CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes



Monday, December 15, 2014


What is Tocino? What is in this meat? What kind of meat is it? Where can you purchase it?

Tocino is a breakfast meat that Filipinos fry up in a pan and serve with rice and eggs, or have it for lunch or dinner. The brand here is PAMPANGA a company according to the package has been in business since 1984. A look at their website suggests that the product's ingredients are as follows: Sugar, Water, Salt, MSG, Beet Powder, Paprika, Pork. (And a slew of other sodium whatevers for preservatives, if you're a health nut, forget this product, but if you don't give a shit, then by all means.) This is actually good stuff if you like eggs in the morning.

Pampanga is a food manufacturer based out of Anaheim, California. And you can find this product in most Filipino food marts or Asian marts, I haven't seen it in the chain supermarkets yet.

The package weighs 12 oz. so you get two good portions or three.

Until next time have a good life!
Ron Sambrano
© 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014


HEY THERE FELLA, yes you boy! Just talking good ol' comfort foods and I know you know all bout them there comfort foods. Ya know, like your mama used to make, or when your pops and his friends went a hunting, and brought home a wild boar, and smoked it, and with aunt Mabel's tater salad it was all too comforting. And what I'm bout to talk about today is when I do comfort foods, it may look uneven on your plate, and that's good good good comfort foods. I say comfort foods don't need to be photograph ready for Gourmet Magazine, no sir, it just needs to taste good and who cares what it looks like on the plate.

Photos from the top is my delicious Hamburger Steaks searing (top), and it's about ready to be done (middle), and finally plated with a pan gravy made from the drippings in the pan mmmmmm good! (bottom). The secret to this hamburger mix? 70/30 all beef to fat, salt and white pepper, tad of curry powder, eggs, and Best Foods Real Mayonnaise, and some minced green onion. Yes sir, if that ain't a comfortin I don't know what is.

The next set of photos is my Korean Style Mandu, which is basically a Korean style dumpling or Wonton. I buy the Chun Wa Kam brand Mandu wrappers a company that's based in Honolulu, Hawaii and it's sold in the local supermarkets here on Maui. The filling is ground beef..and secret seasonings, topped with green onions and some soy sauce that's it baby, comfort foods!

And these next two photos are fresh Opakapaka (Pink Snapper), it's a flaky tender fish, sweet to the taste. My sister wanted me to filet the fish which was about 2 lbs or so. I got a chance to break in my brand new Wusthoff Filet Knife I got about a week ago at the local chef supplier, an 8" flexible blade made for cutting up whole fish. From what sister told me she was gonna go and panko crust these two babies for her and her husband..bless that little woman's soul. Well, that's about it gang, hope you enjoyed my little diddy on comfort foods my way. Until next time, you all take care now you hear?

Ron Sambrano
© 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014


SALADS DON'T NEED TO BE BORRRRRRRRING! It can be spiced up and livened up and it can be a ______ing meal baby!

If you are one of those home cooks that are just brain dead when it's time to make a salad, here's some tips from yours truly, and believe me working in a vegetarian deli for a few years has paid off. In this foodie blog I'll go over some things that's really simple. And you don't need a lot of gadgets, in fact I hate gadgets, just gimme a sharp knife, a whisk, a mixing bowl, and the veggies I need and we'll be having dinner real fast. The bacon wasn't inspired from the vegetarian deli by the way, it's from mom's home cooking baby!


(Serves 2-4)

1 pound of romaine lettuce, cut into bite size pieces and rinsed well 
1 large zucchini sliced thin
2 medium tomatoes sliced into thin wedges
8 oz of mushrooms sliced thin

4- 4 oz. salmon filets
8 strips of bacon

1 1/2 cups of orange juice fresh or frozen
1/4 cup vinegar
1 inch ginger minced
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. sesame oil


1. Heat oven to 350 deg F
2. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on each salmon filet, not too much.
3. Wrap 2 strips of bacon around each filet, placing a toothpick on the bacon so it stays in place.
4. Drizzle some olive oil on a nonstick baking pan, place salmon filets into pan, and bake for about 15 minutes or until the bacon is turning crisp, be careful not to burn the dish. Check at 10 minutes to see how it is coming along. Remove and let rest.
5. Place sliced vegetables in a non-reactive mixing bowl, and toss. In another non reactive mixing bowl, mix the dressing mixture, and strain over vegetables and toss again.
6. Divide vegetables onto serving plates, and top with baked salmon. Top with mayonnaise if desired.

As you can gather, salads in my world is never every boring. I'll fry up some SPAM™ if I want to, and no one can tell me "Ron what the hell take that off!" If you're in my home in my kitchen you eat what I cook junior!!

Until next time have a great life!
Ron Sambrano

© 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


YOU are a culinary artist if you understand the tastes of your ingredients, you'll deeply discern what goes well with a juicy steak, or what goes well with a coleslaw, and what method works best for whatever it is you are cooking.

Counteracting, what does that mean? If you have a sauté pan in front of you, and you put some cooking oil in the pan, and your heat is too high, smoke emulates the indoor surroundings, your smoke detector goes off, the kids panic, you need to counter with this but in what way? Most know if you throw some cold water on that hot pan, it could burst into a mess and possibly burn you. By simply removing the pan off of the heat element, and turning the power off, you just countered positively. As for flavorings, if something is salty, you can counter it by mitigating the salts' intensity by possibly adding a bland ingredient, like water, or rice or some starch. Or, balance salty with sweet, ever tried eating those candies that have some saltiness because of maybe there's nuts, but it is covered with sweet milk chocolate? Now you get the picture.

Cooking can be a creative experience, using your ingredients, your herbs your spice rack being your paints. You can start building an epic meal by just adding a little of this and a little of that as you cook. Just remember, a good piece of beef, pork, chicken, seafood, has a flavor all its own, and by adding too much stuff on there you can hide the beautiful flavor of the protein in question. I've learned some things, and that is to keep it simple all of the time.

BEEF: Ingredients that go well with beef, are as follows, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, onions, tomatoes, peppers, olive oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, cabbage, zucchini, mirin, sake, beer, whisky, wine, sherry, vinegar, just to name a few, and depending on the style you are cooking, you can make a very delicious beef dish by just using 3 to 4 ingredients.

PORK: Basically the same ingredients as beef, but pork has its own DNA, smoking pork cuts like the bellies, or shoulder, or spareribs makes great eats. Stir frying the loin section is a winner. Making pork soup with the bones and the chuck section is comfort foods of the plantation days.

CHICKEN: Chicken is a protein that makes great fried thighs, and drumsticks, roasted breast, and baked hot wings. Again, keep it simple, my mom used to make awesome roast chicken with just salt and pepper, garlic, and soy sauce.

SEAFOOD: Now most people do too much for seafood, I've tasted the chef's special at some resort restaurants in the past and just got pissed off because the so called chef decided to use every ingredient from Europe for that awesome cut of Opaka (Pink Snapper)… what did that do? It hid the flavor of one of my favorite fish. And don't get me started when some dumb and dumber chef decides to experiment with my 60.00 lobster that I picked outta the tank. The waiter is like, "Sir the chef is well traveled, he can do your lobster steamed, and cut all the meat up, with a simple garlic and wine butter, or you can sample his 'Mediterranean Beijing Manila Tokyo South America Fiji Guatemala' influenced lobster stir fried with Zimbabwe potatoes escargot, would you like that?" Okay shoot, gimme that. And when it comes to the table it smells like confusion right off the bat, don't even start on the taste!!!!

Okay I gotta roll, just keep it simple, start with herbs and spices that you like, sauces that you like, and don't be afraid to try new techniques out, but add all of your ingredients in the pan or pot slowly. Go and watch a lot of Food Network, though I am sick of some of those stars, haha, they do have good instructions, and most of those recipes are tested, believe me because I have a friend that is not a cook, but he watches so much Bobby Flay and Tyler Florence he's actually pretty damned good in the kitchen now days… so there you go, always think, YES I CAN! and then go and cook your heart out. 

Until next time have a great life!

Ron Sambrano
© 2014