CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Wednesday, August 31, 2011


In the kitchen (in your home) there's all kinds of hazards that can injure family members. Sharp knives, forks, hot pans, boiling water, toddlers running around unsupervised, electrical issues, gas stoves turned on left overnight, and the list goes on and on.

Here's some tips for a safe kitchen.

1. Keep your kitchen clean, and spotless, and get roach and ant baits, leave them away from food, like in the back corners of your cupboards, having a clean and sanitized kitchen also prevents some forms of food poisonings, such as cross contamination when foods come into contact with cleaning solutions such as ammonia, soaps and other chemicals that are harmful to a human body.

2. Store all sharp utensils such as knives in a drawer, or hanging safely on a magnet on the wall.

3. Do not leave knives or other sharp objects in a sink filled with water, someone may reach in to grab something and get a nasty cut from that sharp object that wasn't supposed to be there in the first place.

4. Keep hot oil and water that is still functioning on the stove on the back burners, this prevents someone from touching it when walking by, and accidentally pulling it off of the stove. Watch for toddlers or young kids that walk into the kitchen they may be curious and touch it, the outcome could be very disastrous. Imagine someone you love getting third degree burns?

5. Keep your kitchen floors clean, wipe up spills immediately, preventing anyone from slipping and causing injury or even death. Keep floors clear of toys, or other items that may cause someone to stumble.

6. Keep your kitchen's vents clean at all times, yes if it is not clean a fire can break out, all that grease becomes combustible. 
The National Fire Protection Association reported in 2009 that 85% of fire deaths were caused in the home. WOW!!!!! So now be careful with the hot stuff.
* Keep all rags, towels about 3 feet from the flame of the stove.
* If a pan ignites because of a grease fire, put a steel lid over it to suffocate the flame, and turn off the heat and let it cool.
* If a grill ignites, turn it off and you can sprinkle baking soda to put out the flame, do not throw water on any fire, grease or electrical.
* Make sure all microwaves have room to vent, keep it a safe distance away from walls, if anything burns in a microwave, do not panic, simply turn it off and unplug the device. If worse comes to worse, use a conducive fire extinguisher. More on this on the bottom of this article.

7. Keep all of your items in your refrigerator freezer nice and organized, do not leave huge heavy items on the top of small items, it may fall out and hit you on the head, face, or feet. Also rotate your stock, all items dated ready to expire should be pushed up to the front, and latter ones towards the rear.

8. If you have little ones, get child proof locks on all cupboard doors.

9. Keep all cell phones, and laptops, stereos, televisions, away from the heat of the stove, and away from the sink where water is present, this is to prevent electrical shock.

10. Keep all important phone numbers handy in the kitchen, the gas company, your local electrician, the electric company, 911, your local doctor's office.

These are just a few simple tips to be safe. Happy cooking.

A Class K fire extinguisher works for kitchen grease fires, while a Class C fire extinguisher works for electrical fires.  I can't drill this enough in people, take a possible fire seriously, it is the difference between life and death, seriously. Contact your local fire department to help you out, most off duty fire professionals will lend their time to help you out, maybe cook them something. Or look for classes on safety at your local community college.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I remember one of my co-workers at the golf course who wasn't a chef, giving everyone tips on cooking. Yes he wasn't a chef, but Cy knew how to eat good, and how to make a lame ass lunch that he bought 10 times better by sprucing it up with condiments.

So this one time Cy buys a big bowl of chilli, and it was sort of dead, kind of thin, not too much flavor or richness. So Cy went back to the store and picked up lots of packets of mayonnaise. He opened up like 5 packets and emptied it into the bowl of chilli, we're like "what the hell you doing, that's gross?" But Cy explained that the mayonnaise gave the lame ass chilli some richness, and creamy flavor. Then he opened a couple of packets of black pepper, then put a few shots of Tabasco in there too. But everyone sampled that sprucing up of the chilli with mayonnaise, and it worked pretty good. 

I tried doing that with a weak beef stew I bought from a restaurant in Lahaina, it didn't have any bite or thickness, it was kind of on the thin soupy side, but when I put in a couple packets of mayonnaise it got creamier and it was more tasty, though kind of unhealthy this is just a tip to make a weak dish creamier.

This one chick from one of my other work place put extra mayonnaise in the ranch dressing that was bought at a supermarket, that added more body to it, and it still tasted like ranch. Mayonnaise is like the ultimate addition to weak dishes that calls for a rich flavorful savory sauce.

One dude added mayonnaise to his beef with black beans sauce, he ordered Chinese but when he took the meal home it was weak, so he added mayonnaise from the fridge to it and it worked well he said, and ate the whole plate.

An older woman who loves to bake cakes and pies sometimes adds mayonnaise to the batter to make it rich, when a recipe calls for eggs, she adds not only eggs but some mayonnaise too.

Another person I know baked a pizza at his house, and instead of using a tomato based sauce for the first layer of the pizza he put a good portion of mayonnaise, and then garlic, and then some cheese and then some Canadian bacon and olives, it worked good, it tasted like a toasted opened faced sandwich.

Try adding mayonnaise to a teriyaki sauce, see what happens. Of course not to the marinade, but a teri sauce that is already cooked and ready to be spread over meats, add a tablespoon of mayonnaise to it, and watch it morph into a creamy Japanese/French concoction. 

I saw a girl eat her French fries with a ramekin of vinegar and mayonnaise, now that's not your average French fry aficionado, whereas I myself would just load it with salt and pepper and some ketchup, girlfriend was totally in love with that ramekin.

So mayonnaise is a condiment some folks need to have for sprucing up meals, it works, it adds life to a sub sandwich, salads, and now all kinds of foods. I've seen people add curry powder to mayonnaise to make a rich curry dip, now that's a tip right there, sounds good with grilled chicken or pork, just slice the meat into bite size pieces and dip it into the mayonnaise with curry powder concoction and you're good to go.

So if you need to spruce up a dish especially something savory like a stew, go for the condiment that most everyone has in their fridge, good old mayonnaise. Imagine a world without it? The kid at Subway will ask you, "Would you like mustard?" and that's it. And if you're a vegan, there's vegan mayonnaise out on the market.

Friday, August 26, 2011

CHEF RUSTY COULL Hawaiian Airlines Recipe Contest

Chef Rusty Coull entered the Hawaiian Airlines Recipe Challenge his creation Kalbi Steak Salad on Kula Greens with a Papaya seed and Coconut Dressing.

Check out Rusty on facebook

click like and support our local young chefs

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Here is a simple wok recipe, a Chinese dish simply called Crispy Schezuan Beef. Chinese regional cooking, unlike the Canton styles, Schezuan is notable for the hot, spicy, salty and sweet flavors, each hinting for what it is, Schezuan chefs are geniuses when it comes to balancing all the right flavors. Ginger and garlic is used a lot so have these two handy all the time. And oh yeah, don't forget the ever-so important Schezuan Peppers (see below).

1 lb. trimmed flank steak, slice it into thin strips across the grain, put into a mixing bowl, salt and pepper it, mix well. Then add 1 beaten egg mix well. Then add in about 1/2 cup of cornstarch and mix it well with your hands, this is going to give it a nice crust when you deep fry it.

Other ingredients

Oil for frying, vegetable oil is good

1 tsp, minced ginger

1 tsp. minced garlic

2 green onions chopped

2 long or four short hot chillies sliced thin, I like the seeds for heat

1 tsp. Schezuan peppers

Dash of red pepper flakes

The Glaze
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup

1 tsp. water

*Mix these ingredients and set aside

1. Heat wok to high heat with about 2 inches of oil or enough to fry the meat. Once oil starts to bubble, fry a quarter of the meat at a time until crispy brown, then set them aside on a plate lined with paper towels. Over crowding a wok is not recommended, for a crowed wok robs heat, frying small batches at a time will ensure a very high quality dry heat method of cooking.

2. Return wok to stove top over medium high heat. Add about 2 tbsp. of oil, sautee the ginger and garlic for a few seconds, add in pepper flakes cook until dark, and Schezuan peppers, add in green onions and sliced chillies, cook for about 1 minute, then add in the glaze, cook for about a minute, then add in the cooked crispy beef. Cook for about 2 minutes tossing occasionally, remove from heat and plate it. Or serve it over a bed of cooked rice.

 Schezuan Peppers
L- seeds and stems R- the husks 

Schezuan Peppers have a feel to it besides a somewhat pleasant aroma. These babies gives Schezuan style Chinese dishes its bit. A good pepper can give you a tingling on the tongue, but it is not a harsh one, it gives off a hint of lemon or citrus. Do not purchase these if you can't smell them. It is an excellent spice.

Untrimmed Flanks for you and a large party :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


If you are looking for a killer salad that's refreshing and filling look no further than Lulu's at the Lahaina Cannery Mall right off of highway 30, if you see the big ass Safeway sign yep you're on target. Lulu's is Lahaina's surf kinda theme restaurant/bar/club. If you are looking for a love connection Saturday nights can be the place for you lovers without a lover if you knows what I meanz?

But, the food at Lulu's is excellent, the service is A+, very casual, and if you are sitting at the bar, football preseason games are on, that's correct, you love pigskin this is the place to get your sports bar fix, great prices on great  brands, great bartenders. Baseball is headed towards the end of the season and there's tons of games on AL and NL leaders on the flatscreen at Lulu's, I love that place, without Lulu's we sports junkies are gonna be JONEZING!

Okay sorry I did not get any pics, but earlier today me and a buddy sat on the lanai and we nailed the Chun's Reef Oriental Chicken Salad, it was 3 skewers of ono, tasty oriental chicken pieces good sized ones over Kula greens, with won ton chips, thin sliced oinions, and carrots, so simple it was a great salad, not too much going on, simple they're geniuses, that's the way I like it. That with a never ending supply of iced tea with lemon, man you just can't  beat that, totally just marvelous, simply dashing, no  bullshit, awesome salad, named after a famous surf spot, surfers know this area.

Okay sorry no pics of my Chun's Reef Salad, but I have it embedded in my brain. So if you are looking for a great salad with love written all over it, go to Lulu's and nail a Chun's Reef, don't bother asking for a menu, just get to the front and ask for it. "Hey, table for two, and we know what we want, we want two Chun's Reef Salads and a couple of brews." Easy? Yeah it is, so go and do just that k?

Saturday, August 20, 2011


This is a simple meal, or salad and soup and we'll use ready made stuff to make it easy for you foodies on the run. There's nothing wrong with using ready made ingredients to help ease the burden of eating right with hardly any time left in the day.

7 OZ. firm tofu drained and crumbled
4 oz. of spinach leaves cleaned
2 oz. of chopped kale
3 oz. of sliced onions
6 oz. of cherry tomatoes slice din half

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white pepper
juice of half a lemon
3 cloves of garlic sliced thin

1. In a non reactive bowl, add all the vegetables and tofu and toss gently. In another non reactive bowl, add in the olive oil through garlic slices. Mix with fork or whisk.
2. Add to vegetables and toss well.

1 carton of organic veggie broth like Imagine Organic Vegetable Broth
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large tomatoes sliced into cubes
2 tbsp. minced onions
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 stalk celery sliced thin
1/2 small head of cabbage shredded
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large enough pot, add in the oil over medium high heat, and when hot, sautee the tomatoes, onions and garlic until wilted and aroma is nice and fragrant. Then add in the vegetable broth bring to a boil, then lower to simmer for about 15 minutes.
2. Add in the cabbage, oregano and stir till cabbage softens, add salt and pepper to taste, off heat.

When I was working in the kitchen at the old Down to Earth Natural Foods in Lahaina, Maui, we used this product to make certain soups, it is very healthy and organic. The cost may be higher than you are used to in some stores, but if you want a good vegetable broth that's organic this is very good. Or you can use whatever ready made broths that are out on the market that's available for you at the time of your shopping.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Here's a simple ground turkey chili

3 lbs.  ground turkey
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 clove garlic minced
4 tbsp. ground chili powder
1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cumin
3 tbsp. hot sauce
10 oz. cherry tomatoes sliced in half
3 oz. tomato paste
1 bell pepper sliced into 1 1/2 inch squares
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup beer
10 oz. can of pinto beans rinsed

1. Heat up a pot large enough over medium high heat, add oil heat for 2 minutes, sautee garlic for a few seconds, add in turkey and stir to brown.
2. Add in ingredients one at a time stirring occassionally through pinto beans.
3. Cover and lower heat to simmer for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Money is tight these days and when it comes to feeding your family you have to be creative. And here's how to save money, let's work with a family of 4 as an example, 2 adults and 2 kids pre-teens.

A 5 lb. box of frozen chicken thighs cost anywhere from 3.99-5.99 on average this can stretch out at least for 2 meals.

Brown rice cost about 4.99-7.99 per 10 lb. bag. (follow directions on bag)

Buy a slow cooker such as a Crockpot TM. Get a big one, slow cookers are great for families.

Here's what you do, this recipe can go 2 times, eat half and freeze the rest.

1 5 lb. box of frozen chicken thighs thawed
1 large round onion sliced
1 10 oz can of tomato sauce low sodium
2 large green bell peppers sliced
5 Roma tomatoes sliced in half
2 large russett potatoes cubed bite size
2 bay leaves cracked
1 tbsp. cloves
2 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. coriander

1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker, set for 5 hours, follow manufacturer's instructions. Set it before you go to work. By the time you're home, you have dinner ready, eat half store the rest.

* The meal shouldn't spoil, the vinegar and wine and salt adds as a safety net and as long as it is covered it should be safe to eat. If you need to heat it, remove from slow cooker and add to a pot on stove top and reheat to about 145 degrees F.

Serve with brown rice

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Keeping up with some gout friendly recipes, we will utilize chicken, tofu, cabbage, and some safe ingredients, if you do have any allergies, then find a sub for any ingredient that is harmful to you. I use Bragg liquid amino instead of regular soy sauce, it is all natural and gluten free, tough regular soy sauce may not have any affect on gout patients, just having a gluten free product that's all natural just seems to be healthier in general. Use it wisely. And if you do sufffer from gout as well as some wheat then Bragg is the perfect ingredient.


1 lb. of chicken breast cut into cubes, without skin, sprinkle some Mrs. Dash all over it and let it sit. Mrs. Dash can be found in the spice and herb aisles, it is sodium free and comes in a variety of flavors to suit your tastes.
3 tbsp. of canola oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 can of low sodium chicken broth
10 oz. of cubed tofu (firm)
4 cups of shredded cabbage
1/4 cup Bragg liquid amino
1 tsp. hot sauce
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped green onions for garnish

1. Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add in canola oil, then garlic for a few seconds stir until aroma is present.
2. Add in cubed chicken breast, cook stirring for about 10 minutes to get the heat through each cube.
3. Add in chicken broth, cook for about 8-10 minutes, add in tofu, cook for 3-4 miinutes.
4. Add in cabbage, stir until softened, then add in liquid amino and hot sauce and pinch of salt. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add in green onions, remove from heat and serve with brown rice.
Bragg Liquid Amino

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Gout attacks the joints of indiviuals that have a high uric acid level in their blood, and gout is a form of arthritist, ever had it? If you have you know it's a pain in the .... ass! Usually hitting the big toe, or ankles, it can hit any area of your body. Look up gout by Googling it.

But here's a recipe for you who have gout that's not boring at all.
* Stay away from red meats, seafoods, rich pork etc.


1- 8 oz. breast of chicken skin off
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp water
1 tsp. ume vinegar
1 tsp. ginger
1 tbsp. minced green onion
1 tbsp. minced onion
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. hot sauce

4 oz. shredded kale
2 oz. corn (canned)
2 oz. celery chopped

1. Heat up 4 cups of water bring to a boil, add in 1 tsp. salt to water, then place the breast in the water, and cook for about 4 minutes or until cooked through.
2.  In a small mixing bowl, add in the sesame oil through hot sauce, set aside.
3. Remove chicken from water, let stand for 3 minutes, slice into strips.
4. Place the kale through celery on a plate, lay out the chicken strips over the greens, then top of the chicken with the sauce.
Serve with brown rice if you want or eat it as just a salad.

Pictured is chicken parts being poached, so for the uninitiated this is what poaching looks like, remember it is just boiling or simmering water that cooks the protein instead of oils. Another healthy alternative to cooking chicken breast is broiling or grilling, the main thing to consider is to not eat the drippings of fat.

Stay away from red meats, and rich pork and seafoods. There are some vegetables that are high in gout causing substances, I'll let you Google that. This is just a healthful tip before I catch the bus to work. Good luck, good eating and take care of your selves.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I had a talk with a  Vegas restaurant owner who will remain annonymous, his food is simple bar food, burgers and tacos, sandwiches, hot wings etc. With this past week's market turmoil and since the demise a few years ago, his confidence in continuing to be in business flactuates to say the least, and if you had to draw a line down a piece of paper, the left positive and the right negative, this owner says he pulls more towards the negative, only because he looks at life in a real kind of way.

"This is the hardest business to be  involved in, food service. I don't really know what will happen in the near future, here in Vegas I can honestly say my customers are close to 95% visitors. Now if the planes aren't full coming here, I'll lose my ass. I still have loans to pay investors to pay off, this is a hard business to be in."

Looking around, the decor is attractive the prices are good, 2 for 1 tacos. Specials on burgers and beers, this is a really nice place to hang out and people watch and to stay out of the 100 + degrees in the summer time. Because this is out of the way for local Veganites, and more conducive towards the visitor market, I understand how he feels. The place is kind of empty it is lunch time, time usually people are in having a burger or taco and cooling off. Yeah if I owned this joint I'd be scared too.

"Down the road a club closed down, used to be popular with visitors it was really attractive to that crowd you know but times change. People are watching their pockets, I don't blame them, I'd watch my pockets too. There's only so much us restaurant owners can do such as dropping our prices to get business. We are doing this to bring people in. I can't count how many days I've missed my sales goal to break even, it's a numbers game, and quite frankly I'm in the loss column more than in the plus, I see more red ink than black ink. Oh well that's the life and game I chose to play and all I can do is to stay in this as best I can and keep my employees working I hate to lay anyone off these people have rents, and cars to pay... it's hard for me to let people go and to cut hours, but I have to be real and honest with them, if I can't handle the overhead, I have to do what I need to. I don't want to but if I have to they understand that bossman will have cut hours or lay them off, I hate it. I came from a working class family, my parents just struggled to get by, I understand that fully now. Shame we Americans who want to do good have setbacks, well it is what it is."

A young couple comes in, I approach them, come to find out they are honeymooning from Detroit where the economy sucks big time. The husband says it is their first time to Vegas, and they are loving it. "We are really enjoying ourselves, got married a few days ago in Michigan, then flew here, we are actually staying on the Strip but had to see the famous Fremont Street, it's hot but what the hell we're loving this place."

I sat on a table next to them and conversed a little, I didn't want to bother them 100%. The wife is a school teacher, so being out of school is great, she goes back soon to get her class set up, she teaches grade school math, her hubby works for a computer store where he's an assistant manager, he sells PCs, too bad if he sold Macs I'd try and get a discount on a Mac Book Pro or an iPad. "We're going to go ziplining after we eat looks like fun," he says. "I'm afraid of heights but I'll be daring," she responds.

The waitress takes their order, both of them go for the burger and beer special, and it's a really good deal. As the waitress reiterates what a great deal it was, the owner himself is just happy to have them in and for sure he isn't in the black ink with this honeymooners, buy if I was him I'd be happy to have a chance at just breaking even or close to it.

I said my good byes and goodluck to the couple, told them to visit Maui if they have the chance but to  bring more money for food because Maui won't have these tacos and burger deals, well maybe they might see a joint doing it, but on the whole they got away with murder for the food, I hung out just long enough to see the portions and it was huge ass burgers, and very tall beers so this couple did make out on the food. And the ziplining was like 15 bucks each, what a deal.

I shook hands with the owner and told him good luck in the future. "I'll need it man, I'll need it, all I can do is hope for the better. Really my prayers go out to the rest of the country hoping people get back to work, and hope that credit can be restored to people so they can travel to Vegas... and eat tacos and burgers at my place here." He smiles, we shake hands, I also invited him to come to Maui with his family, he responded by saying fat chance, it'll be a while before he can take a trip.
MAUI SURFBOARDS located minutes from Lahaina Maui and seconds from North Kaanapali for your surf lessons, surfboard rentals and snorkel gear.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


If you are a prime rib freak, Las Vegas should be on your list of cities to visit. Prime rib is sold by the tons annually in Sin City, with most hotels and casinos offering inexpensive prime rib meals from under ten dollars.

Locals from Hawaii love Vegas for the cheap prime rib dinners. The Fremont Hotel and Casion houses a Tony Roma's that has prime rib for under ten dollars, as well as the Market Street Cafe in the California Hotel and Casino, both properties are Sam Boyd owned and operated.

Binions, offers bigger slabs as well as the Redwood at the California. Get the large house cuts and it's a good bet you can't finish it, imagine close to 2 pounds of prime cut that's pretty nuts, these dinners run a little more than 10 bucks but still a lot less expensive than in other cities.

This post is brought to you from MAUI SURFBOARDS located at 10 Halawai Dr. Lahaina Maui 96761 for all of your surfing and snorkeling needs.

Monday, August 8, 2011


Cinnamon is another spice utilized in Thai cooking, in fact it is used in most Asian countries. The spice is sold primarily in a stick, or grounded into a fine powder, it gives dishes a sweet aroma and a distinct taste. The sticks come from the cinnamon tree, it takes about 2 years to grow. The inner part of the bark is used.
Wild Cinnamon Tree Leaves

Cinnamon Sticks (quills) Ob Choei a very ancient spice, there are passages in the Bible that talks about cinnamon. Is it a holy spice? Some people believe it is, it is a blessed spice, very fragrant, put into braises and stews, or the powdered form into desserts and cold drinks with a team of nutmeg and brown sugar with coconut milk over crushed ice lends a very simple drink. Thai chefs utilize cinnamon in some dishes but not all. This spice is used by many Asiain chefs, and it is a standard in the Filipino's pork and peas dish. Cinnamon can be rather costly, but watch for the bad quality cinnamon out there, always take a good sniff at the cinnamon, usually sold in glass jars, don't waste time and money on cheap cinnamon which is probably old, it is better to spend a little extra and get good stuff. Usually in fine gourmet shops you will find very good spices either in whole form or grounded, take my word for it, once you purchase good quality spices, you won't dare waste your time and money on cheap low quality spices, like the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for."

Sunday, August 7, 2011


There's always something happening on Fremont Street in Down Town Las Vegas, free rock concerts, street entertainers, and cheap food. Last night we saw Loverboy, yeah the 80s hit band from Canada, they were actually entertaining. Also we just got through watching an 80s copy band that did a lot of hits from the 80s with dancers and all that for free, it's an MTV anniversary thing. But back to food.
You can't go wrong with a $2.00 Coors Draft and a hot dog. Especially when the temperatures like 100 and plus degrees, and if you're hungry this is a not bad deal.

Or a $1.99 breakfast, with eggs, toast and meat, not too shabby, can't get this on Maui. And you can't roll dice in a legal casino as well, so that's the catch, you gotta live near a casino to get cheap food.

$4.05 for a chopped steak dinner, can't throw this deal out the window. You don't even need to gamble, just walk your ass inside and order it.

Another beer and hot dog special, but this is a 100% beef dog from Nathan's the sponsors of the world championships of hot dog eating. $4.95 gets you a domestic draft (a big boy) and some chips. Got to have them chips.

$7.95 10 oz. Prime Rib Dinner with the sides. This is insane, and you know the prime rib is really good too, nice and tender it's good stuff... is this inexpensive or what? Yeah there's no ocean view, but F it! The food is cheap that's good for me period.

$19.95 NY Steak & Shrimp, if you got the munchies this is a definitely great deal. Imagine you are losing your ass at the tables, what better way to make you feel better than to use that last 20 bucks you got to eat. Well you gotta tip the server so figure that one out on your own.

Pancakes 24/7 for you pancake monsters out there. Like pancakes? Love pancakes? Love it better than working out? Love it better than going to church? Better than sex? Okay then, head down to Fremont St. and eat all the F n pancakes you want, you can find it there 24/7.

99 cents Deep Fried Oreo's? Now here is a sick notion, what sick mother f....r will eat a deep fried mother f.....g Oreo? Not me, but if you sick nuff to eat it Fremont St. has it! Get outta heah! Fool!

Besides what you see here which is just a small sampling of the foods around town, there's other stuff too inluding sushi, pizzas, mexican. In most of the hotels especially the Sam Boyd properties you can find a pretty decent variety of foods to keep you satisfied for 2 to 3 days. After that you can get sick of it for sure. Fremont Street is high energy, it is a rock and roll kind of place, and LOUD! So if being mellow is what you want, maybe go to some lounge and find a Sammy Davis Jr. impersonator or something, or a Kenny G impersonator. Don't be surprised if you go there on a vacation you'll find a Metallica copy band that will be almost perfect. I must say, the musicianship in Vegas has to be excellent or else those musicians won't get a job. And bring grampa too he'll love those scantly clad girls walking around, what the hell, he may croak soon so let em have some fun, what the heck bring gramma too, there's a few of those pretty boy hunk dudes walking around, let the old timers have some fun too. Just remember to confess your sins before you catch your flight back home, you don't want your house burning up in flames.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

CHEF MCKIVOR The Other Half of Honokowai Okazu Ya

In a professional kitchen, it is hard to imagine having two executive chefs working side by side unless it was for a fundraiser or something. After all, Joe Montana and Steve Young couldn't be starters. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird couldn't share the same time on the same team playing together except for the 90's Dream Team. Top pros in any business usually have their own followers or students learning from them. So seldom would you have 2 expert chefs in their own rights share the same kitchen. For 9 years, the man on the left Chef John McKivor my brother in-law, an executive chef at many fine restaurants shared the kitchen with my brother Harold who also was an executive chef. The creation of the Honokowai Okazu Ya in Honokowai Maui, was one of the best local businesses. The food was talked about from all over the world. Located north of Kaanapali, surrounded by resorts and condos, the Okazu rocked big time with lines of hungry diners out the door. I always said to myself, "Shit this ain't gonna work, how in the world will two chefs of that caliber work together for a month?" They pulled it off for 9 years before selling the joint.

Harold passed away in July (2011), Chef John in the picture grills salmon for the family a day after Harold's ashes were spread over his home town of Lahaina. With talented chefs and egos, it was a miracle that those two lasted together that long. I worked in kitchens along with friends, and we all made bets, "Your brother and brother in-law ain't gonna last a month working together!" Yeah let's collect the cash, this is not going to work never ever will two execs last in a kitchen for a long time. NEVER.... Wrong, it lasted 9 years, and then it was move on to other places, try different things.

Yeah, two head strong individuals with talent can get along, seldom it does... remember Shaq and Kobe? And they lasted just a few years. Seldom, very seldom can you get two talents to last a long time. Seldom.
John works the hot grill in the back yard of my sister Joyce and her husband Greg. The char marks, it's all about the char marks when grilling.

John sautees shrimp and puts it over the grilled salmon, and then juiced it up with a Thai kind of sauce

THAI COOKING 101: Spices and Herbs

Here are some of the most common spices and herbs used in Thai cooking, the spices and herbs used creates a myriad of flavors, aromas, and colors that is making Thai cuisine a very popular one. Many go on the notion that Thai cooking is just ginger, fish sauce (Nam Pla), and crunchy peanut butter and hot peppers. This is far from the truth. A seasoned Thai chef or home cook will use just the right amounts of herbs and spices to make fish taste excellent, too much and the fish dish is ruined.

Let's take a look at some of the spices and herbs. First is Horapha, it is sweet and close  to the Euro sweet basil used in lots of tomato dishes.

The characteristics of Horapha is sweet, with a licorice scent. It grows to about a foot and a half tall. Pictured here is an early season plant, as it gets to be more matured, the stems and flowers transforms into a purple color.

How to cut basil: If you are new to basil, the right way to slice or cut the leaves are like this, you get a few, stack them together evenly as best you can, and then roll it tightly into a roll. Then using a sharp knife, begin to slice end to end into thin strips. Use this over a salad or over stir fried dishes such as chicken, fish, or beef. Basil is an herb that releases flavors as soon as it is sliced, and when it is cooked the aromas come out more intense. I like to add basil towards the end of the cooking process, by adding basil in the beginning, it can get burnt. But, with wok cooking in Asian kitchens, where all of the proteins and vegetables are sliced thin, you might be able to pull off putting in basil a little early in the wok cooking process. Minced garlic and ginger are added to hot oil in lots of wok cooking such as Chinese, and Filipino cooking to release flavors, and as soon as the flavors are released the garlic and ginger is rescued by the addition of either proteins, vegetables, and a sauce. 

Practice your cooking, and remember Horapha Thai Sweet Basil is one of the most common herbs in a Thai kitchen. Basil offsets the aroma of stronger ingredients such as garlic, ginger, and fish sauce (Nam Pla). So balancing your herbs and spices is a must in any type of cooking, and remember, by leaving out some herbs or spices will lend you a genius at times.

Our next herb/spice will be Cinnamon (ob choei)