CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes

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PERSONAL CHEF

PERSONAL CHEF
FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE

Sunday, July 30, 2017

WINE TALK- MALBEC WINE

In this blog post, we are going to learn about the Malbec grape, that is the source for what else? That's right junior Malbec wine. Malbec wine is considered a red wine. And though I am no expert on wine, I do know some very basics, like when I used to wait tables out of high school, the floor manager always said, "If your customers are gonna order a Steak Diane, it's a red wine. If they are gonna get the Mahi Mahi, it's a white wine, got it?" Yeah easy man! But there's more to just that. I mean, I've read up one wine experts saying, "This Chard goes well with fish, lobster, as well as a lean beef cutlet." What? Wait a second.  Is this dude on drugs? Chardonnay with beef cutlet? I swear I read that somewhere. OK, my latest studies once again produced the unusual. Malbec, which is a red, will do well with roasted chicken. Hmmm. Chicken, is good with whites right? Is this nuts? Is this confusing? It sure is confusing. I was taught, that whites goes with poultry. Unless however, the guy that wrote the blog meant, roasted dark meat of chicken. Now that makes more sense. You take the Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc, and serve it with the lean chicken breast. And you take a Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot and serve it with a chicken leg, the dark meat. 


Malbec hanging from the vines in Argentina
A bottle of Malbec

The Malbec from what I understand isn't a top red, it's like the wounded cousin of all the so-called better reds, like higher priced Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. However this information I'm getting states Malbec is a full-bodied red that grows big time in Argentina. Malbec originated from France, but it couldn't stand the weather, its resistance was weak. Now it flourishes in Argentina, where Malbec is grown exponentially. Let's just say Argentina is Malbec, or Malbec is Argentina.

Wine Characteristics

FRUIT FLAVORS: Black Cherry, Pomegranate, Plum, Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry

OTHER AROMAS: Cocoa, Milk Chocolate, Coffee, Mocha, Molasses, Leather, Black Pepper, Gren Stem, Gravel, Tobacco. (Gravel? Really?)

OAK AGING: Vanilla, Dill, Coconut

ACIDITY: Medium

TANNIN: Medium

SERVING TEMPERATURE: Slightly Cool 69 deg. F.

SIMILAR VARIETALS: Syrah, Merlot, Dolcetto, Touriga Nacional, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Lacrima, Nero d' Avola, Mourdevdre (mower, vedd drah)

BLENDING: Blended commonly in Right Bank Bordeaux with Merlot and Petit Verdot. In Argentina, Malbec is occasionally blended with Bonarda, a regional red grape originally from Italy.

Other basics: Malbec does well in higher elevations, it does not thrive in lower elevations, in lower elevations, Malbec does not produce enough acidity. Wines need acid so it can age longer. 

Why is acid important in wine? Acid is an important component in both winemaking and the finished product of wine. They are present in both the grapes and the wine, having influences on the color, as well as the balance and taste of the wine. Other factors are the growth and vitality of yeast during fermentation, and to protect the wine from bacterial growth. Now we wouldn't want that crap in a bottle do we?

About alcohol: Alcohol occurs during the wine making process, when yeast breaks down the sugars into alcohol. Some wine makers will add additional alcohol if some of the grapes haven't broken down, these wines are altered and called 'fortified' wines. These wines generally have a longer shelf life. Some examples of fortified wines are Port, Sherry, Madeira, Marsala, Vermouth.

The alcohol also affects the taste of the wine. The Malbec's ABV is about 14% (from what I've read, and spoke to other wine junkies haha!)

A long time ago, I talked to Hawaii Sommelier Chuck Furuya, and I asked him all about wines. And he basically told me, if you like the bottle, no matter the price point, just enjoy it. So that was cool. But if you're going to be a salesperson in a fine wine shop, you need more in depth knowledge, or if you're going for your sommelier medal. Hey, it's a trip. Just like all the different varieties of marijuana. Haha.



HEALTHY PORK MEAL (GOUT)

Back to blogging something healthy if you are a lover of pork. Remember, I suffer from high uric acid that causes gout, but I also love to eat delicious rich foods at times. Pork is something I loved to eat since I was a kid. But there's lean cuts of pork, and there's fatty cuts of pork. So for health's sake, let's do lean cuts of pork and try and turn it into the fatty cut pork dishes we love. OK, let's get going shall we.



Let's do a Mexican grilled pork dish, called Pork Adobada Chile. We are going to take some loin chops and marinade it for a few hours, then grill it over some hot charcoals, or use you indoor broiler, or you can bake em if you want over wire racks.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup or so of pure chile powder

1/4 cup or so of white vinegar

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of sea salt (Hawaiian Sea Salt if you can)

1/4 teaspoon of black pepper or white

1/2 teaspoon or more of dried oregano

1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

4 lean pork loin chops

DIRECTIONS

1. In a blender, add all of the ingredients from the chile powder to the ground cloves, and blend it well.

2. Take a sharp knife and make slits in the loin chops, so the marinade will penetrate into the meat and give it the flavor.

3. In a glass dish, lay the 4 chops on the bottom, pour the marinade that you mixed over the chops. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 3 hours or more. Ideally overnight.

4. When ready to cook, preheat your charcoal grill, gas grill or broiler to about 350 degrees F to 400 degrees F.

Because these are lean chops, the cooking time should be about 3-5 minutes per side, you as the cook must watch the meat as it cooks, if it starts to burn, remove it from the heat, and lower the temperature, you want even cooking no mater what apparatus you are using to cook.

5. Place each chop on to the grill, or broiler, brush some marinade over it. Cook 3-5 minutes, then flip, and brush more marinade over the chops again, continue to brush marinade until cooking is done. 

If you have an instant read thermometer stick it into the thickest part of each chop, if the register is 145 degrees F. It's good to go, if it's higher, remove immediately you don't want to ruin the chops.

6. Let the chops rest under some tin foil for about 5-10 minutes.

Before plating, add lots of green veggies on to your plate, and a small amount of starch, your favorite bread, mashed potatoes, or rice. Then place your rested chop onto the plate, and dig in. 

This serves 4 people, so invite 3 others, or freeze the other 3 chops for later dinners or lunch.

Wine paring for this dish: According to Wine Folly Dot Com-  A Sparkling Brut Rose', especially a Cremate d' Alsace for its fruity notes.




© 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH & SOME OE EGGS

Today's blog post is about something I cooked. Nothing new, someone in this great big world must have done what I did. I mean, it was like 10am and I was ready for some coffee and some eggs and toast. Well, there wasn't any pods for the Keurig so big nay on the coffee, however I did have a full cup of Starbucks coffee in the refrigerator. I had a tall cup yesterday because I was using their wifi and air conditioning, but didn't drink the coffee and took it home, yay that.

So I'm at the stove, I got two slices of white bread, two slices of American cheese, some butter and two large eggs. You know what I was up to right? Of course you know what I was up to, that's right guys, I was gonna make a grilled cheese sandwich with two over easy eggs. 

2 over easy eggs cooked in butter over a grilled cheese sandwich

So I bring the cheese to room temperature for about five minutes so it melts fast in the pan. Then I put two slices in between the two slices of bread. The pan is going on medium high heat, and in a couple of minutes the pan is hot. I put a pat of butter on to the pan, and melt it. Once melted I place the sandwich on to the pan. I let it sit for about 40 seconds, then I press down with a spatula. I hold it for about 20 seconds, lift it up to see if it is golden brown. It is, yay! Then I put another pat of butter into the pan, melt it and then flip the sandwich to cook the next side, just repeating what I did. Then I put the sandwich on to a plate, then put the pan back onto the burner with about 2 pats of butter. I crack the two eggs and cook it until the whites settle, then flip it. Then cook the flipped side for about 10 seconds then flip it again. 

Now I could have put the cooked eggs on to the side of the plate, however I put the cooked eggs on top of the grilled cheese sandwich. Eating it like this is nice, you get a fork, and break the yolk, and then it runs all over the grilled cheese sandwich. As I cut into the grilled cheese with the yolk of the eggs oozing all over, and take a bite it was cheese, butter, and eggs heaven! Yay yay! What a breakfast, and thank goodness for my quick thinking, "Shit I got coffee in the fridge!" So all was Yay Yay. Until next time.

© 2917

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ZIPPY'S MAUI MINI KATSU PLATE

Yesterday was kind of stormy outside, remnants of a broken up hurricane that was moving over the Hawaiian islands. Me and my bro Ronnie wanted something to eat, we decided to head to Zippy's located in Kahului just minutes from the airport. 

The good thing about Zippy's is the foods are totally local since its inception long time ago, simple foods, done right. They have a bakery inside most of their dives called Napoleon's. And they got all the rich sweets you could ever want with hot coffee after a meal for dessert. Or take dozens of their famous Napples home, simply that's an apple turnover.

But this is what was on my plate, the Mini Chicken Katsu, one scoop of white rice, and one scoop of delicious macaroni salad. Really the mini plates are big enough, I got to stop going for those huge regular plates, too much food. One scoop of rice can fill you up, and the mac salad is starchy for one thing, and the mayonnaise isn't too healthy. So go easy if you're on a diet. Maybe ask the girl at the counter or the waitress because they have two dining areas, a sit-down spot, and a take-out counter, just ask for veggies instead of rice, they should accommodate you.

The Mini Chicken Katus Plate

My buddy had the Portuguese Bean Soup, one scoop of rice, and one scoop of mac salad, sorry couldn't get a pic of that. But he said it was 'ono' delicious! OK, this post is very short because I gotta split and do some errands, but for those of you that may be visiting Maui for the first time and want to eat what we locals crave, one stop would be Zippy's it is a good introduction to local fare. 

Other things we love at Zippy's:

HAMBURGER STEAKS

LOCO MOCO

ZIP PACKS (various entrees)

CHILI AND RICE

SAIMIN (like ramen)

Check out their website ZIPPY'S MENU ALL ISLANDS

© 2017



Monday, July 24, 2017

PORK LOIN CHOPS IN THE PAN

Today I'll talk about eating pork and gout. Can you eat pork if you have gout? Maybe not, it is not a good idea. However if you are clear of gout, and you want to treat yourself to a pork meal, you can probably have some, considering it will be lean cuts, without heavy duty marbleization happening. And to have that meal with lots of vegetables like a green salad with oil and vinegar and some herbs, garlic, ginger, squeeze of tangerine or lemons. You want to get a pork cut that is lean like I said, also an all naturally raised one. If you knew that the foods you ate was injected with chemicals for whatever reason, would you feed that to your kids? I'm starting to realize how damaging my diet was in the past. It was not good. So the question is this, do we want to feed our bodies good food? Or bad food? Well, as much as possible nowadays I try to eat foods that are at least mostly natural and organic, and surely staying away from the evils of high fructose ingredients, and high sodium too. In fact I'm starting to cook old school. Buy chicken in bulk for instance, make stock from the carcass, cook the different sections accordingly, it makes plenty of meals with different cooking methods as well as flavors.

So back to the pork, in this blog let's do a (Loin Chop), a lean one with no bones and little fat. In fact I ate a piece of this with veggies the other day, that's about close to a week after my gout cleared, I ate lots of fruits and veggies before I ate that, and after. And I drank lots of water, and before bedtime, I drank 3 teaspoons of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water. Knock on wood, I did not swell up, and this my friends is without taking my Allopurinol tabs. I really don't want to take medication any longer, it's really damaging for our organs. So hence let's get into this pretty safe dish for you gout people.

INGREDIENTS

3- 4 oz. lean loin boneless pork chops. (you will eat only one save the rest in the freezer)
3 lean 4 oz each loin pork chops


Garlic Salt TT
Black Pepper TT

1 tbp. Vegetable Oil (for cooking)

Lots of your favorite veggies and fruits on the side & a scoop of rice (brown or white), not a huge scoop, just a tad the size of your fist, and lots of water with squeezes of lemons or lime, or any citrus fruit.

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat a large skillet with vegetable oil over high heat, once it starts to smoke, turn down heat to medium.

2. (Chops should come to room temperature about 15 minutes out of the fridge) Place each chop into skillet, using tongs, sear the edges to brown, to cook it through and also to add color or it will look pale.

Loin chops hitting the hot pan

3. After about 3-4 minutes, flip each chop, and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO OVER COOK THESE CUTS, WHEN COOKING, LOOK FOR THE JUICES TO RELEASE, THE CHOPS WILL BEGIN TO LOOK SHINY MEANING IT IS SWEATING OUT THE NATURAL JUICES, THIS MEANS THE INSIDE IS COOKING THROUGH.  USE AN INSTANT READ THERMOMETER IF IT REGISTERS 145-150 F, REMOVE IT FROM THE PAN, AND LET IT REST FOR ABOUT 5 MINUTES.

4. Plate the chops with your veggies, fruits, and rice, and drink lots of water.

Until next time healthy cooking healthy eating!

© 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

SNACKING AS A GOUT SUFFERER

On the subject of gout, that wicked joint pain, swelling of the big toe, or ankles, or anywhere the uric acid wants to make home on your skeletal frame. Eating well, to keep the weight down, sodium down, sugar down, and the uric acid levels down. The uric acid can be a nightmare because not only does it manifest into gout, it can also morph into kidney stones, I've never had that, but I've had friends who claim that is very painful. Imagine trying to pee, and that stuff is stuck inside of your thing? I'd rather have a swollen toe thank you. No, I don't want kidney stones, nor do I want any more swollen joints, that sucks big time! So let's get into snacking because we all get a little hungry during the course of the day, and eating clean and healthy will help the uric acid stay out of the hurt zone.

Want to know what I been snacking on? I'll tell you right now this is what I've been snacking on, and it's no longer Lay's chips, or Snicker bars, or M&Ms. I'm trying my best to snack on more plant based foods.

Apples: I'll buy an apple, any apple, wash it, and slice it thin into chips, sprinkle some lemon juice on there so it doesn't get all brown, and put it in a ziplock bag. (Good bye potato chips)

Oranges: I peel the orange, and break each member apart and bag it. Lots of vitamin C, good for the cells, good for building the immune system.

Pineapple: OK this one, is a chore, I can't stand slicing pineapples, just do. But I'll slice it into various shapes, slices, chunks, and bag it, chill it, and have some of it with ice cold water. Sounds good?

Bananas: I slice the bananas into mini disks, and spread organic peanut butter on them, that's better than eating candy.

Pickled cucumbers, you can buy them at your favorite market. If you can't get them, simply slice some cucumbers very thin, and place them in a jar. Add a little water, some sugar and vinegar, and let it sit in the fridge.

Organic brownies: OK it's kind of sweet too, however if you can get fresh baked ones from your local vegan deli, chances are those brownies are made with real raw sugar, and zero fructose. At least it's not filled with preservatives that's engineered. I know I've made fun of the organic crowd, but hey, tell me this, would you eat a fruit that you knew was grown all natural, or a fruit that was sprayed with poison? Only if you knew of course. So why not go for more natural foods, God made us natural, we should eat natural just the same.

Now it took me a while to get used to not eating the Lay's Sour Cream & Onion chips, or those Asian salty rice crackers, or those artificial shrimp (flavored chips). I got used to eating that junk, and it has to be that junk that is causing my health to go south! Let's all try to eat healthier.  And here's the thing guys, try eating an organic fruit. You will feel fuller, you won't be hungry, why? Because all the God's given nutrients are in there, all the stuff we need for survival. We can't get nutrition from junk. Common sense right?

Until the next blog take care!

© 2017

SOY SAUCE WATERED DOWN

Soy sauce. You've all had it by now right? Go to a ramen joint, and there it is, that clear bottle with that dark colored liquid, with that red cap. Have a bowl of good ramen, you add a little dash of it and away you go into ramen orgasmic ecstasy. Growing up soy sauce or (shoyu) was a go to condiment as well as marinade. I put soy sauce on everything. Mom made sunny side ups, it was soy sauce at the ready. Dad cooked us pork adobo, though it was salty enough, I had the soy sauce at the ready Freddy! And I mean I used to pour a quarter of that bottle on everything. Kikkoman was the brand, and ask anyone in my age group or older, that stuff came in metal rectangular containers and not plastic like today. When the thing was empty, we'd cut it out to use as dust pans, or Tahitian drummers used it to make a great sounding drum, though it would get beaten to hell. And as a mayonnaise fan, man soy sauce in mayo, that mix was the bomb on fried fish, or chicken sandwiches. It's amazing I didn't have a quad by-pass yet. 

So what is soy sauce? It is made from fermented soybean paste, and manufactured into the dark liquid we see in many an Asian food dive. Simple right? Don't get me looking into it, that's boring. We have it, we can buy it, that's all you need to know. Shit, go check out Alton Brown, he must have all the fucking answers. Anyhoooo, on with this condiment.

A lot of people with gout, or hypertension need to minimize the use of this sauce, because it is salty and sodium filled to kill. I've heard of stories where guys getting drafted would drink shit loads of it so their blood pressure was raised so much so that they couldn't pass the physical. Cowards! Nah just kidding, if I got drafted I really don't know man. Canada? Nah. I'd go. But it's freeeeeking salty man. Even the marketed Low Sodium versions are salty. I find it best to buy regular soy sauce, any brand you like, and just add water to it, and taste it. Too salty add more water, too watery add more soy sauce it's simple as that. 

So what this blog is really about is eating healthy, watering down a soy sauce can still give you joy in eating your favorite chow fun, meat jun, or ramen. Keep it healthy, don't be too salty if you get my drift. Haha. And here's the thing, let's say you invite people over to your cookout, and you're making Korean BBQ ribs, and your uncle Tom has high blood pressure, well, make him a marinade that is watered down, you can cut that sodium level by more than 50-75 % for sure, and you can still taste the soy sauce. Seriously. I should be a soy sauce sommelier. Haha.

Good luck eating healthy guys.
A table setting soy sauce from Kikkoman



Saturday, July 22, 2017

DOUBLE CHEESE BURGER AND GOUT

How's everyone doing? I'm going to blog about double cheeseburgers and gout. Now I suffer from gout, and I'm trying my best to lose a few pounds, keep my blood pressure down, and uric acid levels down as well, and also the sugar levels too. So here's the deal for all you gout sufferers. You need to know what may have triggered your gout episode. Was it fatty pork bellies? Bacon? An all you can eat crab leg buffet in Vegas? Once you know what actually triggers your gout attacks, all you need to do is don't eat those foods that keep you bed ridden. So a friend of mine asked me if eating a double cheeseburger was bad for him since he as well is a gout sufferer. 

"Ron, I'm afraid to go to Teddy's and eat a double cheeseburger brah."
Well I asked him if cheeseburgers triggered his gout, and he said not that he knew of, but he like most sufferers will read up on foods that have high purines, and in some journals, ground beef is found.

So to answer his question, (and I am not an expert in the medical field) all I can say is this-

1. If you don't eat a lot of beef, or red meat and want to treat yourself to a juicy double cheeseburger, go ahead. Maybe don't eat any fries, but ask for a salad or veggies on the side, and drink  lots of water instead of a soda.

2. Ask the cook/chef to cook it more towards the well done phase, maybe a bloody burger will give you more chances of uric acid build up.

3. Go for a walk after you eat it, or do something that will make you sweat, sweating helps get rid of waste hence your purines or uric acid will flush out easier.

4. Eat some citrus, oranges, or some melons, fruits is a good cleanser, helping rid of uric acid.

5. Again, drink lots of water, as much as you can without gagging.

One thing you have to remember is this, everybody is different, some people can drink lots of beer and never get gout. But once they have some shrimp, they are hung up for a week. Some people eat fried chicken and develop gout, I've seen people that don't eat rich foods get gout because it was stress related. The best thing to do is have your doctor check your uric acid levels by doing some blood work on you, and blood work will determine if you have other ailments as well. Don't go overboard on cheeseburgers, but if that food didn't in your life trigger gout, then you should be fine eating it. It's a tough call man!

© 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

PORK CHOPS WITH TOMATOES ONIONS WITH RAMEKIN OF PATIS

Hey friends, today's blog will be pork chops with tomatoes, onions and patis (fish sauce). Now the last few blogs was about eating to prevent gout, and of course pork chops is out of the question for my diet, however today I had a gig cooking for a few people, to make a few dollars & not a lot, but got me cooking you know?

So today was an easy one, the plate or should I say the styrofoam box with a lid on it, now illegal in some states was filled with about 10 oz. of pork chops, without the bone on it. Also white rice, and a mixture of diced tomatoes and red onions, this is usually a Filipino style mixture, the eater will simply pour some patis (fish sauce) into the tomato mixture, and some on the sliced pork chops. Easy eats, easy cookings.

And I had the chance to use my latest addition to my knife bag, a Mercer 8" Chinese Cleaver, I love it.
Here my cleaver is razor sharp as I prepare the diced tomatoes
Another angle on this sharp knife
I prepare the sliced red onions
Sorry, but you can see the diced tomatoes in the bowl.
I FORGOT TO TAKE MORE PICTURES
Here (l) Pork Rib Chop & (r) Pork Loin Filet

I forgot to take pictures of the pork chops in the pan searing, and of course the finished product. But I'll give you the lowdown right now.

1. I took 2 large tomatoes and diced them up, and sliced squares out of 1 large red onion
2. I sprinkled black pepper all over the onions and tomatoes, and squeezed the juice of half a large lemon into the mixture
3. For the chops, each plate had approximately 10 oz. of lean pork meat. It was seasoned with garlic salt, and black pepper.
4. Let the chops come to room temperature, then I seared it in a large pan with some canola oil, on medium heat as to not over cook it. The chops were about an inch thick. Each side took about 8 minutes to cook because I had to use tongs to lift up each chop and sear the edges that had fat, I had to brown it otherwise it would look livid.
5. Took the chops off the heat, and let it rest on the cutting board. 
6. Each plate had a scoop of white rice, and a scoop of the tomato and onions mixture
7. Sliced the chops and plated it. Put 2-1 oz. ramekins of patis (fish sauce) in each plate.

* I also added minced green onions to the tomatoes and onions.

There you have it, and sorry I forgot to take more pictures my mind was preoccupied with making the dish perfect and not overcook the meat.

© 2017





Thursday, July 20, 2017

READY MADE & COOKED, BUT PORTIONED

The blog post of the day is buying foods that's already cooked. It could be foods you buy from the hot grab and go displays at your local supermarket, or when you call in to your favorite local takeout and they got your favorite entree for you. To be quite honest with you, I kind of don't want to be in the kitchen. Seriously. Cooking fun? Yeah until it's clean up time, that shit sucks! So I figure if I spend $50.00 at the supermarket to cook dinner for four people, when you factor in the prep time, cook time, setup time, and clean up time. Shit that's too much time on my part for that money. For $50.00 or maybe a little more, me and the other three can go to some Asian barbecue and eat, and I meant eat as in don't cook before we eat, just pay the guy at the counter and get our eats and...eat.

However I must admit, I'm trying to stave off gout and high blood pressure without the pills. So that requires adamant healthy eating, diets that are balanced. For my gout prevention, omitting the foods with high purines that gets into the bloodstream and that turns into uric acid. Just those two medical terms sounds fucking gross doesn't it? (Purines), sounds like an adative to put in dog food. Or (Uric Acid), shit uric? Sounds fucking cancerous! "Sir, I'm sorry, we found uric in your brain we gotta operate now! Ah what? No insurance? See ya wouldn't wanna be ya!" And then acid. Shit acid is no good, I mean all the acids that I've known isn't any good. Battery acid? OK let's get serious. Uric acid under the microscope looks like microscopic needles, and this shit gets in between the joints of your toes, ankles, even other parts of the body.

So how does one eat healthy? For the high blood pressure, no fatty foods, and less sodium. That's easy, the gout part is a little more intense. Says in the medical journals to stay away from shell fish, organ meats, some veggies like asparagus? Shit I love all that. Anyhoooo, let's take a scenario like I'm buying stuff to eat. Now for me, lean chicken meat is good, a few ounces of dark meat doesn't do me in, though the breast meat is leaner, fuck that. I like the legs. And if I'm only going to eat a few ounces, some dark meat should be alright. So I'd go to the local market, and get me a half roasted chicken. Then I'll get some brown rice, one scoop. Then make my way to the ready made salads, and get me a nice green salad with a vinaigrette dressing. And go to the fruit stand and pick up an orange or two. And get a liter of water. Boom! 

So what I'd do is shred the roasted half a chicken, remove all skin and bones, and toss it to the kitty next door and hope she doesn't choke! Not my cat. Get out a scale and weigh out about 4-5 ounces of meat, ah... mix it up dark and white meat and plate it, with the scoop of brown rice. Then I'll take the green salad, and set it aside, I'll eat all of that, more veggies the better. Then I'll take an orange and half that, and slice it into some wedges. And get some ice for my water, always drink lots of water.

Now what do I have?

1. My safe to eat protein in the roasted chicken, 4-5 ounces
2. Got my brown rice for starch, which is better than white processed rice
3. The salad is healthy, no rich mayonnaise based dressing, but a nice tangy vinaigrette
4. The half an orange for a sweet chaser and a lot of water on ice

Boom! I did not need to cook, the food is already made, and all I had to do was put it together. Now the old me would head to the nearest KFC, and eat a 4 piece dinner box complete with mashed potatoes, gravy, slaw, biscuit and butter, and a large Pepsi. Not good. 

So if you want to eat ready made food, just portion it correctly and you'll do OK, for me, I'm doing good. I'm eating a lot, but healthy foods. More fruits and veggies for snacks instead of Lay's potato chips. Ah, I'm trying, I just don't want another bout of gout. Hey I'm a rhyme master.

© 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

PRE-COOKING AND VACUUMED SEALED

This is another post on healthy cooking and eating. There's no doubt that fast foods aren't the best for you. Too bad we don't have fast healthy food places where we can drive through, that would work. 

However, by taking some time each week and planning out your menu that fits your diet, you can eat healthy and quick when you want. For instance if you have your foods cooked and frozen at the ready, all you do is thaw it out on the day you want it. Going to work? Just thaw it out the night before, and stick it into your lunch cooler, and nuke it at your office.

Here's an idea for you workers that work 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week. Now eating the same thing everyday for lunch is boring. So here's what you do. Considering.

Do this on your day off, have some fun in the kitchen, invite kids and friends who want to learn something together.

- You need about 4 ounces of protein  per meal
- You need about 4 ounces of starch
- And the rest fibers from vegetables or fruits (the more the better).

Day 1- A fish dish. Take 4-5 ounces of a nice fish filet from your market, and sauté in some olive oil with fresh garlic minced, add some lemon juice, salt and pepper lightly. Let it cool, and vacuum seal it. Freeze it. Boom! You got your lunch. (Veggies and fruits don't freeze)

Day 2- A Noodle dish. Take one chicken thigh, without skin and bones, chop it up. Stir fry it with some garlic and ginger, light soy sauce and whatever veggies you want. Add a packet of frozen but thawed chow mein noodles, and heat through. Cool it off, and vacuum seal it. Freeze it. Boom! An Asian dish for you.

Day 3- A chicken dish. Day 2 had chicken, but we'll do chicken again another style. Take another chicken thigh, boneless and skinless, and simmer it in some water, a little apple cider vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and cloves, a little salt and pepper. Steam some broccoli and cauliflower. When that cools, vacuum seal it. Freeze it. Boom. Chicken on the tangy side.

Day 4- A beef dish. Take some lean ground beef, 4-5 ounces, sautéed in some canola oil with minced onions and garlic. Add some canned organic green beans, salt the pepper to taste. Easy! Cool it off, and vacuum seal it. Freeze it. Boom, just like grade school lunch.

Day 5- Pork and Rice. Take a lean cut of pork loin chop. Pan fry it with some corn oil, top it with some sautéed onions and mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste. Cool it off, vacuum seal it. Freeze it. Boom! Lean pork chops, you can't get easily.

As you can see, this alone looks daunting, "Man that's a lot of work bro!" Well, remember fast foods are fast because there's no thought into making it healthy, it's just making profits for the likes of Micky D's, Jack's Box and so on. Take some time in your kitchen, and you'll feel better for sure. And if you you buy stuff in bulk, you do one dish for a few weeks, like the day 1 dish, make it for 4 weeks, and so on with the other days, you'll have food for the office for the whole month. Moving around is good for the soul. Believe it or not, you will be exercising your mind, body and soul when in the kitchen. Keep it simple, watch cooking videos, take classes on nutrition, keep an opened mind.

© 2017

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO FOR MORE IDEAS!

Until Next Time!


EASY HEALTHY PIZZAS

The last week and a half has been a true wakeup call for me, as I near the big 53, I mean in age, I suffered a week of intense gout, and then a severe cold, sore throat, sore muscles, fever, it just felt like shit! So now as I write this blog in Starbuck's drinking hot green tea, I'm feeling a tad better. 

I wanted to go to Pizza Hut and nail a medium Meat Lover's pizza. Yeah right, the angel on my shoulder said, "You are kidding right?" While the Devil on my other shoulder was saying, "C'mon man! Go for it, I know YOU WANT IT, HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

No. Won't do that, instead I might go to the market and get some items for a healthy easy pizza, no meats, maybe some real cheese, but I can whip up a simple one. I think I'll get a loaf of whole wheat French, some canned pitted olives, fresh garlic, mozzarella slices, onions, peppers, and use a ready made spaghetti sauce as the pizza sauce. Easy.


Directions: (2 servings, 2 slices each)

1. Slice whole wheat French in a diagonal, about an inch thick
2. Spread some spaghetti sauce over each slice
3. Put a slice of mozzarella on each over the sauce
4. Spread some olives, garlic, onions, and peppers over that, then top with a slice or 2 of mozzarella.
5. Bake in a 400 degree F, oven (preheated), for about 12 minutes or until top of each slices are golden, or to your liking.

Boom! Easy dudes!

© 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

HEALTHY COOKING = ROBUST LIFE

Life is so short, we don't know when our time is going to come, meaning when we are going to be with God, if you believe in God. Or put it this way, life is too short, you never know when you'll take your last breath on this earth. Let's talk about health for a little while. Last week I took a foodie trip to Honolulu to visit a friend that knew some very important people in the food business. Well we ate. Lots of rich foods, which meant seafoods such as Dungeness crab, lobsters, prawns, mussels, crawdads, and gourmet sausage. We also ate lots of Filipino food earlier that day. For me, that's too much rich and salty foods. The Filipino foods were salty from the patis (fish sauce), also the fats from the pork. Now my blood pressure jacked up despite my Lisinopril (high blood pressure meds). And my Allopurinol (gout meds). Now I did not experience any faint spells on this one day in Honolulu. 

The next few days I was in Vegas and ate lots of beef! Prime rib, strip steaks, short ribs, briskets. My liver, kidneys, and heart was being put through the test. And my trip to The Heart Attack Grill eating a 1/2 pound burger with chili, and lots of bacon and fries didn't help out. The next week all that caught up to me. For a week my left big toe and left ankle was swollen big time. Gout! I needed crutches!

So this is what we need to do. Is be more positive. You see my stupid attitude was like, "Shit I can die tomorrow, so what the fuck, I may as well eat all the good foods I can while I'm here." Wrong attitude. Because to be honest with you, last week dealing with gout and not able to walk I really wish I was dead. Seriously. I had a difficult time going to the potty. Just getting up to get a glass of water was a chore and a half! What I am saying is, we should have this attitude like, "OK I'm going to eat well, so that I won't be in pain tomorrow, so that I can be productive, and not some lame cripple!" Being bed ridden because of gout is no fun period. And the high blood pressure that accompanies with it, not good at all.

Healthy cooking is what I and you need to focus on. OK if you're all vegan and organic forget you guys, but it's me and the rest of us that eats like beef, pork and all the rich proteins are going away for good, we just gotta have it! We need to eat more green vegetables, fruits, drink more water and less sodas, and high fructose drinks. If we want that half pound burger with bacon, maybe as a treat later down the road, but not every few days. I looked at some of my foodie posts, and OMG! My neck doubled in size! Shit! Fat Neck! Nope don't wanna be called Fat Neck!

So I been heading to the local market, got more celery sticks to snack on instead of pork rinds. Feeling better and lost about five pounds already. Got some cucumbers and some Annie's Organic Salad Dressings. Got more bananas and organic peanut butter. For a good dinner I been eating grilled chicken breast sandwiches, less the sauces. Dried out. That's the ticket, and me being a mayonnaise lover, I gotta cut that crap out big time. I got some Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar to add to some water before bed time. It helps lower the uric acid in my blood. Uric acid is the culprit that eats away at the joints, yes that's the gout causer. The devil of arthritis. Bought some black cherry juice too, that's been proven to help gout sufferers. My goal is to keep my uric acid level down by going natural. I don't want to be on those pills, both the Allopurinol and Lisinopril. God didn't make our bodies to be an amusement park. I plan to do more walking too, no mater how humid it is outside. I gotta get healthy again. The last few years I been getting sloppy and out of shape, even my thinking became negative. Not good.

So my goal now is to post more healthy recipes. So look for the next post for some healthy food ideas if you have a weight problem, hypertension or gout problem too. Let's live for tomorrow, and be healthy tomorrow. Like I said, I'd rather be dead than to suffer from bed ridden gout!

© 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

ARCTIC ZERO Pint Size

A few days ago I decided to stop by Down To Earth Natural Foods on Dairy Road, in Kahului, Maui. Just minutes from the airport. In fact I had just dropped off some family and was on my way back to Lahaina. It was pretty warm, even as the sun was setting, I was kind of hungry but did not want to eat anything big, or too filling. In my mind Down To Earth was the right stop at that particular time, I was eating too much rich foods over the last week and a half, lots of red meat and crustaceans that brought up my uric acid levels, gout was a coming, even with my gout prevention pills.

So I walk in the store, and it's totally clean, fresh fruits and veggies in abundance. The grocery aisles are filled with good products for you. I used to work for this company, and loved the people I worked with as well as the clientele that shopped there, it was a totally different vibe. 

I headed to the frozen foods section, and right in front of me I saw the discount signs, those red tabs that are hung on the front of each shelf. What got me was the packaging of this one brand called Arctic Zero Fit Frozen Desserts.  I took a look at the packaging, it was white with the right colors and fonts to stand out and grab my attention. GMO Free. Lactose Free. Protein and Fiber. OK that's really good. But the flavor of this frozen dessert got me drooling, it was Cookie Dough Chip. Who doesn't want cookie dough? Now I knew that this was not real ice cream, there had to be some kind of formula for the (Fit Frozen Desserts) which is trade marked.

ARCTIC ZERO FIT FROZEN DESSERTS is creatively made to cater to diabetics, celiacs, and anyone that doesn't want unhealthy supermarket bought ice creams. The founder Greg Holtman took care of his mother who was a type-1- diabetic. Which meant he couldn't feed her anything that was really high on the glycemic index. He spent time perfecting his formula and what you get is a really healthy frozen treat, almost like real ice cream.

Just click www.arcticzero.com to read the story of this company. But let me say this, it is all natural, no GMO, and low in calories, really a great treat on a warm summer evening. The flavors were good, my Cookie Dough Chip dessert was in a pint size ice cream container, just like those premium ice creams. However there's a label once you open the top cover stating that you should wait about 10 minutes before spooning your first bite, to soften it up some because it is pretty solid upon opening, and the plastic spoon that was supplied me was rather flimsy on first attempt, you really need to wait at least 5 minutes and the product does soften, or as it says, you can stick it in a microwave oven for a few.

What I liked about it was it was not filling, it wasn't too sweet, and the cookie dough was epic, it tasted like it was supposed to. I ate the whole pint in a few minutes, I enjoyed every bite of it. You should try this out if you can find it locally where you live.


After the main cover comes off this is what you see
The unpacking of an epic product
Even the back of the pint looks informative
My serious look as I wait to devour this dessert!

Time for the Yay :) or Nay :( scale 

Quality of Product: Yay :)
Flavor: Yay :)
Website: Yay :)
Price: Yay :)

This is a Happy Face Emoji for sure! This is a Yay Yay :)!

© 2017




Saturday, July 1, 2017

HAMBURGER STEAKS CUT IT WITH A FORK

Today's blog post will be the ever so popular Hawaiian style plate lunch entree called "Hamburger Steak", so what is a hamburger steak?



Some will call hamburger steaks, Salisbury steaks, a few patties weighing a few ounces each, or one big patty weighting in at 9-12 oz. Or more for that matter. Now a good hamburger steak is very tasty. That's number one. It has to be made with very good at the least ground chuck meat, with a mixture of at least 80/20 lean to fat mixture. Or 70/30, take your pick. The mixture no mater the ratio, must be seasoned with tasty flavorings. Now here's the trick. My take on a great hamburger steak, is really a meat loaf made into a patty. That's right YOU HEARD ME! You be saying, "What the ______?!" Hey junior watch your mouth boy, don't you say that cussin word round heah!

OK, not a total meat loaf mixture, just have some imagination on making that patty nice and juicy. You see, I got friends that make hamburger steaks and don't put in any flavoring, no imagination what so evahz. I got a friend who makes his with just the ground beef, he seasons it with salt and pepper, and steak sauce. But when he sears it, it is dense. Don't get me wrong, he's a great cook, and I'll eat the whole dang thing, but you see, eating his creation I need a fork and knife. Big NAY! You wanna cut the hamburger steak with a fork only, you heard me. Cut it with a fork only.

So how do you make a patty fork cut ready? You season it, and make a mixture as you are making a meatloaf, that's the trick, while still retaining the beef texture you know? Now I'm not giving you any recipe, that's your job to find one. Below are some hints for ya.


Considering 1 lb. of ground chuck beef. Making 4 1/4 oz. burger steaks.

Mixture ingredients.

A. 1 cup of mayonnaise + 1 egg + 1/2 cup of sour cream+ steak sauce + mustard + 1 cup pako flakes, salt and pepper TT.

B. 2 pieces of white bread soaked in buttermilk + 1 egg + 1 tbp. garlic powder + 1/4 minced onions + 2 eggs + 3 tbp. mustard + salt and pepper TT

C. 1 cup mayonnaise + 1 egg + 1/4 oyster sauce + 2 tbp. Sriracha + 1/4 minced green onions + 2 tbp. soy sauce + salt and pepper to TT.

 There you have 3 ideas on how to make it. Look all you got to do is get really creative, you will need some added fats like mayo, or sour cream, some ingredient like that.  Curry powder, chili powder, celery salt, just get nuts, and mental with it. There are no rules to making a great fork tender hamburger steak.

The picture below is from Google Search and is not mine. Just to give you an idea on what a fork tender hamburger steak looks like. Making a pan gravy with the drippings his a winner too.

Just looking at this, I know it's fork tender

If you look closely, you can tell there is a mixture in there. Oh look, minced onion coming off the patties, that is good. Now when the cook wants a pan gravy, all them drippings will make a fine delicious topping.

© 2017


PRIME RIB at THE MARKET ST. CAFE

I've blogged this dish many times before, the Prime Rib dinner at the Market Street Cafe at the CALIFORNIA HOTEL & CASINO , and it was very good, and what made this even better was the fact that the coupon from the meal coupon book from Boyd Gaming took care of this delicious meal, I had fries with this, it came with green beans and the au jus. After the dinner the Cherry Jubilee was a treat. Sorry that picture isn't here but I blogged it on another blog. Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, with cherry compote underneath.


The total meal with fries

What did I like about this particular cut? Well-notice the piece of marbleization in the center, do you see it? Yes sir, that there piece of tasty, mouth watering, tender fat! I sliced around the fat, and saved it for last. The guy sitting next to me at the counter got a lesson on savoring the meat. I took my time, like a surgeon performing a quadruple by-pass. Call me Dr. Ronaldo. I took the horse radish and set it aside, I'm sorry all you PR purists, just not a fan of that condiment on a good piece of bloody meat. I just sprinkled salt over it, perfect.

Hold on, I got to find that Cherry Jubilee it's in a folder, hold on....oh yeah here we go, I found it, look at this what a dessert after a Prime Rib meal!
Cherry Jubiliee

Now it's time for the foodie Yay :) or Nay :( scale.

Cleanliness at counter: Yay :)
Service: Yay :)
Quality of food: Yay :)

The result is all Yay Yay :)!!!!!

But the evening wasn't done just yet, I headed over across the street to the Fremont Street Experience, and stopped by the First Street Stage to watch this 80's cover band called 80s Station. They played everything from Wham, Blondie, Rick James, UB40, Van Halen, Rick Springfield, and I forget who else, they were very good for a cover band. Since Tuesday, I've seen a few cover bands here in Down Town Las Vegas, and all of them were kick ass. OK, they covered other bands, but that's entertainment. Good bands play good covers, and all the bands that I've seen play party rock music, shit that makes you jump up and down and boogie, non of that progressive stiff shitty rock. Well I like that prog stuff too, but not on Fremont Street, on Fremont Street you want people to boogie!
80s Station a 5 piece band the chick can sing!
The guy with the guitar is a good player too
So is the drummer in back, and the other guy that 
sings, and the bassist, all good!
The guy with the mic and Devo hat does a good job
entertaining, the bassist far right is a good Rick
James copy

© 2017