tim irvine's Profile

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At what point does a recipe become "yours"?

When I deviate materially from the original recipe consistently.

about 18 hours ago
tim irvine in General Topics
1

Soufflé help

Complete agreement on picking and following a recipe. The link to Alton Brown's looks like a good one. If you already have a soufflé fish you are set. If you don't or if you also have a Charlotte mold, I think soufflés climb better in them.

about 18 hours ago
tim irvine in Home Cooking
1

best value/deal on mauviel copper SS-lined?

I concur on the heavier splayed saucepan, an exceptionally useful choice. I would not say I am really into confectionary work, but the sugar pan gets a lot of use knocking out salted caramel sauce. It is so responsive that I really don't need to use a thermometer.

about 19 hours ago
tim irvine in Cookware

Help with identifying a pan, please

Also wonderful for a clafoutis or a stovetop to broiler frittata.

about 19 hours ago
tim irvine in Cookware

Is my Christmas Eve menu too orange?

I like to color coordinate foods, too. With a lot of orange I think that chromatically green beans or broccoli pop more than Brussels sprouts. I love those packs of haricot vert that you just pop the bag with a knife and nuke. I tump them in a bowl with butter, salt, and pepper and toss them like a salad. Speaking of salad, a nice mix of bitter greens with a bright white wine vinaigrette and some grey salt is always nice after a lot of sweeter things. In my kitchen I would serve beans with the main course and the salad next.

Dec 16, 2014
tim irvine in Home Cooking

Going to the Dark Side-frying pan

I have an ancient lightweight Lyonnaise style carbon steel pan dedicated to omelets. I love it. Keep it in regular use with butter, wiping after each use, and you will be gratified.

Dec 16, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Should I keep my Lodge Grill/Griddle

I agree they have issues with heat distribution, but I find them good for panini (with a bacon press) and as a low heat comal for tortillas and for English muffins. Also, while you might not be able to use the entire surface, for things like a lot of hash browns they are pretty good. Anytime you use a large surface and heat distribution is magnified as an issue because of poor conductivity, you just have to move things around more. I am still waiting for a griddle that truly covers two burners and is thick aluminum with a clad SS surface.

Dec 16, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Cleaning cast iron grates on gas stove

My KA grates have rubber feet. I think they did that just to frustrate me and keep me from those approaches. Jerks.

Dec 14, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Cleaning cast iron grates on gas stove

I clean mine about twice a year in a big galvanized tub with water and ammonia. In the interim I spritz them with a Windex clone and wipe with a rag as needed.

Dec 14, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Easy ideas for drop in guests (for a new mom!)

We often have hummus on hand. Tonight we have steamed artichokes thanks to a deal on four at TJ's. Lately I have developed a penchant for cayenne cashews (at HEB, here in Austin). All three will work with a glass if wine, a beer, or aTopo Chico.

Dec 14, 2014
tim irvine in Home Cooking

Best Salt and Pepper Grinders

I agree on Peugeot for pepper. I used to grind salt, but my son, who is autistic, would obsess on it and eat a grinderful of salt! So the Perfex set now lives at his sister's. I gave up grinding and switched to salt pigs and cellars for kosher, Maldon, and Celtic grey for most uses. I especially enjoy crumbling Maldon in my fingers over steak frites.

Dec 14, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Pay retail? Nah.

I pretty much always seek out good specials, but I do pay full price on dollar and a half French wood spatulas at SLT and three dollar tongs at Ace.

Dec 14, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Help with Drink Name! Please :)

Fall off the (watermelon) truck

Dec 14, 2014
tim irvine in Spirits

Sweet Potato fries

I'd like to LIVE in brown gravy!!! Well, maybe that is an overstatement, but it is wonderful stuff. My favorite high school memories involve "wet fries" at Hot Shoppes in Northern Virginia.

Dec 14, 2014
tim irvine in General Topics

Sweet Potato fries

I have never really enjoyed sweet potato fries that much, but I just heated some Alexia sweet potato fries for someone and snagged a few. I dunked them in Sriracha mayonnaise. I won't lie awake dreaming of them, but it was a pretty good combination.

Dec 14, 2014
tim irvine in General Topics

Pizza Dough Rising Times

I am totally with you on loving the bubbles. Years ago I started a starter of nothing but organic flour and chlorine free water. I feed it more or less weekly and over the years have polluted it with a little turbinado sugar and different types of flour, chiefly KA bread flour sometimes augmented with a smattering of wheat or rye. My favorite pizza dough is a cup of starter, two cups of bread flour, a cup of chlorine free water, a scant tsp. of salt, and a splash of olive oil. I put it all in the FP, process to make a ball, let it rest an hour, and roll it out. The natural yeast aren't as hearty as commercial yeast and don't take well to multiple rises. If you really want to develop the flavor, take the same steps and let it rest overnight in the fridge. Also omitting the oil and substituting scalded milk for water makes a really good English muffin. After the ball stage roll it out and form muffins, put them on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn starch to rise all day, and cook on an ungreased griddle at low heat.

Dec 14, 2014
tim irvine in Home Cooking

Good pocketknife for breads, cheeses, salami etc.

This is weird, maybe even sad, but I have found myself at the kitchen counter before with cheese and/or wine and pulled the SAK out of my pocket rather than getting up and walking four feet for the Laguiole corkscrew or six feet for a paring knife (no dedicated cheese knife here). I can, thankfully, reach the bread knife from my seat, but baguettes are more likely to be torn.

Dec 13, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Using up canned goods! Seeking ideas!

A can of most any vegetable can be tossed into a mixed salad with vinaigrette. They also work in minestrone and in things like shepherds pie or pot pie. And of course no Spanish rice is complete without a few pathetic canned peas.

Dec 13, 2014
tim irvine in Home Cooking

Good pocketknife for breads, cheeses, salami etc.

Oooooh...I want them in a Swiss Army knife instead of the tweezers that never work. (But I gave to keep the big blade, the corkscrew, and the toothpick.)

Dec 13, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Good pocketknife for breads, cheeses, salami etc.

Yup.

Dec 12, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Christmas Day Dinner

Planning on driving to the ninth ring of the inferno to eat scary weird stuff with too many crazy people, get sloppy drunk, and cab forty miles home.

Dec 12, 2014
tim irvine in General Topics

Good pocketknife for breads, cheeses, salami etc.

That's pretty fancy. I use my Swiss army knife for BBQ and wipe it on my jeans.

Home Pizza Geeks--Help?

Yep. I built a good wood fire at one end of the smoking chamber and put the stone adjacent. Amazing pizza. Unfortunately the old smoker had issues and was donated to the fire department. I replaced it with the WSM which may lack the charm but still turns out a great 14 hour pecan smoked brisket.

Dec 12, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Christmas Day Dinner

Order a Virginia ham (a boneless Surry ham is easiest) and make cheese grits and a salad. Serve with my favorite wine, old fashioneds.

Dec 11, 2014
tim irvine in General Topics

What colour is your toaster, kettle, blender....,

When my long lost and unknown uncle dies painlessly and leaves me a zillion dollars I shall add a copper Elektra a leva.

Dec 11, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Home Pizza Geeks--Help?

I've done it with just gas (and a few wood chips in a smoke box) on a Weber 300 and I have done it with both chunks of wood and with briquettes, started in a chimney, in a non-gas BBQ. All work well, but the best was in an old New Braunfels smoker where there was enough room to build a wood fire to the side. All these methods heat really hot pretty quickly. Now I use the gas Weber. My only non gas cooker is a Smokey Mountain for smoking briskets etc.

When I used a regular weber chimney I use one full sheet of newspaper and probably 3/4 fill the chimney. I let the stone heat about half an hour in the gas grill. I let it heat a little longer when using a fire and add wood about ten minutes before cooking. I like big chunks of pecan.

This is all approximate information as I cook in an awfully unscientific way. But it's always fun to mess around with a fire or grill if you have wine, beer, or whiskey.

Dec 11, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware

Martinis!

Three parts frozen Tia Maria to one part raspberry sangria garnished with a candied kumquat...nah...3:1 Bombay(not sapphire) and Vya with a plump, rinsed olive. Shaken 35 sec and poured into chilled glasses. "Like walking into a cloud."

Dec 11, 2014
tim irvine in Spirits

Non-Scotch drinker buying Scotch as a gift for a Scotch drinker

I kind of like Bowmore. It has a little peat and a little of the drinkability of the highlands. Yet it is its own thing, not just a compromise.

Oysters

To me they are more delicate than brine, sort of like the scent of the sea.

Dec 11, 2014
tim irvine in General Topics

What colour is your toaster, kettle, blender....,

White KA, IB, and FP. Chrome kettle, toaster (oven), and blender

Dec 11, 2014
tim irvine in Cookware