What’s your New Years Food Resolution?

C’mon, you didn’t really think you’d get through the first week of 2011 without us asking what your New Year’s Resolutions are, especially when it comes to the food end of the spectrum? Ok, so I guess it’s a given for most people -the proverbial “eat healthier” or  “lose weight” – but there’s gotta be other ones out there. For me, it all starts in the kitchen; particularly with cooking ingredients I’m unfamiliar with, and experimenting with flavor profiles that I haven’t tested. 2010 was the year of adventure in eating out for me, and I want 2011 to be the year in which I take my sense of culinary adventure into the kitchen. And what better way to start that than the first day of 2011, when a beautiful Christmas gift of a eye of round venison steak presented the perfect opportunity for just that?

I had never cooked venison before, and it being a rainy, cold day in the Virginia mountains, my usual comfort zone of grilling was out of the question. Likewise, I didn’t really have the equipment or time to build a pan sauce and do something all frenchy with the meat. Not only that, but I was working with a near empty pantry that included only a few staples like onions and garlic, as well as some dried figs and vinegars. So, looking to the Internet in search of inspiration, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this recipe for a Balsamic Fig compote.

I adjusted it slightly (adding some red wine and rosemary) and then reduced my mixture, while at the same time throwing in the steak underneath the broiler on high. After a quick sear I finished it in the broiler on a low setting, topping it with the compote. What emerged was an amazing piece of meat cooked to a perfect medium, and topped with a tangy-sweet yet earthy compote that paired perfectly with the grassy nature of the freshly killed venison.

Of course, cooking new and sometimes ‘exotic’ ingredients isn’t my only New Year’s food resolution. I also am making a solid attempt to eat some of the most bad for me fast food I can in 2011, if only for the sake of saying I can. But enough about me, I want to hear from you. What are you looking forward to this year? Trying new food? Getting into the kitchen more? Heck, anyone out there going vegetarian? Let us know!

7 comments on “What’s your New Years Food Resolution?

  1. skippymom says:

    I like venison as a rule but have to marinate it to make it
    more tender. Squirrel, on the other hand, doesn’t need much but a
    good fry.Yum. Wait…I can digress on game meat all day long. And
    you thought I was just a Roy Roger’s kind of gal. hee I grew up
    around it, but do prefer a marinade. I might try this but I am not
    a fig fan. Looks lovely. Happy New Year gang.

  2. sophia says:

    You are such a meat and potato All-American male. With a
    touch of creativity, of course. 😉 I shall NEVER go vegetarian,
    though I mostly eat vegetarian in an effort to buy cheap things. I
    load up on meat when they are 50% off, though. I want to save money
    on useless grocery shopping, and get the chance to eat out more.
    🙂 You still have not told me what you got with the CSN gift
    certificate! 😀

  3. Shannon says:

    Finally baking a red velvet cake, trying out new and
    different foods and recipes

  4. rob says:

    Basically mine is “learn to cook.” Like a typical guy my
    cooking skills are pretty limited but I’m branching out, I can make
    a nice roast beef now (made one yesterday), going to buy a dutch
    oven and maybe a slow cooker. Also I want to learn how to make

    • Rachel says:

      Thumbs up on the slow cooker idea, Rob. You can make some amazing meals with those things. I made a standing rib roast for Christmas Eve and it was sooo good (and so easy).

  5. Rachel says:

    I want to eat “fresher,” as in less processed stuff. More raw fruits and veggies and less things that come in a wrapper/can. The challenge will be more frequent trips to the produce dept.

  6. jesika says:

    i grew up on venison, its delicious. nothing tastes as good marinated in teriyaki sauce and ginger. it makes the best teriyaki kebobs and stroganoff.
    i do want to eat better in this coming year, and since i love going out that means getting more sushi/grilled things takeout as oppposed to burgers. and getting my stove fixed & cleaning my kitchen so i can actually cook at home… i havent cooked at all this year and i actually love cooking, just hate cleaning!

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