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PERSONAL CHEF

PERSONAL CHEF
FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE

Monday, November 12, 2012

ESSENTIAL COOKBOOKS

Thanks for stopping by the blog again, though I have mentioned that my purpose is to share healthy food news, tips and recipes, I also don't want to limit my message about food, I mean to say that some of you who don't have a strict diet can also benefit some from my message. so today I want to share with you some essential books on food for you who are home cooks. As a cook myself, I'm always looking for ideas to add to my arsenal because we are still students of life and continued learning is well...essential.

Being from Hawaii, my food influence continues to grow as Maui becomes home to a vast array of people from all over the world. However I grew up with a Pacific/Asian influence from Hawaiian staples like kalua pork, fried aku, raw ahi, and taro, to Japanese influences like tempuras, bentos, teriyaki, sukiyaki etc. to Chinese, Korean, and my heritage Filipino. So on this post I'll have you go to Amazon or your local Barnes & Noble and see if you can get a local Hawaiian cookbook on Yellow Fin tuna (Ahi) by Joanne Fujita, this book came out around 2004, and for around 8.00, this book has all the important dishes we love in Hawaii, and you can make these dishes anywhere in the world as long as you can purchase ahi in frozen or fresh form and Asian ingredients you'll do pretty good.

Some of the staples you should practice from this book comes from these following pages.

Page 12-13 Furikake-Crusted Sashimi, because of copyright laws, I cannot place the recipes, however I'll briefly tell you what it is, it is about 2- 1 pound ahi filets that is crusted with furikaki a dried seaweed rice condiment and seared in a hot pan, leaving the outside crusted but the inside raw. If you love sashimi this is a good staple, and when sliced nicely on a platter you can garnish it with flowers or herbs leaving you looking like a gourmet chef. Locals here love to use wasabi, mayonnaise, and soy sauce to make a condiment as a drizzle or dip.

Page 18-19 Straight Hawaiian Style Inamona Poke.
Hawaiians love poke (poh-keh); it is cubed raw ahi, and seasoned primarily with seaweed, Hawaiian red chile pepper, kukui nut (or sub with cashew). Also salt. Great if you are having a few cold ones watching the game on the weekends, or just chilling out with friends, poke can be a meal if there's a huge bowl of rice, I've seen locals myself included to just nail poke in all varieties before the main course is served!

Once you try some of these recipes, you can get creative, Joanne lays down the footings for you to grow as an Ahi connoisseur, if you are into Italian cooking there's no reason you can't add Italian herbs to this and make it unique. Again Ahi is Yellow Fin tuna, cubed and raw (poke), sliced raw (sashimi). Also slow cooked in a wok with garlic and ginger with soy sauce makes a nice cooked and tender fish dish.


The next book comes from the editors of Whole Living Magazine, POWER FOODS $24.99 US, is a nice illustrated and easy read with lots of healthy recipes. 150 recipes, I do recommend this book if you are looking for healthy foods that will jack up your energy. Forwarded by Martha Stewart, yeah I know... Martha? Well, she's a celebrity and it adds to the value, but I am impressed by this book, I haven't tried any of the recipes but the soup section looks good, and also there's a lot of information on nutrition that's essential to a book of this caliber.

Page 126, Salmon Salad & Curried Egg on Multigrain bread. A simple meal that does not take a trained chef to fabricate, a child can piece it together and it is much healthier than eating a Super Burger from Burger Dude. Page 89, Pecan Pancakes w/ Mixed Berry Compote. Breakfast that's totally healthy, from scratch pancake mix, made with all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, low fat yogurt, butter, egg, and pecans, honey, lemon zest, and mixed fruit. (If you have celiac disease, this has to be altered). Page 236, Whole Wheat Pizza w/ Artichokes and Pecorino. This is a nice recipe because it calls for pretty much ready made stuff, frozen artichoke hearts, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, frozen whole wheat pizza dough, ricotta cheese, plum tomatoes, Kalamata olives, Romano cheese, fresh basil leaves. Kids can put this together too, and it's definitely healthier than Pizza House, or Joe's Greasy Pizzas! If you are allergic to some of these ingredients you can substitute it with your favorites and safe to eat ones.

Hope this gives you some ideas, for your library or just as a possible gift, if you have any questions you can email me. ronald.sambrano1@gmail.com