CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes

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PERSONAL CHEF

PERSONAL CHEF
FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TEST KITCHEN CHOCOLATE MOCHI

This week has been a very very low point for moi (me). C'mon where's your French chops? OK, one- the Dodgers couldn't get past the first round of the NLDS, so that's one big disappointment. And then our house gets burglarized while we all were asleep, yeah go figure… oh well life goes on, and on it shall as I work on my test kitchen projects, today it was Chocolate Mochi. It's a dessert I am working on to perfecting.

What is it? It's mochiko rice flour that is mixed with sugar, salt, and water to form a dense batter and then baked. Because this is rice and not wheat, it has somewhat of a sticky finish. Check out the photos below.



This is what my Chocolate Mochi looks like, mmm!
© CHEF SAMBRANO 2014

But before I got to this stage I had to get through these other stages, well just look and see for yourself, the photos maybe jumbled out of order but you get the idea.
© CHEF SAMBRANO 2014

There's the steps before it was plated, and keep in mind that I Chef Ron do not drizzle any sauces I DOUSE IT TM

             
© 2014




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chinese Style Honey Baked Chicken

Chinese style comfort foods for those of you that want to cook it and not bother driving into town to get your fix. In this recipe blog I'll go over a very simple Honey Baked Chicken. And the ingredients are found conveniently at your local supermarket in the Asian aisle. If your supermarket doesn't have it, check online, or find a local Asian mart you can probably find it there.



INGREDIENTS
4 lbs. of chicken legs
3 tbsp. Chinese 5 spice (to be sprinkled over chicken parts)
3 tbsp. sea salt (to be sprinkled over chicken parts)

MARINADE/BASTING SAUCE (This is one sauce, it is called the marinade because you'll be soaking the chicken at least for 4 hours in the refrigerator or overnight). Then it is called the basting sauce after the marinade is heated in a saucepan and thickened for you to brush over the chicken several times before it is done cooking.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. raw sugar
4 tbsp. honey
2 cloves garlic smashed
2 inch fresh ginger smashed
1 tbsp. minced green onion

Cornstarch Slurry
1 tsp. cornstarch
3 tsp. water
(Mix together until instructed to use)

1. Place chicken in a roasting pan skin side up
2. Sprinkle 5 spice over top of all pieces 
3. Sprinkle sea salt same as the 5 spice
4. In a mixing bowl, add in all ingredients for the marinade/basting sauce, mix well, the ingredients need to be incorporated very well. 
5. Pour marinade/basting sauce over chicken, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. 

When ready to bake

1. Preheat oven to 450 F. (Remove soaked chicken and bring to room temperature for 20 minutes.)
2. Before baking, place all chicken parts on to a separate plate for a minute. Then take the marinade that is in the roasting pan, and transfer it to a small saucepan. Then return the chicken pieces back to the roasting pan.
3. Place roasting pan in the center of the oven, you will bake the chicken for about 45 to 50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches about 155 F. Every oven functions differently, please check to see if is too high, if it is, turn heat down to 400 after 30 minutes. I use this gauge as this time frame suits well for the equipment I do use. Some ovens may be weaker set at 450 F, hence the cooking time maybe longer, always check by eye sight and use common sense, and when baking/roasting always use an instant read thermometer.
4. Place saucepan with marinade/basting sauce, over medium high heat, bring to a soft boil, and stir. Once bubbling add in the cornstarch slurry, and cook until it becomes thick, immediately off the heat.
5. Open oven, carefully bring chicken out towards you and begin to baste the chicken with the basting sauce with a basting brush. Close oven door, baste every 10 minutes.
6. When the chicken is done, remove from oven, off the heat and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes. Serve with rice.

That was an easy Chinese Style Honey Baked Chicken

Until next time have a great life

Ron Sambrano

             
© 2014



Friday, September 26, 2014

TEST KITCHEN: PROJECT "LUK FUN"

Updating my test kitchen projects for my foodies out there, Project LUK FUN is my  TOP SECRET; CONFIDENTIAL; CLANDESTINE "I'll have to kill you if you know any of my information project from the Pentagon. Information concerning this project calls for stringent protocol from the top level down to the guy mopping up the test kitchen! Seriously. Nah just kidding. Anyhow I'm testing my Luk Fun noodles, and it is my friends a very tedious task. Noodle making is an art, to produce a perfect product sheet after sheet, roll after roll of these pliable, flexible and versatile rice flour noodles that works exceptionally well with any type of Asian stir fry is very popular in Hawaii, and in China Town in Honolulu it is prevalent. On Maui, Star Noodle has reinvented this noodle, creating awesome dishes. Well, I love this noodle and want to try and make it my own. NOPE I'M NOT TRYING TO JUMP ON ANONE'S BAND WAGON. I love this noodle since I was a young lad walking homeless in Beijing. Nah just kidding. But I love this noodle.














Photo above cut luk fun noodles for stir frying

These noodles can be made as thick or thin as you want, the batter is more of a slurry than a..batter. Just think of your pancake batter how thick it is to make a pancake, well imagine you add more liquid or milk to that batter and make it almost watery, well that's the consistency of luk fun batter or.. slurry. And it has to be steamed, with the right ratio of good quality white rice flour, and tapioca starch (flour), salt, sesame oil, and of course the right amount of water. You steam it in pans for a few minutes until it is somewhat glossy, and using a spatula just ply it off of the pan and let it cool. Thinner luk fun sheets are great to roll up like a crepe. You can fill it with finely minced cooked meats, chicken, veggies and what ever seasonings that suits your fancy. 












Photo above is a plain unfilled Luk Fun Roll 













Photo above is a Portuguese Sausage filled Luk Fun Roll














Photos above is Pork Luk Fun, ground pork and veggies stir fried together

The Chinese style of cooking to me is the most practical. Deep down my style suits this style of cooking, out of a wok, quick and simple, as opposed to some of the European types of cooking which I also love. However, out of a wok you can do a lot even searing a Wagyu ribeye and making a wine sauce. You can get gourmet with a wok. And the thing is most Asian style of cooking can be done out of a wok, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and one of my other favorite styles of cooking which is Filipino style suits the wok perfectly, soups can be made in it. But the Luk Fun noodle is my new obsession, and frying it up in a hot wok, these noodles soak up flavors really well. 

If you ever get a chance to visit China Town in Honolulu, or for that matter any China Town, I bet there's some food counter or stall, or cart selling these delicious noodles. And for you paranoid anti GMOers out there, nope the rice flour and tapioca flour I used did not have an Organic stamp on the package, but we been eating this for ages and I haven't died yet! Unless my next batch has Agent Orange in it, it's pretty safe.

Until next time have a great life!

Ron Sambrano
          
© 2014



Friday, September 19, 2014

MAINTAINING YOUR KITCHEN KNIVES

Knives are the tools we most use in our kitchens so we need to take proper care of them. But first, for those of you that need a few lessons on what knives to purchase, I'll go over some with you and then we'll get into maintaing them. And remember when ever you buy any knife, you want to hold it in your hand, and see if you like the feel. Such as the handle, the length of the blade as well as weight, to the way it looks. If you are a golfer you know what I'm talking about, you need to love the look of your knife first,if it doesn't look good? There's no chance you'll pick it up or oder it online.

CHEFS KINFE: This is your go to knife for slicing, chopping, mincing, in other words this is your main weapon. There are different styles of chef's knives, from stamped stainless steel, to forged stainless steel, from wooden handles, to rubber and other composite handles, it can get pretty confusing.

1. An 8" blade chef's knife is a good length for basic home kitchen use, a 10" even by professional chefs are a bit cumbersome, though longer blades is great for slicing through thick skinned pumpkins that are huge, or firm cheeses. A 6" blade is too short for general use, but works well as a veggie slicer or fruit knife, unless you're a true artist with food, don't waste time with buying one, I have one, but seldom ever use it.

2. A paring knife is a knife you'll use to peel carrots, or potatoes, or to use to cut out some smaller pieces out of an apple or the like, it really comes in handy when you misplace your vegetable peeler.

3. A 7" Fillet knife (also can be used as a boning knife), this knife is generally flexible and narrow with a pointed tip, it is used for removing meat from bones like chicken, fish etc.

4. A meat cleaver made for breaking through bones, like spare ribs, and short ribs. Some call it a hacker, generally on the heavy side. It does come in handy when you want to save money and buy meats with bone in. Butchers will charge more for the service and the packaging. 

5. A carving set with a fork, you'd probably use it during two dinners, one would be Thanksgiving, and the other Christmas when you got a rib roast or turkey to carve up. Don't spend an arm and a leg for this, Macy's or Walmart has good carving sets for a low price.

Below is the current prices for these knives I am talking about, as far as caring for your knives, keep them in a knife holder magnet attached to the wall, or in a wooden block, keep them out of reach of children, never point the knives at anyone, keep them sharp, clean them with warm anti bacterial soap when cutting or slicing raw or cooked meats. Some cooks will tell you "Don't use soap." I do, and I haven't had a problem yet, just rinse it well, and dry them immediately. Get some lessons on knives, watch Youtube videos on chefs handling knives, and good luck.

$34.56 Victorinox 8" Chef Knife from Amazon

$25.16 Victorinox 7" Fillet Knife from Amazon

$11.99 J.A. Henckels 3 pc. Paring Knife Set Amazon

$48.95 J.A. Henckels 6" Meat Cleaver Amazon

$20.16 J.A. Hencke's 8" Slicer & Fork Set Amazon

And you can purchase a sharpening rod from your local hardware store, just have the clerk demonstrate how to use it, it is a tool to maintain the edge of your knives. Your Chef's knife will need to be sharpened the most. Also once you can't get your knives sharp using the sharpening rod, you can call a professional knife sharpener to give a new edge to your blades, or you can learn from an expert on how to sharpen it yourself, you will need a sharpening stone to do this, and the technique is very important, inexperienced cooks ruin their blades by not taking lessons on sharpening their knives. 

In time you will learn how to slice, dice and chop efficiently, as well as to care for your knives. I've blogged on this subject many times, but it's always good to be updated on the basics of kitchen tools. And your knives are important to you as a home cook, without it you're like a cop without his pistol.

Until next time have a great life!

Ron Sambrano
     
© 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

MAMA'S ONAGA (Red Snapper) SOUP PLANTATION STYLE

My mom made awesome meals, her dinners were just fantastic, my friends that stayed for dinner didn't want to go home. I mean there was this one time, a neighborhood kid was sitting in our garage one evening just smelling the food my mom was cooking, the kid was the neighborhood punk so my dad chased his ass out of the garage, he sprinted fast, but I could tell he wanted to eat. Poor kid, his mom was a shitty ass cook. :(

One of the soups my mom made was an Onaga soup, or Red Snapper. Now most chefs here on the island would cringe at the thought of making Onaga soup, because most of these chefs are full of shit! They are all culinary… "What? Mrs. Sambrano just wasted a good fish?" Well mom knew what the hell she was doing. If she were alive, she'd throw it down with Bobby the Shitfaced Flay.

Here's an Onaga Soup Recipe.

1 whole onaga, cleaned. about 3 lbs.KEEP HEAD
10 cups of water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
6 large tomatoes crushed
2 large onions diced
2 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic crushed
3 inch ginger chopped
Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. The fish should be sectioned in about 4 pieces head as well as the tail section. Keep this on the side until the water and veggies are boiling.

2. Bring the water, vinegar, crushed tomatoes, diced onions, bay leaves, garlic and ginger to a boil, then lower heat to simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes.

3. Add in the fish pieces, and simmer the fish with the vegetable broth for about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

NOTE: The Onaga is a very delicate fish, but mom would cook it just right, and the fish would still be intact. She would serve it in a large soup bowl with the eyes of the Onaga staring at you. But guess what? That soup was very good, the flavor wasn't too strong, and it didn't make the house smell like fish, the ginger and onions mitigated that aroma.

Until next time have a great life!

Ron Sambrano
             
© 2014

PORK ADOBO STIR FRY WITH VEGGIES

Left overs make great tasting wok stir fries, why? Leftovers are aged foods, and of course if it's aged too long we foodies call it spoiled! However a day old plate of pork adobo has so much flavors packed into each cubed chunks of pork, it makes an incredible wok stir fry, all you'll need to do is go to a local diner that serves pork adobo, and you don't have to eat it, just take it home and save it for your wok cooking the next evening.

Here's the recipe for 4, and it's just wonderful.

1 tbsp. cooking oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 lbs. of cooked pork adobo, saved in the refrigerator, let it sit at room temperature so that it cooks really fast in your wok.
1/2 cup of sliced onions
1/2 cup of sliced bell peppers any color will do
1/2 cup sliced white mushrooms

Sauce:
1/2 cup of shoyu
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar

1 cup of chopped chives for garnish

Directions:

1. Over medium high heat, Swirl cooking oil on the bottom and sides of a 14" wok.
2. Add in 1/2 tsp. garlic, cook for a few seconds, then add in 1/2 of the pork adobo, just sear it and heat through and remove. Return wok to heat, bring wok to the initial temperature, add in a little more oil, the rest of the garlic, and the rest of the pork adobo, cook in the same manner and place it on the side with the other cooked half.
3. Add a little more cooking oil to wok, return to heat, and stir fry the veggies until half way cooked, add the mushrooms last. Add in the sauce, cook for a couple of minutes, add in the cooked pork adobo, heat through, plate it. Garnish with chives and serve with rice, fried rice or other salads.

NOTE: Most homes have pretty weak heat for wok cooking, so remember to cook your food in batches so that you'll get a good sear on the veggies and the meats. Chinese chefs have very high BTU wok burners that can stir fry 2 pounds of sliced meat and veggies in less time than doing it in batches. Wok cooking is all about high heat, so you have to adjust the amount of ingredients that goes into your home wok cooking.

Until next time have a great life!

Ron Sambrano
          
© 2014

CHOCOLATE DOBASH CAKE RECIPE

            ©



Cakes, what can I say? I mean…you're at a family dinner, more like a potluck that wasn't supposed to be. Example, we Hawaiians (peeps that live here), will invite other peeps for dinner, and we are the chefs, servers, and janitor crew, however here in Hawaii, if you invite people for dinner, friends or family, and you tell them, "Hey just show up, me and the wife are making prime rib, stir fried rice, baked mahi mahi, and salad. Just show up, we'll have lots of food, we got 3 huge ass rib roasts, and it's Wagyu."

It doesn't  matter what you tell them they won't listen, because there's a good chance whoever you're inviting will bring something, be it wine, beer, raw fish, maybe some other designer box of cookies, or drum roll please…CAKE! Although the host and hostess may have a dessert, it seems there's always a chosen few that always show up with decent cake. Decent cakes are the ones that they'll bake, or the ones that they buy at a nice bakery, or for that matter supermarket quality cakes are not too shabby at all. One time, I went to a dinner, I just picked up a bottle of Chard, but there were like seven people bringing pastries and cake.  It was a convention to get diabetes no pun intended.

Cake always hits the spot after a filling dinner, for me, my favorite cake is a chocolate dobash just loved it since I was a kid, my mom worked in a bakery called Nashiwa's and they had the best pastries and cakes. I love chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, I'm a sucker for that stuff. Just love it, and the dobash has that nice sweet frosting on top.

Here's a simple recipe for Chocolate Dobash 

Cake:
  • 3 large eggs, separate the yolks from the whites in separate bowls
  • 1 3/4 cup. white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp.  baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt
  • 1/2 c.unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 c.vegetable oil
  • 1 c. milk
Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cup. water
  • 1 cup. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup.butter
  • 1/2 cup. unsweetened cocoa
  • 3/8 cup. cornstarch 
  • 1/2 cup. water
  • 1 14 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions to Bake: 
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Butter 2 - 8" round pans. Gradually beat egg whites until frothy. Add 1/2 c.of sugar. Continue beating until stiff. In a mixing bowl; sift dry ingredients, and then add the oil and half of the milk. Beat until blended well. Add remaining milk and egg yolks. Beat until smooth. After that, fold in stiff egg whites, and divide the cake batter into prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool and set aside.

Frosting: In a saucepan over medium heat; whisk the water, sugar, salt, butter and cocoa. Bring to a boil. In a mixing bowl mix the cornstarch and water. Then whisk into the cocoa mixture; stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Stir in vanilla.

Spread frosting quickly on top of the bottom cake, then top it with the other cake and pour the frosting over the entire cake while still hot; spread evenly with a spatula. Work quickly as the frosting will  lose its texture and get too stiff for you to spread it as it cools.

Until next time, have a great life and enjoy the cake.

Ron Sambrano