CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Thursday, February 26, 2015


Pork buying comes with years of experience, why? Every time you go to your meat section of your local supermarket, the cuts can vary at times. And unlike beef, the USDA does not label pork like Prime or Choice, it is categorized as simply Acceptable (to be sold), or Unacceptable.

When buying pork, you do not need to know everything about the animal. Just remember these simple things.

For Pork Chops: Pork Chops come from the loin section of the hog, generally sold as Loin Chops, Center Cut Chops, with or without bone-in. Typically lean with hints of fat. If you were to look at a center cut chop, you will notice the large section of meat, separated by a bone, with a small portion of soft meat, this small section of soft meat is the tenderloin meat. Or the sirloin which is very tender. When grilling, I prefer to buy a loin chop minus the loin section, bone in. Bone in always has more flavor when grilling. I like to get a thick cut at least 1 inch, anything thicker takes too long too cook, I'd much rather have several one inch thick chops than several 2 inch chops. But whatever turns you on.

Look at the texture, it needs to be firm, and pinkish. If it looks brownish it could be old. Talk to your meat cutter behind the counter. If you can try buying Duroc it is the prime hog, well marbled and tasty. You'll find Duroc Pork in most gourmet butcher shops.

All pics are from Google Images.
© 2015

Grill em Mexican Pork Chops with Tortilla Tomatillo

Here's a grilled pork chop recipe a buddy handed to me, of course because we got different taste buds and different DNA, I sort of tweaked it. As spring and summer looms in the near distance, it's time we dudes start to think "Grill Time!" (We'll do this indoors using a cast iron grill pan)

Here are some of the ingredients

1 tbsp. ancho chile powder
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
6 minced cloves of garlic
2 limes, save one to be juiced, and one cut into wedges
1/2 cup olive oil 
Sea Salt and Black Pepper
4 loin pork chops with bone in, and some fat
4 tomatillos halved and cleaned out
1 Anaheim chile, halved and seeded
1/4 cup cilantro rough chopped
1 Avocado diced up
Handful of tortilla chips smashed up

What To Do.

Use a large mixing bowl, combine the chile powder, coriander, oregano, garlic, lime juice and 1/4 cup of the olive oil, and then season with salt and pepper. Add in the pork chops and flip to coat it. Cover and refrigerate for 2-6 hours. 

Bring chops to room temperature before grilling set it aside at the ready.

Set a cast-iron grill pan over high heat. And in a bowl, toss the tomatillos and Anaheims with 1 tablespoon of the oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until the tomatillos are lightly charred about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the tomatillos and the Anaheim to a work surface. 

Then coarsely chop the tomatillos and mince the Anaheim. Place it in a bowl and add the cilantro, avocado and the remaining oil . Season with the sea salt and pepper.

Turn the heat down under the grill pan to medium. Brush the marinade off the chops, then grill the chops over medium high heat until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 135°, about 12 minutes or so 6 per side. Place the chops on to a platter; cover loosely with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes. (To be a great griller, watch the chops if you notice that juices are sweating out from the chops, it is a good indication that the chops are cooking and you need to keep an eye on it. WATCH THE HEAT)

Stir the tortilla chips into the salsa and spoon the salsa over the chops. Serve right away, with lime wedges. 

Spanish rice or black beans with some sour cream works well with these chops too. And being Filipino, with our Spanish influence, I like this kind of stuff. Clean and delicious, anyone can make these in the home, and a pan grill is perfect. Nothing beats the outdoor grills but it works just as well.

Anaheim Peppers
Ancho Chile Powder
Bone In Loin Pork Chops

Thanks to all the Google Images for the use of these photos, these photos are not used to make any profits.
© 2015


SAUCES... the culinary mystical adventure... if done right, diners will love the cook. If messed up? Sorry dude! Sauces... from scratch and not out of a bottle or a can. Ok, Ill use those ready made sauces I won't lie to you coz I am one lazy SOB!

But when it comes to making a sauce, a good one, it takes time. For one, there really is no cutting corners on an excellent sauce. For instance, a brown sauce needs to be made by roasting beef bones with some marrow, or fat. It is the richness of those biological components that makes it what it is..epic. Same goes for a pork sauce, a seafood sauce, a fruit sauce. Slow heat reductions make sauces rich with flavor. Hey those guys cooking up drugs got the right techniques and methods but for the wrong reasons...ILLEGAL! But cooking is a science. Lately I have been using ready made, and it's all fine with me, but let's take a quick lesson on one sauce that I been asked to make or teach as of late. 

"Ron, how can I make a killer white sauce man?" Okay junior, here we go. First of all, white sauces is easy to make. And it can be made way ahead of time, you can make several cups, pints or quarts and refrigerate it, use it sooner than later because it is creamy and can spoil. So depending on how much you need you can make it way ahead of time. White sauces can be added to fish dishes, veggie dishes, chicken... veggies... and if you really take a look at it, it can be the base of a killer cream of mushroom sauce, or creamy chowder.

Okay let's do it.

Makes 2 cups or 16 fl. oz.

1/3 cup of onions chopped
1/2 cup of chopped mushrooms
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil.
1/3 cup water

2 1/4 cups of heavy cream
1 tbsp. butter (cold)
Salt and pepper to taste

First: In a medium size stainless steel pot over medium high heat, add in the olive oil, heat until hot enough and then add in the onions, mushrooms, garlic, and cook for about five minutes to really get the flavors out.

Second: add in the salt and pepper, the the water, bring to a boil on high, then lower and simmer for about 15 minutes. You will see the water reduce, but what is happening is the flavors from the onions and mushrooms and garlic is becoming a marriage made from heaven.

Third: add in the heavy cream, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, stirring constantly making sure it doesn't overheat, just a simmer. Off the heat, and add in a tablespoon of cold butter, and stir it in well.

Note: The heavy cream is so heavy you do not need a thickening agent, I have found that when adding a roux it tastes too flour eeee you know? However if the sauce is too watery, by all means add some butter and flour as a thickening agent.


Once this sauce is finished, set it aside. You can fry up a piece of fish, when done remove it from the pan, on to a plate. And using the same fish fry pan, add a half a cup of sauce, heat it up with the flavors of the fish, heat through completely and then pour it over the fried fish. Voila! You are a culinary expert. Or to be a true cheffie deglaze the pan with a 1/2 cup of white wine first before hitting it with the white sauce, wooooo hooooo baby!

Now there are different ways to make a white sauce, this is one simple from scratch way. I never ever just use water, I always try to use at the very least onions to make the sauce have a rich flavor. Cream by itself? No way Jose. Until next time.

© 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Wailuku Town Maui, is an old plantation town, in the central valley of an island that was once a sugar cane mecca. Drive through the town, through High Street, Church Street, Vineyard, Market Street, and Lower Main Streets, hints of the past still linger, the old buildings and its architecture are very much present.

Food is always something people search for when traveling, if for some reason you are not a local reading this blog, maybe a family in New York, or Florida heading to Maui soon, I can tell you this.. The Tasty Crust Restaurant on Lower Main Street in Wailuku, Maui is an old icon, it has stood the test of time, local comfort food at one time was the best here, and over the decades have seen the quality go up and down. I don't think the food here is really epic like it once was, but still for what it is... yeah, I'll eat there.

Yesterday was February the 24th, 2015 and I had a physical to do at a doctor's office close to the restaurant, a friend drove me, and after the checkup decided that Tasty Crust restaurant was where we were gonna go and eat. It was almost two in the afternoon so the major lunch rush was already thinning out, yay for us because I hate crowds. We got there and the waitress said that the chef's special was beef stew, chicken hekka, and luau stew (pork with spinach)...

Well I'm cutting to the chase here because this is just a blog and not a novel, I ordered one of my favorite dishes there simply called Chopped Steak. In the past I remember (the long ago past) that the pieces of steak were thicker, and more filling. When I got mine yesterday it was thin slices of beef with onions, and it was tasty I admit, I don't know but I tasted butter in there which if true it made it rock. I just couldn't get over the meat that was sliced real thin, a good chopped steak will have nicer slightly larger slices of meat, but what the heck, it was filling it really was.

I drizzled some ketchup over the meat and shoe too, even over the mac salad which was delicious.
© 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Asian Style Wokking For Couples, just one of my many dishes in my comfort food/romantic action food action with traction can you dig it? YES U CAN!!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Love, Love, and more Love! Cooking for couples is my thang, serving those in love, in their own homes, where they can relax. Personal chefs aren't just for the rich and famous, or wealthy financiers, I keep my cost in line to be affordable, and well worth the in home dining experience.

My style is Asian American Wok Cooking, though I can do other styles and methods, that's the style I market. From the Chinese foods you are accustomed with to some other influences you may not be, such as Filipino Wok Cooking, the flavors are almost identical, but with different additions, both cuisines stand out alone. In this blog post, is a dish called Kung Pao Chicken which is a stir fry with some heat, not much spicy, but with red hot chili peppers, and Schezuan  peppercorns, it can be hot. With garlic it becomes aromatic, and with rice wine vinegar, sherry wine, soy sauce and sesame oil, it has nice sauce. And instead of roasted peanuts I subbed it for some raw cashews that was cooked with garlic and the red chilis. Served with Cal Rose medium grain white, it is a one dish for two, and very affordable. I'll do appetizers, and more entrees and dessert with wine, and complete with table settings, so you'll feel like you're in a fine dine restaurant in your own abode. If you like, I'll find a guitar player to serenade you both, that's your own home.
Fresh Cooked Kung Pao Chicken
© 2015
Medium Grain Cal Rose
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12 oz. Marinated Dark Chicken Meat
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The marinade is the same as the sauce a concoction of dark soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sherry, sesame oil and sugar
Raw Organic Cashews
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Cashews works well instead of peanuts if a client is allergic to peanuts
Local Backyard Red Hot Chili Peppers
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On this cooking date the client did not want to add any Schezuan peppercorns which is alright, these local hotties adds enough punch.
Fresh Farmer's Market Scallions
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My love for working with scallions or green onions, it has a nice flavor, adds color for a garnish that of course is edible.
The finished dish
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Our fearless productions staff member Susan Welck and her boyfriend Ron was the clients, lovers in love with some hot Chinese style grines.
© 2015
© 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

10 Delightful Maui Restaurants to Eat Like a Local

Aloha from the West Side of Maui, and that's the small whaling town of Lahaina to be exact. Recently I was asked by Vacatia Family Travel Blog to write an article about all the best local spots to get good food on Maui. From Da Kitchen to Koa's Seaside Grill Check Out my Top Picks!
Chef Ron

Koa’s Seaside Grill

Photo Courtesy of Koa's Seaside Grill
Vacatia is a brand new vacation rental site, made especially for families and big groups looking for a condo or large place to stay at a resort. They’ve also been putting together a travel guide of all the best restaurants and activities on the island." EXPLORE VACATIA