Mississippi Catfish – Richmond, CA

Alright, gather close. Raise your hand if you’ve driven by a restaurant or food truck and swore to yourself that you really need to stop by and see what they’re up to? Yup, nearly all, myself included. Okay, how many of you drive past the same place day after day, week after week, then year after year saying the same damned thing? Oh, comon, tell the truth. Yup, nearly all, myself included.
Back when they started up, in the parking lot of Mel & Son’s Muffler, they were in a stark white catering trailer. Even had tables set up outside for people to enjoy their food stuffs. They spent 7 years there, and a few years ago moved in to a brick & mortar building right next door. I drive past anywhere from 4 to 6 times a day, watching & waiting. What a noodle, why not just stop the hell by and see what’s going on?
It wasn’t until I saw a smoker on a trailer puffing mightily away that I started twitching and biting my lip. Okay, I give up, you got me.
Parking is a little odd what with being surrounded by auto related service stations, not a biggie though. The place is exceptionally bright and clean, very inviting and well taken care of. A few tables in the center with the kitchen facing you in the back. If Pops is there, the conversation is boisterous and all smiley. Earlier in the day his son is in the kitchen, I hear his daughter comes in later in the day. Ordering was easy because the son helped, me. I mentioned I’d never been and looked lost. He suggested the Lunch Delight with 2 pieces of catfish, 3 hushpuppies, slaw or fries for $7.25. And it comes with a soda !!!
Ain’t that somethin’? The cornmeal coating on the fish is thin, tasty and has a nice toothy crunch. The meat is firm, yet yields, then goes down quickly. I’ve been 3 times now and so far I’ve never just received 2 pieces, it’s always been a bit more. The hushpuppies were perfect in every way, crunchy on the outside, creamy steamy on the inside with nice savory wafty flavors. On the first one I did the fries, having 3 fried things at once was too much. On the second visit I ordered the slaw, was good, had raisins in it, didn’t ask if they make it er not. Oh, make sure you ask for an extra hot sauce packet or two if you’re getting it to go. It comes with 1, 1 is not enough and they’re happy to oblige.
All in all it was an uplifting experience with really tasty catfish & hushpuppies. Heck, I’d pull off the freeway for those ‘puppies! Oh, and the best part? I’ve always been the only white boy in there!
Mississippi has other items on the menu as well, snapper, prawns, wings (I think) and L&D BBQ Thursday through Saturday. Start with the catfish, yes start there and move your way around the menu as you see fit. I’ll get to the que as my budget and time see fit.
xo, Biggles
Mississippi Catfish, inc.
12440 San Pablo Avenue
Richmond, CA 94805

File: Bacon and egg sandwish – open face

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Anyone that has read Meathenge for any length of time knows that I love photography or digital capture and food. This has been the case for more than 35 years, a little more. Out of passion and the plea from my friends & family I set up my blog (actually my sister did) so they’d stop getting routine emails from me showing them what I was eating and they were not. This was back in ’03, a young blogger was born. It was tough for me to not give people a hard time about their images, I bit my tongue. More often than not though I ended up sticking my comments where they didn’t belong. Such is life and I learned my lesson, learned the zen of enjoying people for who they were and what they presented. It’s actually pretty peaceful to watch bloggers grow in both craft and voice, I love it.
Earlier today Jlee sent me this Wikipedia entry and I’ve been getting madder and madder as the minutes roll by. It offends me on every level that I hold sacred, food, photography and respect for the internet. What pushed me over the edge was the fact that the author of this post on WikiP actually published what he did to achieve such a wonderful shot. At this point picture me kicking tin cans around the yard hurling obscenities to the universe.
At first, it was the art, the photography that made my bowels erupt. Bite my tongue, but the blast of light from one direction and the fact the author went out of his way to edit out the shadows? Okay, let’s remove any depth or perception. The lone strawberry with red smudges on the plate? This lead me to the store bought sliced bread with uneven toasting and bacon that’s clearly been seared to near black death. My eye then went to the “tablecloth”? Why not just toss your wet dream stained bed sheets for luster, would have been more interesting. Not to me of course, but some people pay a lot of money for such things. Where’s the mayo? Where’s the black pepper and crystals of salt to glisten? Hot sauce? How the hell is one fricken little ‘berry going to add nutrition, happy breakfast or for crissakes Chi !!! GAHHHH !!!
Okay, so sure the fact the author published his editations pushed me further, but why you’re seeing this here to day is the fact he published this hideous monster on Wikipedia. That sealed the deal, he stepped over the line. This instantly went from a friendly food blogger type of situation to a worldwide encyclopedia entry that states this as truth and love both in the culinary arts and digital capture.
Don’t give me, “But the yolk is the perfect color and runny looking”. You know damned well this “human” needs to be drawn and quartered. Oh sure, I can hear your response, “Alright smart guy, if you think you can do better, go ahead.” Charley Manson could do better, don’t mess with Manson pal. In the last 7 years I’ve never, ever seen a food blogger do this poorly. We rule, you suck and I’m here to testify that I can totally kick your ass. Get this shit off the Wiki and leave us alone, hate doesn’t even remotely describe the feelings I’m having at this moment.
Yours truly,
The Good Reverend Doctor Biggles

Blackened Gater & Fried Pickles at Felix’s in NOLA

While the good Reverend Doctor Biggles spends his days hunting and hopefully trapping his muse, we bring you some travelin’ meaters.
My sister Kallisti, and her husband Meathead are right now in New Orleans. She lived there for maybe 4 or 5 years many moons ago and wanted to revisit. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion this was taken not too terribly long ago, what with how the internet and fancy phones be.
xo, Biggles

FRENCH PIG: The Butcher and the Cook – A Class

Kate Hill of Kitchen-at-Camont a French culinary retreat in Gascony just sent an email letting me/us know of an upcoming class we can take! Lucky for us we don’t have to travel to France, just the Napa Valley. They scored the kitchen at Fatted Calf, cool huh? She’s traveling with a French pig farmer / butcher, Dominique Chapolard. I don’t know the guy, but after reading the words she sent, this sounds like a must do. She states that the Portland class sold out in only a few days, so if you’re interested, jump.
FRENCH PIG: The Butcher and the Cook
An Evening Workshop of Butchering: French Cuts Butchery Plus Artisan Pork Tasting
Date: April 16, 2010
Time: 6 AM – 10 PM
Location: The Fatted Calf- Oxbow Public Market, Napa CA
Cost: $195
On a small farm in southwest France, Dominique Chapolard and his three brothers grow their own grain to feed their own pigs, eight to ten of which they prepare every week for five local markets. At market, they sell their fresh French cuts, like roti, cotelettes, and longe, along with their housemade charcuterie like saucisson sec, jambon, and fromage de tete. Together with the Chapolard family, Kate Hill, culinary teacher and owner of the Gascon Kitchen, a cooking school located just a short drive away from the Chapolard farm, offers butchery apprenticeships and other learning programs in France.
In April, Kate and Dominique will travel to the United States to share their cooking and butchery knowledge. While in Napa, they’ll join forces with Wil Edwards of the Artisan Food School and the Fatted Calf Charcuterie to offer an evening participatory demonstration master class. In this workshop, Dominique teaches students how to transform a pig into premium French cuts, using seam butchery, a traditional European method of breaking down animals according to their muscle seams, as opposed to cutting through muscle as is often done in many American butchery shops. As Dominique demonstrates on a whole mature carcass, Kate teaches them how to transform basic cuts into traditional French recipes. The class will finish with an artisan pork tasting with Carrie Oliver presenting four different breeds of artisan pork and charcuterie tasting and discussion of full-circle farming methods in France. |Students will go home with a share of the meat butchered in the workshop.
Reserve online at: http://frenchpig.eventbrite.com/
Contact: Fattedcalf or Kitchen-at-Camont

Sharpening Serrated Blades Class with Eric E. Weiss

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I’ve overheard years and years worth of blather regarding getting your serrated blades sharpened. As far as the general public and uninformed, this cannot happen. Toss and buy new when it becomes no longer “sharp”. What a load of crud. I knew that then and in the last few years can most certainly say, serrated blades can be sharpened!
Yeah but, how’d you like to be able to do that yourself? Really? Really. And Eric is hosting a class to show you exactly how that is done.
Eric has spent his entire life fawning over everything sharp and all that encompasses such things. It’s his passion, his life. Bring any knife, implement from garden to kitchen to military killing items, he’ll go wild eyed and go in to the long history of your item. He’s the go-to guy for anything sharp. And he’s certainly the guy to show you how to sharpen your serrated blade, it’s what he does for a living.
So, if you’re interested in learning how to sharpen your serrated blade, now’s the time to jump in and get learned.

Monday, April 12, 2010
6:30pm – 8:30pm $65.00

Paulding & Company, A Creative Kitchen
1410 D 62nd St., Emeryville, 94608


Eric E. Weiss has taught many classes for people with all levels of sharpening experience from beginning to advanced. In this class, he will teach the skill of sharpening serrated blades. There are many different types of serrations for many different purposes and we will explore a great variety of these.
Please bring two knives (or more), one with small teeth and one with large teeth, and be open to the fact that in the process of learning this skill you will likely scratch or scar your blades, and you may not achieve perfection on your first try. You may want to shop a second hand store for some knives to practice on. We will provide special ‘half-round’ steels for each student and this tool, included in the cost of the class, goes home with you.

xo, Biggles

Daisy – Take Pride. It’s a Daisy.

This post isn’t about food, but I couldn’t hold it any longer. It’s just too wonderful to hold back, am gushing.
Tomorrow I will be attending a best friend’s birthday party for his little girl, she’s just turned 1. I have 2 boys, 9 & 14, so I’ve been through the routine. But what do I get a 1 year old for her first birthday !?! I was thinking a box with crinkly paper.
After many thoughts I figured a gun was the best gift of all. I headed off to my local sporting goods store for such an item. What did I find? A Daisy Red Ryder BB rifle gun!
Easy enough, but what they had blew me away. They had a PINK BB GUN !!!!
That’s right, they had a pink bb gun rifle. A bb gun for girls! It was an easy sell.
xo, Biggles

Teriyaki Smoked Tilapia – amazingly perfect

Yup, it was this good. Surprised the hell out of me too, am very impressed. I’d planned on smoking the fish the next day, this would put the marination at 24 hours. I wasn’t able to pull it together due to pouring rain and very chilly temperatures. So, the fish and pork loin roast sat another 24 hours before I could get to it.
Thursday after work the first thing I did was start a fire, I needed every minute to get this rolling so I could get to sleep at a decent hour.
The second thing I did was to pull the 2 meats out of the fridge to warm up a bit. After oven roasting the first fish batch, I found the Soy Vey Very Teriyaki marinade to be a bit on the strong side, figured after 2 days sitting in the juice, it’d be pretty much ruined. The pork loin that Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius gifted me would be perfect. What I thought I’d do was to wash the marinade off the meats, pat dry.
Got the smoker’s temp stable, the meat was at room temp. Just for good measure grabbed a handful of Bledsoe’s bacon to install above the fish and pork, baste!
I used hickory chips for smoke action, it’s what I had on hand. I used Broad Leaf Maple charcoal for heat, it’s all I had left.
Looking pretty good, eh? Wanna see the bacon?
Oh boy! The bacon came off first, the boys and I made that go away. Soon the fish was flaky, juicy, perfect. The pork loin came out later, pulled it at 138 degrees internal temperature and let it rest. While it was absolutely stellar, even better the next day, I have to say the fish was the one to eat Thursday night.
The shot I took of the pork roast wasn’t usable, so decided to leave it out this time. Don’t worry, there will be more in the future. In any case, you can clearly see the inner meat of the fish was white, the marinade didn’t penetrate that far. And since I washed off any bits & juice, the smoke took very well. Tender, juicy fish with flavor of teriyaki, then a warm smoke to finish dialed in this meal precisely. I shared a little of it and was given 3 thumbs up. I can close my eyes, lick my lips and still enjoy this meal.
xo, Biggles

A Mystical Appearance – Tilapia

Alright picture this, it’s Saturday and it’s nice outside. No place to be, no responsibilities. Perfect for watching TV and taking naps, agreed? Agreed. Later in the afternoon I had a few cool, refreshing beverages and fell asleep watching a movie on my computer, in my bedroom.
A while later I heard someone at the front door knocking, gave it no mind and went back to sleep. Not only did I not care, was too snuggly and happy, didn’t want anyone ruining my trip.
Cut to Sunday morning to find 3 pounds of Tilapia fish, fat ones too, in my fridge. Along with a good sized bottle of good hot sauce on the dishwasher. I may have had a few drinks, but in no damned way did I go shopping for fish and hot sauce!
Nope, Creepy E had gone shopping, he mentioned something about getting me some on his next trip. But I never expected him to come in through the unlocked front door and install the goodies in my fridge while I was napping! But that’s exactly what he did, thank you! Score.
xo, Biggles

The Butcher and the Vegetarian – by Tara Austen Weaver (I’m in a book ya foo!)

My copy hasn’t arrived yet, so this isn’t a review. This post is to let you know that Meathenge is in it!
And brother, or sister, it isn’t just a mention, we got an entire chapter! Blown away? I sure as gosh am. 3 years ago Tara contacted me asking for help. She’d always been a vegetarian and her doctor thought some meat might help with her ills. She contacted me, we exchanged a few emails about what she was looking for and what I thought I could provide. Tara mentioned that she was in the beginnings of writing a book and wanted to know if she could interview me while we cooked together. I’m a Leo, it’s all about me and if someone wants an interview? Count me in baby!
I’d been wanting to start up a grilling class, I thought it a perfect time to test my mettle. We set a day and a time, I gave her a few assignments to accomplish before she showed. One of which to spend some time at the butcher, discussing what she wanted to cook and to use his or her knowledge to bring it together. The day came and here’s my account of our afternoon together, A vegetarian reaches out and a grilling class is born. Here is her account of the same day, A visit to the Meathenge.
At least for me, a sleepy 3 years passed. Tara of course had run the gambit of emotions that nearly tore her psyche to shreds. A few weeks ago Shuna and I were exchanging some long needed emails and she mentioned that Tara’s book was out. I ran over there at break-neck speed, sure enough. She did it, she really did it. On that day I figured I got a mention or two, we hadn’t conversed since the class 3 years ago, I had no idea. It wasn’t until I went back the next day and read more on her posting revealing the debut, It’s a book!
Holy crap! Chapter 12: A Visit to the Meathenge. There it was, an entire chapter and check out the other chapters, am in pretty impressive company. I was on cloud 9 for more than a few days, euphoria to say the least. I had no idea. Wow.
As I arrived home each day, planning this post, I was met with more moisture and more mold in my home. It hasn’t been until today I’ve been able to pull myself up enough to string this all together in a somewhat coherent manner.
Here’s her press release for the book with a few more links. If you check out the recipes link, in there you’ll find my grilled bacon “recipe” that I wrote specifically for the release. You’ll also notice that’s my picture there of a bacon rosette! The Butcher and the Vegetarian press release. Since this book is really a big deal, it’s widely available both locally and online. Go now! Go get your copy and support Tara and her endeavors. I wish her nothing but huge amounts of health, money & fame.
xo, Biggles

Slow Oven Pork Chops – or, Playing with Food !

Was pretty much cooking for myself last night, Tiny E’s consumption of food really doesn’t amount to what most of us call a meal. I had time, I had pork chops and if I ruined them it wouldn’t ruin anyone’s evening. I wondered what it’d be like to put the center cut chops in to the oven at 250 degrees until they reach 190 degrees (pully aparty).
I used a glass casserole dish with a chrome rack installed, this would keep the meat up and out with the heat able to get all around. Marinated with kosher salt, preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2 hours later, at 190 degrees internal temperature I had a real piece of shit for dinner. The loin portion of the chop didn’t have enough fat to keep it moist. While I had no temperature spikes, the fat was gone! And, considering the method used, there was no browning, no flavors. It was dry, flat tasting pork that just didn’t deliver.
“But Biggles! I see browning !!!” says you. Heh, just because I ruined dinner doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun. I grabbed the propane torch and browned it myself!
It looks a heck of a lot better than it was. Don’t do it.

Grilled Beef Bacon & Tri-tip Steaks – U.S. Wellness Meat Review

I received this meat for free, I did not pay for it. I was asked kindly if I wanted some free meat to review on Meathenge. I contemplated this on The Tree of Woe until the answer came to me, “Free meat? Shit yeah!”
These two meats kinda surprised me, first I wasn’t expecting beef bacon and when I see the word tri-tip I think roast. I held these two little guys and giggled, “This ain’t no tri-tip.” And brother, or sister, I know tri-tip, I’m from California. It’s supposed to have 3 tips to the roast and these were little meat logs. Next, I kinda stared at the beef bacon, a little disdain coming forth. You see, both myself and Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius are bacon snobs. He and I have been through quite a bit of bacon that was not made from a pork product and it’s rarely above mediocre. This isn’t because it was bad or whatever, but it’s tough to beat grilled pork belly bacon. We’ll have to see.
This last week we were lucky enough to have not only a dry week (rain, not booze), but the days got up to the high 60 degree mark. What with the mold problem in our tiny home, I spent each evening grill-side cooking dinner. Even if it was dark and had to cook by flashlight, it was a necessary therapy.
If’n yer interested, click on through to the other side and let’s see how all this came out, eh?

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M.A.S.H. 4077th – What was Hawkeye, Trapper John & Ferret Face’s abode’s name?

You’re correct! “The Swamp” is the answer and the name of their tent where they spent a few seasons before Winchester showed up. In any case, they lived in a tent named The Swamp and I live IN a swamp.
I’m still dealing with high-moisture content in my home and a pretty nasty mold situation. I’ve got about 90% of it taken care of. I removed the last remaining carpet in the house, it was in the boy’s room. 10 years of little boy use and it was more than time. It wasn’t good and spent more than a week scrubbing furniture and applying an anti-mold growth formula my boss came up with. I bought another dehumidifier (this makes 2 now) and a hygrometer to give me an idea as to what room needs dire attention at what time. It’s been a nightmare to say the least and Tiny E is still suffering.
My only solace has been permitting weather to allow me to grill dinner every night for the last 3 days. The smell of the wood, the hickory, to enjoy the flavors of simple, grilled food. It’s all I have at the moment and I simply do not have any time or inspiration for Meathenge at the moment. Know what I mean, Vern? Yeah, it’s like that.
Hoist a cool one for us, fry some bacon with love. We’ll be back in and online here pretty soon.
xo, Biggles

For Zoomie’s Contest – Martian Food

I dug deep for this one, looked, looked and then searched. I came up with nothing, then searched again. I came home and found it!
It might not come off so quickly as Martian Food, but at third glance seemed to have a lot to do with Penises and Turds. Ick.
Here is my submission, however so late as it might be, Penises and Turds.
I’d send you a direct link to the post, but this is the best I can do for Zoomie of Zoomie’s Station’s Martian Food Contest posted on Feburary 2nd.
xo, Biggles

Martian Food Photo Contest !!!

2 days ago (the clock is ticking!) Zoomie of Zoomie’s Station announced a contest. If you go take a look, she cooked something, snapped a shot and it looked absolutely unrecognizable. It looks horrific even! If you take pictures of your food, you’ve most certainly come across at least a handful of shots like this. Sometimes, it’s after you’ve posted it or handed it to friends and received some really odd, quizzical looks. She’s offering up a photo contest of your own and the best out of millions will receive a prize! Go see, it was posted February 2nd, just follow the link above. And most of all, have fun.
xo, Biggles