CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Friday, December 31, 2010


Get about a pound of cooked crab meat, and chop it up, then in a mixing bowl, add in a tsp. of cumin, a tsp. of coriander, 2 tbsp. of soy sauce, 1 tsp. of sesame oil, 1 clove smashed garlic, 1 tbsp. of minced scallions, a dash of salt and pepper. Get a kale leaf and place on some foil, then spread the crab meat mix on the kale and fold the foil. Place in the steamer, and steam it for about 12 minutes, serve with rice or potatoes.


One day a while back, all we had was pancake mix, eggs, ground chuck, and mozzarella sticks for food.This is what I created.

First I made the pancake mix per the instructions on the box, and made some pancakes and set them on the side.

Then I made some burgers, seasoned the ground chuck with salt and pepper and some ketchup, that's all there was on the spice counter ha ha. Fried them up and set them aside.

Then I scrambled 7 of the eggs that was remaining in the chiller. Set them aside.

Then the crew was ready to eat, there were 3 of us at the time, and that was enough food to get us through the next check.

1. lay out a pancake
2. place a piece of scramble egg on the top
3. place a burger patty on the egg
4. take a few mozzarella sticks and break it up on the burger, then nuke it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt it. Eat it and be happy there was that to eat.


My Foodie friend Emily stopped me in my tracks as I was heading for the bus towards Kaanapali, "Hey Ron!"

"Hey," I didn't know her name, but when you have your own t.v. show people know you.

"Ron how come my chicken is always bloody in the middle?"

"First what's your name?"

"Oh sorry Emily.  I watch your show all the time, but I always screw up my fried chicken, why are the thighs always bloody by da bone?"

Okay my Foodies, if you have this problem it's really simple, for one, cooking fried chicken at home really sucks, having a deep fryer with a lid does the trick, the heat will penetrate the chicken to the bone and that bloody thing won't be bloody.

Here's a trick you can all use, especially for thighs, fry them and get them brown but not too brown.

Heat up your oven to about 375 deg. F., and place the chicken on a cookie sheet, and bake it until it gets really golden brown, the chicken should be cooked all the way through, also remember that the chicken continues to cook once it is out of the oven, let it rest for about 15 minutes, I bet you anything, that fried chicken will be awesome the next time around.

Here's another tip you can use to spice up fried chicken, marinade it in some salad dressing for easy on the go folks, pick a good dressing, Italian, Creamy Asian, or even hot sauces or barbeque sauces, or teriyaki sauces, soak the chicken then coat it with your four mixture and deep fry it, you'll have something new for the family.


Someone asked me what size of a deep fryer should he get for his possible restaurant, well, my answer is this, it depends on the size of the contents that he'll be deep frying, such as, will he be doing fries and onion rings only? Will he be deep frying pounds of chicken parts? Is he deep frying half a moose?

The size of the deep fryer is done by weight, such as 35-40 pounds for example, meaning that's the amount of food it can handle. So if you are deep frying fries and onions rings or small snacks or appetizers, something this big would be too costly you'll need a smaller one, possibly a table top 16 lb. fryer. It depends on the size of the kitchen also, the best way to get anything is to talk to current restaurant managers or kitchen managers and inquire what they have, or take a class on running a restaurant, or if you've worked in a pro kitchen before, then you have an idea of how a pro gig is taken care of.

There are other factors involved in a deep fryer, such as cost, should you purchase brand new or a used one? There are many instances where a restaurant went under because of the economy, and they have fairly new equipment, always search for quality at a valuable price, watch the cost.

Most deep fryers have sloped sides so that all the cooked pieces of food will slide to the bottom of the fryer onto a screen. Also there's a thing called recovery time, meaning if the oil is hot at 345 deg. F to 375 deg. F. which is about normal, when you add in new items, such as new chicken parts which is cooler at room temperature like 75 deg. F. it will lower the oil temperature considerably. So the recovery time is the time it takes for that oil to get up to speed at that 345 to 375 range. You get what you pay for.

Most pro kitchens use gas, liquid propane or natural gas for its cost.

BTUs are a rating of how much heat it takes to cook, the more BTUs,  the more heat for cooking.

Learning how to set up your own fryer will save you money, as well as learning to repair minor issues with your fryer. Cleaning, and using the right fats to fry with. Use oils that have a high smoke point, such as Canola oil, Vegetable oil which has a nutrual flavor.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blink-182 - All The Small Things

Some entertainment for you


Here is a lesson on searing meats, mainly beef steaks, I mean quality meats, those Prime designated, or Choice. When meats such as a ribeye, that has awesome marbling, that fat is the flavor of the whole meal. When that steak hits the pan, it sears, and the fat and juices run out, and the meat sticks to the pan for only a short time then you flip it, that bits and pieces are the flavorings, you'll be able to scrape that meat and juices into a great pan sauce, deglazing the pan with red wine, or stock of your choice.

But wait! That's hard to do if you have the wrong pans or skillet. I mean, if you have a nonstick pan, it's difficult to sear steaks because of the teflon or whatever coating. I like nonstick pans for quick sauteeing for veggies, and fish when searing is not even a thought. Healthy cooking yes, use a nonstick, but if you want to get down and dirty with your bad ass self, it's a stainless steel pan without that slippery coating.

Below is a stainles steel pan

Notice the pan is all stainless steel with zero rubber handles, these pans are great because you can finish off a dish in the oven, this pan can go into an oven at 350 deg. F.
You may ask "Ron, but what about the handles if they get hot?"  Easy muchachos, use a dry white towel like the pros do. Dry white towels, not wet white towels, wet towels conducts heat and your hands will get burned so dry towels.

You may ask, "Ron what do you mean finish a dish in the oven?" Okay, let's say you got a thick sirloin, maybe 4 inches, you could sear the meat for a few minutes on the stovetop, then flip the steak and then finish it off by roasting it in the oven without transferring it to another pan.


Here's a healthy Lemon Sauce for your grilled fish filets.

2 cups of Vegenaise (Vegan Mayonnaise)
3/4 cup of organic lemon juice
3 tbsp. raw sugar
1 tbsp. of organic garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. hot sauce
Dash of parsley
Dash of thyme

Mix it well in a small bowl (glass or stainless steel)
Spread over your grilled fish filets

Vegenaise TM from Follow Your Heart, the purple label is made from grapeseed oil, no dairy by-products, no saturated fats, and NO CHOLESTROL


According my friend Steve Galon who originally was from Oahu from the Waianae area, Halm's Kim Chee used to give tours of the famous Kim Chee plant. As I sat outside the Foodland Farm's in Lahaina the other night munching on a Hot Kim Chee 10-12 oz. bottle, he came by and started telling me that he went to the Halm's Kim Chee plant one time and took a tour. And this is how he told me his interesting story in Pigin English.

Steve: Eh Ron what you eating... (he sees my bottle of empty Halm's Hot) ... Oh shit! No way, you wen polish all dat by yourself?

Me: Yeah man, was ono!

Steve: Eh I went to da tour bra.

Me: What tour?

Steve: Halm's get one plat in Oahu, brah, nuts... Eh, you go inside deah, and your eyes start to water so bad, all the freeking peppers, hot sauces and all dat, nuts brah. Get so much cabbage. Won Bok cabbage. Bra get one line of workers, one guys job is to just sprinkle paprika on da cabbage, one guy's job is do add something else but bra, da operations is crazy. Da head of da plant told me dey ship dat stuff out all ovah da world! Even to Korea bra, wea Kim Chee is from. But eh he was tellin me, even da hottest kim chee dey make is nothing compared to da Korean's kim chee bra.

Me: Nah... nuts eh?

Steve: And he said dat Halm's takes care of all their workers so they no go to anudda company and sell dem da Halm's secrets... (laughs)

Me: Oh like KFC, da Colonels' recipe cannot be hijacked!

Steve: 10-4 dat. But doze workahz, dey juss like work and go home, dey could give a crap about stealing da recipe, besides, dey have mo important things to do aftah dey pau work. (finish work).

Me: Yeah- plus, locals don't want to be hassled with legalities if there was some kind of suit against them.

Steve: 10-4 again. But bradda, in dat factory it's crazy, since I was one small kid had dat kim chee. Dat and some Spam and rice, bradda dat's planny sodium no wondah we get high blood pressure. But Halm's Kim Chee is da bess! No can beat, every market get Halm's. Dat jar dey use is classic, from far away you can see- yup it's Halm's Kim Chee, no can miss, and da taste gotta be da besss in Hawaii.  But like da guys was saying, Halm's is hot for us but not to da Koreans.

Me: Da Koreans, Indians and Mexicans like hot peppers, that's nuts eh?

Steve: What is dat you juss ate?

Me: Halm's Hot Kim Chee.

Steve: Nothing to da Koreans, that's not hot nuff.

Me: 10-4 dat.

Won Bok or Napa Cabbage used to make kim chi

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The end of 2010 is a few days away, and for some it's a struggle, and they don't make New Year's resolutions, all they are praying for is work, shelter, food. Gone are the days of relying on your employer, people have awaken to the fact that yes, "my job could be gone today as soon as I clock out!" Or it's already in the rear view mirror.

On Maui and in many parts of this country, people are starving, why? No money to buy the necessities of life. I met a local guy on the bus several months ago, he and his wife are about to be homeless. His family can't house his own family, he doesn't want to stress others out. Sometimes I see him with a fishing pole, and his clothes are looking a tad worn out.

As 2011 approaches, if you believe in a higher being, one that controls good, and stamps out evil if we call out to it, be it God, or the great keeper of the universe, let's all meditate, that good will come to those who are good.

It could be you or me, without anything, only hope, and that seems to be running thin. Hope. Old school Hawaii, people always shared with each other, everything. Life was simple. Seems like now, with all the turmoil in this world, we should keep it simple, respectful, loving your neighbors, and taking care of each others needs. Be good people, and just stay away from the bad.

Food is scarce in many homes, let's pull together, and start a revolution, teaching kids to fish, farm, hunt. Teach saving resources not wasting. Fuel is going to be an up and down thing on the price scale from now until we die, oil is going to dry up sometime, many countries want oil, it will get higher in price. Food will cost more. Gone are the days when we here on Maui should rely on Matson for our food deliveries. People can't starve, it is against God's will, no one should starve.

We should take a proactive approach, and learn how to grow our own foods, learn how to share knowledge, learn to survive without the politics. We have to wake up to the fact that the local brother I am talking about that lost his job and can't get work, can be me someday if things get really really bad. It is now, to work together so that there will be no person, man, woman or child, that will stand on the street corner starving. This is America, Hawaii, the leaders in the free world, how dare our own people starve. They can't, it is against God's laws. No one shall starve, absolutely positively no one.


Anyone visiting Maui should visit one of my fave mom n pop stores, for a cold bev and a hot dog or chow fun. In the Kokomo area in Haiku, check them out.


I was going over my culinary manual, you know the ones they give you at culinary school? Well, the book is huge, and weighs a ton, you can do curls with it, or even some bench presses. The book is called On Cooking by Labensky and Hause the 4th edition.

I'll go over the part on page 231 called A Saucy History, but I'll tweeeeek it so as to be my own words. Let's see how it goes.

First of all, the student chef is always being tested on the basics of cooking, food safety, knife skills, nutrition, dry heat cooking, moist heat cooking, salads, desserts, blah blah blah! But one area a chef needs to master is flavoring. Learning how to flavor a dish is the ultimate test a chef needs to pass. Okay, sauces are something all chefs need to learn, and it is a very wide wide subject, sauces are made by every ethnic group, lots of people from all over the world make sauces. But how da hell did sauces come about?

The word sauce is based on a Latin word salus, this means "salted" and for ages, salt has been a basic condiment that sparks foods, or on the other hand masks its flavors. Nuts huh? In ancient Rome, cooks flavored dishes with garum, it is a golden colored sauce that is made from fermented fish entrails (wo!) mixed with brine, water and wine or vinegar. Hey the Filipinos use this don't they? Patis? And the Romans referred to a sauce called (single) a concoction of oil, wine and brine, that when it was boiled with saffron, and herbs, it was called a (double sauce). The Byzantines further developed the sauce by adding in pepper, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander, or this thing called (spikenard) which is an aromatic ointment designed from grains.

Check this out, it says in the book that Medieval chefs took to either very spicy or sweet and sour sauces, used for roasted meat. And they used powdered cinnamon, mustard, red wine, and honey to make sauces sweet. They would add stale bread as a thickening agent, man that sucks, imagine today if I had to use bread to thicken a black bean sauce? What a waste, I want to eat the bread even if it is stale, I'm broke, stale bread is okay in my book. But that's what they did back then. And they also added the juice from unripe grapes to stocks, because of its acidity. Other fruit juices were added to it as well, also flower petals and herbs and spices, maybe to hide the salty tastes of cured meats, or meats that weren't too fresh. Ever seen that Seinfeld episode where George Castansa's dad Frank had a flash back and he was in the army cooking for the troops? Well, he came across some old stale meat, but decided to mask the taste with lots of herbs and spices, and at the end of the scene, the troops ate the meat, but one by one in slow motion, they all got sick and started to barf?

Well there's some historic chefs that was the sauce masters. One of them was Guillaume Tirel (1312-1395) he called himself Taillevent. This guy was a chef for Charles V of France, woopty freeking doo! He also wrote a book entitled Le Viandier, story has it that it's the oldest known French cookbook, includes 17 sauces, one of them is a blueprint for cameline sauce, it is made from grilled bread soaked in wine, and this item is then drained, and squeezed dried, and then it is ground with cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves and nutmeg, and then it is diluted with vinegar. And there was a sauce called taillemaslee, it is made with fried onions, verjuice, vinegar and mustard, hmmm, not bad I think I could handle that.

Okay my hands are numb from typing, I'll continue later on this history lesson on sauces.

Laters Craters!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Tender pork, marinated in olive oil, garlic, black pepper, soy sauce, and vinegar. Then slow cooked to a tender. Then cooled down, refrigerated overnight. Then battered, and deep fried!

Okay- cooks like musicians are actually freekin rip off artists, and I am guilty of it.

From an old lady down the road ha ha, of course tweeeeked it!

5 lbs. of pork shoulder (butt) sliced into 1 1/2 inch cubes or larger.
1 cup of olive oil
8 crushed garlic cloves
8-10 turns of pepper mill for fresh ground pepper
1 cup of Kikoman soy sauce
1 3/4 cups of apple cider vinegar
Salt to desire

Put all of this in a bowl and mix it up. Then place it in a large enough pot, and heat over high heat, and extracting some pork juices, then lower to a simmer. Cover pot and simmer on low heat for 3 hours. Or transfer to a slow cooker. When done and soft, let cool, then immediately refrigerate overnight.

When it's ready to be deep fried.

For the batter:
8 cups of flour or more
1 cup of cornstarch
1 cup of panko flakes or more
4 large eggs beatened
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
2 tbsp. parsley flakes
2 tbsp. dried oregano
Milk to soften the batter, add as needed

6 cups of flour to dredge the cubes of pork first before battering.

Large pot for deep frying:
 A whole bottle of Canola oil for deep frying

1. Heat up oil over high, then to med high
2. Dredge pieces of cubed pork into 6cups of flour
3. Make the batter, add more flour to make it thick or more milk to make it run more, the amounts written is just a gauge.
4. Place dredged cubes of pork into the batter, then begin deep frying.
Note: The pork is precooked, so just make the batter golden brown, or soft it's up to you, some prefer less crispness, some like it golden brown crisp.

Serve with rice.
For a dip or sauce, go the style of the Philippines.

Add some garlic, bay leaf, fresh peper, salt, fish sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, water, lemon juice, do a littel of each and come up with what tastes good for you.

good luck

Monday, December 27, 2010


Sauces are any tasty liquid that you can put over cooked vegetables and meats, poultry or seafoods. You really don't need to panick thinking that you can't make a sauce, you can. It is easy. Here is a tip to make a basic pan sauce when searing a steak.

We're going to take about a 10-12 oz. boneless New York steak, and pepper it with fresh ground black pepper corns, from a mill. Let the steak sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature, never attempt to sear steaks when it's cold right out of the chill.

Heat up a stainless steel skillet, do not use a nonstick pan, you want just steel, so that the meat will sear right on the pan, you see the trick is, to let the steak rest on the pan over high heat without any oil, the meat will develop a nice crust, with oil in the pan, it will slide around, you want the natural oil from the meat to come out, this will be the flavors for your pan sauce.

Okay, what you do next is get a cup of red wine, inexpensive ones will do, a Merlot, Cotes du Rhone, a Cabernet Sauvignon, or even Sherry will do. Okay also get a tsp. of minced shallots, and a dash of thyme, and a dash of Rosemary, and keep a tablespoon of butter ready, but keep it almost chilled until you are ready to pan it.

Okay, the steak is ready to be cooked, the skillet is hot, place the steak on the pan, push it down so that there is no air pockets, air will negate a good sear. Do not touch it let it sit and fry or sear!
Turn heat down to medium high, let it go, let it brown, even blacken. Let it cook for about 5-6 minutes, if you see juices coming out great, lift up the steak a tad, see if the cooking side is getting crusty, if it is, then flip it. Let the next side cook for about 5-6 minutes it should be medium rare to medium. Cooking it for 8 minutes should make it medium well, longer for well. But remember that all stoves are different, gas, electric, and induction stoves will project heat differently, like people, it has a personality, with experience you will get it down.

Once the steak is done to your desire, remove it quickly and cover it with foil to trap heat so it will not get cold. Immediately put the pan back on the heat to high, add in the shallots, the thyme, Rosemary, and wine, let it boil, using a whisk, stir up the pan's juices, or the juices and peices from the steak, that's the fond and all the flavors are in that pan. A nonstick pan can't do this trick. Now watch as that cup of red wine will start to reduce, as soon as it reduces to about 1/3 cup, take it off the stove, and immediately add in that cold tablespoon of butter (unsalted), and swirl it around, it will add richness to the wine or pan sauce. Viola! you are a culinary wizard! Top the steak with sauce and serve with whatever sauce you like.

Photo curtesy of
Tray of all natural boneless New York steaks


Sunday, December 26, 2010


Here is what I would advise the beginning cook, the home cook that wants to get better, and that is to stick with one style of cooking, for example, if you love Japanese cooking, get better at Japanese cooking. Practice your technique, your deep frying, your poaching, roasting, sushi making. Learn the proper ingredients for each dish that you learn how to make. And it's okay to read cookbooks and figure out stuff, but there's no substitute for watching someone with years of Japanese cooking expertise.

Sometimes a home cook doesn't get better because he or she is lost in the mix of cooking, they're trying to cook Italian one day, and then Chinese or Mexican the next. I think if you and your family love a certain kind of food, that you learn to cook that style first. I'm not saying if you're learning Japanese foods, that that's all you are going to eat, of course not. Eat different things, it is just when you are in the kitchen, focus on one style and become proficient at it.

Cooking is an art, and Picasso didn't become great by trying all these different kinds of styles all at once, nor did BB King one of the greatest Blues guitarist of all time become great by playing jazz, or funk. He stuck with blues and became an icon. Look at all the celebrity chefs for instance, Bobby Flay is more of the American/Mexican style or Southwestern style. Lagassi was Cajun/Creole. Mario Batali is an Italina chef. Yes they can do other dishes, but these chefs and artists focused on one style and became great at it. Same for the beginning home cook, focus on one style first, get to know everything about that style and rock!

Anyone can read a cookbook and get away with a certain style, but when you learn to live and breath a certain style of cooking, it will show as the years go on. Here in Hawaii, I learned to do a lot of different styles, but really I am not a master of any really. I can do some Japanese, some Chinese etc. but not really focused on any one style because of our diverse culture, so even I should focus on getting one style down really well too.

But also, learning the proper way to stir-fry, to boil, or poach, or bake, or roast, or to grill is just as important. It's important to learn about different cuts of meats, from beef, pork, poultry, fish, seafoods even. And fruits and veggies, learn about different items. Learn about herbs, spices, oils, learn all you can and try to utilize it in your creating. Remember there are rules to follow to become an excellent home cook, follow recipes first before you start to tweak it. You can't tweak what you have no knowledge about. Remember too, that you are a constant practitioner of cooking, you will never be an expert on all foods and cooking styles.

Should you go to culinary school? Not really unless you want to make that a profession, but maybe cooking classes from volunteer groups is great. Sometimes your local diabetes group may have a cooking class on how to cook for diebetics, or a Chinese chef may hold a class for seniors, you never know if you don't inquire, there's always some interesting class being offered. Maybe dine somewhere you'd never go to, just to expose your knowledge and food experience. Never been to that funky bistro down the street? Try it out. Never had Thai food? Go and have a meal at a Thai dig, always learn, and keep an opened mind.

Enjoy life period.


A simple pork soup consists of very simple ingredients, just like how the local grammas made it in the hood when we were growing up.

3 lbs. of pork belly, sliced thin.
2 cloves of garlic smashed
1 inch ginger smashed
2 tbsp. of minced onion

4 large tomatoes diced
2 large potatoe diced small
3 qts. of filtered water at room temperature
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of vinegar
1 dash of thyme
1 bay leaf cracked in half
1 small head cabbage chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a pot heat up a little canola oil, and sautee the garlic, ginger, onions, for a few seconds, then add in the pork over medium high heat, brown the pork until all the juices come out.
2. Add in the tomatoes, and diced potatoes, cook for a few minutes, then add in the water, and bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.
3.  Add in the soy sauce, vinegr, thyme, bay leaf, and simmer covered for about 45 minutes.
4. Add in the cabbage, and cook until softened, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves about 4 good bowls.

Pork Belly with rich fat for flavor.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


The soup all Hawaiians love to eat besides Oxtails is Portuguese Bean Soup, a blend of ingredients, herbes, spices, but it is no doubt the meat, the hamhocks, and Portuguese sausage, and of course the beans. Here's a simple recipe for Portuguese Bean Soup, all you need is a knife, and a pot to fit all of this in.

2-4 good sized ham hocks that's smoked
20 oz. of spicy Portuguese sausage, chopped
20 oz. of spicy Portuguese sausage, thinly sliced
1 round onion chopped
1 1/2 cups of chopped celery
About a cup or so of chopped carrots
2 medium potatoes diced- or yams is delicious too
1/2 pound of chopped head cabbage
1 pound of soaked kidney beans, or 2 cans of it, the large cans are about 15 oz. if using canned, save the liquid
1 lb. of diced Roma tomatoes
1/2 cup of tomato paste
4 garlic cloves minced
Fresh cilantro or fresh parsley 1 1/2 cup chopped
2 bay leaves broken in half
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste

In a large pot (stainless steel) do not use nonstick!  add in the hamhocks, onions, cilantro or parsley, garlic, the bay leaves, and some fresh black pepper.

Add in filtered water covering the hocks by about 3 to 4 inches, bring to a boil, then lower to simmer, cover the pot and simmer for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, the meat will fall off of the bones, and add flavor to the water, or now the stock. When done, remove the hocks and meat and let it cool, and then dice it up.

Add about 6-8 cups of water to the pot, and bring to a boil, and let it go over medium heat, add in the remaining ingredients, cook for about 15 minutes, then lower to a simmer, add in the chopped hocks, and simmer for another 30 minutes to 45 minutes.

When done it is important to taste for the salt content, add salt and fresh pepper to taste.

This should serve at least 6-8 people, if you want more soup or liquid, add in more water, but the flavors will weaken. If you are to serve lots of people, just multiply the ingredients.

Big local gatherings have huge pots going on all at the same time.


Jaime Navarro is a supermom, and superwife, and awesome co-worker. The other day she came in and brought us some Christmas cookies homemade, sweet, and perfect when you're too busy to stop  by the deli for a sandwich or platelunch. But Jaime's Xmas cookies is beyond awesome, really is, too bad I didn't have a cold glass of milk. Man that would be good.

Chocolate Chip

Snickerdoodles (My favorite, soft and gooey, and sweet, with the hint of cinnamon.)

Pumpkin Oatmeal

Yankedoodles (Dazzlers) Made with Chow Mein noodles and dipped in chocolate.

"Where was Jaime when I was growing up? She'd make a super cool neighbor!"

Joa, Jaime's oldest son's favorite is Jaime's special chocolate chip cookie with M&Ms on top.

Jackson, Jaime's youngest son's favorite is her Snickerdoodles, just like me, hey me and Jackson know good stuff when we eat it.

And Joel's (her husband's). favorite is her chocolate chip.

Jamie's gramma used to bake for a whole week and make dozens of different kinds of Christmas cookies

Friday, December 24, 2010

Diabetic Diet and Carbohydrates

Diabetic Diet and Carbohydrates


Let us recap about Diabetes shall we? What is Diabetes? Well there are two types, and both are dealing with insulin, in Type 1 your body doesn't produce enough of it, the insulin takes sugar and distributes it in your body for energy, so you can burn it off, or carbohydrates that turns into sugars. Or Type 2 Diabetes which, is something like the insulin showed up for work but is being lazy and not working. So Diabetes is a serious illness all over the world, nation, and especially here in Hawaii.

Excersise is important, drinking water, and no sodas or imitation juices are important. I did listened to an elderly woman the other day, she was in her 70s, and she told me how she is maintaining her health not with meds, but with healthy foods, whole foods. She drinks real juice, from fruits and her brand new juicer. Lots of water too, and she doesn't eat white rice, white pasta, white breads. She minimized her saturated fat intake considerably.

"I eat lots of greens, either raw, or I saute them with olive oil, and ginger, a little sea salt, a little watered down soy sauce, and throw tofu inside, I love mushrooms and beans too. I lost nearly 40 pounds in a year, I feel great."

Okay Aunty I got to respect her, this aunty does look great, her smile, her eyes are clear, she said at one time, she had lots of dairy, and since cutting dairy out, she can breath a lot better.

"I eat a hamburger maybe once a week, I eat fried chicken maybe twice a month, I buy organic soups without salt."

Okay for those of you wanting to eat for the Holidays but eat good stuff you love, you can. Here is a tip I got from a nutritionist associate in Wailuku.

Breakfast: Egg whites, lemon squeeze, pepper; whole grain toast with soy butter, orange or apples or any fruit. Also cereals that are low in sugars, get these in health food stores or markets like Whole Foods.

Lunch: half a sandwich, mustard, low fat mayonnaise, steamed veggies with vinegar and herbs. Low sodium soups.

Dinner: Meats limit to lean cuts, and 4-6 oz. Lots of greens such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, kale with a healthy low sodium, low sugar dressing. Eat steamed potatoes limit to 3-4 oz. drink all natural juices and water, teas, coffee if you like but not the sweet ones. Sweetners like Stevia, Honey, Agave Nectar is pretty safe.

Just remember during the holidays if you want to pig out, eat that roast, but limit your intake to a few ounces and just eat more whole foods, more fruits and vegetables. This is just a reminder.

You cannot go wrong by eating lots of greens such as asparagus, broccoli, or spinach it all contains energy in your body, and is a good source for vitamins, iron, and magnesium. So don't buy those stupid bottles of vites!

And fruits, papayas has a lot of vitamins like C, more than oranges. Any fresh fruit is good, yes it has sugar, but it is better than refined sugars those sodas and Snicker bar kinds that raise the glycemic levels but has no, zero nutritional values.

Before you change your diet, see your doctor first, read up on your medicines, the side effects could be very costly. Cook and eat right, and live longer here on earth.

Ron S.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


You know how to make your grandma's pasta dish, you've done it dozens of times before, and you could do it in your sleep. Or your dad's barbequed pork ribs, you've done it since you were 16 when he showed you the ropes. Well... one day you invite some friends over for grandma's pasta, or the boys from the shop for the barbequed pork ribs you've gotten down to a T. But wait a second... nothing is coming out right!

That's right, we've all experienced that one time when shit! Nothing goes right, the pasta is all mushy before it's time, and you're going, "What da hell?" Or the pork ribs that was in the barbeque for a few hours isn't just soft, but it really is *&%$#ed up!

I've had this experience in the pro kitchen many times, like when I had to make huge batches of Hollandaise sauce, but it all turned out crappy... why? Well, sometimes it really isn't us the cooks or chefs, it's the ingredient's quality. Despite all expiration dates being kosher, and inspected, well sometimes guys and gals, the quality is.... shitty... sorry. But that's just the way it is. Like one time I was making kalbi sauce at a local dig, and guess what, the soy sauce wasn't even salty, it was just like brownish water. I could imagine the customers, "Hey Ron is back there huh? No wonder, he's a terrible cook, just fire his ass!" Peeps, I'm telling you, if you can do your family dish blind folded, then if it gets screwed maybe it's the stuff you've purchased to cook it.

I know I can't do a stir fry on my friends stove because it just doesn't get hot enough for some reason, his stove is like a slow cooker. Remember cooking on an unfamiliar stove or oven, or even a grill outdoors can cause you the know it all weekend warrior chef to look stupid. So 1. it can be the ingredients, and 2. it could be the cooking element being utilized. So don't feel like you aren't a good cook, check out the ingredients and ask the store manager where you bought it if there were any problems with the same items you've bought with other customers? If there wasn't any probz, then I guess........ you may, just maybe losing it... :) ha ha.


Like any great rock band putting its finishing touches on their album, putting the finishing touches on a cookbook and video takes a lot of hard work and effort and people behind the scenes to make something work.

The dish was Tangy Beef w/ Onions, which is the beef dish from the beef section of my upcoming coookbook. Johan and Sabrina were fun to work with, and photo and video shoot came off real well. Cooking is easy, but when you got some hot lights and cameras rolling, and people watching it's a totally different animal. But a great learning experience.

Johan left. Sabrina middle, Me right.

Hopefully the book will be out by Spring of 2011


Won Ton Soup, what a great tasty soup, the broth can be made with any stock, veggie, chicken, seafood, beef, pork. If you want some Won Ton Soup, call me and I can whip up a batch for you. As far as the Won Tons itself, it's a dumpling really... and it can be stuffed with any filler you want. A concoction of ground pork, water chestnuts, scallions, oyster sauce, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, even peppers if you like. Finding Won Ton Soup in any China Town in a big or small town is easy, and those hole-in-the wall joints w ith the flithy looking counters? That's the place to get it. Funny, the dirtiest looking digs have the most flavorful foods.

Won Ton Soup with fresh cut veggies

Call Ron S.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Barnes & Nobles Lahaina- Got myself an autograph copy of Chef Tylun Pang's cookbook What Maui Likes to Eat. The book is filled with quality pictures of food and stories of Chef Tylun's life of home and his career as a chef.

Our conversations were about the local ways, the local foods and how it can be presented on an upper scale in restaurants, not just at the local plate lunch dig. Chef Tylun is a true local product, very friendly and positive. Anyone interested in local food writings should get this book.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Alan Wong Restaurants Farmers Series Dinner

Hawaii Master Chefs - David Paul's Island Grill - Maui Hawaii


For less than 5.00, you can get 2 pieces of toast, with a generous scoop of cornedbeef hash, probably from a can, but what the >>>>>>>>>>>>>, it works for a quick breakfast, and a coffee, sit down out on the porch and listen to the quiet, pretty cool, no need stress out in Kapalua for breakfast. You can get pancakes, eggs, sausage, amongst other items. Saimin is a good hot local style breakfast, noodles with some garnish, and you're good to go. Amazing how the visitors from around the world is taking to the way locals eat in Hawaii. It's nothing new to see Joe Tourist eating Spam and eggs. So if Philadelphia has it's Filly Cheese Steak sandwiches, Hawaii does have DA PLATE LUNCH for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you go early enought, some of the items for plate lunches at Honolua Store is pretty good. Met some Ritz Carlton guests that would rather eat at the Honolua Store than the hotel itself, and these are people that traveled the world. Got to be something here, maybe it's the aloha with every plate.


Some food safety tips, store all leftover foods in your fridge at 41 deg. f. or colder, covered air tight, and stored for no more that 3 days. Some people go 4 days, but I go for 3, and always heat up the food past 165 deg. f. if it is to be heated up, and once it's done heated up, man, eat it all and do not I repeat DO NOT re-store it, chuck it out and get rid of it, chances are there'll be some bacteria on there.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Jamie loves local food, where does Jamie like to grine?

A: Zushi, Nagasako Okazu Ya, Takamiya's, Ichiban Ya on Dairy Road, Pukalani Superette, Maui Tacos for the wet Lahaina Burrito.


What do I look for in a dish with a sauce? For one thing, sauces need to be nice, clear, shiny, or glossy, well depending on the sauce and its ingredients. Is it okay to have a lumpy sauce? Maybe in the home kitchen and if it tastes great, it is okay, but for professional chefs, having a not so smooth sauce on a plate is not appealing at all. When people spend money on a big name dining establishment, people or customers really aren't idiots, so if the sauces looks unappealing, right off the bat the dish has some minuses going on. Now, if the tastes, the hints of herbs and spices is excellent, then they'll add some black ink to the dish. If it's not so attractive and tastes horrible, the chef's reputation is out the window. It is a difficult profession, to be on top of the game dish in and dish out, but that's the nature of the game. Cheffing is a hard job, that's why I stay out of those pro gig kitchens.

Some sauces are pretty, but if it doesn't have any good flavors, why even have it? Sauces need to be tasty, or gravies same thing, if some chef puts on sauces that's too overpowering, that's a minus also, how many times I've asked for a sauteed piece of mahi mahi, but the chef has some special sauce to put on it, like some stupid lilikoi & mint sauce. "Okay, give me that then," I'd say, only to be greatly disappointed when a nice piece of mahi mahi comes to the table and is somothered by a very obnoxious sauce that just masks the fish's true flavor.

It's easy to make sauces once you know the theory, and methods, but it takes practice to make a sauce delicious, and appealing for what you're putting that sauce on or serving it with. It's like music, some musicians don't understand that playing less notes means a lot to a song, some musicians play a lot of notes and really makes a song too busy, the old saying, "Less is more," holds true even in the culinary biz.

So happy eating foodies!

We like try your food!

The Village Cafe & Sweet Shoppe in review.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


The Village Cafe and Sweet Shoppe, had a soft opening today, and I was invited along with my buddy Sascha Bauml. The place is located inside the Kapalua Village Center, where the Logo Shop, and the Adventure Center is at, and the Kapalua Villas Reception Center is located there as well. Formerly it was the home of the Village Golf Course pro shop, and Vino Restaurant.

Well, what can I tell you about the place? For one, it is still under some construction, so we had to focus on the food and service for what it was, with the noise, and imperfections of a food  dig that is under ... construction. Okay, our reservations were at 3pm, and for those of you military enthusiasts that's 15:00 on your clock. Sascha and I walk in there, and we had to walk in to be noticed because of the busy nature of setting up a restaurant. We are greeted by a young guy, he gets us a seat. We had to wait for a few minutes, no problem. Hey that's my friend Tommy Ompoi the electrician wiring the joint, "Eh Tommy?" Tommy makes a shaka. "Sup?"

Then after a few a waiter comes over, "Hey guys I'm Justin, I'm your waiter, here's a menu, and some water, take some time to look this over, and I'll be back to take your order." "Shoots bradda Justin, tanks eh?" Sascha and I look over the menu, I see some friends in there as well, all invited to get a free meal, and to critique the restaurant. My friend Lance is there with his kids, cool! And my buddy Jess is there cool. Man and there's Nancy Cross with her girlfriends, shut up Ron, she sees you but not making eye contact, she doesn't want the girls to know, that she knows you, might cramp her style. Cool, coz I do the same with certain people, we all do that from time to time.

Okay back to the menu, "Hey man I think I'll get these sliders," says Sascha. I said, "I think I'll get me some of them crab cakes." Then Justin comes back, "Guys you ready?"

Well, long story short so I don't bore you to death, we ordered just that, sliders, and the crab cakes. Justin told us if we wanted to order the main entree, we could. So we did, Sascha had the fish n chips with a jalapeno tartar sauce all in house made, and I ordered the brisket with bbq sauce and mash potatoes, all sauces are in house made.

We graded the appetizers first.

Sascha: Sliders are okay, mahi slider okay, black angus a little salty.

Ron: The crab cakes are awesome, great sauce, not too strong, kind of mild but delicious!

Sascha: Ron may get gout, crab is a crustacean.

Ron: Holy shit! I may get gout, but it was good!

Then we graded the entrees:

Sascha: Fish n chips are delicious, batter is great, fish is moist on the inside, the jalapeno tartar sauce could have more kick, but all in all, it's great.

Ron: The brisket is soft, and has some delicious fat on this thing, and man the mash potatoes are really creamy but not heavy, and the barbeque sauce is nice not too sweet, man I wish I had more room in my stomach for all this.

Sascha: (He stabs some of the brisket from my plate) Hey man this is good stuff, I should have ordered this!

Ron: Overall experience this place is going to do well, it really is a homely kind of dig, the sweet shoppe wasn't ready yet, but Justin told us, they got some good stuff like a cobbler, and me loves me cobblers.

The servers were great, we met Kelly who gave us more sodas and water, she looked way too familiar, come to find out she lives in our hood, no wonder we probably pass by each other a bit. So yes this place rocks in our books, and well our books aren't too thick just yet, but you all wait, we'll be checking out some digs for all of you foodies.

Crab Cakes in an awesome sauce

Fish n Chips w/ Jalapeno Tartar Sauce

Beef Brisket w/ BBQ Sauce & Mash Potatoes

Sascha getting nuts over the grinez, EZ BUDDY!

Until we meet at another food dig.
Mahalo, Ron Sambrano


If you are visiting Lahaina, one restaurant that has been a part of the town is Kimo's in Lahaina on Front Street, on the ocean side, located just yards from Crazy Shirts, and across from Moose's. The menu is steaks and seafoods. The pupu menu, try the Sashimi, 1 lb. of quality grade Ahi thinly sliced with wasabe and soy sauce. Or the Koloa Pork ribs, grilled baby backs with BBQ sauce. Or the Grilled Upcountry Veggies, marinated, grilled and chilled, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, and Maui onions.

Or my favorite, the Big Salads: the Wo Hing Salad, fresh greens, vegetables with won tons, and a slice of fresh fish for around 16.00, this fills you up and is healthy.

For lunch it's always Fish Tacos for me, fresh fish with tropical salsa, two cheeses, with a roasted tomatillo aioli. And comes with a Caesar salad.

Dessert: Always that famous Hula Pie.  It is a huge ice cream, piled on a chocolate cookie crust,  topped with chocolate fudge, and macadamia nuts. Anytime of the day, this is a dessert that rocks.

For dinner: The 32oz. Prime rib that's the dinner right there, no questions asked. But they do serve incredible chicken, and fish and seafoods.

go to to see their whole menu and other information.


The Village Cafe and Sweet Shoppe invited us for a free meal, the catch is for us to fill out a review sheet and comment on the establishment. Should be interesting, let's see what kind of food this place serves. It is located in the Kapalua Adventure Center Building, 10 miles from Lahaina head north. Turn left on Office Road, go down, it's to the right about 1/4 mile down the road, if you pass the Ritz Carlton, you went too far.

The last restaurant that was in there was Vino, part of D.K. Kodama's companies, it was somewhat successful, another restaurant in there was a total waste, the owners had no concept on turning a profit, it was so bad I forgot the name of the place. Well we'll see in a bit what this new dig is gonna be like.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


For you foodies out there who aren't familiar with Italian cuisine, anitpasti simply means before the meal, so in simple terms call it appetizers, it can be anything used as an appetizer, but don't say that to a true Italian, you'll get up one morning to find a dead horse's head next to you.

But true antipasti may consist of these items, sometimes called antipasto.

Warm citrus olives
Marinated roasted peppers
Prociutto wrapped fruits like melons or figs
An variety of cured meast such as salami, mortadella, and bresaola
With aged Pecorino cheese.

Served with ready made or homemade dips, and bread sticks or herbed crackers. If you have a gourmet store near you, usually these places have great items to make an antipasto platter.

A chef stands behind a Mortadella (a pork sausage)

Pecorino Cheese or Sheep's milk cheese, pecora means sheep

Need some antipasto/antipasti platters put together?
Call me Ron Sambrano


Start your dinner off with a healthy filling salad. Can do and will do any kind of salad you want. Call in advance to see what's available at the markets. I'll attempt to get organic vegetables that are in season and will try to get you the best freshest vegetables at local farmer's markets

Call me Ron Sambrano 808-385-7667


Simple foods for the family, if you want a delicious steak sandwich, with fresh cut fries, onion rings, soup, salad, give me a buzz. Great for steak lovers, and for the family, kids love them, everyone who loves beef and sandwiches love them.

Call me Ron Sambrano


Beef Fajitas wrapped in a flour tortilla, Mexican dinners at your pad can be the best thing, no need to deal with traffic, or driving under the influence. Frosty Margaritas, Mojitos, Beer, Wine, it's all up to you. Maybe you're great with the drinks but don't like the kitchen, fine with me, give me a call.

Ron Sambrano


Home cooking, foods you love, when your family got together to eat, the best right? Well, I'll save you the trip to KFC or Popeye's, and do you fried chicken at your home, with some coleslaw, mashed potatoes, gravy, fresh, no addatives, and I'll watch the sodium, I'll let you salt the chicken up if you have diabetes or hypertension.

Call me Ron S. 808-385-7667


Kung Pao Chicken spicy, with white rice.

Chinese dinners at your pad?
Call me 808-385-7667
Ron S.


Crispy Shrimp Tempura with a dipping sauce served with white rice.

For home dinners
call 808-385-7667
Ron Sambrano

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Meat Jun is a Korean battered piece of meat, usually a really thin slice of Chuck, or from other parts of the beef such as the loin that's really thinly sliced. And it is marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, green onions. Well that's one way, there's all kinds of marinades for this dish. And I've seen chefs batter this meat all kinds of ways, but the real way that I've seen it done is by using flour and eggs.

Here's how I'd do a Meat Jun meal for you at your pad.

2-3 lbs. of thinly sliced beef (like teriyaki cuts) or sliced beef 3x5 inches and pounded with a meat tenderizing mallet. Season it with salt and pepper.

For the marinade:
1 1/2 cups of soy sauce
1/4 cup of water
1 tbsp. minced scallions
2 tbsp. of sesame oil
 A couple sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp. crushed garlic

Place the slices of beef in marinade and let sit in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours so it soaks well.

In a mixing bowl, add in about 3 cups of flour, add more if needed, dredge all the pieces of marinated beef coating it well.

In another mixing bowl, add in about 4 eggs and beat them, add in some water if needed to make it more liquid.

Dip the floured beef into the beaten eggs.

Preheat a skillet (nonstick) works well, with some vegetable oil so it will fry the meat evenly.

when all done, place it on a platter, serve with rice.

For the dipping sauce:
1/2 cup of soy sauce
a pinch of minced scallions
a pinch of toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp. of rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. of honey
Mix it well and dip the meat in there and enjoy.


Want Meat Jun
Call me
Ron S.


Okay newbies to the foodie world, want to know what exactly is foie gras? Well, how da hell do you pronounce this? I've heard so called experts call it Fo Grahz, Foy Grah, Foh Grrrraz. Whatevers man you get my drift?

It is primarily duck or goose livers that is fattened, that's all it is. It is sold like, how should I say it, well like a sausage almost, you know? Like when you buy a roll of Jimmy Dean, and then you slice it. well same smell.

Chefs sear it, and create all kinds of sauces made with butter, herbs and wine, and make it look really fancy, it's a gourmet thing. Usually in fine dining restaurants you'll find foie gras. Here's a picture of it.

Want Foie Gras at home call me:
Ron S 808-385-7667


Okay my foodie, listen here is a simple almost from scratch recipe for a ranch dressing that's typical in most kitchens. So I'll tweak it a bit to make it mine ha ha. Food like music believe it or not, is people ripping others off for ideas. I like to call this the ultimate learning experience.

1 1/8 cup of real mayonnaise
1/2 cup or tad more of sour cream
1 tsp. of fresh chopped chives or green onions
1 tsp. of chopped parsley
A pinch of dried dill weed or to taste some people love dill
A dash or two of garlic powder
A dash or two of onion powder
A dash of cumin, I love cumin.
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a medium mixing bowl, and using a wire whisk, whisk all of the ingredients together into a smooth item, remember that the sour cream and mayo is store bought is may have salt, so go easy on the sodium chloride, taste it constantly. When done, refrigerate with cover.

Ron S


Money is tight, people are still losing jobs, you want to feed your family, but don't know what you are lost, no ideas whatsoever, you watch the Food Network, and still, those dishes are expensive even some stuff that Rachel Ray does, it will break you. Well no fret, cuz. I am your foodie buddy, here to offer expertise to your food issues.

The best thing you can do in tough times, is buy in bulk, and cook foods in a pot, make stews and soups, and freez them. Here's some tips for a family of 4. These days 4 people is a big family, Kate plus 8? That's a freekin circus!

Okay then- what you do is buy meats, poultry, and veggies in bulk. You can make a huge pot of chicken soup for less than 20 bucks. Here's how, and you'll have a lot leftover.

A 5 lb. box of frozen chicken thighs are like 3.99 to 4.99 on sale.
A few potatoes are about 3.00
An onion .99
garlic pennies
Head cabbage 3.99
Carrots 2.00-3.00
and you do have salt and pepper and some herbs and spices on your racks.

Heat up an 8 quart stock pot with some oil, and saute the garlic and onions, browning them really well, then add in the chicken (thawed) and brown it real well. Then add in some filtered water to about 2/3 of the way up the pot, boil it then simmer, add in the potatoes, carrots, cook it till soft, season it with herbs you like, maybe some parsley, a dash of thyme, some salt and pepper, maybe some cumin, then add in the cabbage. This can be a filling meal, not just a side soup. Freeze any leftovers.

Sandwiches for lunch. Sometimes you can get bread from the bakery that is almost a day old, snatch those really quick. Like a bag of 6 inch French or Italian bread will cost pennies because the bakery wants to get rid of it and not take a total loss, in business terms this is called minimizing shrinkage.

Also- the deli department may have some roast beef, or roasted turkey ready to be marked down, ask the attendant, if so, he'll mark it down for you by almost 50% sometimes more!

Go to a farmer's market and get tomatoes, lettuce, onions for cheap too. Take all of this home for the family, turn on your oven to 350 deg. f. and slice the bread in half, and brush all over it with olive oil, or butter, olive oil is a non animal fat so it is good for your heart, if you don''t care, then butter it shall be!

Place your discounted meat in the bread, maybe place some cheese if you got it, and toast it in the oven, Quizno? Oh no, not that! When it's all toasty, put some veggies on there, and your fave condiment, mustard and mayo, or more olive oil. For myself, I just love mayonnaise, mayonnaise is the dressing of choice for me period on a sandwich. But if you're not a mayo person, dress it with whatever, even ranch dressing or thousand island dressings works well with a sandwich.

So there's your tip.

Ron S


Local style cooking, the two main ingredients in a lot of dishes is drum roll please... rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..... "Garlic," the fans go nuts! And... "Ginger," the fans go crazy. If you have garlic and ginger in your spice box, you got two ingredients when used wisely, can enhance the most simple dishes. Heat up a skillet or wok with a little vegetable oil, put in a tsp. of minced garlic and ginger, and see for yourself how the aroma just livens up your kitchen. While some will say that the aroma of garlic is stinky, they'll usually admit, when it is in harmony with ginger, the marriage is made in heaven. This is the basis for a lot of Chinese style stir fries. Toss in meat, chicken, fish, tofu or veggies, and sauce it up with oyster sauce, soy sauce, hot sauce, and then you'll be a kitchen wizard to your friends.

Garlic is part of the onion family, when purchasing garlic I like young tender ones, try to stay away from dried up garlic, it is not potent. Ginger on the other hand is a spice and comes in a grounded powdered form used in baking. Experiment with these two, you'll be surprised at the simplicity of it and how it really makes a dish awesome.

Chef Mark Ellman used garlic cloves on my show when he did his roasted chicken, but he left the skin on, he roasted it with the chicken, and the moisture from the roast made the skin soft and easy to peel off, all the while adding aroma and flavor to the roast. So if you are a lazy cook, don't peel the garlic ha ha.

Also when I worked at a natural food store, we used young fresh ginger in juices, ginger has a lot of healing properties, including healing the flu bug, migraines, high blood pressure, and in some cases it is reported that it helped cancer patients fight off cancer.

Good luck with your cooking you foodie.

Ron S.

Monday, December 13, 2010


I personally haven't been to New Orleans, Louisianna, soon I'd love to get there. A friend of mine loves cooking cajun, she's really great in the kitchen, I asked her where's a good place in New Orleans to eat if I or any of my readers go there, and this is what she told me.

Go to: Cuvee 322 Magazine Street tel: 504-587-9001, open M-Thr 11:30a-1:30p; 6p-9:45p; Friday same but closes at 10:45p.; Sat 6p-10:45p.

 A great wine list and an excellent sommelier on staff, or for those of you new foodies, a wine expert that owns a wine knowledge medal.

 Try the foie gras brulee,  the duck rillettes, basil crusted sea bass, poached lobster with sweet corn puree.

According to my foodie pal, this place is for adults only, small, but flavorful, French American, Cajun, Creole influenced. One day, I'll have to journey there.

What would I tell a New Orleans' foodie about Maui? Go to Sam Sato's in Wailuku, for lunch, and then hit Mala's Ocean Tavern for dinner.

Ron S


Meats will dry up if it is exposed to dry heat, such as baking, roasting, grilling, broiling, frying. If it is left exposed for a long period of time and over intense heat, that is common sense stuff. But from watching friend chef Mark Ellman do his roasted chicken, his technique of covering the chicken with foil at 400 deg. F for the first 30 minutes was key, along with lots of vegetables, it creates steam, and steam is well..  moist.

So if you want a moist roast of any kind, it is a great idea to cover it with foil for the first 1/3 of its cooking time then remove the foil covering to help brown the meat or whatever protein you decided to roast.

If you want a tip on roasting and you live on Maui. go to Akaku Community Television. and then type in Ron Sambrano, and click the show with Mark Ellman, it is a great recipe, and I'm sure it will help you with your roasting techniques.

Ron S.

If you do need a meal cooked especially a roast of any kind, call and I'll do it.


On Thursday 12/16/2010 I'll go and check out the pre-opening of the Village Cafe and Sweet Shoppe that is located on the Kapalua Resort grounds. Located 10 miles North of Lahaina, and home to the Hyundai Kapalua Golf Tournament during the first week of January 2011 which is right around the corner.

I'll let you guys know what the menu is like and hopefully get some cool photos and videos of the staff, chef, cooks, wait staff, management and some of the guests. Recently it was the home of D.K. Kodama's Vino Restaurant, which was like Italian/Mediterranean. Just turn on to Office Road in Kapalua, drive past the Golf Academy, and it is the next right, in the Adventure Center's building.


If you need any special meals cooked for you give me a ring.
or email:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


If you are hosting a steak dinner, and you are using a broiler, or maybe even roasting some prime rib, or sirloin, and want to impress your everyday buddies, well, here is a simple wine sauce a chef friend of mine told me about, and you'll impress yourself too.

Get about 1/2 a pound of chuck roast, with some bones, leave it at room temperature, season it with some minced garlic, and a tsp. of fresh chopped rosemary. In a saute pan, stainless steel, over high heat, sear the meat and bones, until it turns brown, then lower the heat to low, and let the meat rest in the pan, and continue to get the juices out.

Turn the heat up to medium high, then add in about 4 cups of red wine, it doesn't need to be expensive, maybe a 9.00 bottle of Merlot, or Cotes du Rhone. Let the wine heat up, and stir the meat on the bottom of the pan, let the wine reduce to about 1/2, so to about 2 cups of wine, strain out the wine so that only liquid is present, cover the wine keep it warm.

When all of your steaks are done and ready to eat or your roast is all sliced for your pals, heat the wine sauce up over low heat, do not boil. remove from heat, and then add in 2 tablespoons of cold butter to the wine sauce, and swirl it around, it will get glossy. Spoon some wine sauce over the beef and enjoy.

Nice beef dish with wine sauce AWESOME!!!!

Ron Sambrano
for this kind of dinner at your place
call me, can do, will do.


With the addition to stores like Whole Foods, and organic items in major supermarket chains, you can make quick soups at home without the fuss of brewing stock for long periods of time. Yes, I'd rather make my own stocks because it is usually more tasty, but if you don't have the time, then purchasing stocks and broth from the store is okay.


Here is an EZ recipe.

The ingredients:
1 package of organic vegetable broth 32 fl. oz.
1/2 cup of canola oil
16 oz. of white mushrooms, chopped
2 large round onions, minced
6 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. chili flakes
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. In a stainless steel pot (4qt.), heat up the oil over medium high heat, then add in the garlic and onions, and cook until tender, then add in the mushrooms, and cook over low heat for about 12-15 minutes, to sweat out all of the flavors.

2. Add in the thyme, cumin, coriander, chili powder, chili flakes, celery salt, onion powder, garlic powder one at a time, stirring as you add them in. Let cook for about 10 minutes over low heat to harmonize all of the ingredients, you'll notice the aromas coming to fruition in the air it's lovely.

3. Then turn heat up to medium-high heat and add in the vegetable broth, and boil covered for about 10 minutes, lower heat to simmer and add in salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with garlic bread.

IMAGINE brand low sodium vegetable broth is very good.

Ron Sambrano
If you want soup made at your home.


This is me being critical of what's good around Maui for Hawaiian style plate lunches. If you ever come to Maui, there's several places that's really good, or at least places that have a specialty, because I have yet to experience a place where everything is A+.

For Korean BBQ, that is convenient, Pearl's Korean BBQ located in the Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center in the food court is great. The BBQ beef, Kalbi ribs, and their Meat Jun is very tasty. And their sides are delicious too, the cabbage, kim chi, sprouts, cucumbers are all acceptable choices for a vegetarian or vegan. My favorite is the BBQ Kalbi and BBQ chicken combo when I want to eat meat, I'm not one hundred percent vegetarain, but when I want that kind of food that's what I'll get.

Local Fried Chicken plates, if you love fried chicken, Minit Stop makes good ones, but because it sits in the warmer, it can be over-cooked, so if you get there when the cook just cooked the chicken, that's a winner.

Grilled Flank Teriyaki? Honokowai Okazu Ya & Deli located in Honokowai in the 5A rent a space center makes the best. 12 oz. of flank, marinated in teri sauce, and grilled to perfection, and sliced across the grain, the meat is tender and juicy.

Hamburger Steaks, on this rock, I have yet to find a really good hambuger steak, but Sam Sato's comes close, located in Wailuku in the Mill Yard.

Chicken Katsu, that breaded chicken deep fried, try Ramen Ya in Queen Kaahumanu Center, it is huge, also Da Kitchen has some really good Katsu, located in Kahului near the Acura dealership, in Lahaina at the Wharf Cinema Center, and in Kihei at the Rainbow Mall. Ramen Ya has great noodle soups Japanese style.

The can't go wrong plate lunch empire L&L Drive Inn, is probably the most saught after plate lunch restaurant because of its name. L&L is famous with stores on the mainland, you really can't go wrong with an L&L plate lunch, over-all you can't go wrong, for one they're conveniently located all over the creation.

Or you can call me, and I'll make you a better plate in your own home.

I'll do all the local faves:
Lau Lau (stove top style)
Kalua Pork (oven or stove top style)
Hamburger Steaks
Kalbi Ribs
Chow Mein
Chow Fun
Chicken Long Rice
Pork Tofu
Beef Broccoli
Just to name a few.....

Below a Loco Moco, an all beef patty cooked to perfection, with an egg and gravy over rice!

Ron Sambrano

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Spinach is a good source for all kinds of good nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and it is a great source for calcium. Calcium from a plant base is good for you, especially if you can't intake milk, and if you're unable to handle lactose.

Take a few buches of organic spinach, and rinse them in cold water, remove the stems, and in a nonstick pan, heat up some canola oil and some minced garlic, and ginger, and some minced lemongrass too if you have some. Over medium heat, cook until wilted, take them out and let cool, and eventually store covered tight with wrap, in the fridge. Serve it cold as a side to a salad. If you are having a Caesar salad, have some of the spinach on the side, dress the spinach with some vinegar, Ume vinegar works nice, with some light soy sauce.


Need a healthy meal?
Ron Sambrano


As a personal cook, if someone needed a high protein meal, such as an athlete that's training, and what type of sport he or she is playing, I would make sure that the proteins will be lean, and low or has no saturated fats. Saturated fats or animal fats can slow someone down, but if that person I am cooking for needs animal products, in other words some people just want animal protein, I'd cook for them some lean meats, or poultry. Meats meaning beef, lean cuts of it. Possibly some cuts from the loin section without the fat, and grilled with some herbs, and low in sodium. Or lean chicken breast grilled just the same. To be totally healthy, I would cook tofu, baked or grilled with a light soy and fruit marinade, or fish. Energy is fuel, and you need good clean fuel just like an automobile needs good clean fuel to run exceptionally well. Beans is another good source for protein, so I'll make a dish utilizing lean beef, and some vegetable protein that also contains fibers.

1 lb. lean sirloin of beef, sliced into thin pieces
1 cup crushed pineapples
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. crushed ginger
1 tbsp. minced scallions

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and let the beef slices soak for about 2-3 hours in the refrigerator.
Heat up the grill to high heat.
When ready to grill meat, place each slice side by side, and grill until the first sides are charred, and then turn it and then cook it to your liking.

* Make sure that the marinade, the crushed pineapples are tossed into the garbage, do not keep it and use for a dip, the raw meat that housed it can cause severe illness.