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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

INGREDIENTS

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

METHOD

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.

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