Thursday, 11 April 2013

Hannibal feeds Jack


Hannibal feeds Jack
a meal of thighs for two.
Others wait in rooms beyond.
Boned. Wrapped tight. Frozen.
Meals for another day.

Reading the production draft of Amuse-Bouche, Episode 2 of Hannibal, I get drawn into the action – the fear, the shock, the sudden plot turns. I forget I’m the food stylist – I’m supposed to be looking for the food scenes. I break into a nervous sweat when I read the part where the mushroom men are discovered.

I don’t mind occasionally examining a piece of toast to see if I can see the face of Mary, but after reading this script, I am afraid to look in my fridge in case I see a nose in the box of Shemeiji mushrooms I've been harbouring.

But I must look, because I need to check out the pork loin I’m using to simulate a Roast of Girl.  I am designing the menu for Hannibal’s dinner with Jack – a roast loin of pork, he lies. I am learning that Hannibal lies about everything – except perhaps when he invites Jack to bring his wife over, saying, “ I‘d love to have you both for dinner.”



I call my nephew who is a sports medicine intern. “Hey Jay, are there any muscles on a woman that are big enough to make into a roast?” Thighs, he thinks. OK. I email my  niece who is a physiotherapist. “How big is the thigh bone?” About 1 ½  inches diameter by 18 inches long, Chantelle says. Check. Of course, I cross-reference with Dr. Google.


To simulate a woman’s thigh, my pork roast will be about 3 inches in diameter by 10 inches long. Made from 3 different thigh muscles, it will be stuffed and bound.

Jose Andres has gone over my sketches and menu and made some mouth-watering suggestions (crystallized apple garnish, Cumberland sauce) and sends me an inspiring photo of his glorious bone-in rib roast.

I decide to stuff the roast with a spinach/mushroom crumb to honor the mushroom men who are growing in the backs of fridges everywhere. Then I’ll completely wrap the roast with slices of proscuitto – to make it look like it has a thin skin.

Maybe a pear compote to dress the table, some scorched red tomatoes clinging to their burnt stems. And some frenched green beans.


A food stylist always has to include something that the actors can eat take after take after take -- usually a vegetable cut in small pieces so they won’t find themselves with a mouthful of food when it’s time to say their lines. Green beans will work here. Lawrence Fishburne, who is playing Jack Campbell, can’t eat nuts, kiwis or eggplant. Mads Mikklesen, our Hannibal, will eat anything – with great relish.



 OK, OK - I know this is from episode one but I just got the link today and it’s so pink!

Enough, watching Mads cook. Get out your knives, it’s time to cook along with your favourite cannibal.

Here’s my recipe for episode 2:


Roast Veal stuffed with Spinach and Mushrooms.

Why veal? Because, according to William Seabrook, that’s what human flesh tastes like. Back in the 30s, he was a reporter for The New York Times and, in researching cannibalism, asked a friend who was interning at the Sorbonne to procure for him a piece of healthy human flesh. He cooked it up and promptly declared it to be stringy but delicious – and tasting exactly like a good piece of veal. So instead of the pork that Hannibal claims he is serving to Jack, we are substituting veal. With zeal. To the kitchen!

serves four

3   8-oz bags of spinach, washed and trimmed
½  cup butter
1 ½ lb mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch
¾ tsp crushed garlic
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp  ground pepper
1 ¼ cups dry breadcrumbs
1 2-lb veal strip loin
2 oz thinly sliced pork fat

1. Place a half bag of spinach in a plastic zipper bag. Zip partially closed, leaving opening for steam to escape. Microwave for 1 minute. Remove to a strainer to drain. Place drained spinach in cheeesecloth and squeeze dry.  Set aside. Repeat with remaining spinach.
2. In a sauté pan over high heat, melt 2 – 3 Tbsp butter and add about 1 cup of  the mushrooms. Cook until moisture is released from mushrooms and re-absorbed. Season to taste with garlic, salt and pepper. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining mushrooms.
3. Preheat oven to 400°.
3. In a food processor, combine half of the spinach, mushrooms and breadcrumbs. Pulse until finely chopped and combined.  Remove and repeat with remaining.
4. With a sharp slicing or boning knife, slice a pocket in the veal to within ½ inch of the sides. Season inside of this pocket with salt and pepper and stuff with spinach/mushroom mixture. Transfer to a roasting pan and place slices of pork fat on top.
5. Roast for 20 minutes or until veal is medium-rare. Rest for 15 min before slicing. Serve with Cumberland Sauce.


Cumberland Sauce


1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed and pressed through a sieve to remove seeds
1 orange Juice and zest
2/3 cup port
1 Tbp red currant jelly
pinch cayenne

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Lower heat to simmer until reduced by a third.

Next week: A groaning table of Head Cheese, Liver Pate, Galantine of Girl, Carpaccio and a delightful Charcuterie Platter showcases Hannibal’s culinary talents. You'll enjoy his skill as gracious host. Unless you are a vegetarian. Or a slim young brunette with a wind-chaffed complexion….


85 comments:

  1. your posts are always so interesting fun to read! as a poor college student short on time and skill preparing your recipes is a long shot, but looking at them always makes me hungry.
    love the show, love the food. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In art college, I had a hotplate and a toaster and went to sleep reading Larousse Gastronomique. I know what you mean. Thanks for taking the time to watch and comment!

      Delete
  2. This is awesome, the recipes of course but also your research into mimicking the presentation of human flesh. Thanks for posting your research and the drawings! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your encouraging comments! Research has always been my favourite part of food styling - it's usually historical/cultural. But Hannibal is a food stylist's dream job - you can go as far as your imagination will let you but always within the confines of credibility. JP

      Delete
  3. Janice,

    This is amazing! Please keep up here with Hannibal's recipes. One quick question...what kind of knife is he using during the lung scene? It looks like a breaking knife. Are you in a position to know, or is that the Prop dept.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I select the knives and often give Mads a couple to choose from. For this scene, he picked this exceptionally thin boning knife - it looks more menacing than a regular one. A breaking knife is usually used by a butcher - Hannibal is more chef/surgeon/sculptor. The food stylist is part of the props department. Thanks for your interest!

      Delete
  4. Made this tonight using pork loin (veal was hard to find) and it was off the charts great!. Didn't Hannibal tell Jack it was pork anyway? The cumberland sauce really pulled it together...it's now part of the permanent rotation. Also went great with our dessert brownies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great! I'm so happy you tried the recipe. Glad you made it with pork - much juicier. It was pork that I used for the actual scene and Hannibal did say it was pork but of course he was lying -it's human flesh. I used veal in the recipe because I read that human flesh tastes like stringy veal -- so with veal you can have a "Hannibal Experience" without the ick factor and the despicable amoral criminal activity.

      Delete
  5. Thanks Dear Janice for lovely recipe, I am planing to make this very soon, Just a quick question, in the episode loin slices on Jack's plate have no stuffing in them (like the drawing you showed here) what happened to stuffing? or I got something wrong?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On Jack and Hannibal's plates, in the loin slices, there's a little ribbon of stuffing outlining the three muscles - sort of like a herb rub applied before rolling a roast. I didn't use a lot of stuffing for the shoot because I don't like to run the risk that the actors, who are eating throughout the scene, end up saying their lines with spinach between their teeth. For the recipe, though, I've put in tons more stuffing - it's really delicious and will work with veal, beef, lamb or pork.

      Delete
  6. Thanks a lot Janice, Now I know the reason, Hannibal won't look neither attractive nor mysterious with spinach between his teeth :). I already ordered the veal loin from my butcher, I am sure it will be great. Looking forward to your other recipes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you have any photos of the loin you made, I'd love to see it. I'm compiling a page of food shots by readers/viewers of Hannibal food they have made and will post it as soon as I get it together.

      Delete
    2. Oops forgot to tell you where to send photos: janicepoon8@gmail.com

      Delete
  7. Janice thank you so much for this recipe. I just made it(with pork) for the airing of the Season Finale, and this has got to be one of the best things I've EVER eaten. I think the most difficult part was stuffing it, I ended up with a LOT of extra stuffing, more than could fit in my roast, but I was able to eat it as a bit of a side dish :) Here's what mine looked like all ready to be eaten: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151965690209338&set=a.10150098232824338.315519.682384337&type=1&relevant_count=1&ref=nf

    I've never really plated before, so this was a fun challenge!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey Katerick- I am really bad with social media and couldn't find the photo on your facebook page. I am going to post photos of dishes that readers are making from my recipes as soon as I figure out how to. In the meantime, if you like, send your photo to me at

    janicepoon8@gmail.com

    I will post it on this blog. Somehow.

    BTW, the stuffing is great baked in tomatoes for a side dish or baked in halved squash as a vegetarian main dish. You could freeze it and use it later.

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Was this Cumberland sauce the same one used during shooting? It seems so much thicker when Hannibal pours it on, almost like ketchup, while I ended up with a much thinner liquid.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi-
      Sorry to reply so late - it took me a while to find the clip of the sauce pouring. Yes, I remember now - I was using pureed frozen raspberries mixed with sieved strawberry jam because the director wanted a thick, luxurious pour and Cumberland sauce is quite a bit thinner - but much tastier...so for eating, I recommend real Cumberland sauce.

      Delete
  11. Hi Janice,
    I just found this blog and I going kind of crazy over it.
    I'm a terrible cook, but I'll definitely try one of these recipes one of these days.
    Thank you for posting with such detail!
    -Adrian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, it's taken me a year to reply but I hope that has given you enough time to try some of the recipes! No one is a terrible cook - you just need a good teacher or a great cookbook. Good luck!

      Delete
  12. Trying this tomorrow, looks rather wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Janice, I must know what thermos brand Hannibal uses. I can't find it anywhere. Please help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi-
      We're not shooting right now so I can't look at the thermos. I know we covered the logo with a small square of black tape so I don't remember the brand. We got it from Williams-Sonoma but that was 3 years ago. Sorry I can't be more helpful.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  14. Hi Janice,

    I just read the comment I made back in January and it was a little cryptic haha. sorry. I was wondering, in episode one where Hannibal brings Will breakfast, what type of thermos is he using. My soon to be husband is obsessed (as we both are with the show and food) and I would like to try and get it for him as a gift for our wedding in August. Thank you for your help. And everything you put together on this show looks amazing and beautful and I want to eat it all! Thanks

    Gina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliments Gina - we might have to shoot a few insert shots at the studio next week - so I might have a chance to look. Might not be in stock anywhere tho - I remember there was only one (we usually get multiples when shooting).

      Delete
    2. Another reader answered your question in a later post:
      calibanblog4 January 2015 at 12:51
      It is a Brekveld design and discontinued as it seems.

      http://www.richtig-schoen-kochen.de/royalvkb/Anthrazit-Karaffe-mit-Bechern-von-RoyalVKB.html?c=100099

      So maybe you can find it on EBay. Good luck! And best wishes for your wedding!

      Delete
  15. Hi Janice!
    I love your blog, it's a very fun read and I appreciate all the hard work you put into it. Any thoughts on a wine to go with this dish? I've considered a Beaujolais or Syrah...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any light-bodied red would be good - Beaujolais is a good idea - I think the Syrah might be a touch overpowering for the veal. I always ask the wine merchant - then he/she can suggest something that also takes into consideration budget and out-of-the-ordinary wines. I'm changing the quantity of spinach in this recipe. So if you made it from the old recipe, I hope you cut spinach back by a third.

      Delete
  16. I'm having trouble reading your hand written notes and was just wondering what the apples were caramelized with. Your notes say "caramelized w ????? shards, chervil"

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just pan-fried the apple wedges in butter and brown sugar until the sugar melted and bubbled a bit. To make the shards, melt a half-cup of white sugar in a heavy bottomed frypan - a cast iron skillet works great - over medium-high heat. When it starts to melt, using a wooden spoon, slowly push the unmelted sugar into the melted til it all becomes liquid. The liquid part will start to bubble and turn brown. Lower heat to medium-low so it doesn't burn. As soon as the sugar is all melted, pour it out onto a parchment-lined or buttered cookie sheet. Pour quickly but carefully - it's super hot and will burn you if it drips on you. It will spread out into a thin sheet and harden in about 3 minutes. when it's hard, tap it with the back of a spoon to crack into shards of varying sizes. Arrange these shards around the apples on the plate. Scatter with edible flowers and chervil leaves. Hope that clears it up for you!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ok, I've just finished watching all 3 seasons of Hannibal for the 5th time now. I moved to Luxembourg 2 months ago from Brighton, U.K. and have sampled some wonderful food here in Lux. I'm a keen but not very well seasoned cook and always looking to expand my recipe repitoire. So, I started to read you're blog knowing that the cookbook is imminent this Autumn, it must have been bazaar for you to not only enter the mind of a cannibalistic, intelligent psychopath but to actually design dishes made from human flesh and organs, watching the show always makes me hungry because the dishes just look delicious and beautifully presented however grewsomely the meat was sourced. And I believe I read that even Mads himself wanted to cook more after spending time with you? So, the point I'm trying to reach in a long winded albeit flattering manner is that I am going to cook these dishes and enjoy them in homage of your wonderful talents and to be closer to my favorite TV show and my favorite fictional character, Dr Lecter, starting with Jack Crawfords first taste of madness, pork loin with a Cumberland source, il let you know how I get on

    ReplyDelete
  19. The show may be over, but I find myself coming back to this blog time and again, usually when planning some sort of special meal for a friend. You're work in the show was what inspired me to enter culinary school, and several years later, I am still happy with the decision.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you for all the recipes, the food presented in this show is beautiful.

    I was wondering for this recipe, what is the purpose of adding pork fat? What effect does it have?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I doubt you'll read this but as a teen that absolutely adores your work on Hannibal I'm so happy to come across your website. Hannibal came late into my life or rather Hannibal was too early for me. I still rewatch the show and keep wondering every little detail about what happens behind the cameras. Seeing your sketches of the food you made for the show makes me filled with joy. It's like having a sense of how much work was put into it and many people don't think about food production on tv so I consider your work such an essential "cog in the machine".

    ReplyDelete
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