Sunday, June 10, 2012

Breakfast for Tyrion

I'm probably not alone in thinking that Tyrion Lannister is the embodiment of awesome.  One of my favorite lines of dialogue from season one, and one of the earliest food references in the books comes just after Tyrion gives Joffrey that well-deserved backhand to the face.

Tired from a hard morning of slapping the crowned prince, he enters Winterfell and orders himself up a nice hearty breakfast.

"Bread! And two of those little fishes.  And a mug of dark beer to wash it down.  And bacon, burn it until it turns black."

I see nothing in this plan I don't like.  Largely because It gives me an excuse to a. drink beer with breakfast and b.  bacon.

For the bread, pumpernickel seemed most fitting.  Dark, hearty, delicious.  I will eventually post some more thorough thoughts on breads and starters and, gods willing, may even be venturing into the realm of beer mash leavening, but for now,I cheated and made a nice dark loaf with dry quick rise yeast.  Sacrilege, I know.

I used rye flour and added 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of molasses for color and it was wonderful.

For the bacon, I used our local butcher and got some delightfully thick slices.  I'm not a huge fan of burnt bacon, as I like the taste of bacon, not char, but I do like the crispiness, so I roll my bacon in a little bit of flour before frying.  It soaks in the juices nicely.

 As for the little fishes, this to me screamed "smelt fried in bacon grease".  This sounds gross but is actually quite tasty.  I purchased my smelt already dressed, but if you have the time and inclination, they are fairly simple to gut.  Simply slice below the neck and slice open the belly to gut.  As a general rule, fish under 2 inches long do not need to be gutted at all. And leave the heads on if you are feeling particularly adventurous.  I made a quick batter by dipping my smelt in a whisked egg and rolling them in flour, then fried them in the bacon grease for about 2 minutes each side.  A small dish of salt and black pepper makes for a nice dipping plate.

Finally, for the dark beer, I went with Harvestoun Old Engine Oil black ale.  It's thick but not too heavy, and has a nice, mildly sweet creamy taste.  And finally, a nice wedge of hard cheese.  This one was an aged sheep's milk.  

All in all, a breakfast fit for an imp!

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