Awkward Silence

December 15, 2008


I’m not the biggest fan of scary movies. And Silence of the Lambs is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. Back in 1991 I remember being too afraid to see this movie in the theaters. I almost went though, when it was really hot and the free air-conditioning would have been nice; I decided to have my baby instead. I did, however, see it later when it came out on video. We probably rented it alongside what maybe should have been 1991’s best–Beauty and the Beast and probably another movie as well because the video store we frequented, BP Video made you rent 3 movies at one time. Threeforfive.

But as scary movies go, Silence of the Lambs is a classic. It’s an amazing movie that holds up really well. Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster have an amazing amount of chemistry. They both deserved their Oscars. As did director Jonathan Demme; his Oscar speech is a classic how to not give an acceptance speech speech. It’s aslo a shame they had to return to the Hannibal Lecter character in subsequent films (Foster and Demme didn’t return). It cheapens it a bit. Hey, did you know that Martha Stewart once dated Anthony Hopkins. She broke up with him because his Hannibal character gave her the willies. Now, that’s scary.

Friends of ours once joked about what were we going to cook up for Silence of the Lambs. Well, it could’ve have been awkward, but fortunately no one here is a cannibal . It was actually somewhat easy to come up with food ideas for the film. —It’s helpful that one of the most famous lines ” I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti” is from Silence. We did the beans (unfortunately not in season we had to use frozen) and the chianti and some nice lamb chops. Luckily we didn’t hear the screams.

From Alton Brown @ food network

Cranberry Chutney:
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3 cups cranberries, divided
1 cup water
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 serrano chile, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves

Grilled Lamb Chops
8 (4 to 5-ounce) porterhouse lamb chops
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Cilantro leaves, garnish
Finely chopped chives, garnish

For the Cranberry Chutney:

Combine the sugar, honey, 2 cups of cranberries and 1 cup of water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the cranberries pop and become soft and the mixture thickens slightly. Stir in the onion, ginger, chile, garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook until thick about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining cranberries and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

For the Grilled Lamb Chops:

Heat the grill to high or a grill pan over high heat. Brush chops on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until golden brown on both sides and cooked to medium doneness, about 6 minutes total. Remove lamb from the grill, loosely tent and let rest 5 minutes before serving. Serve on a plater with cranberry chutney and cranberry sauce. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Sauté of Fresh Fava Beans, Onions, and Fennel

1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 fresh fennel bulb, trimmed, sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely ground in spice grinder
1 1/3 cups (about) canned low-salt chicken broth
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup chopped pancetta*
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Cook fava beans in boiling salted water 2 minutes. Drain, cool and peel outer skins (do not cook or peel lima beans).

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel bulb; sauté 5 minutes. Add favas or lima beans and fennel seeds; sauté 3 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and 2 tablespoons dill; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in pancetta and savory, adding more broth if mixture is dry. Simmer until favas are tender, about 15 minutes longer. Mix in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

* Pancetta, Italian bacon cured in salt, is available at Italian markets, some supermarkets, and some specialty foods stores.

P.S. Even though he prepared this week’s feast (and did a great job) Jim almost got himself kicked off the Oscars in Order crew this week. Why, you ask? Because he would not shut up during the whole movie. Don’t you hate when someone keeps saying “this is the scary part” two to three minutes before anything scary happens. And he did it constantly And I’ve seen the movie before, Jim–you were there. Well, that was Jim during Silence of the Lambs. But don’t fear Jim didn’t remain unforgiven for Unforgiven.

%d bloggers like this: