Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Donna Fong, friend, certified KCBS barbeque judge, soccer mom, scholar, and most importantly of all; “Asian Women Ninja Barbeque Warrior”, will be competing in her first state championship barbeque competition at Lake Havasu, Arizona. Donna will be entering an arena of bbq competitors that are predominately male and Caucasian. Donna’s father is a butcher by trade, hence the team name ‘Butchers Daughter BBQ”. We are excited and supportive that our friend Donna will be cooking for victory. This weekend we will witness and participate in this historical event. Lake Havasu, here we come!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
The BBQ competition at Lake Havasu is less than a week away. We needed to give our palate a little tease and wake up call to some good barbeque. One of our favorite barbeque dishes is burnt ends. This is a very flavorful, but time consuming dish. It is worth every minute of effort to create this smoky dish of meat candy. We wanted to compliment this dish with a worthy partner. ‘Uncle Joe’s BBQ Sauce-in-a-bag” has a recipe for some wild and crazy Cole slaw. This slaw is not mayonnaise based and has some unique texture components.
This recipe comes directly from Uncle Joe’s website. I glanced over the ingredients and needed to buy some components. Some how cheese just stuck in my mind and I purchased some. Cheese made it to our photo session. I am trying to follow instructions so I read them again. Guess what? No cheese will be consumed in this recipe. Read the instructions Chilebrown!
JAMMIN' SLAW SALAD
1 pound coleslaw mix
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly
½ cup toasted almonds (either sliced or slivered)
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 package ramen noodles, crushed (reserve seasoning packet for another use)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Uncle Joe’s Chipotle Blend
1 Tablespoon sugar, optional
1/3 – 1/2 cup olive oil
Combine all salad ingredients except the ramen noodles in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, Uncle Joe’s and sugar if using; microwave one minute, whisk in olive oil until well combined.
Toss dressing over slaw mixture & toss well to combine.
Refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes before serving so flavors can meld.
Top with ramen noodles before serving & enjoy!
Our meat candy was so beautiful. I could eat burnt ends forever. It is a rich, smoky sweet treat that Cole slaw would compliment with authority. ‘Jammin Slaw Salad’ stepped up to the plate. The almonds and sunflower seeds added a little crunch that filled the bill. This slaw was spicy and tart that cut through the richness of the meat. This slaw was not overly sweet, unless you wanted it to be. This spice from BBQ in-a-bag was a great mix to bind all the vegetables together. This recipe for slaw is a new Mad Meat Genius favorite. See you in Havasu
Uncle Joe’s BBQ Sauce in-a-bag
Friday, February 18, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
It is ‘San Francisco Beer Week’. I thought every week was beer week. ‘Anywho’ this is a week that celebrates micro-beers from around the Bay Area. “Anchor Steam”, is one of the original founders and supporters of the micro brewery movement. Fritz Maytag has been ‘Papa’ brewer for many years. Maytag has recently sold the brewery to another brew conglomerate. A new beer has been released from the new owners, and it is called “Brekle’s” A party was needed to release this new beer and it was a hot ticket to attend the release party. Chilebrown was very lucky to score a couple of these tickets. ‘WowOhmighty’ we are going to a beer release party.
We stood in line for a several seconds at the Anchor Steam entrance so that the official’s made sure that that the Chilebrown impostors did not crash on this very exclusive party. I was recognized instantly and made my way to the beer booth. A Breckle’s was poured and I immediately swooned. It was very hoppy, full flavored with a sweet/bitter taste. Full of flavors; chocolate, coffee, sweet molasses, and most predominately a green hippy chippy hoppy taste to arouse your palate made this one flavorful swill. This beer was definitely a hoppy brown ale, just as the Doctor ordered. This is one beautiful beer!!!!!
What would put this party over the top, besides being at Anchor Steam Brewery and trying a new release beer, but food? This event was catered with four beer ingredients as the theme; Water, Yeast, Hops, and Malt. Water was the ingredient in a ‘Steamed char pu pork bbq steamed pork bun from heaven’. The sauce had a soy chili sauce directly from “Gourmet Chinatown”. The Brewer’s yeast pretzel with gruyere cheese fondue sauce was doughy delicious.. (Malt) Breckle’s Brown beer battered Diver scallops with crisp potato rosti and malted vinegar alioi.was our favorite dish. (Hops) Dessert was ‘Citra Hop’ infused brown butter Finacier cake with caramel butter cream and hazel nut toffee.
How can you top an evening sampling the new brown ale called ‘Brekles’s’ from Anchor Steam with beer influenced appetizers? Oh my, am I one lucky dude!!!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
‘Pack up the wagons’; we are heading to Lake Havasu Arizona for our first KCBS competition bbq event of the season. We will dust off our judge’s badges and prepare our appetite for some of the best bbq in Arizona. This “2nd Annual HAVA BBQ London Bridge Style event” will be a state championship. Lake Havasu is home to the famous ‘London Bridge”. I have no idea what ‘London Bridge Style’ bbq is, but we are excited to find out. The event will be held February 25-26. Scheduled for Friday is a chili-cook-off. We will be observing and tasting chili with the festive crowd. ‘Chuck E. Bumps and the Crocodiles’ will be entertaining us with their music. Saturday will be the main bbq competition. The public will have the opportunity to purchase samples of bbq and vote for the ‘Peoples Choice’ award.
One very important note to this competition will be the first time our friend Donna Fong will be competing. Her team “Butcher’s Daughter BBQ” will be the first Asian Women competition bbq team. We wish her the best of luck.
If I can find a little break in the rain, some burnt ends will be prepared to warm up our bbq palette. I leave you with “FIRE”
Monday, February 14, 2011
We have a nice smoky chicken breast from our trial of ‘Emeril’s Smoker Bag’. It just seemed right to make a soup. We looked in the ice cave and found some broccoli, cheddar and some pancetta. As you may know, I am a bacon kind of guy. Pancetta is a form of bacon that has been cured but not smoked. This piece of pancetta was procured from the pork palace of ‘The Fatted Calf”. This will work just fine.
The pancetta was cubed and put into a heavy enameled cast iron vessel. The heat started a transformation of the cured swine to aromatic, caramelized bits of meat pleasure. The whole house had a perfume that almost brought me to tears. Pancetta, where have you been? The smell was much sweeter and less harsh than ordinary bacon aroma. Onions, carrots and a few cloves of garlic were added to my pot of Love. After several minutes a couple of tablespoons of flour were added. Chicken stock followed into the hot tub and all was simmered for 10 minutes.
I think Ms. Goofy must have had a little taste of the smoked chicken breast. This will explain the teeth marks. The chicken was cubed and combined with cheese, two chopped smoked jalapenos, and broccoli. One half of cup of heavy cream, final seasoning and 10 minutes of simmering finished this wonderful smelling cauldron of soup. Delicious, comforting, smoky, filling what more can I say except, pancetta. Little cubes of chewy sweet pork made this one memorable soup.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Emeril has touched all our lives, well at least mine. Julia started the whole sha-bang and Emeril just kicked it up a couple of notches. With fame some people need to cash out on their celebrity. Do you blame? Emeril has endorsed these smoker bags and we are going to give them a ride. The people from Carmeron Products were generous to give us a couple of samples.
What is a smoker bag? It is a insulated aluminum foil bag with specific flavor wood chips. You place the bag on a heat source and smoke will fill the bag permeating your protein of choice. Today we are going to try some seasoned chicken breast.
It is hard for me to do, but I followed the instructions. Season your meat and place in bag with the “This side down”. You can use this smoker bag in your inside oven, outside barbeque charcoal and the heaven forbid gas grill. I was a little paranoid to try this product inside our abode to bypass the wrath of Ms. Goofy if the smoke escaped.
Thirty minutes later this bag looked like an Orville Redenbacher popcorn bag. The bag was emptied into black iron to cool. When we opened the bag a small flume of smoke escaped. It was not enough to send of the smoke alarms. That was one of my concerns.
The Breasts were so moist and smoky. Emeril is still my hero! He would never steer us wrong? Would I use these bags again? I think they are convenient to smoke vegetables or a small meat meal. These bags are self contained and when you open them just do it with ventilation. The chicken breast is going to be used in a broccoli soup. I will recommend these bags for the convenience and the easy usage. They might be blasphemous for the hard core smokers, but; Why not! "What, Me Worry!” (Alfred E. Newman)
It is Superbowl Sunday and we are hangin out with the ‘Under the Bridge Club’. The thermometer is just breaking the 70 degree mark. Aaron Rodgers is leading the Packers to victory on the field of glory. Aaron Rodgers ends up being the MVP of the game and he just so happens to originate from Chico California. Guess what else comes out from Chico? California Habanero Blends makes several flavors of hot sauces and they are located in this Super Bowl quarterbacks stomping ground. Let’s give them both a try.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
We spent a couple of hours with the "Under The Bridge Club" on Supper Bowl Sunday. This weekend, probably the only weekend, Women were allowed to access the inner sanction of the club. Oh man, it was a good thing because: these guys know how to cook and party. It was a beautiful day with the thermometer almost touching 70 degrees. It was a good photo opportunity to include the bridge with my next hot sauce review.
I also tried something goofy, combining Hot Sauce and cornbread. It turned out........stay tuned!
Monday, February 7, 2011
Banana vinegar is something that caught my eye. I have heard and tried different fruit vinegars and even tried to make my own apple cider vinegar. That was a Mad Meat apple experience that went horribly wrong. When I saw the Banana Vinegar it was a must have item. The distributor suggests using this vinegar in cerviches and salad dressings. The vinegar is made from fermented plantano machos which are a breed of banana somewhere between a plantain and a regular banana. This small bottle was priced at 15.95 which did not include shipping.
We poured a little sample onto a spoon. It had a faint banana aroma. The vinegar was mellow, mild, and did not seize the attention of your tongue. I was surprised the vinegar was not very sweet. It definitely had a banana flavor but not like a sweet banana that you would slice onto your corn flakes. The next big question, is what I can use this on? I made a salsa and added several tablespoons. The flavor was lost with the rest of the vegetables. Next, I will try this on a salad. Anybody have suggestions for uses of Banana Vinegar?
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Just when you are getting used to the notion of sliced bread, somebody reinvents the wheel. I am talking about “UNCLE JOE’S BBQ SAUCE-IN-A-BAG”. This is a product that thinks outside the bottle. Just add water and ketchup to the bag of spices, heat and presto change-o you have barbeque sauce. Uncle Joe’s claims; no salt, no msg, and ‘the fun with bbq sauce starts here’. Uncle Joe encourages you to have fun and customize this bbq sauce by adding your own accents such as honey or cayenne. This bag of spices can also be used as a rub, in salsas, cole slaws and even includes a recipe for bbq chicken teriyaki. The instructions for making the bbq sauce could not be easier. Simmer contents of package with ½ cup ketchup and 1 ¾ cup of water for 4 minutes, remove from heat and let cool. We will give this sauce a try on some bbq beef ribs.
We followed the instructions and the end sauce was a little on the thin side. It smelled of cumin with a little hint of smoke. The taste was pleasant and familiar. It was not overly sweet and had no heat whatsoever. The sauce was basted on some beef bones that had been grilled on the que. The sauce did carmalize and made the ribs glisten. The ribs were a pretty site. The ribs rocked our world with flavor. They were fall off the bone smack-o-delish. Uncle Joe said it himself; you can customize your sauce. It did need some more sweet and heat. ‘Uncle Joe’s sauce-in-a-bag’ is unique, convenient and fun. It would be great for that camping trip. It can be used as a base for your own custom bbq sauce. We had fun!
Uncle Joe’s BBQ Sauce in-a-bag
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Warm buttery soft flaky crust, smoky tender chicken, sweet carrots, potatoes, and rich creamy gravy makes for one comforting ‘Chicken Pot Pie’. It has been way to long since we have made a pot pie. Simple but quality ingredients are the key to success. This chicken has been smoked with hickory wood. The carrots are fresh and sweet from the farmers market. The crust is pre-made by a local pastry vendor called ‘Star Dough’. ‘Star Dough’ was highly recommended by a local food fanatic; Zoomie.
Chicken Pot Pie
• 1 cup cubed potato
• 1 cup peas
• 1 cup diced onion
• 1 cup diced carrot
• 2 cloves diced garlic
• 1/3 cup melted butter
• 1/2 cup flour
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 1 cup milk or half and half
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
• 1 pie crust
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Sauté onion, carrots and potatoes in butter for 10 minutes.
3. Add flour to sautéed mixture, stirring well Cook one minute stirring constantly.
4. Combine broth and half and half.
5. Gradually stir into vegetable mixture.
6. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.
7. Stir in salt and pepper; add chicken, peas and stir well.
8. Pour into shallow 2 quart casserole dish and top with pie shell.
9. Cut slits to allow steam to escape.
10. Brush crust with wash of beaten egg.
11. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly and cooked through.
Let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving. This is a complete meal. The smoky chicken made this pie over the top delicious. Star dough is a very decent product. It is rich and flaky. I would recommend it if you are crust challenged. It has a steep price tag for something that is fairly easy to make yourself. The gravy which bound the ingredients was so rich and good that I was caught licking the plate. ‘Chicken Pot Pie’ is a dish that had been on the back shelf of our recipe repertoire. It received a warm welcome return. ‘Yummy Noodles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’