Chilebrown at home

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


This meal was fit for a king. Stuffed pork chops from Lakewood Meats.& Sausage. The pork chop was stuffed with garlic sausage. We dusted it with the rub of the day and cooked it in our covered kettle grill. The lit charcoal was piled on one side of the grill. The chops were placed on the hot side to set grill marks. They then were moved to the non-fire side and the lid was put into place. This created a barbeque oven to finish cooking. These chops were fantastic. To gild the lily, Ms. Goofy made a cheesecake called; "Birthday Cheesecake". What a fantastic meal..

Sunday, June 26, 2016


Welcome to the  Silicon Valley BBQ Championship 2016. Mother nature was kind with her temperatures hovering in the mid 80's. It was time for another day of fun, sun and bbq. Of course we would like to share a couple of images with you. We really enjoy this event for the special accommodations for the judges. I am talking about an air-conditioned hall with large tables and comfortable chairs The women judges like the inside bathrooms with all accouterments.. In previous years the thermometer wanted to push past the century mark and air conditioning was a blessing. We were tasked with the all important duty of sampling and scoring some of the best bbq on the West Coast. Let the fun begin.

 Crafts, local businesses and plenty of food was offered for the bbq hungry public. There were several live bands to entertain. This event draws a large number of people to enjoy the festivities. After our judging duties we strolled the grounds.

This unit caught my attention. It is some sort of device that regulates air flow from the top vent. It is a prototype that is being developed for market. The person I talked to did not know a lot about the device and only made it sound a little more mysterious.Some further research is needed.

Congratulations to 'Rhythm N Que' for winning the 'Grand Championship". This was another great day. We were in our element. We cannot wait fro the next contest.

Friday, June 24, 2016


As I tickle the keyboards with composition, I am enjoying the most decadent meatloaf sandwich. Let’s rewind a couple of days and start with the gift. My sister-in-law “Shastina’ presented me with the most wonderful present of a meat grinder. She knows how to make me smile. This is a “Warring Pro Meat Grinder”. This model also has the capability to stuff sausage. It is one shiny, fancy machine. The Mad Meat Genius light bulb has lit. Let’s make some meatloaf.

This machine is very straight forward. One chooses one of three grinding plates (coarse, medium, fine) and assembles with blade. There is a forward and reverse switch.  That is all. The beautiful thing about this machine is; it will grind any meats you desire. Today we are grinding beef chuck and pork loin. We are using the coarse grind plate. It is good practice to partially freeze meat before grinding. This keeps the meat and fat firm to help not clog the plates. We sliced our meat into strips and let them sit in the Chilebrown Ice Cave for 45 minutes. This new grinder made fast work to transform the strips into future meatloaf. It was time to season.

Everybody has their favorite meatloaf recipe. Our loaf started with a mixture of pork loin and chuck. I made some fresh bread crumbs from some bread we had in the pantry. The bread was lightly toasted and then pulsed in a food processor. While the grinder was running a whole head of peeled garlic was run through.  Ms. Goofy went to our garden and snipped parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano. This was washed and chopped.  Milk and eggs are the liquids to bind this mixture. We had a little cream left over so this was used instead of milk. Do not forget salt & pepper to season before forming the loaf. To gild the lily the loaf was crowned with bacon. This was all placed on a trivet in a black iron pan. It was baked in a covered bbq for an hour.  It smelled wonderful

This meatloaf was moist and flavorful. What fun to grind our own meat. We are guaranteed freshness and are able to control quality and proportions. Here is a big hug to my sister-in-law Shastina, for this wonderful gift. I am already anticipating this will be a freshly ground sliders kind of weekend. The wheels are turning for our future sausage endeavors.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


This ad was found on Craigslist. I could not resist sharing this with you. I remember my mom saving bacon grease in a designated container kept in the refrigerator. I did not take him up on his offer but I did get a nice chuckle from his ad.


I'm giving away a jar of bacon grease / bacon fat, from hardwood smoked bacon. I make sure to fry it at low or medium heat so as not to burn the grease. It's a beautiful cream color.

It's a great cooking ingredient, but we don't use it in our kitchen. "Bacon butter" or "bacon drippings" are classic with vegetables or Southern cuisine. Many say "You can't fry a potato, season green beans or mustard greens without it."

Traditionally, bacon grease is saved in British and southern U.S. cuisine, and used as a base for cooking and as an all-purpose flavouring.

Killer apps for bacon grease: cornbread, green beans, spinach saute, bacon grease popcorn. How to use it:

Non-food uses: and

Even bacon soap:

Pick up this jar only in-person - I will not respond to texts or large cash offers.

Hop on over and "git cookin'" - come and get it.

NOW: Call me 8am-9:30pm on my cell phone # [five ten} 8 fore seven - eight oh 15 - first come first served - for free.

Location: on Sage Sparrow Circle in southeast Vacaville 95687 (near Alamo Drive/Leisure Town Rd.)

Thursday, June 16, 2016


“Bacon BBQ’ is an all-purpose rub created by “Meat Church BBQ”. I was informed by “Meat Church BBQ” this rub would change my life. Does my life need changing? Regardless, we purchased ‘Bacon BBQ’ rub and will take it out for a test spin. This should be interesting. Will this rub have any resemblance to bacon? We will try this rub on some chicken and ribs. Let’s start the barbeque.


Sugar, salt, spices including paprika, dextrose, dehydrated garlic, natural flavor, no greater than 2% silicone dioxide to prevent caking and spice extractives are the listed ingredients. It strikes me rather odd that there is not even a hint of bacon listed in this list. I am not sure what natural flavor might be but let’s give it a shot.

  I opened the top and I smelled garlic and paprika. There is a slight smokiness in the background. I took a little taste and immediately got a sweet salty bite. This was expected. I would venture to say it was on the sweet side. Did I taste bacon? Maybe, but I was wishing really hard and that might of effected my perception of the flavor. Okay, it does not taste like bacon. To be fair this is a rub and using this with heat and cooking will change the flavor profile.


We dusted our chicken thighs liberally with Bacon Rub. We cooked the chicken in a covered kettle bbq with indirect heat. The chicken looked fantastic. The sugars in the rub caramelized and with the paprika the colors of this chicken were fantastic.  Ms. Goofy and I both agreed this rub was great. Sugar is the first ingredient listed and this rub is on the sweet side in a good way. The other ingredients were present in the flavor background and complimented the overall taste.
 Next up were some St. Louis style ribs. Once again a liberal dusting of Bacon Rub was applied. Three hours in a smoker and this masterpiece was revealed. These ribs were competition worthy. They looked and tasted fantastic. Did we get any nuance or hint of bacon? No.


Bacon Rub is a fantastic all-purpose rub. I would recommend it to anyone. We had great results with both of our cooks.  Why do they use the term bacon in this rubs name? I know why. They hooked me with my weakness for all things bacon. This is misleading but we will forgive Meat Church BBQ because this is a good all-purpose rub. In conclusion, Bacon BBQ rub did not change my life but we had some fantastic meals.

Meat Church BBQ

Sunday, June 12, 2016


The barbeque season is starting to warm up. Ms. Goofy and I donned our shiny judges badges and participated in the Van Ruiten BBQ Cook Off. This is a very fun event that screams California lifestyle. What better place to have a competition but in a vineyard and family owned Van Ruiten winery in Lodi California. The weather was very pleasant with the temperature hovering in the high 70's with a slight breeze. Let me tell you though, it got very hot in the judging area because we got to sample and score some of the best bbq around. We would like to share a couple of images with you.

The band provided a festive atmosphere to the strolling wine and bbq fueled public. There were plenty of cool and shady areas to sit and enjoy ones food & drink. The public purchased tasting tickets to redeem for bbq samples. In the wine barrel filled hallway a silent auction was held. Lot's of local crafts and business had donated prizes to be bid on.  All the proceeds of today's  silent auction  were destined for the 'Autism Speaks foundation'.

This little spaceship looking cooker caught my attention. It is missing the center cooking chamber and is a Weber Smoky Mountain Cooker. We saw many varieties of cookers today with no particular model dominating the cooking field. Whatever the competitors used they were professionals. This was proven in the competition. The categories today were pork ribs, tri-tip (This is California and tri-tip is king) and a 'Mystery Meat' which was pork loin. We saw some creative entries in the Mystery Meat category. One was a bacon wrapped, cream cheese & spinach filled pork loin. They had me at bacon. What a treat for the judges.

What a great day for bbq and wine. The Van Ruiten' family owned winery was the perfect venue for a fun filled event. This was a barbeque competition but we were all winners today including The 'Autism Speaks Foundation' who will receive the proceeds from the silent auction. Our friends Gina and Jack from the team 'Big Shot BBQ' were the official 'Grand Champions' on this special day. Congratulations to everyone.

Thursday, June 9, 2016


As some of you may know I have an fondness for knives. I have a collection of custom kitchen knives that I am very proud of. Lately I have been adding to my collection of folding pocket knives. When I met Jerry the "Saw Blade Knife" guy at the Redding Farmers Market I was ecstatic. Ray (Jerry) McHale creates knives with recycled saw blades. I almost walked right by his booth at the market. Jerry beckoned me over to his booth by saying; 'Hey young man, see how thin you can slice this potato."

 Jerry is a delightful character. I surveyed his booth to see a collection of crude looking knife blades. Were they crude?. The more I looked they were actually artistic. Each knife was unique and had its own folk art personality. I took Jerry up on his offer to thinly slice the potato and picked a blade. These knives were razor sharp. The potato was no match for these hand made creations. I was hooked. I inquired; 'Jerry, how much are these knives"?

Jerry told me the price and my jaw dropped in amazement. They were ten dollars a piece or for the longer knives he charged by the inch? Wow! I picked three of my favorite knives and paid Jerry. I now own some very unique razor sharp saw blade knives.  They are beautiful and a piece of art created by Jerry. You never know what you will find at a Farmers Market.

Saw Blade Knives by Ray (Jerry) Mchale
530 221-7722

Sunday, June 5, 2016


It seems so long ago but last weekend we were in Redding California for a barbeque competition. When we are in Redding we like to visit a local favorite  R & R Quality Meats & Seafood. We have mentioned R & R before but it is worth revisiting because of their new location. They did not move to far, in fact just next door. R & R's new digs is huge and needs to be. It needs to accommodate the meat hungry populace of Redding. We arrived around three o'clock Saturday afternoon to a packed house. You grab a number and wait your turn. I walked up and down the very long aisle of meat display cases to be a little overwhelmed with the vast selection of quality meats. You name it R & R has got it. They even have a selection of seafood. I would like to mention this section was a little odoriferous.

R & R does such a high volume of business they can offer very reasonable prices. They run weekly specials advertised in the local newspaper. They had USDA Choice New York strip steaks for $9:00/pd. this week. A 32 ounce beauty was put in my shopping cart. R & R has a huge selection of meats but does no in house curing or smoking. They do have a barbeque out front and sell bbq dinners to go on the weekend.

R & R is a great place to get quality meat at a very fair price. This was a price sticker shock for this Mad Meat Genius who is used to paying the 'Bay Area Sin Tax' on his meat purchases. We definately will return the next time we travel up north. I almost forgot to mention they carry "Uncle Lou's Chitlins". Bonus points indeed.

R & R Quality Meats & Seafoods
2159 East St.
 Redding, CA 96001

Friday, June 3, 2016


We spied a vendor at the Redding Farmers Market that was selling ‘Red Wattle Pig’ chops. Tracy Creek Farm raises Red Wattle hogs. The Red Wattle hog is a heritage breed. The pigs are red in color and have a distinctive wattle on their neck. For some peculiar reason I have always giggled at the mention of wattle. What is a wattle? It is a small flap of skin that dangles from the neck. It serves no real purpose but for my amusement. We have never tried this breed of pig, so, it was game on. We bought a couple of small chops.

We brought the chops home to cook on our grill. There was a fairly big fat cap on these chops. The meat was a dark red in color I left the fat cap on to experience the full flavor of the cut. I did score the fat to prevent curling on the grill. A slight dusting of seasoning was applied. A quick hot fire cooked these chops liquidity spit. Drumroll please. These chops were tender as all get go. The meat had a slight beefy flavor. The flavor actually had a sweetness to it. The fat was heavenly rich and decadent. This was one flavorful chop. If you get a chance I highly recommend giving it a try. We are going to have to return to the Redding Farmers Market.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Nothing but the best for our dog Lucy. She gets 'Health Bars' that are baked with Bacon, Egg & Cheese. They claim to be; healthy & holistic. You know any dog of mine will love bacon. I even took a bite and tried them. They actually are not bad. Lucy loves them and that is good enough for us. I will draw the line if she asks for gluten free and starts to wear a beanie.