Tidbits – Good Eats, The Early Years

By / Food / December 24th, 2009 / 2

Good Eats – The Early Years by Alton Brown (Stewart, Tabori & Chang)

This cookbook, based on Good Eats (Alton Brown’s Food Network show) is really fun. Colourful, lots of great photos, it’s full of interesting facts about many of the ingredients Brown uses in his recipes. It’s just like the show, actually. The difference is that he peppers the pages with so many anecdotes from the making of his show that it’s easy to forget that it’s a cookbook. Sometimes it’s a little hard to spy the recipes among all the other words and photos on the page. This book is all about Good Eats (the show), and not so much about the recipes. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll find this book very entertaining.

However, if you’re looking for a cookbook to help you plan a dinner party or even next week’s meals, you might have a bit of a tough time. The sections are organized according to episode rather than by meal or food. So, if you’re looking for an egg-based main dish, turn first to page 20, then to page 150, then to page 224, 240, 350 and so on until you’ve found something that catches your interest. Omelettes, soufflés and other egg concoctions are spread throughout the six sections in The Egg-Files I, II or III. And that’s not even taking into account other egg-based main dishes, like crêpes; you’ll have to find page 266 for that delicacy. Of course, there’s always the index for a tried and true way of finding what you’re looking for. Despite all of that, the recipes are easy to follow. The Southern Biscuits were as fluffy as Brown purported them to be, and the Home of the Braised (braised red cabbage) turned out to be a perfect way to cook that little understood vegetable.

Moo-Less Chocolate Pie

Serves 8

13 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup coffee liqueur

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 lb silken tofu, drained

1 Tbsp honey

1 9-inch chocolate wafer crust (store bought or use the recipe below)

Chocolate Wafer Crust

6-1/2 oz chocolate wafer cookies

1 Tbsp sugar

3 oz unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled


1. Place enough water in the bottom of a 4 litre pot to come 1 inch up the sides. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

2. Melt the chocolate chips with the liqueur and vanilla in a medium metal bowl set over the simmering water, stirring often with a rubber spatula.

3. Combine the tofu, honey and chocolate mixture in a blender or food processor and spin until smooth (about 1 minute).

4. Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the filling sets firm.


1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Spin cookies and sugar in a food processor until fine crumbs. Then drizzle in the butter, pulsing to combine. Press this mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom, up the sides and just over the lip of pie pan.

2. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until crust is set and appears dry.

3. Remove from the oven and cool completely, about 1 hour.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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