo. I made the mistake of telling Angelo about our pre-ordered roast from Willowside. “Why go there, when you can get the besta here!” barked Angelo in his broken English. Oh boy did I have a foot stuck in my mouth. He stormed to his meat locker and returned with cooked prime rib roast. He took a huge knife and sliced a large cut from the roast. It was heated and we all sampled this delicious cut of meat. After a libation, some laughs and several more meat treat snacks we all shook hands and were best friends once again. We purchased a marinated tri-tip roast which is one of Angelo’s signature dishes.

We picked up our roast from Willowside. It is a beauty. Do not tell Angelo, because, I think he was a little hurt that we went to the competitor. We did cook up our tri-tip last evening. This is one special cut of meat. It is easy to cook and the results are stellar. Angelo is a master of the butcher trade.

Angelo's Meat and Sausage

Monday, December 26, 2011


Nothing says Merry Christmas better than bacon chocolate chip cookies,”At least in my meat world.” We have some beautiful Nueske bacon to enhance these Toll House Morsels. The bacon is candied in the oven with brown sugar and then chopped and added to our cookie batter. It does not get any simpler.

Candied Bacon (Meat Candy)

Preheat the oven to 350. Lay bacon on aluminum foil and sprinkle brown sugar evenly over rashers. Cook for 15 minutes and flip slices over. Drag the slices through sugar and bacon fat that has accumulated in bottom of pan. Cook for another 15 minutes and cool on wire rack. They should be a beautiful mahogany brown. Chop into small pieces. Try to save some for the cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 ¼ cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup of butter, softened
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
12 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Mix the butter with the sugars and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly. Add the dry ingredients. Last, add your chocolate chips and candied bacon.
Cook in 375 degree oven for aprox 10 minutes or until golden brown.

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon, doesn’t it just cry out Merry Christmas. After eating these delicious cookies Santa may not fit down the chimney. The candied bacon is a subtle flavor that adds a sweet and salty component that will be oh so addicting. Merry Christmas and have a bacon chocolate chip cookie New Year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011


On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me,

A six pound slab of Nueske bacon

Santa arrived in a large Brown van and had a package that almost made me cry. Ms. Goofy knows what I love. Nueske bacon may not be the 'Gold Standard" of bacon but it is sure darn close. Bacon chocolate chip cookies to come. Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


It is the height of the Dungeness crab season. They will be the largest and the sweetest of the year. We like to take advantage of this short window of crustacean grandeur. We have a Saturday routine that efficiently keeps us with fresh crab meat. Ms. Goofy starts a large pot of salted boiling water. Meanwhile, I jump in the ‘Formula One Racing Honda’ and drive down to the International Market at ten minutes to nine. I arrive at nine o’clock to be the first person in line at the fish counter. If I am late I would be subject to a sea of aggressive, crustacean loving, crab purchasers. With crabs in hand, I race back to the abode to plunge our live bounty into the boiling cauldron. Ten minutes later the bright red crabs are removed and plunged into ice cold water. The shells are dispatched. This process takes less than an hour. Today our crab meat will grace some home made chow mein.

While at the International market I purchased some fresh chow mein noodles. Fresh noodles are a very important component to this dish. Fresh broccoli and mushrooms from the farmers market will make its way into this happy wok. Here is a basic chow mein recipe that we followed. Feel free to substitute any fresh vegetables you have on hand. We started out with 5 pounds of live crab. This yielded less than 2 pounds of meat. The crab meat was added at the last second and only placed on the top of the chow mein. The wok lid was placed over the top and the crab meat gently heated from the steaming noodles and vegetables.

What a treat! We definitely like to take advantage of the Dungeness crab season. The crabs will be great for a couple of more weeks. The crab chow mein was, oh so crabby good. I think Asparagus season is poking it spears around the corner.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Every year Harry Stewart of ‘Great American Barbeque Co.’ hosts a party for the ‘Marines Toys for Tots”. This event has Marines collect new, unwrapped toys and they distribute them as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. Harry provides the food and venue for this event to take place. This was our first year to attend and it was a blast.

Our first task was to purchase several unwrapped new toys. I bought a nice set of barbeque tools and a fancy grill brush. Ms. Goofy had to remind me these gifts were not for me but for children. She took over the gift buying duties and I kept the barbeque items.

We arrived at ‘Great American Barbeque and the festivities were jumping. A motorized sleigh with Rudolph as navigator was parked outside for a fast get away with the toys. There was a group of uniformed Marines in attendance to gather the gifts. An ‘A’ list of who is who of the Professional Barbeque Circuit was in the house enjoying plates of barbeque. (Scott Hares, Ben Lobestein, Harry Soo, Derrick Galliste, Dave Bart, Bill Bain, Ric Gilbert, Leonard Sanders, Donna Fong and many others).

To keep us fueled for the festivities Harry opened up his kitchen and let us order at will. That was a hard decision because Harry is an award winning cook. We have had some stellar Kobe and Black Angus brisket in the past. I had a great plate of ribs and Ms. Goofy had a pork sandwich. The highlight of the evening was a roasted pig. This pig was slowly roasted over an oak fire. It was taken of the rack and immediately carved up. The pork was still steaming and we just ravished it. Belly, loin, ham, and ear were sampled. I made a pig out of myself because it was that yummy.

What a great evening. Thanks Harry for sponsoring this event.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This Saturday night, we will be enjoying great barbeque for a worthy cause. Some of the best barbeque competitors on the West Coast will be attending. This is Harry Stewart’s annual ‘Toy’s for Tot’s’ party. We hope you can attend. Here is what Harry has to say:

Mark your calenders for Sat 17 Dec 2011 for Great American Barbecue's Annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots party at Great American Barbceue in Alameda.Bring a toy for you and each of your guests and dinner and festivities is on us! Business members can obtain collection boxes to distribute. This is a worthy cause and a great way to end the year with some great food for a great cause. RSVP to Harry Stewart at 510-692-1795 and we can get the ball rolling.I will be doing another "gaucho style" whole hog on Leonard Sanders Santa Maria pitWe have always had great support from the CBBBQA and its membership. Rock's Bar-b-que and Leonard Sanders Chuckwagon BBQ will once again be a couple of our business member sponsor, Thank Leonard and Rock !

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Let’s begin with the “End”. This wing sauce is not for beginners. Ms. Goofy is crying a tear of ‘Red Savina’ pepper joy, or is it pain?

Sunday, December 11, 2011


It is four weeks into the Dungeness crab season and we have finally scored some live crustaceans. The first week the fisherman and the distributors were haggling over the price. Thanksgiving came and went. Last weekend we had a logistics problem. All that has passed and we have 2 pound crabs swimming in our hot pot. Our local "International Market" has the best price of 2.99/pound in the Bay Area. Crab cakes tonight. Oh Yeah!

International Market

1188 International Market Pl

San Pablo, CA 94806

Friday, December 9, 2011


These little tiny cauliflower heads caught my eye at the market the other day. Actually the fava’s beans were my first choice. A bag of both vegetables were purchased from this Santa Rosa, California farmer. A little nibble of this brassica oleracea produced a sweet flavor on the old taste buds. This will be a good candidate for the grill.

The preparation was simple. The outer green leaves of the cauliflowers were plucked and discarded. The tiny heads were blanched in boiling salted water briefly. Once drained and patted dry, a sprinkling of a prepared barbeque rub was applied. We have a handy grill basket that works great keeping the smaller food items from falling through the grates.
Smokey, sweet, a little crunchy made this vegetable a great accompaniment to our meal. Sometimes I actually enjoy vegetables. Did I just say that?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


When one shops at the farmers market, one must have the correct accessories. A proper bag to hold your vegetables and miscellaneous items is a must. Some people like to strut and show their allegiance to certain markets by the bag they carry. Several examples are here. We spotted the "Cadillac Brougham" of all shopping bags at the Marin Farmers market Sunday. Julie has a cart that probably will become the new market accessorie. You saw it first on Mad Meat Genius!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


We do not always eat meat. Vegetables and pasta sometimes make it to our plate. Today's meal of rib eye steaks included some home made pasta and mushrooms. We had a secret ingredient to add to our mushrooms. A visit to Cassie at Garden Girl Farms produced a few dozen eggs that will be perfect for fresh pasta. As I was leaving Cassie gifted me a jar of chicken stock. This liquid gold was made from some roosters that had been simmering in a pot for the last three days. It was a beautiful hue of gold. It was thick, rich and smelled heavenly.

Garlic, wine, salt and pepper was added to this pan of simmering mushrooms. A few tablespoons of this liquid gold put this fungus over the top delicious. I wish I had the time to simmer stock for three days because this is a special ingredient. Just a few tablespoons was all we needed. This is some concentrated magic. Thanks Cassie.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


You know there is no bridge between these two rivals. The Oakland Raiders v San Francisco 49ers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Bacon hot dogs from 4505 Meats, is a special dog stuffed with our favorite meat treat. When you bite into these meat tubes of tubular joy they have that familiar hot dog snap. The bacon flavor is sublime but the taste lets you know you are eating something special. How can we improve on these cured swine stuffed frankfurters? How about we wrap them in some home cured bacon and make our own hot dog rolls? That will be the ticket for today’s culinary ride on our lunch time meal.

Bacon and hot dogs are usually cured. My bacon was cured with a combination of pink salt, salt and sugar. This pink salt does have nitrates and nitrites that inhibit the growth of bacteria. “4505 Meats” proudly advertises that these hot dogs are uncured. This is a little misleading because they are cured with celery juice powder. This is a natural way to deliver nitrates and nitrites. They are still cured. What about the bacon inside the hot dogs? I just had to get that off my chest. They still are mighty tasty! The hot dog rolls are our English muffin recipe that is cooked on our stove top griddle. The bacon was sliced very thin and secured to our dogs with tooth picks. A quick sear on the flat top and we were in business.

Some of our new favorite sauerkraut from ‘Farmhouse Culture’ was served with this bacon on bacon dog treat. Some habanero flavored mustard from ‘Mustard Seed Farms’ put this dish over the top. Home made rolls, cured and “uncured” meat, sauerkraut, and habanero mustard is the way we like to spice up our lunch. It was:
' Lip-smacking
'Crackerjackin' give the dog a bone good.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is the traditional day to kick off the Christmas shopping season. Numerous stores advertise ‘Doorbuster’ sale items to lure bargain driven customers. Mayhem and disorder sometimes is the result of this shopping frenzy. I have never even got off the couch to participate on this unofficial shopping day. Who in their right mind would rise at the crack of dawn to do battle at a shopping mall? This year things were different. Ms. Goofy mentioned Home Depot had a great Doorbuster deal on some bamboo cutting boards.

I set the alarm for 500 a.m. to make a turkey and stuffing sandwich for breakfast. Since I was up I decided to venture out into the masses of desperate shoppers at the Home Depot. I miraculously survived and returned home with the boards and an additional head lamp. This image shows the head lamp with the optional beer helmet accessory. This will be perfect to illuminate our barbeque in case of natural disaster and possible loss of electrical power. Thank goodness for Black Friday.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Since 1975 'Anchor Steam Brewing Company" has produced a Christmas beer for the Holiday season. Every Thanksgiving we look forward to the years new release. The beer usually is a brown ale that is spiced. The label has a different tree every year to celebrate and symbolize the winter solstice when the earth and its seasons appear born anew. This years tree is a Bristlecone pine one of the oldest living things on our planet.

This beer poured a dark reddish brown with a thick head of foam. It smelled of chocolate, molasses and cloves. This years beer is a little on the sweet side. Malty, fruity with noticeable spice and hop finish made this for an interesting flavor sensation. A glass was poured and we savored it while waiting for our Willie Bird to cook.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


It is Thanksgiving eve and wild turkeys are cruising through out our neighborhood. The image below was taken one block away from our house. These turkeys are a nuisance and probably will eventually take over our neighborhood. Ms. Goofy will have to practice her bow and arrow skills for protection. We do have a domesticated Willie Bird in our refrigerator. Tomorrow this bird will be visiting our grill. I cannot wait. We would like to wish everyone a delicious Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Tom a friend, Mad Meat Genius reader, and certified barbeque judge wearing his KCBS shirt and badge, approached us at our last BBQ competition and asked us if we had found the ultimate plate of chile verde ? He proclaimed; “Search no further, I have brought you the ultimate chile verde.” He gave ua a small sample of his home made chile verde. Needless to say it was very delicious. Tom was gracious enough to share his recipe and I would like to pass it on to you delicous tasty readers. We were able to purchase all our ingredients at Las Montanas. We bought pre-cubed pork shoulder. It is a nice convenience. How about breaking out a large pot and join us in the kitchen.

Tom’s Chile Verde

3 pounds pork butt roast cut into ¾ inch chunks
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cumin
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 quarts of chicken broth
3 jalapeno peppers seeded and chopped fine
1 yellow bell pepper
2 Serrano peppers
3 poblano peppers seeded and chopped
2 pounds tomatillos husk removed
1 bunch cilantro leaves coarsely chopped

1 In a large stock pot, over high heat, sear the pork in vegetable oil until golden brown; Remove the pork from the pot, reserve 2 tablespoons oil in the pan. Cook the chopped onion and garlic, seasoned with salt and pepper n the reserved oil until onions are tender. Season with cumin, then stir in the pork and chicken stock. Simmer for 1/ 2 hour or until the pork is tender.
2 Stir in the poblanos, jalapeno and bell peppers. Puree the tomatillos in a blender and add them to the pot with chopped cilantro. Cook an additional 30 to 45 minutes. For a thicker texture add cornstarch slurry as needed. Season to taste.

Tom Judge Extraordinare

This is an easy recipe to make. I would like to let you in on a Chilebrown secret. I have a difficult time following recipes. I stuck to Tom’s recipe with the only addition of a little oregano and a pinch of sugar.. We did use a slurry of cornstarch to thicken this pot of green gold. What a fun and delicious recipe. I might crank up the heat next time and use a little less chicken stock and more hot peppers. We served this over a bed of rice with salsa. Yummy Noodles! What a great recipe. Thanks Tom!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


It is Sunday morning. We rise at the crack of dawn for the journey and experience of foraging through the Marin Farmers market. We go early to beat the crowds of politically correct Marinites and to visit with our friends Cookiecrumb and Cranky. This market has everything we need or want for our football themed meals later in the day. Today we found veal bacon from Rossotti farms. Let’s listen to what Rossotti farm has to say about their veal.

“We have returned to the historic traditions of veal production, starting with the selection of high quality meat producing breeds — Black Angus, Herford and Gelbvieh beef cattle.
Our calves are raised on certified organic open pastures alongside their grass-fed birth mothers. Their diet consists entirely of mother’s milk, clear water from natural coastal aquifers, and native local grasses and forage in a low stress environment. This results in a veal that is rose colored and intensely flavorful when compared to pallid commercially raised veal.
Our Pastured Veal is hormone and antibiotic free. All of our calves are born and raised on our family’s ranch on the Point Reyes Peninsula. As members of generational ranching families dedicated to sustainable animal husbandry practices and property management, we believe we produce the most humanely raised veal on the market today!”

Now that we all feel warm and fuzzy inside lets cook up a couple of rashers. Our trusty black iron vessel will be perfect for this task. . We do not have any information on the cure or the flavor of smoke so we will have to let our taste buds be our guide. . The first thing we notice is the deep rose color. This bacon is very lean so we use a tiny bit of oil in the pan to help it along. “Drum roll please!” Possibly because this bacon was so lean, it did not crisp like traditional pork bacon. We bit into this young Herford and got a jaw workout. Yes, it was very chewy. It had a pleasant beef taste. No smoke and no sweetness was the verdict. We are open to trying new things, but this product will be passed by next Sunday.

Rossotti Ranch

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011


“Pure Genius” is the concept of the ‘Contra Costa County Fall Fair 2011”. Let’s have a Harvest fair and ‘World Class’ barbeque competition together. Women can shop for crafts and holiday gifts while the men can watch and or participate in barbeque activities. Actually both genders participated in both events but Ms. Goofy did make the observation of a group of men gathered around the beer concession. This event was held in Antioch California under crisp and bright sunny skies. The day before, the competitors had cold rain to greet them while they set up their sites. Like the true champions these barbeque warriors are, they were prepared.

With our judges badge in hand we found our arena. Today’s venue was a large cavernous county fair hall that kept us from the elements. Our tables were large and covered with white table cloths. We are moving on up! It is always fun to meet and greet our fellow judges and catch up on our life activities. When it gets close to turn in time you might notice a little drool form on our lips. This is from the anticipation of the great barbeque to come. We were not disappointed.

We did cruise the Harvest fair and I found my perfect holiday booth. This booth sold kitchen knives and hot sauces. I think this may be my calling. Did this vendor know that I was coming? I did manage to have restraint and only purchased a few unique hot sauces. Ms. Goofy disappeared while I was shopping and could not be found. After searching the aisles and aisles of Holiday crafts, I had a feeling that she may be outside visiting St. Nick. No, Ms. Goofy was not with the jolly man but hunkered up at the beer booth with a cold frosty one enjoying the afternoon.

There is always some time between judging and the awards ceremony. This is a good time to relax and mingle with the barbeque teams. The excitement and pressure of preparing and presenting the four meats has been accomplished. It is time to relax and wind down. We visited with the teams and gained friendship and wonderful barbeque knowledge. The big question always is; “Will we take the walk?”. (Walking to the stage to accept the award). The Grand Champion today was the team of “Too Ashamed to Name BBQ”. Congratulations to everyone. This was a great event.