CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Friday, May 31, 2013


I think I went over how to make garlic mayo before...well, I don't measure anything but I'll tell you how I make mine. Hey I'm getting old, and when I first worked in restaurants, most of the sauces including mayo was made in house. Not today, every place I go to I see the guys in aprons throwing away empty cans of you really say that, that voted number one chef is really...a chef? Hmmm... Oh well... I mean in this day and age, you don't need a saucier, all you need is a food purveyor and he'll send you anything ready made, and guess what? Some of that shit is really good, why pay a saucier a wage and bennies? Heck if I owned a restaurant, it's all ready made sauces for my biz too.

However, for my buddy in Washington, my pal Hannie... here's a garlic mayonnaise recipe that you can tweak. Just got to remember to use good grade large eggs that holds, if you crack an egg, and the yoke looks runny...toss it out and use better eggs. And when making an egg sauce you need to do this thing called emulsification, that's when oil is added to make it a consistency equivalent to this case mayonnaise.

Recipe and technique for Garlic Mayonnaise or Aioli, you see if you want to charge more for mayonnaise in a ramekin, call it Aioli. If you don't give a shit, call it mayo.

This makes about a cup or two.

6 whole large eggs
2 tbsp. of crushed garlic (you can buy this shit at the market) or get a bunch of cloves and stick it in a processor with some oil and pulse it into a paste.
3/4 tsp. of salt
1 1/2 tbsp. of lemon juice or vinegar
Olive oil to stream into mixing bowl or blender.

1. In a mixing bowl (glass or stainless steel) a nonreactive because of the acids from lemon juice or vinegar. Crack the eggs, add in garlic paste or crushed ones, salt, and lemon juice or vinegar.

2. Using a stiff whisk, beat the eggs and start to mix, then with the other hand stream the olive oil into the bowl slowly and whisk. Keep whisking and adding olive oil until you get a nice mayonnaise consistency which isn't too dense nor too thin. 


Adjust the seasonings after if you like such as more salt etc. or more tang.

Other variations: Before adding oil, add soy sauce or wassabi, add hot sauce for a hot sauce mayonnaise...the sky's the limit with this wonderful sauce. I mean who doesn't love mayonnaise? Mayonnaise can just add creaminess to all kinds of dishes.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


This is a Filipino style braise, very easy to make and you don't need to be freaking Bobby Flay to do this shit! Nope, not at all...

Here's what you do, go to the market and get about 2 lbs. of Chuck roast, and take it home, give it a quick rinse under cold water, and wipe it dry. 

Then cut it into 1 inch cubes, sprinkle some salt and pepper over it and massage it into the cubes. Then get some olive oil, and pour about 1/2 cup in the bowl with the meat, massage that in. Let it sit.

Other Ingredients:

2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. of vegetable oil
1 small round sweet onion chopped
8 oz mushrooms sliced thin.
1 tbsp. sugar
14 fl oz of low sodium tomato sauce
2 tbsp. vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 can 10 oz. garbanzo beans

1. Heat up large stainless steel skillet over medium heat, toss in the oil, garlic and onions, sauté for about 5 minutes, then add in the meat, and cook until meat sweats out its juices.

2. Add in the bay leaf, mushrooms, sugar, tomato sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, cover skillet and lower heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.

3. Uncover skillet, add fish sauce and garbanzo beans, cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Uncover let rest. Serve with white rice. Adjust seasonings.

You can use any brand you like. Organic tends to cost a little more than nonorganic.

This is what a Chuck Roast looks like, remember this cut is good for stewing or braising because it comes from the shoulder part of the animal with more muscle movement it is a bit chewy.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


The word that is floating around the foodie world now is "organic" and it is a powerful word, as the protesters of genetically modified foods are taking to the streets, television, radio and the internet to object the sale of foods not labeled "GMO" and it is confusing the masses. Being a personal chef and video chef, I understand that providing foods for my clients or on the air needs to be healthy with the idea that we all have some common sense and not overeat any one kind of food. However the GMO labeling idea is shaping the thoughts of food retailers, making them worry of cost and profits.

"Will labeling my menu scare customers away? I mean...if I am forced to label my foods "non organic, or GMO vegetables" will I lose money?" asked one restaurant owner. "Shit I remember when the first thing people thought about was just growing enough food, and now with companies like Monsanto providing food for the world, how bad can this be? How bad is GMO? I think I been eating some and serving it for some time, I don't really think it's caused a big health issue..."

Another food server who has a small income stated, "I understand these greenies, they want to save the world from poisons, but if some foods are less expensive because of modifications, and safe, I'll buy that even if it is labeled, I have to feed my kid, and if a pound of organic corn is going to be $10.00, and the modified one is $5.00 I'll buy the $5.00 one until the FDA says I shouldn't."

"I wouldn't say I'm a supporter full on of these GMO companies, from what I understand some of these companies did some unbelievably bad things, but as far as food is concerned, unless the government says, 'do not eat GMO' I'll still buy it because there's no way I can afford organic food, not with the reality of my income. My wife will go to Whole Foods sometimes and we'll get some free range meats, and some organic fruits...but who's to say it wasn't cross contaminated, I think this world is just messed up, but we got to eat and just pray for the best," says another local from Maui.

One woman was adamant, out with Monsanto (large GMO company), "Get them out of here! They are an evil company!" I asked her why? and she just said the same things most liberals claim, that the whole cloning thing is bad, and Round Up ready seeds are bad but with little facts to substantiate what she's saying, she sounds repetitive like others that just eat vegetables grown on an organic farm.

Most people who shop at regular grocery stores, such as Foodland, Times, and Safeway on Maui aren't too concerned about the GMO thing. Here's what some have said.

No last names to protect each person.

Justin, Kihei, Maui- "I read about Monsanto, but they're an agriculture company, that's what they do, they research, create food to feed big deal to me, if they can grow corn where the farmer doesn't need lots of water, what's the big deal? As far as patents, and all that legal stuff, doesn't concern me too much, I gotta feed my family, to me, thank God there's a Monsanto, no company is an angel man."

Sara, Kihei, Maui- "I understand the organics position, and my friend made me read about Monsanto, and it was interesting, but you know the bottom line is I can't afford organic produce period or free range poultry all of the time, unless these organics foots my grocery bills, I'll still purchase foods even if it was labeled GMO, unless the government says not to."

Ricky, Haiku, Maui- "I worked on the mainland on organic farms, no chemicals, but what I saw some of the owners do will be worth talking about, because in organic farming without chemicals used to enhance the crops, lots of times, the plants will wilt, and I've seen some farmers of organics cheat and use fertilizer, or even spray is organics truly organics? Just a thought. I will look for organic labeled foods first, but I have no problem eating non organics if that's all I can find, some of these organic people are just too much, but I do understand their reasonings."

Kaipo, Makawao, Maui- "I read about Monsanto, but I understand they are a business in providing foods for millions around the world. Would I use chemicals in my back yard? Only if I really needed to. Would I eat GM foods? I have no problem with that, really no worries until my doctor or the food experts completely ban it from markets, I'm a local man, not too much income, so the bottom line is just the numbers, and the numbers favor non organics in my home."

Reno, Maui- "I moved here about three years ago, I have health issues, and one guy told me to buy organic foods, I spent hundreds of dollars and I did not see any difference, so I started buying non organic fruits and veggies, and it tastes alright, my health issues are deeper than food I think...but I think the media is overblowing the organic and non organic thing."

Aunty Carol, Paia, Maui- "I have family that grow taro, and I would not want to see any foods patented. But as far as myself providing foods for my own family, when I cook, I buy the non organic stuff, the brands since I was a kid, the Hunts, the Best Foods, but we watch our portions when we eat, we need better understanding about foods now days, but if it is sold in the stores and will be labeled GMOs, I would still buy it. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't. A perfect life would be a clean and organic one, but it is not, reality..I have only so much money each month to buy food for my family, guess what? I'll buy what I can afford."

Food servers claims that these products are used in their restaurants, and waiters do lie to their customers about ingredients.

David, CA "We used Heinz and transfered the ketchup into other squeeze bottles with a nice 'Organic' label, customers are faked out into thinking they're eating organic ketchup, they can't taste the difference."

According to David, no one can see the back of the restaurant, so to up the sales and profits, they use non organic for less cost, and jack up the menu prices claiming organics are used. His point, "people are into fads."

Lisa, CA "At a diner I worked at, the pastas were claimed homemade sauces and all natural, well it was actually Ragu, the shit you buy in your supermarket, diners aren't that smart, that just proves the point that a lot of ads and media will make people paranoid, I have not heard of my ex-customers dying lately because of this product that's not organic at all."

Kevin, WA "I was a waiter in Seattle in a high end restaurant, because of staffing, we had to get rid of our sauce guy, the guy that made all the dressings..well the chef always used organic stuff, oils, onions, veggies. Well we had to find a way to get our sauces tweaked, and some of it was made with Best Foods and it's a non organic mayonnaise. We did not have to claim organic or not, but our return customers when finding out we used some readymade products that was non organic, it did not scare them away, though some stopped coming in, the fact is if you know how to prepare foods, you can utilize these ingredients as well."

Martin is a local guy from Oahu, he's studied nutrition and eats some organic, and some non organics, he claims that fruits and vegetables if cooked past 104 degrees F will lose their nutritional value anyhow. "If you are cooking vegetables and it's over 104 degrees, you are really wasting money buying organics, I don't see too much difference in non organic and organics. If I do eat salads, I'll possibly look for organics but it's not too much of big deal for me, I think the organic crowd just wants to be heard."  

* The biggest thing in the news these days is the ouster of Monsanto in the food production business, however for those who think they'll win will have a very difficult time, the bottom line is that the average person cannot afford organics and even if laws will make food establishment label their goods with a GMOs label, people will still buy it because reality is the bottom line.

NOTE: I do not support any one organization or business, but try to bring to light what people are thinking on both sides of the tracks, where one side is adamant about organic only, and the other side claiming, non organics is alright and affordable.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Chicken Adobo is really easy to make, I've seen recipes that are too freeking complicated for something so simple that only calls for a handful of ingredients one may have on hand in their kitchen, especially if they are Asian.

Here is what you should know.

- You do not need to use chicken parts you hate to eat, for instance I love thighs and that's what I use, the whole thigh, I'll hack the thighs in half with my cleaver to make it smaller and easier to cook.

- You control the flavors, there is no one way to make adobo, some like it really salty and less sour, and some like it really sour. Me I like to find a middle ground with this dish, slightly sour, and slightly salty.

- You do not need to marinate the chicken overnight, that's just a myth, the longer you marinate it in the vinegar which is the main ingredient, it will just taste too much vinegary, so the best way I find is to just toss the chicken into the pot and let it simmer.

- Use about 1 lb. per person, because from what I've found is adobo lovers overeat all of the time. A 5 lb. box of thighs works well for 4-5 people.

Let's say you got 4-5 people you're cooking for, buy a 5 lb. box of thighs, if it is frozen thaw it out and leave it out at room temperature for some time, never start cooking cold chicken it won't cook well.


1. Get out a large stainless steel pot, about an 8 quart pot.

2. Place all of the chicken thighs inside the pot. Now, get about 10 cloves of garlic and crush them and toss it into the pot. Now, get about 5 bay leaves and crack it in half and toss it into the pot. Now get about 1 tablespoon of pepper corns, and smash it with a pan and sprinkle it over the thighs. Now, get about 2 1/2 cups of dark soy sauce and pour it into the pot. Now, get 3 cups of apple cider vinegar and pour it into the pot. Now, get 3/4 cup of olive oil and pour it into the pot. Now, get 3 tablespoons of kosher salt and pour it into the pot.

3. Now, with clean hands, massage all of the ingredients into each piece of thigh, now let it sit for about 1 hour, don't worry it will not spoil because of the salt from the soy sauce, the kosher salt, and the acid from the vinegar.

4. After an hour, place the pot uncovered over high heat, bring to a boil, and using a ladle toss the pieces around so that the heat of the pan will start to sweat out the juices of the thighs.

5. Once you get the thighs to start to release the juices, lower the heat to low and simmering, and then cover the pot.

6. Cook this way on simmering for about 1 1/2 hours, then uncover the pot, and let the pot breath for about 15 minutes, then off the heat and let it rest.

* Adjust the seasonings, serve with rice, dress rice with gravy. Also some people like their adobo au sec meaning dry or less moist, in this case, cook uncovered over very low heat until all the liquid has evaporated. (I like mines on the moist side)

Happy Chicken Adobo making!!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Here is a simple way to make dashi for soups such as miso soup, it is very easy to do. Dashi calls for bonito flakes, or dried tuna flakes, and it can be purchased in the Asian aisles in your supermarket or purchased online like at amazon. com.

The brand here is from NISHIMOTO and comes in 1.56 oz. packages for $12.15 at Bonito flakes have a fish flavor because it is from fish, from tuna, it is the root to a lot of soups and sauces in Japanese cooking, and now it is used in a generous way by a lot of foodies trying to replicate soups such as miso soup that they get in most Japanese restaurants and sushi bars.

To make good dashi, the flavors need to be somewhat intense, I like my broths to have a very pronounced flavor not weak by any stretch of the imagination. I also add dried ebi or shrimp too if available. However to me a very very excellent dashi is made with simmering fresh fish bones from tuna or snapper, and lots of shrimp shells, but in this modern hectic world bonito flakes will do just fine.

You'll need some dried seaweed or wakame (wah- kah-may).

In the picture is wakame from Eden brand, and sells for about $12.44 on

Directions: (my style)

In a stock pot about 2 quarts

1. add about 4 cups of filtered water, and a strand of wakame, as well as about 1/2 cup of bonito flakes.

2. bring water to a boil, then simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or so. Off heat, let it sit for a few minutes so the flavors still harmonize.

3. Strain into a bowl and cool, and refrigerate.

When you are ready to make miso soup, just heat up a pot of water that you'll need for each bowl, add in a tablespoon or so of miso paste and the dashi and bring to a boil, garnish with minced green onions and you're all set.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

MAUI- Great Burgers @ Teddy's

I've blogged how good Teddy's Bigger Burgers are, it's all beef and seasoned just right on the savory side, not funky herbs or that gourmet thing you get that just gets ruined with too much stuff on it. Teddy's keeps it simple.

A few nights ago I was hungry, real hungry and I decided to stop by for a double burger with cheddar, fries and a drink which was water because of all the calories from sodas.

When I got to the counter I took a few seconds because usually the girls in there know me and I usually get the No. 4 Double 5 oz.. However on this evening I was tempted to get the double 9 oz which would be two ounces over a pound of ground beef. "Too much," I said under my breath. So I flirted with a double 7 oz. burger, that would be two ounces shy of a pound. Okay so I ordered the 14 oz Teddy's Bigger Burger with cheddar, no sauce, but I took the set up, the lettuce, tomato and onion, fresh and crisp, was it organic? I didn't care. Nope, not at all, I figured what's all the fuss about all these organics raising a big stink on non organic stuff. I even used the non organic Heinz mustard over my fries, take that organics! I used a non organic food, I did not die yet over a lifetime of eating non organics.

Is this a Monsanto thing? Hey what's wrong with Monsanto if they're trying to create crops that will feed the starving world? So I devoured my burger like tomorrow was ending, the kid next to me told his mom, "Hey that dude is eating fast, he may choke mommy." She looked at me and smiled and said to her little dude, "He's just hungry son."

So if you are in Lahaina for the first time and you are close to Barnes and Noble, stop by Teddy's say hello to my buddy Hank the owner, it's a cool dive, with surfboards hung on the walls like this one.
The artwork on these boards is fantastic, it kind of takes me back to the seventies growing up, the whole art, creative aspect of food and surfing, and of course the old school rock music that is played in the restaurant, it really is a fun place to eat a hot juicy, grilled burger. They do cook theirs medium with some red like the way I love mines done, however if you need yours well done they'll cook it for you the way you want it. Great stuff Teddy's.

If you blow up the painting on the left, you can see owner Hank with his spatula and his family shooting the tube in Lahaina, now that's one cool picture, great burgers, riding a glassy tube on a sunny day in Lahaina. What more do you want?

Click this link and watch James Kudlich maul a Teddy's Western Burger.