RSS Feed

Tag Archives: NBC

Cooking with Hannibal: Futamono


Overview of Hannibal's party Hors d'Oeuvres

Overview of Hannibal’s party Hors d’Oeuvres

If Jack’s team is right, Hannibal finally made some food that contains animals rather than people. For a party, he prepares a variety of goodies with the help of the lovely Dr. Bloom.

More of Hannibal's party Hors d'Oeuvres

More of Hannibal’s party Hors d’Oeuvres

In the above photo, you can see little Wagyu Beef Roulade slices (stuffed with Sushi Rice) all decked out with chive flowers on the left. On the right, are little Filo Pastry Flowers with Beef Heart Tartare. In the middle you can see some of the Prosciutto Roses on Watermelon. For more on Hannibal’s party menu, click here.

Wagyu Beef

Wagyu Beef

Beef Roulade

Wagyu Beef Roulade stuffed with Sushi Rice before cooking

Beef Kebabs

Beef Kebabs

Beef Heart Tartare in Filo Pastry

Beef Heart Tartare in Filo Pastry

Prosciutto Rose on Watermelon

Prosciutto Rose on Watermelon


Platter of Prosciutto Roses on Watermelon

Platter of Prosciutto Roses on Watermelon

If you’d like to try some offal hors d’oeuvres, here is a recipe I developed for The Ration Diaries. Since a lot of whole birds come with the offal in the cavity, I try and use it up with little bites like this. If you want to make something like this in mass, you can always buy veal heart and cut it much more finely; you still need to be careful too cook it gently since it’s a tough muscle and when cooked over a high heat, it tends to get REALLY tough.

Bacon confited-Guinea Fowl Heart with Brussels Sprouts and Blackcurrant Preserves

Bacon confited-Guinea Fowl Heart with Brussels Sprouts and Blackcurrant Preserves

Bacon confited-Guinea Fowl Heart with Brussels Sprouts and Blackcurrant Preserves (from The Ration Diaries)

Servings: 1

1/4 strip bacon
1 Guinea Fowl heart
1/2 Brussels sprout, cut in half
1 tablespoon vegetable broth
1 demitasse spoonful blackcurrant preserves

Slice the bacon very thinly then render it in a non-stick pan. When the bacon is crispy, use a slotted spoon to remove it to a plate. Pour the bacon into a boiled egg cup. Allow the bacon fat to cool slightly, then add the heart. Put the egg cup in the microwave and set to “keep warm” for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the heart is cooked through. Heart gets tough very easily, so it’s important not to cook the heart on high. Sear the cut sides of the Brussels sprout quarters in the hot pan, and season with salt. Add the vegetable broth and simmer until the broth has evaporated. Slice the heart very thinly and reserve the bacon fat for another use. Serve the heart garnished with Brussels sprouts, reserved bacon, and blackcurrant preserves.



Cooking with Hannibal: Mukozuke

Hannibal opening oysters

Hannibal opening oysters

Finally, more food! The past 2 episodes have been a bit of a respite from the cooking on the show, but this episode, Hannibal’s back in the kitchen. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; to Hannibal, this means pancetta, oysters, crayfish and other fancy fancies with his eggs, as he whips up a little something for Jack to comfort him in his time of need…or mess with his mind.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

This is juxtaposed with a rather beige, depressing-looking breakfast for Will at the Baltimore loony bin. Then we get a flash of pancetta porn from Hannibal’s breakfast:

Pancetta sizzling for Hannibal's breakfast

Pancetta sizzling for Hannibal’s breakfast

And a gorgeous shot of a crayfish and oyster platter. The beetles were a total turn-off for me; who wants to see beetles at breakfast? Now dinner…

Crayfish, Oysters and Beetles

Crayfish, Oysters and Beetles

Here’s the final dish: eggs, pancetta, crayfish and oyster.

Pancetta, eggs, crayfish and oyster

Hannibal’s Breakfast: Pancetta, eggs, crayfish and oyster

Will's Hospital Breakfast

Will’s Hospital Breakfast

The above is one of the beige-est meals I’ve ever seen.

Will's Sad Face

Will’s Sad Face (hospital breakfasts get him down)

No wonder Will looks sad.

My favorite breakfast egg recipe ever is a mascarpone and tomato frittata that I used to make while working at an Italian restaurant. It used oven-dried tomatoes, but I’ve replaced it with some sundried tomatoes and some roasted, since the oven-dried ones take forever to make.

Mascarpone and Tomato Frittata with Basil

Yield: about 6 servings


olive oil

3 ripe roma tomatoes, halved

5 sprigs thyme

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained

5 eggs, preferably local farm eggs

1 cup mascarpone

1/2 bunch fresh basil, torn


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle a small, ovenproof baking dish with some olive oil. Put the roma tomatoes in it, cut face up. Add the thyme sprigs, season with salt and pepper and dust with the sugar. Put the tomatoes in the oven to roast (about 30 minutes, or until browning and emitting an incredible, slightly sweet aroma). Meanwhile, make sure the sun-dried tomatoes are drained and mince (they can be pretty chewy, so you want to make sure they’re cut fairly small. Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Prepare a large, cast-iron skillet by heating over a medium heat. When the roma tomatoes are roasted, remove them from the oven and using a slotted spoon, remove them to a chopping board and cut roughly. Keep the oven on, since you’ll finish the frittata in it. You can reserve the olive oil and roasting juices for a vinaigrette, if you’d like-you just need some vinegar. Turn the heat to high under the cast iron skillet, then add olive oil. Heat until it shimmers a bit, then add the whisked eggs. Using a heatproof spatula, push around the eggs until curds start to form, then allow to solidify a bit before scooping spoonfuls of the mascarpone onto the top of the eggs, being careful to distribute evenly. Add the tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes. DO NOT STIR!!! Put the skillet in the oven. When the frittata is puffy, and appears fully cooked, about 15 minutes, remove from the oven. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Cut in the skillet, then top with the basil. You can serve from the skillet at the table. And yes, it goes beautifully with pancetta. From a pig. Not the Hannibal kind.

Cooking with Hannibal: Sakizuki

Veal Osso Bucco

Veal Osso Bucco

So without giving anything away, in this episode, Hannibal makes some changes to another serial killer’s “artwork” and ends up with a leg in his pantry which does not come from a veal. He then decides to make Osso Bucco.

Veal Recipe

Veal Recipe

If you can forget the horrifying carnage that precedes it, it actually looks quite tasty! For a flashback recipe for Osso Bucco, click here. Judging from the quick flash of recipe that we get plus the quick recipe shots, it looks as though he probably dredges the veal in flour (see photo below) renders some pancetta, then sears the veal shank cross sections until brown, deglazes them with wine, and braises them with the mirepoix, garlic, and anchovies and some kind of red (maybe tomato-based?) sauce.

Dredging Veal

Dredging Veal

Searing Veal

Searing Veal

Glazed Veal

Veal Being Deglazed

Sketch of concept for Veal Osso Bucco plating from Hannibal food stylist  Janice Poon

Sketch of concept for Veal Osso Bucco plating from Hannibal food stylist Janice Poon

We learn from the above gorgeous sketch by Hannibal food stylist Janice Poon that it is served on top of a bed of saffron risotto, garnished with Tomato Osso Bucco sauce (maybe the braising liquid?) and some vegetables and gremolata. Since I’ve already posted an Osso Bucco recipe back when Hannibal last cooked veal, this made me think of an amazing Oxtail Stew that I had in Andalusia, in Spain, years ago. Something about the rich, glossy braising liquid from the Osso Bucco shots brought back that moment when it arrived at the table, steaming with beefy goodness.

I recently tried out a great recipe for Oxtail Stew from Claudia Roden’s The Food of Spain. This book came out a few years ago and I’ve really enjoyed the back stories and sense of atmosphere that Roden manages to create. In addition to containing a lot of easy recipes and a smattering of harder ones, it’s a fun read, and full of cultural tidbits. This is adapted slightly from Roden’s recipe.

Oxtail Stew

Recipe adapted from The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden.

Yield: 6 Servings


Vegetable oil

6 pounds oxtail, cut into sections

1/4 cup olive oil

2 white onions, chopped

3 large carrots, chopped

1 medium leek, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1/4 bunch thyme

2 small cans good quality peeled and chopped tomatoes

2 cups red wine, such as Rioja

1 cup dry white wine, such as a white Rioja

1/2 cup brandy

Salt and pepper

Mashed potatoes


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a roasting pan with 2 layers of foil. Brush the foil with a little vegetable oil, then add the oxtails and roast in the preheated oven until browned, about 40 minutes to 1 hour. 

While the oxtails are roasting, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over a medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and leek and sweat until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook through but don’t allow to brown. Add the bay leaves, thyme and tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for about another 10 minutes. At this point, you can remove the Dutch oven from the heat until the oxtails are done. Once they’re browned, remove them from the oven and return the Dutch oven to a medium heat. Add the oxtails to the Dutch oven using tongs. Pour off the fat from the roasting pan, then place it over a medium heat and deglaze using the wine and brandy. Use a wooden spoon to gently scrape any caramelized meat from the foil. Then pour the wine mixture into the Dutch oven with the meat and tomato mixture. Add enough water to cover the oxtails, season with the salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls away from the bone.

Let the stew rest for about 30 minutes, and remove any fat that has accumulated on top. Remove the bay leaves and thyme and serve with mashed potatoes. Claudia Roden notes that some prefer to blend the sauce to a cream with an immersion blender once the herbs and oxtails have been removed and then serve the oxtail with the blended sauce, but that she prefers it with the bits of vegetables in and doesn’t like blending it. I tried it both ways, and agree with her. It’s a bit more of a rustic finish when it’s unblended, but that’s what I love about dishes like these.

Cooking with Hannibal: Kaiseki

Hannibal slices meat in the dream sequence, then catches Jack Crawford's eye.

Hannibal slices meat in the dream sequence, then catches Jack Crawford’s eye.

SPOILER ALERT! Season 2 kicked off on Friday with a Hannibal-on-Jack fight in the kitchen. Turns out, it utilized one of my least favorite narrative devices. The “it was all a dream” schtick. There were a couple of very cool images during the fight scene, though. Before the fight explodes, we see Hannibal prepping meat and a salad and there are some very eerie reflections as we see him slice.

Dream sequence: Hannibal preps salad then sees his own reflection.

Dream sequence: Hannibal preps salad then sees his own reflection.

Back in the real world, Hannibal really does cook dinner for Jack Crawford, supposedly to make him feel better about Will’s apparent guilt. He makes Jack a kaiseki meal (a type of high-end Japanese repast that has imperial roots), including some raw sliced “flounder” and some sea urchin.

Sea Urchin during Kaiseki dinner Hannibal serves to Jack Crawford.

Sea Urchin during Kaiseki dinner Hannibal serves to Jack Crawford.

Doesn’t it look beautiful?

Look how pretty!

Look how pretty!

It’s served with the squid roll (the tall white object below) as a side to the flounder dish, but in my opinion, sea urchin always merits center stage.

Sea Urchin with Squid Roll and Squid Ink Quills

Sea Urchin with Squid Roll and Squid Ink Quills

One of my favorite sea urchin dishes is a Sicilian pasta made with bottarga and fresh sea urchin. Here is a recipe:

Pasta with Bottarga and Sea Urchin (adapted from La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy)


4 ounces bottarga of tuna

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pound spaghetti or bucatini


1/4 cup fresh sea urchin


1. Grate the bottarga into a medium mixing bowl. Add the garlic, parsley and olive oil. 

2. Cook the pasta in unsalted boiling water since the bottarga is so salty. When al dente, drain.

3. Add the sea urchin into the pasta, then add the bottarga mixture, mix gently so as not to break up the pieces of sea urchin, and enjoy!

Will's prison food

Will’s prison food

Less alluring by far are the culinary delights of the prison system. Poor Will!


Cooking with Hannibal: Relevés

Black Silkie Chicken Soup with Red Dates and Bok Choy

Black Silkie Chicken Soup with Red Dates and Bok Choy

If you really care about someone, you make them chicken soup…while you’re convincing everyone around you that they’re mad. And a serial killer. At least, that’s what you do if you’re Hannibal. In this episode, Will Graham is laid up and Hannibal, in between periods of plotting Will’s incarceration in a loonie bin, makes him a restorative chicken broth. Ya know…’cause he cares. From food stylist Janice Poon’s blog, it looks like it’s a soup of black silkie chicken, with red dates (also known as jujubes), goji berries, bok choy, ginseng and  white fungus. All of these ingredients are considered to have health benefits in Chinese medicine.

The reason the chicken looks so dark is because black silkie chickens look like this:

Black Silkie Chicken, Image by

Black Silkie Chicken, Image by

If a chicken can be adorable, the black silkie is it. This is what it looks like plucked (less adorable):

Plucked Silkie Chicken, Image by Clove Garden

Plucked Silkie Chicken, Image by Clove Garden

Silkie chickens come with white feathers or black feathers, but both varieties have black skin, as above. Don’t they look cool in soup? What a great idea for clear broths.

My favorite easy chicken soup is a recipe from Canal House Cooks Every Day. The authors, Christopher Hirscheimer and Melissa Hamilton, are two ex-Saveur Magazine staffers who run Canal House Cooking, and do all the photography, design, production, recipes, the works. They’ve written a whole bunch of cookbooks and continue to produce 3 a year. You can subscribe, and get them as they come out for $50.

If you have extra meatballs, you can always freeze them in a little tomato sauce. For a good quick dinner in a pinch, you can just add some pasta to the tomato sauce and meatballs, top with some parm and fresh basil and you’re good to go.

I find meatballs work better with some breadcrumbs to bind, so I’ve adapted the recipe a little. I tweaked some measurements since I find it easier to measure grated nutmeg than the amount of a whole nutmeg grated, for example. Hope you enjoy, even if you’re not being plagued by a serial killer.

Chicken Broth with Spinach and Little Meatballs, Image from Canal House Cooking

Chicken Broth with Spinach and Little Meatballs, Image from Canal House Cooking

Chicken Broth with Spinach and Little Meatballs

Adapted from Canal House Cooks Every Day

Yield: 8 to 10 servings



1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound ground veal

2 ounces ground prosciutto

1/2 cup fresh whole milk ricotta

1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese

1 egg, beaten

1 cup parsley leaves, finely chopped

1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

Breadcrumbs, as needed


10 to 12 cups chicken broth

1 pound baby spinach

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil (finishing quality)


For the Meatballs:

Gently mix  the pork veal, prosciutto, ricotta, pecorino, egg, parsley, mint, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add just enough breadcrumbs to bind. DO NOT compress or overmix, or you will get meatballs the consistency of hockey pucks. You can test the seasoning by taking a teaspoon and cooking it in a frying pan with a knob of butter. Adjust the seasoning as necessary. Using a small scoop, put a small ball, about the size of a teaspoon, in your hand and roll a meatball. Set aside and repeat with the rest of the mixture. You should get about 80 small meatballs. They can be made ahead of time. 

For the Soup:

Bring the chicken broth to a  simmer in a large pot. Cook the meatballs in the broth until they float and then cook 1 more minute so they are cooked all the way through. Transfer about 10 mini meatballs to a shallow bowl, add a little broth and cover with plastic wrap to keep warm as you cook off the rest of the meatballs. Strain the broth when done into a medium bowl. Return to a rinsed out pot and return to a medium heat. Add the spinach and allow to wilt, then remove from the heat. Season the soup. 

To Serve:

Divide the meatballs between the serving bowl. Ladle some soup and spinach into each bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, then serve.

Cooking with Hannibal: Buffet Froid

Hannibal slices some Jamon Iberico

Hannibal slices some Jamon Iberico

The sight of Hannibal handling a very sharp knife makes me a little nervous. However, in this episode he was just using it to slice some Spanish ham – Jamon Iberico. Whew. That’s a relief.

Slicing Jamon Iberico

Slicing Jamon Iberico

As you can see up-close, Jamon Iberico is superfatty. It’s a delicious cured pork product that is sort of like a firmer, less sweet prosciutto. And Spanish. In case you have a gazillion dollars to drop on an entire jamon iberico (if you do, invite me over, pretty please?), here are a few tips on how to carve it, as an excerpt, with some edits from a funny article in The Guardian on How to Be a Jamon Carver.


1. Fix ham to the carving stand, with the hoof facing away from you.

2. Start by carving the babilla. Make a cut around the hoof near the top joint of the foreleg. Remove rind on one side. Remove excess fat and keep it for wrapping the ham when finished.

The babilla is the rump end of the ham, where the meat contains the most fat. La babilla is the part delimited between the femur bone and the coxal, and contains less meat than the part of the maza, which is the thicker, rump half of the ham, where the meat is most lean. It is recommended to start cutting ham in this part in order to preserve and to take advantage of the ham piece.

3. Use a long carving knife to make thin slices. The cut must be straight and parallel to the bone. Carve from punta to hoof. The carved area must be clear of skin and yellow layers of fat.

The punta is the hip, or the opposite part of the hoof. This part has a lot of fat and therefore is one of the more tasty parts of the ham.

4. When near the hip bone, cut around it with a preparation knife. Turn ham over to cut the maza. Keep applying the same technique, including the cut around the hip bone in the punta.

5. When there are no more big slices left, trim the fat around the hip and start slicing this part. Trim the rind around the first cut. Below, there is a darker meat, which has a rich flavour.

6. Serve as soon as possible, at room temperature. A good tip to help enjoy all the flavour from the ham is to place the slices on a warm plate.


Slices of Jamon Iberico. Image from

Slices of Jamon Iberico. Image from

For us mere mortals, you can buy the stuff sliced to order at online stores like LaTienda or in person at stores like Despaña in New York.

There is really no need for a recipe here. Toast some baguette slices. Add slices of jamon. Swoon at the decadence. Repeat until all the jamon is gone. Then cry.

Cooking with Hannibal: Trou Normand

Lotus Root and Beet Salad

Lotus Root and Beet Salad

Freddie Lounds, vulture journalist, is a vegetarian. As it turns out, when you go over to Hannibal’s for dinner, it’s best to stick to salad. She is served the above lotus root and beet salad.

Sketch from Feeding Hannibal Blog, Image by Janice Poon

Sketch from Feeding Hannibal Blog, Image by Janice Poon

The lovely and talented Janice Poon, who works on the show as a food stylist and chronicles her styling at her blog Feeding Hannibal, thankfully enlightens us as to what the dish is normally, with the meat – Rare Roast Tenderloin with a Salad of Root Chips, including Lotus Root.

Lotus roots are beautifully crunchy, one of their best assets in my opinion as they don’t have much inherent flavor. This recipe, inspired by a dish at the Seattle restaurant Wild Ginger, is a great example of that.

Lotus Root Salad

Adapted from a recipe on Foodista, by Sheri Wetherell

Yield: serves 1



1lb lotus root, peeled and sliced thin 1/8”

2 cups water

1 teaspoon white vinegar

2  green onions, cut on bias

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine vinegar
1.5 tablespoons sugar
4 slices pickled ginger
Slice lotus root and blanch in boiling water for 15 -20 seconds.  Drain and soak in vinegar/water solution.  Combine the marinade ingredients in medium bowl.  Drain and discard vinegar water and place lotus root slices in marinade for 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in refrigerator, tossing occasionally to coat. Arrange lotus root on plate and garnish with onions and sesame seeds. 


%d bloggers like this: