Apologies (again) and a Hannibal-inspired recipe

My last post on this website was an apology for the lack of posts so it’s almost embarrassing that my next post, nearly 3 months later, is another post of apology. I just haven’t been in the mood to update this site, nor my other website, but I’ve been itching to return to the blogging scene.

Not much has happened lately, other than work. I went on a date with a great guy last weekend – though there weren’t any sparks there. I’m trying to arrange a date with another guy soon, one who I have really enjoyed talking to. The garden is going decently well. I’ve fallen behind on weeding, but I’ve been able to harvest a few Lemon Boy tomatoes, some zucchini, and a lot of squash. The blueberry bushes are producing well. There is nothing like picking a fresh, slightly warmed-from-the-sun blueberry right off the limb.

Now that NBC’s ‘Hannibal’ has ended for the season (though it has thankfully been renewed for a second season), I’m experiencing a bit of a withdrawal. One of the reasons that NBC’s ‘Hannibal’ became 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 didn’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. This dish was originally posted on my geek-based blog, StyleNerd, a little while ago but I thought it would be well-suited here too.

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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.

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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.

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Cumberland Sauce

  • 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.

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Bon appetite!

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