CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Wednesday, June 29, 2011

10 Pound Meatball No Contest

One of my fans emailed me to tell me that he made a 10 pound meatball with herbs and spices, he used a 10 pound log of ground beef. Brady from Malibu is a mechanic by trade, loves dirt biking and surfing. He's a father and a husband and a foodie too.

Well he didn't have any pics for me, but I just wanna thank him for looking at my blog and he asked about my cookbook, well Brady it'll be some time before it comes out, but I'm plugging away.

Also Brady you have a long way to go before you call that 10 pounder a big meatball.

Check this out.
Nonni's Italian Eatery concocted this 222.5 pound monster in 09.

Brady you need about 215 pounds more of ground beef, but keep it up man, yours could be the biggest of all in Malibu.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


Burgers tastes good when they are homemade!

Got to have a homemade burger, just got to. But what's a simple tasty recipe for a burger made at home? Here is a recipe I kind of tweaked from one of my associates. Here we go, I'll just do a 1 lb. of ground chuck Prime or Choice grade, do not use lean kind, this is for juicy burgers.

1 lb. of ground chuck
1 tsp. of black pepper
1 tsp. of salt
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. of sesame oil
1 tsp. of ketchup
1 tsp. of yellow mustard
1 tbsp. of soy sauce
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1. Place ground beef in a stainless steel bowl, break it up fine using gloves or wash your hands really well.
2. In a small mixing bowl, blend together all of the dry ingredients. In another bowl, blend all of the wet ingredients together.
3. Add wet ingredients to ground beef, and mix it well. Then add the dry ingredients and mix it well. And then  add in the bread crumbs and mix well again.

* Chill the mixture for about 1 hour to get it firm. Form 4 patties.

Cooking: Preheat a gas or charcoal grill, over medium high heat, sear the first side, about 4-5 minutes, then cook the second side until cooked to your desire. Add a slice of cheddar or Swiss if you want a cheese burger.

Toast buns with butter, garnish with your favorite veggies, crisp tomatoes, cool lettuce, sweet Maui onions, and dress them with whatever you like.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Aloha to all of you in blogger land or blogger space. Let's talk about life for a little bit here shall we? Our friend Shirley Fong Torres passed away this past weekend, and she leaves us with a lot of good memories. 

I know Shirley's looking down on us, and probably saying, "Will you stop feeling sad and have some fun?" She's probably saying, "Ron write something funny already jeez!" Well, here we go because to me Shirley was one of the funniest foodies around.

Okay, this one time I was working at the old Kaanapali Beach Club on the beach at Kaanapali, I was being trained for the lead dinner cook. So the sous chef was training me, and I had a plate of mahi with some cream sauce, but the cream sauce went over the lip of the dish. So Scott the pretty boy waiter starts yelling at me, "Hey Rookie! What's with the messy plate?!!!" He was a jerk, we all know these guys right? He may have had issues where he was kicked around as a kid on the playground.

"Hey I'm sorry, I'll wipe it off," I said politely, but my blood pressure was rising just a tad, like 200 over 150, not high, but climbing.

"Never mind! Don't let that happen again!" Scott said as he walked away, fixing his collar, but I'd like to chime in, that he was..... losing his.... H A  I R. "Okay rookie, I'm the waiter you don't wanna mess with!"

Well long story short, I got a little drip on some other plate of something else, so here comes Scott once again. "Hey I told you...." Then he proceeds to walk in the back by the stove. He gets in my face and starts to threaten me. "What did I say?!!!"

So I grabbed a chef's knife that was hanging on the magnet and stuck it on his throat, just touching the skin, a little more towards me, I would have killed him. "Hey back off!" I yelled. "Go ahead, get closer and I'll stab you!"

"Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, I didn't mean to yell at you (gulp), hey we can be friends yeah?" Scott was very frightened, heck it was only a 7 inch blade.

I guess I shouldn't have grabbed that knife but it was the Filipino in me, we like knives ha ha. No, that was not a cool thing, and wouldn't suggest anyone snap and hold a knife to someone's throat, but I felt threatened, for some reason I just reached for the knife. The boss gave me a lecture, and guess what? Me and Scott were drinking buddies after work from then on. I guess a little scare with the knife can work wonders for someone's attitude.

Why was this funny? Everyone was laughing about it at the restaurant after a week went by, we'd all go scuba diving, and people would tell me, "Ron, don't carry a dive knife." Or, "Don't make Ron mad if you wanna live." Or, "Ron... what time is that anger management class?" Or, "Ron, if Scott walked a quarter of an inch closer to you, we'd be visiting you in prison." You get the picture? Well, I think Shirley would laugh at that, and probably shake her head. No, that's not cool, I shouldn't have done that, but it was what it was, and no one got killed thank God, and it was a story that was funny. Whenever I walked to the bar, people all moved to the side as a joke. Yeah we Filipinos do like our knives, but that's who we are I guess. Well, that was just a story that was hilarious in the end, no one got hurt, and Scott and me we had some fun times getting wasted at the restaurant with other brothers and sisters, even going to other worker's houses to have cookouts. And even there, the joke was on me and Scott, "Hey watch out for those two, they might kill each other... or us." ha ha.

Hey Shirley was that funny up there? I hope so, if not, I'll try again! We love you you know that right?


Tuesday, June 21, 2011


PART 2- Honu Seafood and Pizza in Lahaina's soft opening with 50 plus guests, an evening to raise funds for a worthy cause. As Sascha manned the front of the house camera, I had to shadow Chef Keoki and the back of the house.

Chef Keoki with Beer Battered Uhu
Being a cook myself, I couldn't help but notice the brand new professional kitchen equipment at Honu. It even had that new kitchen aroma, you know, like that new car smell... It was nice to be in a kitchen that doesn't even have any oil stains, now that's brand spankin' new!

Women enjoying their vino
Back in the front of the house, Mark and Judy's guests enjoy vino, pupus, and each other. A special historical occasion. You see, this isn't just a restaurant or concept, this is what Mark and Judy calls 'Practicing Aloha' and you could feel it in the air. The word 'kokua' in Hawaiian means to help, or to assist. Mark and Judy aren't just business owners, they help out the community, by donating their valuable time, connections, and they put people to work. They're the new mom and pops.

Maui Artist Davo enjoys his food with friend
One of Mark's associates chimed in, "Leave it to Mark and his team to put a restaurant in a former surf shop."

All I can say is this, "Mark and Judy, write your book on success, it'll be on the shelves next to all the other books, but it'll stand out because knowing you guys, the covers will have Hawaiian prints on it."

More food
Again the food was light for a soft opening it was just what the folks needed, most of the evening was spent talking story, you know, Chef Keoki and Mark greeting the VIPs in attendance.

Shawn Steiman a coffee consultant was there behind the bar giving people some coffee tips, with ground coffee from local coffee growers.

Shawn Steiman Coffee Consultant
"Coffee is grown here on Maui and on the other islands, so now days, Hawaii is known for more than Kona Coffee," says Mr. Shawn Steiman.

He had his rigs out, pouring hot water into glass jars with filters on the top, a different way to brew coffee. It was interesting, he talked about coffee like a sommelier talks about wine. I'd call him a coffelier.

End part 2


Honu Seafood and Pizza, Mark Ellman's new restaurant had its 'soft opening' this evening. It went well, the menu was light, there were 50 or more people that showed up, it was also an evening to help raise funds for a worthy cause.
Mark with the Honu Wahine
Executive Chef Keoki was introduced, Sascha Bauml and I had the pleasure of video taping the event, and interviewed Chef Keoki. He comes from the Haiku district, worked his way up the ranks at Mama's Fish House in Paia, as well as the Hotel Hana Maui, he also plays the drums which is cool. "Mark asked me to be here to help open up Honu, it is a great thing, I just have to get used to working here on the west side," said Chef Keoki. "It is an exciting time, I know we'll do well here, this gives me a chance to do something totally new."
Chef Keoki doing his thing at Honu

"Can't wait for the real opening, we'll have great food, this is going to be a very nice place to hang out."

As Sascha ran the front of the house cameras, I had to hang out in the back, and got to meet Pastry Chef Liz McDonald as she explained to me that some of the baked goods will be friendly for diabetics, now this is a choice kind of place where the emphasis is on health too.

Pastry Chef Liz and "Street" helping out

Fudge Brownies
These brownies are awesome, you will need some ice cold milk to down these guys, you just look at em, and you start to drool. :)))) Or you can have wine with these, nothing wrong with that.

End part 1 Honu Soft Opening

Monday, June 20, 2011


Shirley Fong Torres was a very good person, very funny, full of life, and was so into food and people. When I met her at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua several years ago, that first meeting was like... I knew this woman all my life, so relaxed, and that smile, it was that smile. As we talked, she revealed to me that she was a chef, and she was an author of books, and she had cooking segments shown on the Food Network and the Travel Channel. Wow, that's big time. Ah... how was I supposed to tell her that I was producing an underground cooking show on cable access, and that I delved in writing, and I wanted to do what she was doing? I mean what a chance meeting. This person comes into my life, already living my dream. Oh man.

Anyhow, we got to talking, so I spilled the beans, "Yeah Shirley I'm working on my own cooking show, and my own books..." I was waiting for this big time lecture on how tough the business is, and how thick skin you gotta be.

To my surprise she was totally cool with what I was telling her. "Go for it Ron, so what kind of stuff you cook on your show?" Okay I thought, this lady is way cool. Super cool. "Ah right now local stuff you know, and maybe some other stuff later."

Long story short, I seen her over the years maybe 3 times, and it was all quality time, like a mentor/student/friend thing. And our correspondence via email and phone was always fun. She'd tell me about a recent trip, or people she took on tours through China Town in San Francisco. She was always happy at what she did, that's what separated her from most people I knew. It was like, "Hey Ron what's up how's Maui?" Or, "Did ya get your book published yet? Oh no? Really? Well expect bumps in the road, just hang in there kid!" That was Shirley, always making me feel like I could knock down that steel gate and get what is mine you know? Positive, that was Shirley.

Several weeks ago, I tried to ask her what was up, she didn't want to tell me, except she wasn't feeling great, okay I figured, I'll let her be. Then I had a shoot at Mark Ellman's house, and I asked if he knew what was wrong with her, Mark didn't tell more than what I knew, so I figured she'll be back Facebooking soon. It never happened, on Father's Day, I had to check up on her... only to find out that her page had all kinds of sad messages. Finally one of her friends Facebooked me back with an article that said Shirley passed away. It was one of those moments, like "No way, this is just a stupid joke right?" Wrong, it's real, she's gone. "No! We were supposed to eat some Filipino food on Maui, that was one of our plans, me and Shirley, getting some Filipino grub."

Life, it's so short when you think about it. I keep thinking maybe when I post something on Facebook, there's Shirley hitting the (like) or writing a (comment). Only now, I won't recieve any of her posts, ones with awesome food pics, and a short comment of where she ate and with what person. Well then, I accepted this, that Shirley is gone, and only our memories of her will linger. She was cool, offering me some of her pictures and a recipe for my cookbook that is taking some time to finish. She was a big part of my creative life. She really was.

Well Shirley, this is Ron here on Maui... thanks girl... thanks for being my friend, and offering me advice... just thanks for being cool, you were and always will be the coolest foodie in the world. Love you Shirley, God Bless You.

Shirley Fong Torres always smiled

Friday, June 17, 2011

MAUI- Find Cooking Style You LIke and Stick to It

So you are learning to cook eh? The best way to learn to cook is to hang out with a person who loves what he or she does. Now if you want a career in cooking, I strongly suggest you look into working in a restaurant to get a feel of what it takes to be a pro, and of course go to culinary school, if you live in Hawaii, the Maui Campus of the U.H. is awesome, as well as a couple on Oahu.

But you must have a love for the foods you cook, that's how great chefs became great, for example Mario Batali is a master Italian Chef, that's the foods he grew up with, Ming Tsai, and my friend Shirley Fong Torres are excellent Chinese Chefs, that's the foods they love to prepare, it comes from the heart and soul.

So what kind of foods do you like to eat? Is it Japanese? Then find someone that cooks great Japanese meals. You like Mexican food? Hang out with an awesome person that does great Mexican meals.

Learn how to use a knife, learn why a cut is cut the way it is, learn why some items shouldn't be stirred but folded, why you bring a stock to boil, but finish it off by simmering covered or uncovered. Yes foodies, there's much to learn, and no one is ever an expert, there's not enough years in a lifetime to be a true expert of food, there's always something new to be discovered.

Do not let anyone burst your bubble for trying, if you cooked for me and the meat was burnt? No prob, I'll just slice off the burnt part and eat the rest. The thing is I'll be thankful for an invite to eat. That's the golden treasure, that invite to eat.

And when you're invited to a chef's house for a meal, man it doesn't get better than that. I mean a trained chef that can whip us something in a few minutes is awesome. So just try and try and have fun, don't get discouraged when your meal doesn't come out right, just look at the pros on Iron Chef, they're class A pros, but get grilled by those Bozos sitting on the panel as judges. Judges, what do they know right? They're usually some egomaniac food writer, or some so-called expert on food. No, just kidding, I truly respect the professional food writers, most of them do know what they're talking about, they really do. But I was just saying, just keep jamming in your kitchen, until you get it down.

And don't forget to invite me, let me know what kind of attire too. Oh by the way, I like to go casual, t-shirt, shorts, and slippers. If I need a dress shirt, I may not show up. Ha ha.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Beef au Poivre, an easy dish to make, you don't have to be a gourmet chef out of Cordon Bleu to do this, have yourself a stainless steel skillet and some of these ingredients listed here, and you my foodie friends are good to go and have yourself a nice evening.

2- 8 oz. Filet Mignon steaks, at least 1 1/4 inch thick, seasoned on both sides with salt, and fresh ground black pepper, you want to press the black pepper firmly on to the meat. Let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes, (do not cook a cold piece of steak, it will not cook evenly).

2 tbsp. of canola oil + 2 tbsp. of butter
1/2 cup of finely chopped shallots
1 to 1 1/4 cup of beef broth (low sodium)
6 fl.oz. of Brandy
1 tbsp. of butter

1. Preheat your pan, a 10" should do good, over high heat, add in the oil, and butter, as soon as the oil starts to smoke because of the added butter, add in the 2 steaks, then immediately turn heat down to medium.
Cook each side for about 3-4 minutes each. Then remove them on to a plate and cover with foil

2. Remove some fat from the pan, leave about 1 tbsp. of fat. Then place the pan over medium high heat, let it heat up for a few seconds just to heat up the pan. Add the shallots, and cook for a few minutes until it  turns clear. Remove from the heat for a few seconds, add in the Brandy, and return to the stove, tilt the pan so it flambes. Once the flames subside, add in the beef broth, turn heat up to high and bring to a boil, and reduce the sauce to about 1/2 a cup. Remove from heat, stir in the tablespoon of butter and whisk it in. (If you have a gas stove it is easy to flambe because of the flame, if you have an electric stove, return the pan to the stove and continue to heat the brandy, using a long match stick, strike it and ingnite the brandy).

3. Place each filet by itself on a plate with your favorite starches and veggies, and then spoon the cooked shallots with the sauce over each filet, season a little with salt and pepper to taste.

Steak au Poivre is French, typically utilizing a filet mignon from the sirloin section, and coated with fresh cracked peppercorns to create a crust. French chefs use fats such as butter at high heat to sear the meat, to just create a crust, the steaks are generally served rare to medium rare, and a pan sauce is made from the cooked particles on the bottom of the pan, in this case, the flavors from the shallots, canola oil, and butter, and Brandy creates the sauce. Some chefs will add in a heavy cream to finish off the sauce. In the event you use cream, keep the heat on medium high and not too high so as if to not break ths cream. Some chefs will add in a thickening agent to thicken it quickly.

Sirloin cuts is very tender, cut in a rectangle
with a creamy brandy sauce and asparagus

The sirloin section is very tender especially if you are using Wagyu beef, or Kobe Beef, or Prime Angus beef that is well marbled. Filet Mignon is cut in a round shape and tied to keep its shape, Steak au Poivre can be cut into any shape you want.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Dodger Dogs 101 for us Dodger fans, what a dog. Over the course of my lifetime, I've been to Dodger Stadium only twice. Though they were kind of blurry moments back in the 80s, when they weren't that great, inbetween their World Series championship of 1988. I don't remember the two times I've been there that the Dodgers won. But that's my team since I was a kid, and really being a dog lover, the Dodger Dog is a nuts hot dog. 10 inches of basball food inside a steamed bun. Grilled or steamed take your pick for about 5 bucks.

When you get to the stadium hopefully in a comprehending mode, and not on mind altering substances, you'll feel the excitement. Well, I always had a seat that was either on the first base line or the third base line (home team's dugout). Watching the teams warmup, maybe shouting at one of your favorite players. Back in the day Lasorda was the man wearing the captain's hat, he was a widebody you couldn't miss. I remember seeing Orel, and Hernando. But it is about the Dodger Dog, since I love to eat.

All the times I had a Dodger Dog it was steamed, it wasn't grilled, most peeps had the grilled dogs, but for some reason I had it steamed because back in the day, mom made Maui Dogs, and it was always in a pot with steaming water, believe it or not I really at that time of my life never had a grilled dog, it was either pot steamed or pan seared.

The Dodger Dog is a blend of pork and beef, but the "Super Dodger Dog" is made up of 100% beef, produced by Farmer John which was purchased by Hormel in 2004. Dodger Dogs can be found at other attractions in Southern Cal too. But the Dodger Dog, I guess it's just a long hot dog, but with a name like the Dodger Dog, it tastes better. I can't imagine a Giants Dog tasting any good, I hate the Giants! And the Rockies, and the Diamond Backs, and the Padres... you know since they're in the NL West.

So who was the originator of the Dodger Dog? Thomas Arthur was the creator during 29 years from 1962-1991 as the food conssesions manager at Dodger Stadium. The Dodger Dog was originally produced by the Morrell Meat Company, but Farmer John one of the sponsors of the Dodgers took over the production of the dog later until present.

Well as of this writing the Dodger's woes continue, the owners and league has something going on I guess, the wins is low while the losses are high, I still wear my Dodger's cap and jersey at times, I still look at the box scores, anything positive, a James Loney or Matt Kemp, or Andre Eithier homer and I'm smiling even if we do lose the game, that's the way it is with Dodger fans, oh well, maybe the second half will be better, I'm praying. But we kee on saying, "maybe next year."

I'll just put mustard on mine that does the job, I'm a simple dude, but that dog is good and filling, if I don't eat before the game, I can polish 2 of these with a few brews.

Friday, June 10, 2011

MAUI- Sarento's On The Beach

Anyone out there looking for some fresh, excellent Mediterranean Rim cuisine? It has to start somewhere, but if you're on the island of Maui, that's kinda far from Greece, far away from Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Malta and a few other places (my brain can't function I been up too long).

So then my foodie friends seeking more than a filling plate lunch, you want something refreshing, healthy, and you want that true beach ambience, well well, head down to Wailea and look for Sarento's On The Beach, and you'll get what you been looking for. Here you'll find relaxation, just smell the ocean breeze, see the Keawakapu Beach, white sand, trade winds, fun people walking up and down with smiles. Yeah, this is the place.

So I paid a visit to my friends there, Mixologist Barbara Cobey gave me a call, "Hey Ron stop by and check us out." I'm like, "Sure Barbara, let me hot wire a rental car and I'll be there tonight by 8:00pm." By the way, I live 30 miles away and the bus service doesn't go that late, so I had to hot wire a Nissan.

So I got there, and Barbara welcomed me. I sat at the bar and met a Mr. Brown. Now Mr. Brown came from another part of the world, but he was a friendly man, we shook hands and exchanged hellos.

"Hey do I know you?"

"No, but Barbara told me you are Mr. Brown."

"Oh, and you are?"

"About to get arrested if the cops find that Nissan."


"Never mind Mr. Brown, ah just enjoy your Mai Tai."


Barbara tells me, "I'm going to get you something to eat."

"Nah, I'm fine, I'll just nibble on these Pistachio nuts and some ice water."

Wait time out, am I some kind of dumb ass? She invites me to a fancy restaurant and all I'm gonna eat is nuts and ice water? Yeah, I'm full, I'm easy, I just wanted to talk with my friend Barbara, and meet Chef Geno Sarmiento. Chef was out on the road tending to his other restaurant Nick's Fishmarket in the Kealani Hotel in Wailea.

Barbara introduced me to Rich her bartender in training.

"Hi Rich, sup bro?"

"Hi Ron nice to meet you."


Come to find out Rich is a warrior in the restaurant biz, he lives in Kihei up the road, and used to drive 30 miles to a gig in Kaanapali, and when done, drive 30 miles back home to crash out. Nice guy, really cool.

As the evening goes on, a waiter steps up right behind me, "Sir here's you meal."

I'm like what is that? Wow it's huge! Nice.. I see tomatoes and looks like Mozzarella on top of the tomatoes, and I know these guys, I sold these guys before at Down to Earth, it's my old friends Arugula, sup guys? And underneath, it's a Herb Crusted Veal Milanese, with White Truffle Oil Vinaigrette.

"Hey Ron you know what Milanese is right?" asked Barbara.

"Is he like the guy that plays linebacker for the Jets? Ah Brandon Milanese, 6-3 235, out of Eastern Omaha, 3rd round draft pick in 05, blew out his ACL?"

Barbara tossed her bar towel to the back, she looked at me and shook her head, "No, Milanese means." And she goes on to describe what it means. It means this. Well she told me a story but I forgot, because I was worried about the cops busting me for hot wiring that Nissan. So I Googled it, and well, Milanese is Spanish for fried chicken or beef. Ah okay I got it, Veal Milanese is what I had. So if I wanted to fry a goat, it'd be Goat Milanese. Okay got it, it ain't Brandon Milanese of the Jets, wrong channel, wrong page, get me a doctor I need help!

And ooo, the drink, it was her creation, what a Mixologist, she created for me this awesome drink called Lime and The Coconut. It had a coconut rim, instead of salt like those Margarittas. And it had fresh lime juice, some Coco Lopez, and Bacardi Limon and it was shaken not stirred. I freekin felt like 007. All I needed to be was 6-2, and have a couple of dumb chicks by my side and a car that could fly, not a hot wired Nissan out in the graveled lot.

Cool. I ate a Cotolette Capricciosa which was the veal and the salad on top of it, and drank a Lime and The Coconut, and not to mention a whole bowl of Pistachios and a glass of ice water. Now the ice water, that was great too. But if you are looking for a great Mediterranean Rim restaurant, then Sarento's on the Beach is the place to go, and the menu is really excellent.
Look at this work of art.
So this is what the Cotolette Capricciosa tasted like. It had a nice flavor first of the fresh tomatoes, cheese, and the rocket. And then, you get down to the Veal Milanese, and the Truffle Oil Vinaigrette, it was excellent. Refreshing, and definitely not obnoxious, with a hint of love. Oh yeah, it had a hint of love Baby!

Lime and The Coconut :)))))

The drink was smooth, not too sweet, kinda mellow, and that's what I needed, because the sweat was pouring down my forehead, just thinking if the cops was in the parking lot looking for me. Ha ha, I'm pretty swift.

Me and Mixologist Barbara Cobey

Barbara was trained at the Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas, Nevada, she really knows her stuff, watching her shake, stir, blend... man she has it down! And she's a good conversationist too. Her husband, what a blessed man, man. Okay now I gotta make it back to Lahaina, I have to find another car to hot wire, I think I saw a an old Toyota pickup next to Five Palms...

But wait! Chef Geno is sitting at the stool next to me wearing a Titlelist Cap, okay now this is our first meeting, thanks to Barbara. "Hey Chef, I'm Ron, what did you shoot today?"
Senior Executive Chef Geno Sarmiento
wearing the Titleist cap
"Ha ha, I just got back from Nick's at the Kealani," he said. He really looked tired.

"Well, I liked the Veal I just ate."

"Yeah? If I made it for you it would have been better," he said.

"I bet it would."

Of course he was just kidding around. We both got to know each other, come to find out Chef Geno has been with the company for 20 plus years. He was trained in Oahu at a small culinary school, but worked his way up, paid his dues, and is now one of Maui's top chefs.

"I like to learn, to continue to learn," continued Chef Geno. "I read a lot of books on chefs, not neccessarily recipe books or cookbooks, but stories on chefs, what their philosophies were, how or what made them click."

Ah, Chef Geno likes to pick brains, I like him already. Chef Geno told me, once he got his degree to be a chef, he didn't really need cookbooks, he'd look at a recipe at a glance and could figure it out. Wow! I got to get my reading glasses out, and look at the pages for a while.

"You need to learn methods of cooking, once you learn that, and learn how sauces are made, you can do anything. But when I read a book on a chef, it's pretty much learning about that person as well. You can be called a chef, but that's just a title, the chef is a person." Man, this is a cool chef, or ah... person I'm talking to.

"A chef needs to know every aspect of the kitchen, if a pantry guy calls in sick, he has to be able to bust ass at his station, not sit back."

I worked for chefs like that, guys that would rather sit in the office and make the others slave it to the max if the staff was short for the night. Hey Chef Geno, you da man.

We talked more, and he wanted to know my background, I told him I am not a chef like he was, but because of the cooking shows we produced with me cooking, I had to use that as a stage name. Chef Sambrano, also my blog site's name. But I'm not a true chef, a true chef worked from the ground up, and trained under other chefs, me I worked and learned, my brother and brother inlaw are both chefs, I have friends that teach me what they know in cooking. I really seriously can hold my own, I do some small gigs for couples, that I can do, but throw me to a few hundred for a catering, I'm toasted! I'm rattled, I wasn't made for that kind of chefing job. But I told him my true calling was media work, bringing people together, learning about food. I told him my dream would be to start my production company and produce killer food and cooking materials for people to use, that would be a valuable source. He agreed, he told me he did community work, teaching kids how to cook, how to be responsible citizens in the community, now this is an awesome person, Chef Geno rocks, he rules the school.

"I believe that people should learn to cook, that way they know what is going into their foods," he said. "One time we taught kids how to make fresh pasta, and how to make Malasadas (Portuguese Donuts without the holes)."

One of his mentors was George Gomes. Apparently back in his beginnings Chef George taught Geno what life was about, not just the ktichen. This is a learning thing folks, everyone who is successful, usually had a mentor. And George did great, because Chef Geno has to oversee the kitchens at Sarento's, Nick's Fishmarket in Wailea, and trek to Kaanapali to the Hyatt Regency to visit the kitchen staff and Sonz. Now this is a rock and roll chef, he's the real deal! Me? I act like one on tv, and I do pretty good I must say. Yes I can make those sauces he was talking about, I can do what the pro cooks do, I used to be those guys, but now in my old age, it's just home cooking. The last gig I did was for a family of 5, that was easy. But Chef Geno sometimes needs to be prepared to create and cook for hundreds, now that's rock and roll, that's heavy metal. Me? I'm in a soft rock band called Tears. Ha ha.

Okay so Chef is getting tired, I noticed that his wrist had some Ace bandage on it, he told me he injured the wrist lifting a heavy piece of luggage. Man, does he work part-time as a bellman? No he was doing some personal lifting. So that's that for this post. Come in and see Chef Geno, Mixologist Barbara Cobey and the rest of the staff at Sarento's. Or visit their sister resaurants Nick's Fishmarket and Sonz.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

MAUI- T Bone Steak EZ Seasonings That Work

T-Bone! That was George Castansa's  wannabe name when he was with the New York Yankees in an episode of Seinfeld. "My name is T-Bone!"

Well, again I am promoting beef for this Summer's grill time adventures. Check this well marbled steak to the left, thanks to wikipedia, this picture is used for educational purposes only. When grilling you really want steaks with a bone in, why? Because there's a heck of a lot of flavors with a bone in. Now if you are pan frying, having bone off steaks can produce a better sear, or even sear. But if you are a grillin, get a bone in steak will ya?

Here's a very simple tip when grilling these killer dudes. All you need to do is season them with some salt and fresh ground black pepper, and maybe some garlic and onion powder, rub it into the meat let it rest at room temperature, and start your grilling. Charcoal grills are preferred, there is nothing like a smokey natural flavor, but if you have a propane gas grill, that's okay too, maybe toss in some wood chips soaked in water and wrapped in foil to get a nice smoke action going.

Saute some mushrooms in butter and garlic and some herbs and you're good to go, get some rice on the stove for some starch, maybe some greens for a salad you really will be loved by whoever it is you're grilling for. The T-Bone is a very tender cut from the loin section, it is very popular among beef afficionados, and the sister Porterhouse is just the same. So if you love a grillin, set your sites on some Prime cuts. Look for the fatty streaks in the grain, that's where the flavors come from, there's nothing like a well marbled steak period!

Aloha you beef addicts! :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

LAHAINA- Friends & Teddy's Bigger Burgers

BEEF BEEF BEEF, NO VEGANS IN DIS JOINT, NON, NADA, BEEF,  BABY BEEF! It was a easy Wednesday afternoon here in Lahaina Town, Maui, Hawaii. I had just gotten off of my part-time gig at Barnes & Noble, met my production man Sascha, gave him a tape to edit, of Brian Kohne, writer, director, producer, marketing genius of his own movie called GET A JOB, starring Maui's own Willie K, and Eric Gilliom with an all star cast of Hawaii's finest entertainers. Then I had to meet my sister in Town to check on some thangs. Then my phone rings, it's Michael McCartney, he's with Mike Yoshida, my two friends from high school.

"Hey meet us at Teddy's in about 20," says McCartney.

"Okay I'm there."

Once there, we start to talk like 3 old men, talking about the good old days, shit the good old days? Are you kidding? I'm sounding like a grandpa? Shit and HELL NO! Okay, we did sound like old farts but who gives a ____? So we talked for about an hour, and we all polished  our own big ass Teddy's burgers with fries and a soft drink. It was time for beef, time to enjoy it, after all, what better way to enjoy good conversations than eating beef and fries. There's some topics you can't discuss eating vegan food. So on this afternoon, it was Teddy's ground beef patties, grilled really nice. Plus the place was clean. Oh yeah some of the conversations, well I can't post what we talked about, we might be arrested, you could guess what we were talking about, but nontheless, the burgers were great.

Me, Michael McCartney on the left bench with Mikey Yoshida by himself on the right, thanks to Buff A loha for snappin da shot, we love you big fella!

MAUI- Beef Lovers Have Quite a Few Options When Visiting Maui

Where's a good steak on Maui? If you'll be visiting Maui and wondering where you can get a juicy steak. Here's a few places I do suggest. Okay this is like a chain restaurant but you can't go wrong at Outback Steakhouse, there's one in Lahaina at the Lahaina Gateway Center, and one in Kihei at the Lipoa Shopping Village. So what if it's a chain or corporate, they do steaks right, that's what they specialize in. I don't care for their seafood stuff or appetizers, I think it's just mediocre, but when it comes to their steaks, they do know how to do it right, well... I did taste some awesome steaks on the mainland, and backyard cookouts, but  for anyone paying a good dollar on an evening out for steaks, Outback is really a good bet. The Melbourne is my favorite, a huge porterhouse that's seared and juicy, that and some sauteed shrooms, and some mash potatoes, that's the way to go. Or their ribeyes are perfect also, and if you do want some shrimp order some with your beef, have that surf and turf you been dreaming about.

Other not bad joints, Black Angus in Kahana is so so, sometimes I hear it's the best and sometimes I hear it's the pits. And there's Ruth's Chris in the Lahaina Center near the Hard Rock Cafe on Front Street. Now they do beef right all of the time.

Some restaurants have decent steaks, but are more focused on being Pacific Rim or Hawaiian Regional which quite frankly I'm sick and tired of. Almost every  Fn restaurant does the same ass shit! Well, If you like beef, I'm sorry to give you this heads up, but I can't find a really really good steak here on Maui, unless I do it myself, or have a friend do it at his or here house on relaxation mode you know? But Outback Steakhouse, and Ruth's Chris is the most on it restaurants if you want quality beef.

Or you can head to my friend's place called Maui Prime Gourmet a shop that sells Kobe beef, buy a steak there and grill it yourself. Or go to our local markets and see if you can get some Maui Cattle Company's grass fed beef, their beef is pretty good I must say. So there you have it, it's my take on beef on Maui, and if you got any other suggestions please comment on this beef matter.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

MAUI- Kapalua Wine & Food Festival 2011

Kapalua Wine & Food Festival 2011 is here once again. Dubbed A Toast to 30! JUNE 9-12 2011 30th Anniversary Celebration!

FRIDAY, JUNE 10 Three Decades of Reserve Cabernet.
1:30p to 3:00p Tasting.. Beringer, Cardinale, Jordan and Silver Oak Wineries showcases three of their reserve Cabernet Sauvignon selections: one each from the 80s, 90s & 2000s.

The Grand Tasting- Maui Grown 6:00p to 9:00p "A Toast to 30!" with over two hundred wines from around the world a savory cuisine from local culinary stars and Maui County Farm Bureau Members. Dress in your best and dance with live entertainment.

SATURDAY, JUNE 11 Pinots Meet Cheese 11:00am to 12:30p Cheese Master, Kent Torrey of The Cheese Shop in Carmel is back by popular demand! This year paired with Pinots of all genres, you'll experience Pinots and cheese like you never have before.

Drive UP Hwy 101 1:00p to 2:30p The Pacific Coast Hwy. is a state of the mind, so come and explore one of the most intriguing drives in the world. Think of this as your opportunity to experience the drinks without having to drive.

SUNDAY, JUNE 12 11:00am to 12:30pm Looks like a challenge between the Aussies (from down under) and America's best Shiraz or Syrah.

Farm Fresh w/ Chef Peter Merriman 1:00pm to 3:00pm Chef Peter Merriman invites you to join him for localized feat of unparalleled farm fresh simple signature dishes. Submerge your senses in this custom dining experience.

Maui Seafood Festival 6:00pm to 9:00pm The grand finale event showcases Maui's top chefs and the bounty of the Pacific! Enjoy live entertainment, fine wine, beer and spirits while you mingle with winemakers, chefs ad friends oceanfront on the Beach House Lawn.

For a complete schedule of events or to purchase tickets visit or call 808-665-9160.

Monday, June 6, 2011

MAUI- BEEF Short Ribs Education

Short Ribs, Beef Short Ribs That Iz
So you are looking for some info on beef short ribs, okay here we go. Let's talk about it here. Where does this cut come from?

Notice the yellow highlighted section called Rib. Well this is where the tender cuts comes from, and beef shortribs come from this section of the animal.

Beef short ribs are cut in different ways, some butchers cut them about 3 inches in length, the meat is above tendons and bone. Like I described this section is pretty tender, more so than the Chuck that is closer to the head, or should I say Chuck cuts comes from the shoulder area where the muscles are moving so the meat there is a little tougher. Remember there are different grades of beef, Prime and Choice are the most highly sought after because of the quality (marbling) or amounts of fat streaking through the meat which adds flavor. Other cuts are when a butcher takes about 3 bones right in a row, and slices them about 1/4 inch or more thick, these are used on hot grills common to Korean BBQ called Kabli BBQ ribs or Flanken Ribs. The single cuts are made in braises, or even some  stews, or grilled separately, and because of the bone, some chefs utilize beef short ribs for soups.

Pictured below is Flanken Ribs cut the way Korean BBQ joints will cut them, notice the 3 bones and the thickness of the cuts? But this picture is of a recipe from Argentina called Asado de Tira. Or simply Argentine style Short Ribs. (Thanks to wikipedia for some information and pictures)
If you ever get a chance to purchase Wagyu beef (beef from Japan) most commonly beef raised in Kobe Japan, where the cattle is given beer, and the animal is massaged, that's right, massaged so that the meat is tender and not firm, well, the beef if you can get it will be higher in price, but you'll notice that the beef litterally melts in your mouth.

Flanken cuts are my favorite for grilling, it is a nice looking piece, cut about 1/4 inch thick it cooks over a hot coal grill really fast, you can marinate them in whatever you want. I have a friend that uses Italian salad dressing and it is quite delicious, never overcook these, a dried Flanken isn't too appealing, but then again if your Aunt Suze wants it killed even further then by all means cook the MF till it is dried like the Vegas Desert.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

MAUI- Uncle Sammy's Tip On Grillin

"Uncle Sammy, calling Uncle Sammy!" Who is Uncle Sammy? Well here on Maui Uncle Sammy is this big ass Hawaiian, in his mid sixties, and rides a motorbike, looks like a mean son of a bitch, but when you start to talk bout grilling, his eyes lights up, and he's got some tips for this season's grilling time in your back yard or beach or where ever.

"Eh you da chef on t.v. eh?" says Uncle Sammy.

"Yeah that's me," I respond wondering if he's gonna slam me to the ground for his own personal reasons, yes he's a lot older than me, but I sure as heck ain't messing with this old man, and I am very respectful of any man at any age who's got about 150 pounds on me, huge arms and has a few mean looking tattoos. Me? I don't have a tattoo, and the only real fight I've been in is one time in high school I punched out a tennis player because he was obnoxious, yeah I bad!

So at this point we don't know each other's names yet, but Uncle Sammy smiles a wide ass smile, he takes off his shades, "Eh bradda I love your show, I love it."

Okay he's not gonna kill me, "Thanks.... how you doing today, nice day for that Harley eh?"

"Yeah yeah... eh lemme ask you somethin..."

"Okay shoot..."

"When you making stir fry eggplants, you cook da eggplants first to soften em up? Or do you put all of the ingredients in da wok first and then put da eggplants inside da wok and cook it all at once?"

I was thinking, "Man is this a set up?" What if I give him the answer he's not looking for I'll be flatter than a tortilla shell when he's done with me. So I answer, "Well, I do cook it first and set it aside, that way it's out of the way, then I'll add in the other ingredients and cook it up, add a sauce and then put the cooked eggplants back inside."

He smiles, "That's what I told my friend but he doesn't want to listen that dumb ass."

I laugh.

"Oh by the way my name is Sam, call me Uncle Sammy."

"Okay Uncle Sammy, my name is Ron."

"Right on Ron, eh I just love what you do on your cooking show, I just love what you do, keep on doing it."

"Thanks Uncle Sammy."

Then we start to talk about small things, family, life, whatever. But this man has seen a lot in life, he is not a fool, he is the type that can see right through a person, and you get this vibe, if you rub him the wrong way, he's not going to hurt you with his massive arms, but he'll hurt you with that honest look in his eyes, you know? Like if you lie to him, he's got this God's given thing about him, that if he just stares at you,  that shit is going to hurt you know? Lie to him and he'll just give you that stare, and he's lost all respect for you, and he rides off with his huge Harley, and he'll tell everyone about you, and then you are toast. That's the vibe I got from Uncle Sammy, a truthful honest kind of guy, just don't mess with him or his family you know?

He starts talking about grilling steaks, "Eh bradda, before time, we had this friend that had a ranch, and he had cattle, not a lot but some."


"Yeah, we had fresh steaks, and when was time to grill, watch out! My mom had this recipe for a spicy rub we used to put on the short ribs. It was salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar, chili peppers, and vinegar. She used to mix em all up, and rub it into these massive short ribs. Then we'd light up the kiawe and grill those up, over hot fire, make it char, and then place the short ribs over the part of the grill that wasn't too hot, let it sit for hours, we'd all sit around the grill laughing and singing until the ribs were so tender it fell off of the bone."

"Wow, that sounds really good, delicious."

"Yeah, we were poor back then, not much money so when we got beef, we got it in massive amounts, and store it in our freezer. We used to take the T-bones, and put it in soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic and onions, soak em over night, and grill them up just until the red starts to turn color, not cooked all the way, man that was the best."

Okay so I got this, soak some T-bones in soy sauce, ginger, sugar, garlic and onions overnight, and grill them to about medium the next day, sounds good and I've never in my life marinated T-bones before, but there's a first time for everything.

"And man, oxtails, we used to boil the oxtails until it was soft and then refrigerate them. The next day, we'd soak it in olive oil, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and any other spices we got, soak it for a few hours, now this is already soft eh? Okay then we would make the grill really hot, and then place the soft oxtails over the flames, and give it some smokey flavor, man that was really good. Eh make this on your show bradda."

"Uncle Sammy you should be my guest on my show, and you show all of Maui on television how to make those delicious sounding beef recipes."

"Nah I'm too old for that, I just want to eat," he laughs. "But that's some beef stories for you, you know we Hawaiians we got Aloha, we share some stuff, but not all stuff you know?" He laughs again, in fact his laugh is infectious, what a kind soul, hey I like Uncle Sammy, it's nice to meet new friends . So we shake hands, he wishes me success in my video cooking career, and then starts up his bike, it was like thunder, I was blown back 10 yards. He puts his shades down over his eyes and then clicks it into first gear and off he goes, riding into the Maui trade winds, watch out Maui, Uncle Sammy is ridin! And now I got more arsenal in my cooking side of my brain. :)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

MAUI- What Is A Heifer?

So what is a Heifer? Heifers are a young cow (female) that did not produce any offsprings, or calfs.  When purchasing heifers, this is what a form may look like, taken from

FOR SALE  Angus Plus Bred Heifers
Central Texas

Listing #                                                          104C326-201
Location:                                                        Central Texas
Shipping Point:                                             Hamilton Texas
Number:                                                          79 Heads
Breed:                                                             Angus Plus
Origin:                                                             Florida
Age:                                                                 15-17 months
Est. Weight:                                                   850 pounds
Frame:                                                             Medium
Condition:                                                      Moderate Flesh
Vaccinations:                                                OCV....Current on other vaccinations
Horns:                                                             None
Bred To:                                                     Exposed to Reg. Angus Bulls.. 1.9 or less BW EPD
Calving Date:                                                 February
Pasture/Feed:                                                Grow yard... High energy silage-based ration
Delivery Date:                                                Available now
Sell Part or All:                                              Truck load lots...50,000 lbs. plus
Price:                                                               Call for current price quote
Payment Terms:                                            Wire transfer

* These heifers have 30 years of extensive breeding behind them
* Last years mates have grown into a very fancy set of young cows
* They have length, depth, & thickness with good bone
* These heifers have the genetics to improve most any heard
* Call or email if you have any questions or for additional information.

This is just a sample of what a form may look like to purchase heads of heifers.
Thanks to Cattle Range. Com

MAUI- The Beef Industry

The Beef Industry is an important part of feeding the world, we can't escape the fact that millions of people around the world love to consume this product, despite many claims that beef is bad for you, anything in excess can be bad for you, so this article is really the flip side of what a vegan or vegetarian may claim. I myself do cook beef, and I do eat it on occasion, and I personally won't try to denounce the cattle ranchers here in America that are trying to produce a quality product.

So what is the beef industry up against? I just read Drover's Cattle Network. Com, and the article written by Greg Henderson sums up what Americans are doing this summer season which is DA GRILLING SEASON! They are saving up their hard earned cash for gas or diesel, that's right. According to Greg, this season isn't looking too promising for the beef or pork producers here in America. Joe Blow will put fuel into his tank before splurging on a bunch of ribs for the grill. Sister Annie will put gas in her Accura before spending on a nice rib roast. Can you blame our American brethren?

This is just the simple fact that people who are making under 35,000.00 a year are really kinda sorta in poverty. Imagine not being able to buy a steak come payday? That really would suck wouldn't it? And for my friends that saw me do my vegan specials on TV, I'd say that was a phase, I do believe in eating a well balanced diet. But who was I kidding? I love a steak now and then or nice Kobe burger on some wholewheat bun with lots of mayonnaise and a piece of onion and some mustard and some fresh cut fries. Yeah sorry to burst your bubble but yeah, I love a good beef steak once in awhile for sure.

Just imagine the beef producers here, they are struggling like any other entity that's trying to pay the taxes ha ha. Just a joke. But seriously, cattle ranchers are facing a lot of road blocks or obstacles. Right now they are facing severe droughts in the Southwest, and floods in cattle producing states that's ruining farmland that grows soybeans, and other feed products for the cattle ranchers. That's just the natural disastrous part, others include trade agreements with other countries.

As of right now the beef industry is facing some really tough times trying to trade with Colombia, this country exports their goods to the U.S. duty-free. On the other hand we face stiff tariffs trying to export our beef to their country. If The Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement is signed, that would lift 50% of the tariffs on beef entering their country, with this, more jobs for Americans, no doubt to help the economy. The beef industry is facing a lot of political BS that it is frustrating everyone in the industry.

And striking an agreement with Panama also will help the U.S. Beef Producers, standing by and waiting to see if the U.S. Panama Free trade agreement will be signed. This will allow Panama to eliminate duties on high quality beef. Also this will enable specified standard cuts of beef to enter the market there duty-free through tariff rate quotas.

But the Big Kahuna of them all is a deal with South Korea. The South Korean Free Trade Agreement could be a value of 1 billion dollars if this agreement is put into place. South Korea could be our largest buyer of American cattle products. South Korea and America have a pretty good relationship right now, this country allied with the beef industry here will create lots of jobs, and in turn help the economy in cattle producing states, it does not take a rocket scientist to know that in any community in the U.S. that is being productive in making profits, the earners will spend and keep our economic engine running.

Living in Maui, we depend on visitors, when I'm in Las Vegas same thing, so if people who are employed make a paycheck, they will spend it, and maybe just maybe take a vay cay to Maui or Vegas. America needs to support the cattle industry, and I am not being trigger shy here, call it what you want if you're an animal lover, or a vegan, or raw foodist. I am a chef, and without quality beef grown in our own country it is a sin. And hey, in Bible days, they ate animals too. And yes my friends, I do visit vegetarian restaurants too. So that's my take on beef, and that is people will want to eat it, and in my lifetime, I don't think everyone will decide in an instant that "Hey I don't want anymore beef, I'll have veggie burgers!" It ain't gonna happen. Support the ranchers, and if you're an opposing vegan, well you got your gripes don't you?

Ron Sambrano
Chef- Maui Hawaii, Las Vegas NV

Thursday, June 2, 2011

MAUI- Pan Frying- Beef Steaks

Pan Frying Beef Steaks- There's two different models on pan frying beef steaks. 1. is the cook that uses some fat or oil in the pan. 2. The other is one that will not use any fats in the pan, (that's me), but will let a very well marbled piece of Choice or Prime cut melt in the pan without oil. Marbling means the fat content on the steaks, usually it is whitish inbetween the grains, look for these steaks and you will have a tasty juicy one.

Is there anything wrong with either models? No not at all. I've worked at some restaurants where the chefs trained us to use a little vegetable oil or canola oil in the pan usually a stainless steel pan. Pros don't use nonstick teflon. The reason why some chefs use oil or fats is because they want the extra fat in the pan when making a pan sauce, but, if you have a well marbled piece of beef like a Choice or Prime Kobe Rib Eye, you will not need oil or fats in the pan. I've pan fried even the most average of New Yorkers or Rib Eyes, and the fats that comes out of the meat is incredible, the beef has to be totally lame for it not to bring about some melted fat which is all of the flavors.

Also no matter which model you decide to utilize, the cuts of the meat should be no thicker than an inch. Now if you are making some Chateau Briand or a thick Filet Mignon, sear it in the fry pan, and finish it off in an oven at 375 to 400 dg F. for a few minutes. Some of these cuts can range up to 2 inches, that's thick, and the pan will not cook it well, just sear it and finsih it off in the oven.

Remember to only use stainless steel pans without plastic or rubber handles in the event you need to finish off anything in the oven. To hold a hot pan, use dry dish clothes at the handles. If you decide to use a Teflon pan, it will work, but it won't be as useful for making a sauce or gravy, you can't scrape the fond on a nonstick pan.

Also, keep your meats stored at 40 dg. F or below before using. When ready to use, let it reach room temperature before cooking, don't use cold meats it won't cook well, bring the meats up to room temperature, but don't leave it out too long.

Using an instant read thermometer, sticking the probe into the thickest part of the beef steak, the temperatures should be around 135 dg. F. for medium  145 dg F for medium well and 150 dg F. plus for well done.

Developing a nice browned crust on the outside of the steaks aids in keeping the juices from spilling out of the steaks. But some people I've cooked for don't want that crust, they feel that it's burnt, so everyone has their own opinions on how steaks should be cooked in a frying pan.

Some of these cuts are great for pan frying.

Rib Eyes w/out bone, it sits better in the pan without the bone.

New York w/out bone, same as the rib eye without bone it sits better in the pan.


Flanks- Fried to perfection and then cut across the grain fairly thin.

Chucks- Though on the chewy side, if sliced thin, chucks are pretty good and inexpensive.

Always preheat your pans for a few minutes over medium-high heat, turning it up higher if need be, but always try and cook the steaks over medium-hight heat. Thinner cuts will cook faster so if you got a thin steak keep an eye on it, cooking it too long will dry it up, unless someone wants it very well done, than do it, other than that to prevent over cooking a thin piece just keep an eye on it all th time.

Good luck!


PAN FRYING cont. In  my last post I gave you some tips on pan frying, such as temperature of your oil, what kind of oil you should utillize, and what types of pans you sould use. In this post I'll talk about different cuts of protein you may be pan frying. First the ever so popular fried chicken is always on the pan frying topic when friends of mine ask for advice on pan frying chicken I give them this simple advice. "Make sure your oil is hot, your stove is clean because we don't want flames igniting, an oily burner can cause damage to your house and your body. Keep a few boxes of baking soda handy to douse any flames, or have a pertinent fire extinguisher near by just in case." I'm serious. But, let's get to the fun part without getting too scary.

Your pan should be large enough, so I do suggest a 12 inch stainless steel pan with a lid. Covering the chicken will enclose the heat ensuring a good cooking process. Actually there;s 2 different methods I'm going to throw at you. First it's all about the pan frying on the stove top.

So you get your pan over medium high heat, add in enough oil (canola) so that it will be deep enough to cover half of your chicken parts. I'd say about 2 inches of oil. Heat it up until it registers around 360 dg. F, you may need to turn up the heat to get it this hot. If you can't get this temperature read, get it as hot as you can. Toss in a small piece of bread, if it turns golden within a minute, your oil should be hot enough.

Season your chicken parts with salt and pepper and dredge them in simple all purpose flour, coat it well. Find a recipe that you like, and set your chicken parts to the side keep it at room temperature, you don't want cold pieces of protein going into hot oil, it may start to pop or explode. Once you get a nice temperture, add in the chicken parts one at a time, keep the pan from getting too crowded. Once it gets too crowded, the chicken or anything that you'll be pan frying will not turn nice and golden. What will happen is because the temperature of the oil will drop because of the overcrowding of the pan, the pieces of chicken in this case will be more than likely steamed and not pan fried.

Understanding this, when you put too many pieces of chicken in this case into the hot oil, the temperature will not be to its hottest point for pan frying, you'll have a disappointing pale looking chicken that won't cook through that well. To develop that golden looking crust, the pan should not be crowded, just keep lots of spaces in between the chicken pieces. A cold overcrowded pan will produce soggy chicken instead of cripsy, crunchy fried chicken.

So once you get the chicken in the pan, cover it with a lid, keep the temperature at medium high, let it sit for about 5-7 minutes, flip it, it should be golden, if not, let it cook a few more minutes. Once you flip it, cover it again, and let it cook for a few minutes more. Remove and let the chicken parts sit and rest, it will continue to cook. If you have an instant read thermometer try and get the temperature up to 160 deg. F. it should be good to go.

Another method to finishing off fried chicken is this, preheat your oven to about 400 dg. F. once you are done pan frying the first side of the chicken pieces, place the chicken pieces on a baking sheet, and place it in the oven, depending on how many pieces you have, it should take about maybe 20 minutes to finish off about 3-4 pounds of chicken pieces. The product should be golden brown and crunchy. Again use an instant read thermometer to get the right cooked temperature, 160 dg. F is good, if it's a little less that's ok too, because as the chicken rests, it will continue to cook.

Every stove is different in some way, sometimes the burners on one model has to be cranked up to Hi just to get to Med Hi etc. So with practice you'll understand the pan frying techniques, it is really simple, you just need to make it happen.

If you are interested, there are a lot of deep fryers that are electric that you can purchase in department stores, hardware stores, kitchen supply stores, or online.

This 1.1 liter model is electric from Cuisinart the CDF 100 is compact and great for couples or students at college, deep fries up to 1 pound of whatever you want. Sells for around $38.00