One of the reasons that NBC’s ‘Hannibal’ has become one of my guilty pleasures is the massive amount of food porn it shows. Yes, the vast majority of it is human-based in nature, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the beauty of the dishes. Janice Poon, the food stylist on set, runs a nifty little blog by the name of Feeding Hannibal which is absolutely amazing.
As the risk of sounding like a total weirdo, one of the recipes really appealed to my taste buds. The dish originally appeared in episode 2 (“Amuse-Bouche”), I think. According to the show notes, it is a “pork” roast served with a cumberland sauce, paired with frenched green beans, mushrooms, and gorgonzola.
My version is pan-seared pork chops with a cumberland sauce, and roasted asparagus on the side. The asparagus were freshly picked from my garden and simply baked in the oven with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Dessert considered of strawberries, homemade chocolate fondue (1/4 c. heavy cream melted with 3/4 c. dark chocolate chips and 1/4 c. white chocolate chips), and port wine. While my plate doesn’t look quite as presentable as Hannibal’s, this still created a delicious meal. The cumberland sauce is a recipe that I will use over and over again.
To pan-sear your pork chops, take 2 pork chops, patted dry, and sprinkle them liberally with salt and pepper (I may have been a bit too liberal). Add vegetable oil to your skillet and heat over medium-high until the oil is shimmering hot. Add your chops and sear on one side for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown. Flip and sear the other side until brown. Remove the chops from the heat and allow them to rest under aluminum foil to let the juices redistribute themselves.
- 1/2 c. port wine
- 1 c. chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp Coleman’s dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 c. red currant jelly
- Zest of a lemon and an orange
- A pinch of salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
As soon as your meat as been removed from your pan, add the port wine and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan (use a wooden spoon). Let this boil until it has been reduced by half. Add the stock, salt, citrus zest, mustard, and cayenne and let this boil for a minute or two. Stir in the red currant jelly and black pepper. Let this all boil down until it is thick, but still pourable – about 10 or 15 minutes. Strain it to create a more refined sauce.
So it’s Tuesday and another convention has come and gone. I’m always a little depressed whenever I return home from a weekend of being surrounded by friends with like-minded interests.
Unlike at last year’s Blood at the Beach convention (and you can read my recap here), I was able to stay the entire weekend this time. So let’s break it down by the day. For some reason, I never take a lot of pictures at conventions (though I do have a lot taken of me) and most are somewhat grainy cell phone shots. I’ll try to avoid my food shots, though I did post one on Instagram. Eventually I’ll take a moment to edit the photos before printing out some copies to stick in an album.
Friday – As soon as I got off of work, I headed up to Virginia Beach. Once I checked in and dropped by bags off, I found myself back in the lobby, having a few drinks with some friends. The biggest surprise of the day was chatting it up with Julian Sands in the elevator up to my floor. He was very sweet and charming. I also found myself in the elevator with Tyler Mane and Derek Mears at one point - both were very awesome.
I got to the hotel so late that I didn’t even bother getting my wristband until Saturday. It took me no time Saturday morning to snag it, though I did see pictures of a line of people waiting later on during the day.
Saturday - I woke up, ate my delicious room service, and then headed downstairs. I made the rounds in the vendor room and then checked out the autograph room before heading over to Ruby Tuesday for lunch. While the hotel was gorgeous and I loved my room, the only complaint I have is that there was a definite lack of food options within walking distance.
I made it to the film screening room around 2 or so in order to catch ‘The Perfect House’ but they appeared to be running behind because ‘Excision’ had just started. ‘Excision’ is a trippy film that stars the gorgeous AnnaLynne McCord as “Pauline” – a disturbed high school student who has aspirations of a career in medicine and goes to extremes to earn the approval of her overbearing mother (played Traci Lords). The film also featured a wide variety of actors that I recognized, including Matthew Gray Gubler (from ‘Criminal Minds’). I started out hating this movie, then I began to understand the film and ended up relatively enjoying it. The ending was incredibly creepy and perfect.
‘The Perfect House’ – a film that my friends were looking forward to but not one I had really heard about, started at 4pm with an introduction from Jonathan Tiersten (one of the films’ stars). ‘The Perfect House’ deserves its own review post, which will be coming soon (as soon as I receive my dvd copy in the mail and can rewatch it). Basically, ‘The Perfect House’ tells the horrifying past that a young couple’s dream house has endured. All in all, it was excellent and I was tickled that Jonathan stayed around after the film to chat with us about it.
Then we watched ‘Found’, which is about a young boy who discovers that his older brother is a twisted serial killer. My friend’s were disturbed by this film, and though I agree that parts were very distressing, as a whole I wasn’t moved very much by the film.
We were starving after all of this, so we headed down to Denny’s. Not much else happened after this except for a bit of drinking and getting a picture with Lew Temple (of ‘The Walking Dead’). Full confession: I drank way too much.
Sunday – This was a rough day and I was slow getting started. After checking out and sticking my luggage in my car, I headed back into the convention to finally get Michael Rooker’s autograph on my poster from ‘The Walking Dead’. I would have liked to gather a few more autographs (like perhaps Josh Stewart), but I just wasn’t feeling it today, so I dropped my friends off at the airport and headed home to snooze the rest of the day away.
One of my favorite things about BatB is that since it is a much smaller convention, you really get the chance to interact with the guests, whether in the autograph room or at the bar (I saw so many of the guests chilling at the bar). There’s a bit of intimacy here that is lacking from a lot of other conventions. After hearing about how much fun everyone had at the VIP costume party, I almost wish that I had went after all. But oh well – I had a blast and can’t wait for the next BatB.