CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes

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PERSONAL CHEF

PERSONAL CHEF
FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE

Thursday, January 31, 2013

HOMEMADE IS THE WAY OF TRUE FOODIES

To be quite honest, I'd rather not cook anything, however I do love to eat. And I do loves me some hamburgers, big burgers, juicy burgers, burgers that make you feel full after you eat it. Ones that are so juicy you don't need any condiments, you know what I'm talking about, the juices from the burger just oozes out and makes a nice mess on your shirt despite all the napkins the girl at the counter gives you.

If you want to make your own burgers I do suggest you get your own meat grinder and purchase some well marbled chuck or sirloin with all the flavors, get the best grade you can Prime or Choice, Wagyu if you can, just get the best because if you want the best burger you got to purchase the best stuff. Grill it is always the best way, or sear it on a flat top, and finish off a thick burger inside an oven. Thick burgers have a hard time cooking on grills unless you want the insides rare, so the oven is a great way to finish off a thick juicy burger, I also call meat loaf ha ha.

I'm sure you have a favorite burger joint where you live, and what makes you go back for more? Only you know it, and probably the place you go to get your burger fix cooks up juicy fat burgers right? Right. 

And for the fries? The best is using some huge Russet potatoes, boil them for about 15 minutes and then cut them up into steak fries, and season them with some salt and pepper, and deep fry them crisp on the outside and nice and tender on the inside like a baked potato.

Yeah burgers...I loves me some fat juicy burgers!



COCONUT CURRY MEAT LOAF

This is an easy dish to make if you don't want to work too hard in the kitchen, all the ingredients can be bought at your local supermarket.

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs. of ground beef with lots of fat
1 small round onion minced
1 small can of mushrooms chopped
11/2 cups of panko flakes
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1/2 tsp. of dried thyme
1 egg beaten
3 tbsp. steak sauce
2 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. of Dijon mustard

Coconut Curry
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup coconut milk


1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, then preheat the oven to 375 deg f

2. Place mixed beef in a loaf pan and bake for 35 minutes or until cooked through.

3. Let the loaf rest for 15 minutes, then slice it and remove on to serving platter, keep warm with a foil covering.

4. Take the juices from the loaf pan and transfer to a saucepan on the stove on medium high heat. Add in the butter, melt it, add in the curry powder, chili powder, salt and coconut milk, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and reduce to about 1/2 a cup. 

5. Dress the slices of meat loaf with sauce.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

CHURROS, A SPANISH TYPE DOUGHNUT

My first experience of eating a churros was at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, a guy was selling it out of a cart. It was like 7 inches long in a piece of waxed paper, it looked fresh and delicious as kids were chomping on it. I just had to get one. I asked the guy, "Whats that twisty looking thing?" He replied, "It's a churros, like a doughnut."

So I gave him some cash that I found in the airport at LAX, it had some puke on it, but I wiped it with some Lysol wipes, it was all G. I took my churros, and ate it. But something was wrong. Shit! I need coffee with this shit! But I settled for a Coke instead since it was summertime, it was kind of hot. But churros was my new found doughnut, it was my new friend, but I could not find this stuff on Maui where I live. Even some Mexican restaurants don't have it. Hmm, churros, how is it made? How? Can any Spanish pastry chef share a recipe with me? Do I have to Google this? That's lame, I want the real stuff. ..Okay I'll have to Google it and see what the heck is in this thing.

Okay, so the ingredients is just all-purpose flour, water, vegetable oil or olive oil, and salt. Easy. And the flour and water mixture needs to be equal amounts, hmm easy enough, but knowing me I'll probably F it up somehow...okay, and to get that ridged form, it is piped using a pastry bag fitted with a star shaped nozzle, okay okay got it.

The oil needs to be at least 400 degrees F. like all deep fried foods until it is crisp. Good. And then it is doused in some sugar, okay got it. Simple enough. I'll try it.

However, I'm not a pastry kind of cook, love to eat it though. Love to eat it, with coffee of course.
COPYRIGHT 2013 ron sambrano media LLC

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

ONE POT GROUND BEEF STEW

For my friends who are single and want to learn how to cook a simple meal, maybe you're a single parent, or a student in school. This is an easy Ground Beef Stew that you can make, and this can serve up to 4 people, 4 hungry people or have left overs for later on in the week.

All you'll need is a medium size pot, large enough to fit 2 pounds of ground beef, maybe an 8 quart pot.

The tools you'll need is a small 6 inch kitchen or chef's knife, a slotted spoon, a cutting board, and a can opener.

Here's what you'll need to do, first take your pot, and put about 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil in there, and place it over your stoves burner over low heat for now, got that? 

Next, take the ground beef, and break it apart in a mixing bowl, and season it with a little salt and pepper. It's always a good idea to season your proteins before you cook them.

You'll also need 2 cans of tomato sauce low sodium kind. Open it with your can opener. Good.

Now you'll need some garlic, take about 4 cloves, remove the skin by running it under some water and peel it off, then taking your chef's knife smash it. Turn the knife sideways flat, place the flat side of blade on to a clove and using your palm, press down. Now toss that garlic into the pan, it shouldn't sizzle but get it going.

You'll need some onions about 1 large one, remove the skin, and chop it up, first slice it down the center making two halves, then using your knife just make some chops to it.

You'll need some potatoes, get about 3 large ones some russets does well, peel them and cut them into about 2 inch cubes.

Now turn up the heat of the stove to medium high, the garlic will sizzle, now toss the ground beef in there, and it will sizzle more, using your slotted spoon toss the beef around to cook the whole thing, making it brown, and the fats will melt and the beef's natural juices will flow out. Leave that in, it is flavor.

Now add in the chopped onions, and the tomato sauce, bring up the heat and let it boil for a few seconds, then turn it down to a simmer, add potatoes, and cover the pot and cook for about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread or rice.

Ground Beef raw.














Russet Potatoes















COPYRIGHT 2013 Ron Sambrano Media LLC- CHEF SAMBRANO

Sunday, January 6, 2013

ONE POT BEEF MEAL EASY TO MAKE

Here's a simple one pot beef dish that's easy to make, all you'll need is one pot, not two. Just one, a 6 qt. stainless steel pot. This will be a really rich beef dish, not for the health conscience.

INGREDIENTS

3-4 lbs. of beef brisket with fat, maybe trim some off and cubed.

3 tbsp. cooking oil

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp. of salt

1 tsp. of pepper

1 bay leaf

1 tsp. cloves

3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 large potatoes cubed

4 stalks of celery chopped

1 1/2 cups of veggie broth

1 fresh sprig of thyme

1/2 cup of sherry

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat up oil in pot, swirl in the garlic, and brown the beef.

2. Add in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer covered, low heat for about 2 hours. When it's done, everything will be melted down, all gooey and delicious, no culinary presentations, just Grine!
Photo: www.chefs-resources.com/files/Beef-Brisket-How-to-Cook-Beef-Brisket/Beef-Brisket-120-inside.jpg&imgrefurl=












Saturday, January 5, 2013

BACK TO (SOME) BEEF KNOWLEDGE

I want all of you to know how much I really love beef, I love it and won't lie. Although I do love awesome vegan meals, and I can actually go on for months without beef if I can be surrounded with great vegan chefs creating tasty healthy meals, well back to beef.

You see, I'm really not focused on just getting a recipe for anything, I like to stir up the imagination of the home cook. Okay let's stir up the imagination shall we?

First to be a creative cook at home, you must understand certain things, such as food science and I'm not suggesting in anyway shape or form that you become a food scientist, no not at all. However, you should understand what happens when in this case beef and its different cuts are cooked a certain way to come up with a particular result.

For instance, let's first get into the different grades of beef.

First the best grades are considered PRIME, and in the U.S. it is graded by the USDA, the United States Department of Agriculture. It is graded by where the cattle is raised, and what kind of quality fat content the beef product contains. Simply put, the more marbleization (fat) the meat has, the better the grade.

The next grade will be CHOICE, this grade can be found in retail markets, unlike the Prime where it is sold to fine dining establishments or expensive gourmet shops. Believe me, there's is a big difference between a retail supermarket's cut of rib eye, and a gourmet cut of rib eye, I once cooked for a client that wanted the best rib eye, so I purchased it from a local gourmet shop, and the fat that rendered in the pan was awesome, it made an epic pan sauce, deglazed with some red wine and some herbs, the flavors are unparalleled. I do suggest for finer cuts to purchase Choice grades of beef if you can't afford or find Prime cuts.

And the last is SELECT, this is the last grade sold in most supermarkets, it has less marbleization, and not a good selection for any type of pan searing or roasting, it has less fat content resulting in less flavors for pan sauces or gravies, though sometimes you can find a cut that has some fat in the cuts, I do suggest if you purchase cuts to impress go for at least the choice grade. However, select grades have certain cuts that are cheap, inexpensive and very good for slow cooking.

Good cuts of SELECT for these types of cooking.

SELECT GRADES 

Chuck Roast- The Chuck is the  shoulder part of the cattle, generally a chewy part, now if you are stewing or braising. This is a good part, and there is no need for you to purchase a Choice or Prime cut of Chuck roast for stewing or braising.

What is stewing? Well stewing is generally done when you cut up your beef into bite sized cubes, seasoned, and tossed around in some cooking fat, browning it, and then a liquid is added with vegetables and is simmered for a while to make everything tender, most stews are right in between a braise (less liquid) and a soup (lots of liquid).

What is a braise? Braising is similar to stewing in that a braise uses tougher cuts of beef, such as near the leg area where muscles are tougher, such as the shank area, or the round areas, or the brisket (chest) areas. Braises start off like a stew, where the tough cuts of meat are heated in cooking fat, and seasoned, and then a little amount of liquid is added most likely some wine and herbs or broth, or both. The liquid added is for flavor of course, but not to give the final product lots of gravy or sauce, just enough to spoon a few tablespoons over the cuts when plated. Again for this type of cooking method, you need not purchase a Prime or even a Choice grade of beef. Select will do just fine.

Both of these methods drops into the Moist Cooking Method, it consists of the Dry cooking method and then Moist. So Stewing and Braising falls into the Moist method.

Soups are another Moist method of cooking, this is where bones with marrow are used, generally to make a great beef soup broth, beef bones are roasted in a very hot oven, to loosen the fats inside, the cook takes the bones, skims off the top fat, and adds a liquid, generally a broth of veggies or just plain water in a large stock pot and boils it and then simmers it for hours developing a rich brown beef flavored broth that can be used for soups. When adding beef cuts to soup, the tougher cuts need to be boiled separately or together with the soup broth to make it tender.

Cuts good for soup are the same as for the stews and braises, flanks (cut across the grain sliced thin), chucks, shanks, round.

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Now for the awesome cuts for grilling and roasting, the Dry Heat Method.

This is where the finer grades comes into play, you will need at least the Choice grades.

Rib Roasting tips: Do not purchase a cut called "Cross Rib Roast" it is just a bad dried up cut. By-pass this cut altogether.

STANDING RIB ROAST

This cut is the Prime Rib, where fat content is supreme.
Cooking this cut is easy, season it with herbs, some salt and pepper, and roast it in an oven at anywhere from 300 to 350 deg. f, and use the 18 minutes per pound method. Or use an instant read thermometer inserting it to the thickest part of the cut if it registered around 130 deg f, it should be good to go.


This is what a nice cut of Choice grade prime rib looks like when it is cooked to medium, notice the fat in the front, always find a cut with fat content when you plan to roast or grill.

Plan to use this cut and nothing else for a fine roast, do not confuse this with a pot roast that is considered a moist cooking method.

GRILLING

Grilling is considered a dry method of cooking, such as roasting, this cut the Tri Tip choose either a Prime or Choice grade, it is a well marbled product, from the bottom of the loin section it is fairly tender, its shape is triangular, and depending of the region where you live, you may find this cut or may not, sometimes you will find Tri Tips that are cut into strips, this makes for great marinaded Korean style grilled beef, do not over season or over cook them it is great medium to medium well.

Look at this grilled Tri Tip, it was seared on a hot grill, but the inside is nice and pink, this is how it should look like when done grilling.


Another awesome cut to grill is the Top Sirloin, when purchasing this cut, look for at least a Choice grade, with good amounts of fat, see the top of the steak? That's what you want because the flavors are there. These are cut around 1 1/2 inches thick. When grilling top sirloin steaks this thick with this much fat, some chefs will hold the steaks with tongs, and sear the fat over high heat just to turn it to a char, then lay it down flat for about 4 minutes per side, again a cut like this you do not want to cook too much.

I hope this gives you the home cook some insight on what cuts to get and do it right the first time.

More suggestions:

Moist heat method, stews, braises, soups, you do not need Prime or Choice grades of beef, use Select, and purchase the tougher cuts, ask the meat guy what cuts he has for what you will be cooking, he or she will be helpful.

Dry heat method, roasting, grilling, pan searing, stir frying, use tender cuts with well marbled fat contents, such as rib sections of beef, again ask the meat guy what to get. And get at least the Choice grades of cuts.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

BISCOTTI

Sitting at my makeshift office, on my Macbook Pro, kicking back and waiting for a ride in Lahaina town, sitting at Barnes & Noble's cafe drinking a coffee and inhaling a biscotti.

Why? It is kind of on the cold side this evening, lots of clouds hiding the sun, and if you haven't been to Lahaina, Maui, it can be a hot place, but on this 2nd day of 2013, it's on the cold side. Maybe someone from Detroit is laughing at this right now, but we locals freeze in 60 degrees.


So as I wait for my ride, I'm enjoying a plastic wrapped biscotti, that bread stick that is freeking hard, and tough, so it is made for dunking in hot coffee. I love biscotti. So how did this bread get its roots in the culinary world? According to Wikipedia, it is correctly called biscotti di Prato (English: Prato biscuits), also known as cantuccini (English, coffee bread), are twice baked biscuits, made dry and crunchy through cutting the loaf of dough while still hot and fresh from baking in the oven.

"Biscotti" is the plural form of biscotto. The word originates from the medieval Latin word biscoctus, meaning "twice-cooked/baked." It defined oven baked goods that were baked twice, so they were very dry and could be stored for long periods of time. Pliny the Elder boasted that such goods would be edible for centuries. Such nonperishable food was particularly useful during journeys and wars, and twice baked breads were a staple food of the Roman Legions.

It can be made into a self defensive weapon, hide one in your pocket, if you're on a bus and someone wants to rob you, make like you're taking out your money, and PLUNK! Nail the bastard in the eye! Then take that biscotti and stick it right in his Adam's Apple, and then shove it up his... never mind.