Chilebrown at home

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.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Here is a catchy little tune from some good ole 'Southern Boys'. It is fun and brings a little barbeque knowledge. Hope you are inspired to fire up that grill.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


"November 12th and 13th, 2011 Fall Faire 2011 is sure to have something for everyone! We’re bringing back our ever popular tradition of holiday shopping with 2 buildings filled with quality crafters and local businesses. Come enjoy a great variety of jewelry, clothing, holiday items, woodworking, novelties, food, and so much more.

New this year…we’re proud to present “Smokin’ on the Delta”, our first KCBS Sanctioned BBQ Competition. Professional BBQ teams will be at our event, putting their best grill forward! We’re also hosting our 3rd annual amateur Backyard Cookout Contest with local teams from all over Contra Costa County, they’ll be grilling up some fall fun during the festivities…you can even be a part of the fun by taking part in our public judging of the chili cook off!

As always, our Kids Zone will be FREE! Take a break from all the festivities and let the little ones have some fun of their own including visits with Santa on his sleigh! Fall Faire 2011…don’t miss it! "

Event Hours:

Saturday 10am-5pm Sunday 10am-4pm•


Adults $5 Kids 12 & Under FREE•

FREE Parking

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


When life gives you bacon, wrap them around some tator tots and fire up your grill. Today we are inspired from a fellow barbeque enthusiast Chris, from ‘Nibble Me This”. He can work come crazy magic with his ‘Big Green Egg. Bacon and tator tots just seem right together. We are using some wonderful bacon from Swingle Meats (Jackson, Ca.). The tator tots are from any Wally Marts freezer case.

The magic of this recipe is in its simplicity. Wrap some thinly slice bacon around some frozen tator tots. Place on a wire rack seam side down. Sprinkle with a rub that has a tiny bit of sugar in it. Salt and pepper with a pinch of brown sugar will work just dandy. Place wire rack on an indirect fire. Twenty minutes later you will be snacking on the best bacon snack ever. Thanks Chris!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Wild turkeys are dancing, stalking, clawing and taking over Northern California. Wild Turkey, is it a nuisance in your backyard or a blessing in a tumbler full of ice? Today we are getting ready for ‘Turkey Day’ with a domesticated Willie Bird. Let’s fly up to Sonoma County and visit the Willy Bird store. This store has been around for a while and it shows it age. Do not mistake this for the Willie Bird restaurant; this is a retail meat market. May be I should say a den of processed fowl.

This store is a treasure trove of turkey delights. All the turkeys are raised on certified organic grains without the use of hormones or antibiotics. The birds and allowed to roam freely outdoors. Free range, organic, all natural, humanely raised, a couple of more buzz words and Zomie will buy the store. (Sorry)

Once inside we were greeted by a very helpful feminine staff. The meat lockers were full of turkey treasures. Turkey in so many ways: Turkey bacon, smoked, diced, turkey marinades, many flavors of turkey sausage. Fresh or frozen is your big decision.

We ordered our turkey in advance, which is a wise thing to do at this time of year. This is their busy season and they are definitely prepared for the Holiday. Why take a chance and be left without your Willie Bird? Thanksgiving is a couple of weeks away and we are prepared. Gobble, Gobble!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Beer and chile peppers are two of my favorite ingredients. “Six Rivers Brewery’ has combined chile peppers and wheat ale to create spicy ale. Will these two ingredients meld together and be complimentary? Is this just a gimmick to lure me to purchase said beer? There is one way to find out. ‘Six Rivers Brewery’ is located in Mckinnleyville, California. The peppers are grown locally and are fire roasted. On the bottle the peppers are only listed as an assortment so we will have to guess on their pedigree. Let’s pop the top.

The beer was poured into a chilled 16 ounce glass. The aroma that emerged was of roasted green chile. I love that smell. Visions of chile verde and salsa danced through my taste receptacles. Once the froth had subsided a generous swig was taken. I tasted high quality wheat ale with no pepper flavor for the moment. Wait a minute! It is hitting me now. There is a little afterburner pepper flavor that grabs your attention. It is not scorching hot and I could not identify any particular chile pepper. What a unique flavor sensation.

This beer is definitely not for everyone. I was glad to have experienced it. We served this beer with some barbeque. It did not really compliment our meal because it is so unique. Your senses are assaulted with chile aroma initially. The beer finishes with chili warmth. This is one unique spicy wheat ale that probably will not be purchased again.

Six Rivers Brewery

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


A Microbrewery that has been open for the last several months has passed under the radar of The Mad Meat Genius. “Elevation 66” located in ‘El Cerrito, California has been open since September and we only found out about it last week. We jumped in the ‘Racing Honda’ and raced down to the latest contribution to the local microbrew scene. ‘Elevation 66 is located on the busy street, San Pablo Avenue. It is strategically located next to the Rialto movie theater. This will be a great place for refreshments before or after a flick. We got lucky and found parking and proceeded to belly up to the bar.

The interior is small with a very high ceilings. With just a few families and the T.V. blasting the noise level was very loud. The place is sparsely decorated with local art work hanging on the walls. So much for decorations, we were there for the beer. We met David Goodstal the head brewer/managing partner sort of. He was busy watching his college football team and only would speak to us during the time outs. We ordered some suds to give Elevation 66 a try.

Ms. Goofy had an ‘East Bay IPA’ and I a ‘Golden Age Ale’. They both were hoppy and fresh tasting. These beers had a lot of flavor and made us curious to try others. Today was only a pit stop and we will have to return to try the food and other beers. We did take a gander at the menu and noticed the most of the food is sourced from local farms and bakeries. We did see the house made pickles with onions and they looked very tempting.

Elevation 66 has 6 house crafted beers on tap with several guest brews for good measure. When we visited several of the house beers were out. I think Elevation 66 has great potential to be a destination stop. We will have to return to give it a fair shake. It would be great to have some refreshments before the movie.

Elevation 66 Brewing Company
10082 San Pablo Avenue

El Cerrito, CA 94530