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el bandito's Profile

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Lemon zest or juice

Some recipes call for one or the other. What's the theory behind using one over the other, or both?

I"m curious.

Thanks.

El Bandito

Mar 25, 2013
el bandito in Home Cooking

Online cooking courses?

I'm going to amend my statement from two months ago. The longer I've stayed in Top Chef University, the more I've grown to love it. It's been a fantastic course, and I completely regret my initial post when I said it was watered-down.

Mar 24, 2013
el bandito in Food Media & News

Cheeseburger question

Thanks. This was what I'd heard, but heard in an abbreviated fashion and therefore I needed clarification. Do you usually do this at the very end?

Thanks again.

Feb 13, 2013
el bandito in Home Cooking

Cheeseburger question

I've noticed that restaurants will put a metal bowl over the burger at the end of the grilling process. I'm assuming this is to add moisture to the burger and to prevent from overcooking. Am I right?

If I wanted to try this at home, what are the guidelines for doing this correctly.

Thanks in advance.

El Bandito

Feb 13, 2013
el bandito in Home Cooking

Online cooking courses?

Perhaps watered-down isn't the best phrase. Like I said, I like the Top Chef course.

With Rouxbe, they have a lecture about the technique or ingredient in addition to videos demonstrating the technique. With TC, they have no such lecture--just a demonstration of the technique. This is helpful, obviously, but some of the instructors spend most of their time saying "beautiful" and other comments that aren't very helpful. Some of the instructors teach their class like a cooking show. Occasionally, they do go into the why, but not as much as I would like. Generally, it's more of a side note. In other words, I feel like they do a good job of exposing me to all of the techniques, but they don't make it a point of emphasis to educate me about the techniques.

From what I can tell, Rouxbe seems to place more of an emphasis on educating. Plus, Rouxbe allows you to ask questions and they respond rather quickly. TC has no such mechanism in place.

Because I got TC with the Groupon, I feel like I got a really good value. I have learned some things, so I'm happy I did it.

Glad to hear you enjoyed your CI course. Let me know if you have any questions about my TC experience. Again, I liked it.

Jan 14, 2013
el bandito in Food Media & News

Online cooking courses?

Curious if you decided to join Rouxbe. I'm currently enrolled in Top Chef U. I like it.

I would've preferred Rouxbe, but my wife signed me for it with a groupon. Top Chef U seems a lot more watered down than Rouxbe. Again, I like Top Chef but it's not as educational as I would've liked.

That said, I'm very confused by the different options on Rouxbe. They seem to have three different paths you can take--the difference between these paths is confusing--at least to me.

Jan 14, 2013
el bandito in Food Media & News

Dried Fruit vs. Fresh Fruit

I just made a chutney that called for dried cherries. I was wondering what the rules are when cooking with fruit. When do we use dried vs. fresh fruit? And, you know, why?

Thanks,

Bandito

Dec 17, 2012
el bandito in Home Cooking

Top Chef Canada

Thank you so much. This is helpful.

Dec 13, 2012
el bandito in Food Media & News

Top Chef Canada

Thanks so much for your response. And you are correct: I'm getting a response that says video not available in my country.

I've never heard of VPN, so I did a quick Google search. Is it as complicated as it seems?

Dec 13, 2012
el bandito in Food Media & News

Top Chef Canada

I live in the USA and want to order Top Chef Canada. I can't find it anywhere, either as a disc or Amazon online, Vudu, etc. I suppose there are some illegal websites that offer it for free, but I don't want that. I don't mind paying for it.

Does anyone have a suggestion how might buy this?

Thanks in advance.

El Bandito

Dec 13, 2012
el bandito in Food Media & News

If You Could Only Pick 1 Top Chef Contestant (any season) to Cook You a Meal, It'd Be:

I"m a little late to the party, and while there are many good choices, put me down for Jen Carrol.

Nov 02, 2012
el bandito in Food Media & News

tortilla press question

I'm using a tortilla press for the first time. In order to avoid having the tortilla stick to the press, I'd like to spray PAM on it. Most people suggest wrapping it in plastic, and I might do that, but all things being equal (or close to it), I'd prefer to use PAM.

Anyone care to weigh in?

Also, I'm making flour tortillas, even though I understand those are traditionally rolled.

Thanks mucho!

Matt

Oct 27, 2012
el bandito in Home Cooking

Reduction Question

Thank you for the explanation. I'm very interested in the "why" of cooking. They did, by the way, turn out great. Made a bunch, so we will eat leftovers today.

Aug 02, 2012
el bandito in Home Cooking

Reduction Question

Thank you very much!

Aug 01, 2012
el bandito in Home Cooking

Reduction Question

Because I'm newish to cooking and my assumptions aren't grounded in experience. I'm guessing by your question that I'm wrong to assume this?

Aug 01, 2012
el bandito in Home Cooking

Reduction Question

This is only my second time doing a reduction. I'm making braised short ribs (http://saltandserenity.files.wordpres...).

The recipe doesn't mention reducing the coconut milk. I'm wondering if this was an oversight? And if so, should I reduce it by half?

Thank you.

El Bandito

Aug 01, 2012
el bandito in Home Cooking

Using Onions in BBQ Sauce Question

Some BBQ sauce recipes call for using onions instead of onion powder. Is there some way to avoid having these little onion chunks in your sauce? That's very unappealing.

Thank you,

El Bandito

Nov 25, 2011
el bandito in Home Cooking

Saute Pan Question

Thank you to everyone. And sorry for the typo: I am wanting to avoid non-stick saute pans.

Sep 22, 2011
el bandito in Cookware

Saute Pan Question

What do you think of this one? http://www.cookwarenmore.com/display....

It doesn't specifically say non-stick, but it appears to be. Right?

Thanks,

EB

Sep 21, 2011
el bandito in Cookware

Saute Pan Question

I'm confused.

I want to buy a saute pan that allows me to make pan sauce. My understanding is that if I buy a non-stick pan, I won't get a fond. And yet, every single saute pan that I come across is non-stick.

Am I wrong? Does anyone have a good non-stick saute pan that they can refer me to?

I need to keep my costs under 100 dollar.

Thank you in advance,

El Bandito

Sep 21, 2011
el bandito in Cookware

Mexican Cooking

Thanks for this tip. Could you please elaborate on "grind rice it until it rinses clean?" How many times, how long, what happens if you don't, that sorta thing.

Thank you.

Sep 14, 2011
el bandito in Home Cooking

Mexican Cooking

Thanks everyone for the great tips! This'll proud a nice foundation.

Sep 14, 2011
el bandito in Home Cooking

Mexican Cooking

I'm new to cooking. I started with BBQing, moved on to the wok (I'm still new to this) and want to move on to Mexican food. I have limited experience cooking on the stove.

What sort of cookware do I need to make the best Mexican food? This is my main question.

I enjoyed the process of studying which wok to buy and hearing the reasoning behind it. Any tips as to which cookware is the best for Mexican and why, would be greatly appreciated.

I'm less interested in recipes at this point, but if someone wants to throw out a simple recipe for me to start with, it would be much appreciated.

Any random tips are welcome, including books or blogs. I'm a big reader.

Sincerely,

El Bandito

Sep 12, 2011
el bandito in Home Cooking

wok aromatics

Thanks to everyone. This has certainly answered my question. That Tigers and Strawberries blog is awesome.

Sep 05, 2011
el bandito in Home Cooking

wok aromatics

I've been studying up on wokking and am getting ready to use it (waiting for it to arrive in the mails).

I know the following about aromatics: 1) It's the first thing you use (after the oil), and 2) an incomplete list of some of what qualifies as an aromatic.

Do you have any aromatics tips for me? Do some go well/or poorly with other aromatics, meats, veggies, sauces, etc?

Thanks,

El Bandito

Sep 05, 2011
el bandito in Home Cooking

Iwatani Stove For Wok Question

I'm getting ready to buy a 15,000 BTU Iwatani stove and a wok. Do I need to worry about the wooden handles (or handles in general) from the wok and the flame?

Or, are some woks incompatible with the Iwatani stove?

Thank you for your time,

El Bandito

Aug 31, 2011
el bandito in Cookware

Wok Method

I have seen one person, with quite a following, who begins with the veggies.

Thanks to everyone for their help.

Aug 31, 2011
el bandito in Home Cooking

Wok Method

Curious which works better: Putting meat first in wok, or starting with veggies? Would love to hear anyone's technique/progression of putting foods into wok.

Thank you for your time,

El Bandito

Aug 30, 2011
el bandito in Home Cooking

Wok Question About Buying/Using Indoor Butane Portable Stove

I have an electric stove and want more heat for my wok. I am not interested in buying a new gas stove or an electric wok. (I accept that others love their electric wok, but they are not for me.)

I've been doing a lot of research on using a butane portable stove for my 14' carbon steel wok. I would like any insights on the following:

1) Does it heat your food evenly?

2) Are you pleased with the results?
3) How many BTUs would you recommend?

4) Any safetry concerns?

5) Anything else?

I thank you for your time,

El Bandito

Aug 28, 2011
el bandito in Cookware

Knife Skills

Thank you to all for the responses.

Aug 24, 2011
el bandito in Cookware