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!