Chilebrown at home

Friday, June 30, 2017


Do I have a sticker on my back that say’s; “Kick Me”?  Once again I have been enticed to purchase a product with two of my favorite food ingredients. The “Late July” company has marketed a snack tortilla chip product with Bacon and Habanero promised on the label. Who is this ‘Late July’ company? Here on the West Coast they are a newcomer to me. Here is their mission statement;

“Since 2003, we have remained devoted to transforming the food industry by creating the most delicious snacks in the world using organic and non-GMO ingredients. We are dedicated to advancing the health and sustainability of the food industry and ensuring future generations have access to better and more delicious options.” They also donate 10 percent of their profits to causes benefiting Children & the Planet.

We will cut immediately to the chase; how do they taste. First off the bat, they taste a little stale to me. I wait for bacon and habanero flavor. It never happens. Maybe this bag is mislabeled?  Against my better judgement I look at the ingredient list. There is an ingredient called Non-GMO Bacon Habanero Seasoning. W.T.F. I must really have that sign on my back; ‘Kick Me!”. These chips are a major fail. At least 10 percent will be benefiting Children & the Planet.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Home grown garlic is a treat. Freshly picked garlic is pungent and strong. Last year, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival they were giving away free garlic for planting. I took a couple of heads. You break the head into cloves and plant. A little watering, weeding and patience is all you need to produce a small garden of vampire repellent. Now that we have an abundance of garlic, what shall we cook? I had the idea of studding a beef roast.

We are using a USDA Choice Sirloin roast acquired from a big block discount market. There is no real recipe here. We just separated the cloves and peeled the protective skin. We then took a sharp paring knife and cut a small hole to insert the cloves. After we had studded our roast we seasoned with the rub of the day. We cooked our roast in a bbq with indirect heat until the roasts internal temperature reached 124 degrees. After a 15 minute rest we sliced.

The roast was cooked to a medium rare. The garlic perfumed and flavored this beef. The cooking mellowed the garlic flavor. It did not overpower the beef flavor but added a nice compliment. I would eat the whole clove and enjoyed it. The cooking added sweetness to the garlic. Ms. Goofy passed on the garlic consumption.

This was a fun way to use garlic. It added a unique and flavorful twist to our beef roast. The next day we cut up our roast into small slices to make some very decadent beef stroganoff. I have to find some more uses with our abundance of stinking rose. No vampires were harmed in this post.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


This competition barbeque teams name sums of our day at the Silicon Valley BBQ Championship; "Fun Time". The heat wave has broke and the weather was cool and pleasant in Santa Clara California for a barbeque competition. Sixty five teams were on hand to show off their skills and we were ready to sample and judge the battle. This is what we do.

 This is our friend Andy with his brand spankin new Lang Cooker. This is one mighty powerful cooker. He is fine tuning and learning how to maximize the potential of this beauty of a cooker.

This is our friend Ben who was making pizzas for competitors and friends who wanted a little break from the bbq. This pizza cooker was run on hardwood pellets. Ben had a station to custom make your own pizza. This was some most delicious pizza. I snapped this image of the police van backed right up to the beer booth. I hope the officers where off-duty. The last image is of our friend Rick who is holding the remains of his charcoal starter. I hope he got the license number of the culprit.

Congratulations to Mar-B-Que's BBQ for winning the Grand Championship. There were some heavy hitters in the bbq competition crowd today. Speaking of crowds, todays public experienced championship bbq at its best. We were proud to be a part.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


You know I love my knives. A good sharp knife is essential for all preparation duties in the kitchen. As some of you know I have an extensive collection of custom and high quality knifes at my disposal. When you collect, one can never have enough of a good thing. (Despite Ms. Goofy’s objections) Today I would like to share my latest acquisition of a twelve inch Chef’s knife made by Moab Knives.

 Moab Knives is a one person operation created and run by David Collett. David Collet is an ironworker by day and Bladesmith by night. David hand drew the knife design, cuts, grinds heat treats, and hand finishes every blade. I asked him to create a 12 inch blade designed in a traditional Western Chef’s knife style. I also picked my handle material. Three months later, here is the finished product.

The blade is made of 1095 high carbon steel known for its edge retention and sharpenabliiy.  The handles are made of Amboyna Burl wood. I asked David to make the handle on the large side to fit my hand. The blade is 12 inches long and is sharpened to a convex edge to 20 degrees. Did I mention it is beautiful? Let’s go to the kitchen and cut up a couple of things.

My first impression is; WOW!!!!! This knife is sharp. An onion was no match for this power house of a tool. The weight and heft really makes a difference.  The handle is large and fits my hand perfectly. What I noticed was how smoothly this tool cuts and glides through its desired object. What I really enjoyed is how balanced this large knife is.  I tried my hand cutting a tomato and with surgical precision it was dispatched. I want to go around cutting up things but need to do some shopping.
I just wanted to share my beautiful new knife. This will get plenty of use. It is not only functional but beautiful to look at. The size, weight and balance are perfect for this Mad Meat Genius.

Video by Moab Knives

Monday, June 19, 2017


We are having a heat wave. Here in the Bay Area when the thermometer rises above 80 degrees we begin to panic. Our house broke the century mark yesterday. We have maybe a dozen days a year when it gets this hot but even then it is not normal for us heat sensitive Bay Area residents. We reside next to a tidal bay which provides a natural air conditioner. Does it sound like I am whining about a little heat? Okay, you got me this time. We did have some great brisket burgers which we purchased from  R & R Quality Meats and Seafood

This beef had a beef to fat ratio of 80/20 which I believe is perfect for a burger. You need some beef love (fat) for flavor and moisture. I return to my heat excuse and this was a lazy cook and was done on our trusty black iron pan in the kitchen. This burger was cooked to just before medium where you can still just see a hint of pink in the center. It way juicy and beefy just as expected. It was perfect for this warm day. We are having a heat wave.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


I know it is your civic duty. Somebody has to do it but I hope it will not be me. The last 4 days I have been in a painfully slow jury selection process and I cannot talk about it. With that said I would like to leave you with an image of my latest pocket knife acquisition. This is a custom Buck !!0 with copper bolsters and carbon fiber scales. It is a beauty. .

Sunday, June 11, 2017


It was a beautiful day for Beer, Bacon and "Hey wait a minute". Let's start over. It was a beautiful day for a bbq event and fundraiser at the Van Ruiten Winery in Lodi California. Twenty six teams showed up to battle for Championship in three meat categories; ribs, tr-tip and a mystery meat of pork tri-tip. We knew not to pass up this event because this is California bbq in all of its glory. The event was held at the winery surrounded by grape fields. Lodi California is one of the major wine grape growing agricultural areas. The weather could not of have been nicer with the thermometer peaking at the low 70's. We were ready for a party and would like to share a couple of images with you.

 The teams were set up in back close to each other to make it convenient for festive activities. This cooking unit caught my eye because of the water delivery system. Notice the five gallon jug of liquid on the side. It delivers liquid of your choice in a constant drip to an interior pan to provide steam and moister for the interior of the cooker. This was new to me. The public purchased tasting tickets and strolled the grounds sampling award winning barbeque. We were lucky to be judging and sampled and scored some fantastic meats today. We especially enjoyed the fantastic California favorite tri-tip. This beef from the sirloin is a cut that is fairly easy to prepare and delivers big beef flavors. There was also a mystery meat which was called pork tri-tip. This meat was really a mystery because this cut is not as popular. It was also from the sirloin area of the hog and presented cooking challenges for the competitors. We enjoyed sampling and scoring this unfamiliar meat.

 We had live music today to provide a festive atmosphere. The Van Ruiten winery knows how to throw a party. Today's proceeds benefited the "Autism Speaks' organization. There was also a raffle held with local merchants and the winery participating. This type of event is fun for everyone. This is California bbq at its finest. See you next time.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


This is the real deal. It is Porterhouse Wednesday, a day I have just made up to showcase this beautiful USDA Prime Porter House procured from Alexander's Prime Meats. This was 38 ounces of pure beef love. It may have been one of the best steaks ever. Wow.

Saturday, June 3, 2017


We were watching the NBA finals last night and it is possible the commercials lasted longer than the game. A couple of commercials that caught my eye were two fast food giants bacon topped burgers. Wendy’s has the ‘Baconator’ while Burger King has the ‘Bacon King’. Today we are doing a side by side taste off. May the better bacon burger win.

Luckily Wendy’s and Burger King are located right next door to each other. We bought both and I would like to say they both were freakishly fast in completing the order. They had to be pre-made or they have a device to tell them I was on the way. Here are the advertised facts about each burger.


“Thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, two 1/4 lb* patties and even more bacon for a grand total of six (6) fresh-cooked, never microwaved strips. Topped off with mayo, ketchup and cheese on a premium toasted bun to hold the meaty masterpiece together.”
 950 calories
Cost:        $5.45 with tax

Bacon King

   Our BACON KING™ Sandwich features two ¼ lb* savory flame-grilled beef patties, topped a with hearty portion of thick-cut smoked bacon, melted American cheese and topped with ketchup and creamy mayonnaise all on a soft sesame seed bun.
1040 Calories
Cost;      $6.54  with tax

Both these burgers are very similar in cost and ingredients. Wendy’s asked me if I wanted a single or a double. I opted for the single so I am not sure if the calorie count is the same because the advertisement says two patties. The million dollar question is how did they taste and is one superior?

We have mixed results and possibly a tie in our burger battle. Ms. Goofy liked the Baconator from Wendy’s. She like the softer bun and thought the burger meat and bacon was better. I preferred the Bacon King. The bacon on the Bacon King was crisper and I thought the cheese was superior. We both agreed that both of these burgers did not look anything like the advertisements. The Wendy’s bacon seemed limp and lackluster in my opinion. The Bacon King’s bacon was crisper but bacon flavor was just not popping. Bacon was supposed to be the star of this show but only played a supporting role  with the condiments making both of these burger mediocre at best. Both Wendy’s and Burger King know how to push my bacon buttons by their media blitzes. They got me to come in.