Sunday, 19 July 2015

Episode 7: Digestivo

I don’t find you that interesting...


 A bullet inscribed


I won’t miss you


Hits its mark.


The pain, a chill.


 You will.


Poor Will. Death by a thousand cuts – it’s six hundred sixty-six and counting. He’s been beaten, shot and thrown from a train, sawed in the brain* and operated on without anesthetic.  Reading the latest script is draining to say the least. As the bodies hang upside down...I can barely read on.

The last page of the script breaks the bad news 


This is where Hannibal goes to jail.

We all knew Hannibal would end up in the Big House. It’s right there in Thomas Harris’ books and the Hannibal movies. It has been the only thing I have feared more that a brain-eating scene because, as every food stylist knows, there are no smart dinner parties in jail. Unless you’re like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas...faint hope for that.
Mafia meals in jail with Ray Liotta (Goodfellas)

More oysters; more flavour

So I make the most of my one food scene: Verge feeding oysters to Hannibal – in the same way that Hannibal fed Bedelia with his own tastes in mind, not hers. Verger is fattening Hannibal up so he can eat him.

Getting Oysters and Salsa ready for Mads
I decide upon Oysters Rockefeller for this scene because Cordell would think that dish to be quite posh when really, it’s a bit over-produced to bake oysters (which are best eaten raw) in that rich Pernod-scented sauce – and pretentious because Rockefeller was nowhere near the chef or his New Orleans restaurant in 1899 when the dish was invented as a substitute for hard-to-get escargots. (Maybe they all went to Hollywood to get jobs as background snails in Episode 1 to 4.)

If not Now, then When?

Odd to find this in the kitchen sink? Not really. It's Hannibal.

Head Table

What would be perfect for a Hog Magnate’s table? A showy roasted pig head centrepiece. I don’t want to make it too lovely – in spite of his confidence and workmanship, Cordell’s cooking is not and never could be as exquisite as Hannibal’s.  I garland the glazed pig head simply with cauliflower and sausages (or overcooked penises – however you prefer to perceive them) to make the point. But I can’t resist wreathing Ms Piggy’s forehead with a pepper and radish flower crown as a wink to Fannibals.

Speaking of Miss Piggy, Hannibal writer Angelina Burnett tweeted this gem: BBHMM. Who would have thought Kermit could take on Mads' role with such aplomb.
A flower crown for Verger's Roast Pig's head

Yes, that fat-testing knife thing that Verger did to Hannibal is a real thing.


Pig farmers used to stab a very sharp knife into the back of the live pigs to measure the thickness of their backfat. The fat is much softer than the muscle so the farmer could tell by the resistance to the knife where the fatty layer ended and the muscle tissue began.

Although Google will tell you that modern pig farmers now use MRIs to measure fat, I suspect there might be a bit of this knife-in-the-back thing still going on as I can’t imagine most profit-minded factory farms and feed lots are willing to pay the high cost of fat analysis by MRI. Why are we so cruel to the animals we raise as food? Is it because we fear if we cared for them we wouldn’t want to eat them? Especially pigs which are very smart animals – much smarter than the dogs we so cherish.

I swear, this show is turning me into a vegetarian.

And reading this book hasn’t helped.
Great new book by Mark Essig on the history of pigs and pork

Everyone should have an insane Fairy Godmother with a rifle-wand.


Chiyoh is making pheasant pie out of everyone this episode. The girl is everywhere with that shotgun. She’s like Inspector Clouseau’s Cato, jumping out to assassinate people when least expected. Or an omnipresent one-woman cavalry. There was a crazy fight scene in Sogliari’s  elevator between Chiyoh and Jack that was scripted but unfortunately, wasn’t shot due to time issues. It would have been so much fun to see. I just love Jack when he gets mad. (USE THE LADIES ROOM!!!) Another reason we need Season 4 - to see Jack go mano a mano with everybody in the cast.

One of my early layouts for Hannibal cookbook proposal with Hokusai woodcut "Pearl diver"
  
Earlier in the cookbook planning, I wanted to make an octopus recipe for Murasaki because I would use any excuse to show my favorite Ukiyo-e by Hokusai that illustrates an ancient poem about a pearl diver's encounter with an octopus father and son. But then Murasaki became Chiyoh and now she's indelible as our very own crack-shot pheasant hunter. So now, a  recipe for Chiyoh Pheasant Pie is in the works. Which reminds me – I must end here and get back to work on that cookbook as I’m reporting in to Titan Publishing next week.

Next week:  Meeting the Red Dragon will shock, astonish and exhaust you so you’ll need something sweet…even if it’s made from blood.


Hannidinners are all Australian this week

It's all part of last month's contest from The Carousel.com which I am judging this week and will post results after Episode 8 for all of you to enjoy.


 *thank you Stevi Deter for that "train-brain" couplet you live-tweeted yesterday


All content copyright of Janice Poon and Feeding Hannibal. Photos by Victoria Walsh/Feeding Hannibal




31 comments:

  1. It would be quite a feat if you could manage to convince your publishers to also produce a special, leather-bound edition of the cookbook; anything Hannibal, after all, would never be quite normal.

    And, as always, fantastic work on the show! You were one of the reasons I began to cook over the past few years, so thank you so much.

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    1. It's music to my ears to hear you are motivated to cook! It's such a fun thing to do and you get to eat all your mistakes and feed treats to the ones you love.
      I love the idea of leather-bound edition! Just a limited edition would be so much fun!

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    2. Whatever happens, I will definitely be adding the Hannibal cookbook to my collection - currently, I own Auguste Escoffier's cookbook, and I am planning on picking up the Larousse Gastronomique some time soon as well.

      Though, really, my biggest challenge so far is convincing people to try things like lungs, or tongue! Most people don't seem to want to go past the liver.

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    3. Will we be able to get it in hardcover, at least?

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    4. Hey Audrey-

      I hope you get Larousse Gastronomique as it is full of information. The section on "Banquets" alone is worth it - covering the way people have dined together from classic times to now.

      Things like lung and tongue are often more about the sauce or the spices. But I know what you men -- you have to buy and cook the whole tongue and it can be tough getting through the whole thing if no one else in the house will eat it!

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    5. Hi Robert-
      I am going to talk to my publisher about doing a first edition hard cover. If I can get Mads Mikkelsen to autograph them, it might be a fun thing to do!

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    6. I just wanted to quickly say that I did pick up the Larousse Gastronomique just a few days ago, and all I have to say about it is just... wow. It is absolutely amazing, and it is safe to say I have more than enough reading to do now!

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    7. So glad to hear that you got the L.Gastronimique. I found one at a 2nd hand store when I was at art college and it changed my life. Made me realize that food is the story of mankind. It tells our history in many cases, determines our future, defines our selves. It led me to books by Reay Tannahill, Margaret Vissar,MFK Fisher and opened the eyes of my stomach. Enjoy!

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  2. Well, it's the pheasant wing girl. I dearly hope you're not wasted on the next six episodes. Surely Hannibal can have some kind of...fantasy food-life even in prison, yes? Or flashback, or...or something oh please don't stop cooking. Wherever you go from here, I'll be watching for news on your website. One question, though. Honestly, are you upset Fuller turned down the season Amazon offered him, or was the deal just so terrible he couldn't take it? What will I watch now?? There's nothing else this smart on tv. George R R Martin loves food porn, the original Joffrey wedding feast was like..77 course, all lovingly described. Maybe you could bring your talents to HBO.

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    1. Must admit food is not a big thing in the Red Dragon story. Just a few food scenes - until the last episode - which has my all-time favorite food scene of the season...if it doesn't get cut. Fuller has his own career arc to follow and I wish him monstrously huge success. They've given him a big budget for American Gods. Hoping he and Martha will want to bring Hannibal to the big screen. I'd love to do that! Since Hannibal wrapped, I have been doing food scenes for Suicide Squad, Damien, 11/24/63, Heroes Reborn and a few other shows but soon I will go back to writing. Unless I get "an offer I can't refuse" again as I did with Hannibal.

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  3. Oh because I needed even more reason to look forward to 11/24/63! I live in Fort Worth, so that was an amazing read, but now I'll spend the whole run looking for the food!

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    1. Not food - I was called on to make biodegradable iPhones which I constructed out of marzipan and hard candy - so the actor could toss his phone into the lake - which was being shot in an environmentally sensitive area so they needed cellphones that would just melt away harmlessly.

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  4. The octopus print will forever make me think of Bert Cooper and Peggy Olsen :)

    As a cookbook collector and a fannibal, I can't wait for yours to be published!

    The show and your blog inspired me to buy beef kidneys the last time I saw them at the grocery store (I've already done all sorts of liver and tongue). I don't know exactly what to do with them; I guess they'll sit in the freezer until inspiration strikes.

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    1. Yes, I loved that episode of Mad Men and great to see the Pearl Diver print used in the show! And yes, I know what you mean - I can't stop buying cookbooks - you just can't have too many.

      Beef kidneys are great in steak and kidney pie. And I love them floured and sauteed with bacon and served on mashed potatoes.

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    2. Thanks for the tip! Do you have to pre-cook the kidneys (since they are not lamb or calf kidneys) before sauteing them?

      I have a recipe for a steak and kidney pudding (!) that I might have to try once it's no longer hot as balls out.

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    3. I don't precook kidneys when sauteeing them because I don't want to overcook them - they will become hard and dry. Just sautee until they are pink inside. Once they go grey, they are not that good. Also good to sautee up an equal amount of mushrooms and toss them in with the kidneys. Stay cool!

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  5. That pig head with the vegetable crown was gorgeous, but at the same time I lurch at the sight of it :( To this day I blame Silence of the Lambs or Hannibal in general to my reasoning on being a vegetarian.

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    1. I know - it's so much easier to eat faceless vegetables!

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  6. Love this blog and please keep us posted on the upcoming cookbook! FYI, the Dream of the Fisherman's Wife/Pearl Diver is by Hokusai

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    1. Yes, of course. Had a brain fart writing this blog but I've corrected it now, thanks to your note. What was I thinking - only Hokusai could have done that woodcut. His handling of animated creatures and expressive agile bodies is so iconic.

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  7. Ah, but you at least got that gorgeous dessert in this week's episode. What was the name again? I may need to attempt it. Never cooked with straight blood before but there's a first time for everything!

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    1. Sanguinaccio Dolce. Combine 2/3 cup of milk and 1/3 cup of cream with 2/3 cup sugar and cinnamon stick in the top of a double boiler. Water in lower pot should keep to a gentle simmer. Once steam starts rising from the surface of the milk, remove cinnamon stick and stir in 1 cup fresh pork or beef blood (buy from South American sausage maker or Chinese butcher. Freeze what you don't need for next time). Stir constantly until mixture turns brown and thickens to soft pudding consistency. (takes about 15 min.). Add 4 oz dark (85%) chocolate chopped in chunks. Stir until chocolate melts. Cool slightly and spoon into dessert cups. Serve with whipped cream and Ladyfinger biscuits. Enjoy!
      If your chocolate is 70%, use less sugar.

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  8. I can't believe you were going to put tentacle porn in your cookbook. No, wait, yes I can.

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    1. Notice the carefully placed recipe cards? No porn here! Anyway, the Hokusai print is undisputed fine art - like Leda and the Swan that hangs in Hannibal's dining room - we had to pixilate the sensitive bits in the first 2 seasons!

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  9. I love your blog, I love your posts, I love the photos that I can see here: I feel like if I need to feel the real atmosphere of Hannibal, I can always come here to read about delicious food and other delicious facts.
    It's a paradox that I'm turning into a carnivorous, watching this show?
    Yes. Yes, sometimes I feel heartless. But I'm not, I swear! XD
    Thank you, Janice.

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    1. Carnivore, omnivore, flexivore...it's all personal choice and really all about balance. As long as we are thoughtful thankful eaters. My paradox: working on this show has made me more of a vegetarian!

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  10. Janice, i'm from Colombia, and well, i can't afford shiping it from amazon... you think it may get published here? I just moved out and started living alone, and i'm loving the fact i have to cook everyday... saving money to get a cook book so i can do good stuff, Do you have any recommendations? Thank you for your time!

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    1. Hi - It maybe available in Colombia as it is being distributed internationally. Glad to hear you are cooking a lot! For easy, delicious recipes I think you can't go wrong with Jamie Oliver's cookbooks. I don't have any so I can't recommend one but people recommend Cook at Home (especially if you have a home garden) or Meals in Minutes. Can you get them from your local library and see which one you like best before you go to the expense of buying? Also, used books are a great! I bought Larousse Gastronomique from a used book store and it changed my life!

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  11. When Chiyoh first appeared then disappeared I told my roommate (who was watching for the first time) 'She's a frickin ninja' to which he replied 'ninjas don't have guns.' I said 'she does.'

    When she showed up in this episode he said 'whoa, where'd she come from.' I just smugly said 'told you she is a ninja with a shotgun.'

    Keep on cookin, Janice. <3

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  12. Hannibal better get saved, because poor Chiyoh-ninja will be hanging about lurking in the woods like a hungry ghost until she gets another shot!

    Still keepin' on! Cooking for Heros Reborn now but superhero teens don't eat much so I'm mostly writing the Hannibal cookbook.

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