Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Year Dried Up

A New Year - A Year of Good Eats

It's a few days into the new year and I think I've already got my new years resolution... well, not so much a resolution. I mean, what the hell does that mean anyway? People say they made a New Years resolution but in reality they just made an idea on how they could better improve themselves. Often times it's something entirely unattainable like losing weight or stop smoking. Chances are you'll be back on the buffet line or chain smoking within the month.

No, there's really nothing of a resolution in a new years resolution. I, on the other hand don't deal with those unattainable. Last year I had the idea that I would write in this blog at least once a day. It was a throw back to what I originally went towards in College after my dreams of being an artist met reality and I actually wanted to get paid. The more attainable goal, but yet equally struck down career path of being a journalist. So my goal in writing a blog a day was for me to easily write daily. Last look I had a little more than 500 blog post for the year.

I'm going to turn 30 this year. For some reason that scares me a little. Then again, I'm a guy and much like a fine wine, my aging will be graceful. So I shouldn't really have to worry. But it does mean that I'm done with my TWENTY-SOMETHINGS, and thus I should get a bit more things done... While I already know how to cook for myself and even worked for a short time in the kitchen while I went to college, I think the goal that I'm about to set for myself in the coming year is a bit difficult.

I want to make 2010 the year of Good Eats. I'm going to pull a Julia & Julie. For those of you who don't know, Julia & Julie was a film about some blogger chick who wanted to cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of the French Cooking. She did it while blogging her way through it. Writing what she learned about cooking and herself. She later cheated on her husband. I'm not sure if Julia Child had that recipe in there. I never came across a recipe for that... I mean, I sat through the movie and I enjoyed the parts that highlighted Julia Child. But not even my crush on Amy Adams could really pull me to care about the Julie or her blog.

So in an attempt to openly mock it, while being completely serious in bettering myself, I off handed suggested that I devote a year of my cooking life discovering all that Good Eats has to offer. Yes, Good Eats as in Alton Brown's Food Network show. While Alton Brown is no Julia Child, in interviews Alton Brown has stated that the origins of Good Eats was to be one part Mr. Wizard, one part Monty Python and one part Julia Child. So in many ways this is the modern day version of that already out of date Julia & Julie project. Besides, I love all three of those sources, so this will not only be an educational project, it'll be one that I enjoy.

While I'm pretty sure I've seen 70% of the 13 seasons of episodes he has done, there's a lot of areas where I'm out of my element that I think I will learn a lot out of it. Baking, for example, is something I have never been any good with. So there will be a lot to pick up along the way and a lot to fine tune on the already established knowledge going into this. Just think of how much one can learn from 212 episodes. While I'm not going to be cooking every day, it's still enough subjects to stretch it to the 365 days in the year that I would have to both view the episode and cook up something from it. Considering today is the 4th and I already got two checked off the list, that's not bad at all.

Oh, what's that? I already have two off the list? Yes. It seems that so far I have made Steak au Poivre. Which was featured in Good Eats episode Tender is the Lion. Though, maybe I shouldn't count that one as it was a hybrid recipe that I consulted my travel guru who has no reservations and former chef of New York's Les Halles, Anthony Bourdain. I followed Good Eats for the most part but Bourdain had his recipe for it online and well, I just had to mix in a few of those. Perhaps next year I'll make it a goal to spend a year traveling around like Bourdain does.

And the second one, I actually have pictures of. Seems I was a bit too busy in making sure everything was going smoothly with the au Poivre to take any photographic proof that it existed. Though I suppose the only proof that needs be is the tastiness of it in one's stomach. Even better it was Dry aged meat. Nothing taste better than a slab of meat that has had a good 30 days to sit around and get that fat to marbleize throughout the steak. Delicious stuff.

Stock photo of what it looked like.

A little fun fact about Tuna is that you should always buy Tuna in those flavor sealed pouches. It's very simple, in the canning process tuna can often taste over cooked. There's a reason for that. You need to boil cans after the canning process... which cooks the tuna yet again. Because the pouches are flatter, it doesn't take as long to preserve the contents from bacteria and you're getting a lot less over cooked tuna.

You should also get them with the water around it. No need for the sunflower oil or anything else fancier. Just remember to get your tuna from pouches and you're good to go. So the real question is what you can make with your canned... er.. pouched meats? So the outside the box Tuna recipe I tried was to make some Tuna Croquettes. How did I do it? I'm glad you asked!



  • 1 (7-ounce) pouch albacore tuna, drained well and shredded by hand
  • 2 green onions, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs, divided
  • Olive oil, for sauteing


Place the tuna, onions, mustard, eggs, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Divide the mixture into 8 rounds and set aside on a parchment lined half sheet pan. Allow to rest for 15 minutes. It's very important to let them sit for that amount of time so that the moisture could soak up in those panko bread crumbs.

From there you put more Panko bread crumbs into a plate and you dump the tuna balls into there and pat them down so that they can get breaded.

Then heat enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the croquettes and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack set over a half sheet pan lined with paper towels. Allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Let them sit for a while on a paper towel and then serve them up with some tartar sauce or various other sauces. It really wont matter because these were god damn delicious.

So I suppose this counts as the first.. or maybe the second.. shit, in the process of writing this blog post I already made scrambled eggs.. not just any scrambled eggs, the most fluffiest scrambled eggs I have ever eaten. So there you go, this is all about learning just a little more about myself and fine tuning all those culinary raw skills that I have in me making this year all about mastering the art of Good Eats.

So if you're keeping count, I've gone through three episodes of cooking;
Tender is the loin I, The Egg-Files, Pantry Raid VII: Tuna, Surprise!

1 comment:

Requieminadream said...

I look forward to every and Good Eats post you make, ever.