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PERSONAL CHEF

PERSONAL CHEF
FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

CREATING FROM BEHIND THE STOVE YOU ARE A CULINARY ARTIST

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
            
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