Chilebrown at home

Friday, April 29, 2011


"God Save the Queen"'. Sorry Mum.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


 We have been having fun with 'Uncle Joe's BBQ Sauce In-A-Bag." This sauce in its dry form can be used as a flavorful rub. Short ribs smoked low and slow will result in a meaty tasty BBQ treat. We will rub some 'Uncle Joe's all over some large beef ribs and let them rest until the fire is ready. Once your smoker rig is up to 250 degrees add some smoking material. Hickory wood was our flavor of the day. Now the only trick it to be patient.

Four hours later or until the meat thermometer registers 190 degrees remove these dinosaur bones. Be careful because the meat probably will fall off the bone. Let the ribs rest covered for 15 minutes, if you can. "Uncle Joe's Sauce In-A-Bag" provided a flavorful tasty crust to this irresistible hunk of meat. This 'Honey Mesquite' flavored rub was a little sweet with some nice spice. No more sauce was needed. This could be served with some Cole slaw and my favorite vegetable, asparagus. Smoked short ribs are a meat candy treat. So much flavor is coaxed from this meat with the low and slow heat and smoky cooking environment.

Uncle Joe's Sauce In-A-Bag

Monday, April 25, 2011


It just seemed like a good day to have taco's. There is a new "Mexican Giant 'Wally-Mart" style store in San Pablo. This store has all of your Mexican food wants and needs in a one-stop shop. Some flank steak, chicken, fresh salsa and some hot off the grill tortillas were purchased. More about this store later. Our meat would be seasoned with a new rub from 'Arizona Rub'. I was given this rub for review purposes. The taco's turned out wonderful. Please read my latest review by clicking the "Peppers & More' link below.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Old school elegance, celebrity chef, great food, and wine all added up to a wonderful dinner at the Claremont Hotel. The Claremont Hotel is  sponsoring the “Berkeley Wine Festival” this month. A five course wine paired dinner will be prepared by Executive Chef Josh Thomsen. He will be showcasing Pinot Noir from the Oregon winery ‘Archery Summit tonight.' Let’s dig in.

“Green Goddess” Scallop
Sausalito Springs Watercress, Fingerling Potato Crisps
& Red Wine Braised Pearl Onions

Kuroboto Pork Ribs
Prosciutto-Asparagus strudel, Baby Turnips
& Black Mission Figs

“Narsai’s Loin of Lamb
Pomegranate Marinade, Mint Basmati Rice
Toasted Almonds & curried Potatoes

Tcho Chocolate “Crunch Bar”
Watsonville Raspberries

The Claremont Hotel is a destination hotel. You feel a vibration like you are in an elegant old movie. The food and wine was delicious. How come I want to go get a cheeseburger?

Executive Chef
Josh Thomsen

Thursday, April 21, 2011


It started out to be a beautiful day. A trip to the Marin farmers market and jumbo asparagus was on the plan today. I arrived at the Zuckerman farms booth and asked; Where is Chris? A dark cloud formed and sadness rained. Chris, I am going to miss you brother.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


The ‘Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour’ bus rolled into Sacramento, California this weekend to have a BBQ contest. This was a gathering of 30 competition barbeque teams battling for a spot to move on to the next round of competition to be held in Las Vegas. Competitions will be held in Sam’s Club’s parking lots around the country qualifying other teams for the championship round. The grand championship round will be held in Bentonville, Arkansas in October. This weekend Ms. Goofy, Dr. Biggles and yours truly donned our judge’s badges and bellied up to the butcher block for judging duties. It was a beautiful sunny day to host this battle royale.

The public witnessed bbq cooking by serious competitors and watched demonstrations put on by the promoters. Samples were then offered for tasting. We were hunkered down in our judging tent, sampling and scoring the barbeque at its best. Judging championship barbeque is serious business but it never ceases to amaze me how tasty barbeque can be. Today four meat categories were judged; chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket.

Click to Enlarge

Congratulations to the team ‘Big B’s Down & Dirty’ for winning the Grand championship and a 1,000 dollar purse. This team and seven others will go on to the next round in Las Vegas. The sponsor Sam’s Club is probably grinning ear to ear with the public turn out to witness this event. We are smiling because of all the great BBQ we consumed and judged.

Monday, April 18, 2011


 Stockton California's Asparagus Festival was the venue were history was created this weekend. Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut set a new world record of eating deep fried asparagus. In 10 minutes time Joey devoured nine pounds and 10 ounces of breaded and deep fried asparagus. Congratulations Joey, You are my hero!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


The Richmond farmers market is a beacon of shining light in the once industrious town of Richmond California. During World War II ‘Rosie the Riveter” and scores of men and women built Liberty ships and tanks for the war effort. This was a long time ago and now Richmond has a tough and gritty reputation. Now I know that some of you will say there are nice neighborhoods. This may be true but literally, just over the train tracks is the ‘Iron Triangle’. [This name comes from the three railroads that border this area.} Poverty, crime and a murder rate that is horrendous plagues this urban neighborhood. The farmers market is a glimmer of hope and fresh vegetables.

Fridays, the salt mine gives me leave from my work duties. I have a routine of visiting Catahoula’s for my morning coffee and then traveling to this farmers market. This market is not your typical Bay Area farmers market. You will not find many organic, polished or designer type vegetables. The prices of this produce is reflected and is probably one third the cost Berkeley farmers market, eight miles away, is able to charge. What you will find is fresh vegetables sold directly from the farmers. This is an opportunity for the neighborhood to buy fresh and reasonably priced produce. There are a couple of booths that specialize in Asian greens and vegetables. Lots of produce staples are available for purchase.

Each week a drawing is held for a prize basket that is filled to the brim with produce. Yours truly was the lucky winner this week. This basket had a dozen and one half fresh eggs, fruits, greens, caramel corn, sweet potato’s and a whole lot more. It is very possible a vegetable soup may be created later. I enjoy visiting this market each week. It is a genuine Bay Area find. The fruit vendor and I would be on first name basis but he does not speak a lick of English. I would like to leave you with a photo of the live chicken vendor. I am and never will be brave enough to purchase her wares.

Richmond Farmers Market  (Friday mornings)
24th St & Barrett Ave

Richmond, CA 94804

Friday, April 15, 2011


We just received our 2011 International Dutch Oven Society pin. That sounds like a good excuse to break out the black iron.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Brown Habanero peppers, bourbon and vinegar aged in a barrel for three years, is a potent brew that makes up 'CaJohn's Bourbon Infused Hot Sauce'. This very hot sauce was sampled with some wings, asparagus and Bison burgers. How did it turn out? Please click the link below and read my latest review on 'Peppers & More'.

Sunday, April 10, 2011



This coming Saturday the 'Sams Club National BBQ Tour' will be coming to Sacramento California. Ms. Goofy, Reverend Biggles and yours truly will be attending this event wearing our polished judges badges. This will be an opportunity to see some expert barbeque competitors in action. They will not be grilling tri-tip and asparagus but we did the other evening. They will be cooking the four meat categories of chicken, pork ribs, pork and brisket. Hope to see you there!
3360 El Camino Ave.
Sacramento, Calif

Friday, April 8, 2011


Some magic seeds were planted last November. The climate outside the Mad Meat Genius kitchen is mild year round. We rarely get a freeze and we try to take advantage of it. Today was the first harvest of our fava plants. These are immature seeds that need no peeling except for the outer pod. A little blanching and combine with our pasta, olive oil and cheese make our fava’s magical indeed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Welcome to “Drive-ins, Dives and Diners Mad Meat Genius Style’. I am your host, Chilebrown. Today we are traveling the back roads of Petaluma California to visit the Washoe House, one of the oldest still operating road houses. Since 1859 this establishment has served stagecoach passengers traveling between Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Today the Washoe house is a local watering hole and a place to grab a bite of food. The Washoe house is located on a rural road in Petaluma that is almost next door to ‘The Pasta King’. I drove by one day and noticed the large monument marker in front. This marker was erected in 1958 by the fraternal organization of E Clampus Vitus. This place must be special if the Clampers are involved, so let’s go inside.

Click image to read plaque

The main entrance brings you into the bar area. The first thing you notice is all the money on the ceiling. Years and Years of people fastening dollar bills on the walls and ceiling is quit a site. Tables surrounded the bar with people enjoying their lunch. An empty tiny dining room was attached to this room of libation. We chose a table and ordered some frosty beverages. Our server had an attitude that was a little off putting. It was like she was the local sheriff and had just said; “You ain’t from around here, are you Boy!” The beer was icy cold and would make a Clamper happy. The menu consisted of standard American faire, Steak, chicken, burgers and a daily special of a chicken wrap.

Ms. Goofy ordered a burger and it was just what the doctored ordered. The burger was large and Ms. Goofy could not finish her plate. Fried chicken and onion rings would give the Fryolater a work out for my meal. All I can say is the chicken was fried. The onion rings were tasty. All in all it was not that bad. The menu prices are very reasonable. We saw a couple of other plates pass our table and they all looked good.

The Washoe house looks like it is a popular local watering hole. Anyplace endorsed by the Clampers must be wild. The interior of the bar has a casual old lived in vibe. The bartender was a little icy but the food thawed her attitude. The Washoe house is a living historical experience. I am glad we stopped by but probably will not return.

Stony Point Road & Roblar Rd
Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 795-4544

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


We continue our meat adventure with a smile on our face and a vehicle that smells like fresh focaccia. Our next destination is the Santa Rosa farmers market. Santa Rosa is located about an hour from the Bay Area in Sonoma County. Sonoma County is famous for its agriculture and the growing of premium wine grapes. This farmers market has a good representation of the County’s food and vegetable bounty. The market is located in the parking lot at the ‘Veterans Memorial Auditorium’ across from the fair grounds. We would like to share a couple of pictures of our adventure.

If you need a java fix, you will have several choices. ‘Gaga CafĂ©’ has a slow drip method to produce a fine cup of Joe. ‘Run Around Brew’ has a more traditional take on your morning caffeine jolt.

If you need some hot sauce, Larry from Peppahead is in the house. He has spices, rubs, and sauces for the timid palette all the way to the full blown Chilehead. Larry is very knowledgeable in all things Chile and will take care of all your pepper needs. If you have a hankering for some spicy Latin food “Mateo Granado’ runs a food truck. Check out their house hot sauce. It will warm your socks.

The seed exchange booth caught our attention. I think it is a great idea to exchange extra seeds. How many zucchini seeds does one need?

We bought several items and headed back to our vehicle. Our adventure was not done. Our breakfast was a fond memory and we needed to refuel. It is off to the ‘Washoe House in Petaluma. Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


It was a beautiful spring day and we decided to embark on a Meat Adventure to Sonoma County. We were going to visit our good friend Angelo at ‘Angelo’s Smokehouse’. We gave Angelo a heads up that we were on our way. We made the hour long journey in record breaking time with Ms. Goofy’ driving behind the wheel of her ‘Formula One Racing Honda”. We pulled into the driveway and we could see Angelo in the window of his small commercial kitchen that is attached to the meat market. Angelo had a big smile on his face. We went in and exchanged greetings and hand shakes. The first thing we noticed was the huge skillet on the stove that had sizzling sausage patties cooking away. Immediately the saliva glands went into overdrive. We also notice a large sheet of focaccia bread on the counter. Angelo took a knife and cut into the bread and steam followed his knife strokes. He offered us some of his freshly baked and fried treats.

I have been known to bake a pretty decent focaccia but we have never tried a focaccia that tasted this delicious. The exterior was a little salty and chewy. Once you bit into the center you were greeted with the most light and fluffy interior. It was buttery rich with olive oil flavor. The sausage was a breakfast blend and it was dripping with pork flavor love. Angelo in his heavily Italian accented English would say; “This sausage is so good you will be ridden with guilt and have to go to confession.” We would agree. A bite of sausage followed with a bite of focaccia would bring an instant smile to our face. I was smiling at Ms. Goofy. Ms. Goofy had a Cheshire grin on her face. Angelo was smiling because we were smiling. The warmth in that room probably contributed to global warming.

We purchase multiple meat products from Angelo. Angelo has some of the best bacon in Sonoma County. His beef jerky is award winning. Some jerky in the smoker is pictured. Angelo gave us a generous hunk of his tasty focaccia for sandwiches later. Breakfast with Angelo was a treat. We have some still warm focaccia perfuming our car for the rest of our journey. We are still smiling.

Angelo's Smokehouse