Pairing TV Shows with Three-Course Meals: Part I

Because I am a gigantic dork-bucket, I sometimes find myself coming up with menu-planning etudes. For example, I’ll think about what types of dinner I could create with only one cast-iron skillet and 25 minutes to spare. Then, I’ll make a list of options, pick the yummiest choices, find some recipes, and happily identify the winning dish. I don’t end up cooking any of this, which seems absurd. But, really, I want to keep my mind “sharp” so that whenever I’m in a food or cooking pickle, I have some practiced and seasoned muscles to push me through. Perhaps this is a ridiculous exercise, since I likely will never find myself in some kind of meal-planning apocalypse, but it’s fun for me, and I feel like it provides me with the tools to continue making my weekly food schedule.

ANYWHO, based on the poll from a previous entry,  I’m starting a blog series where I’ll pair my favorite TV shows with three-course meals (dishes I can cook). If you know anything about me, you probably know that I love TV almost as much as I love cooking and eating. So, this is great.

Let the games begin!


THE SOPRANOS

Photo taken from Vanity Fair

Why I love the show
Though I was initially very critical of this show for its rather dichotomous dealings around race and gender, I could never deny that The Sopranos was expertly written, directed, and acted. Of all the shows out there that demonstrate the emotional and psychological complexities of (criminal) white men, this one is definitely my favorite.

Thoughts for a Three-Course Meal
Obviously, Italian/Neapolitan food is the way to go, here. I’ve excluded a dessert because there is very little about this excellent show that leaves me feeling sweet. I wanted dishes that could be construed as both hearty (masculine) and delicate (to demonstrate the fragility of masculinity). HA. Also, each dish is named after some of my favorite quotes from the show.

The Paulie: Can I just get some macaroni and gravy?
Frittatine (deep-fried pasta balls stuffed with minced pork, bechamel, and peas)

The Tony: I can’t find pussy anywhere OR The Ralphie: She was a whoooooore
Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

The Anthony: So what, no fucking ziti now?
Carne alla Pizzaiola (pizzamaker’s beef)


TRUE BLOOD

 Image taken from HBOWatch

Why I love the show
Duh, I love the show. Painfully obvious comparisons between vampires and marginalized communities, hot supernatural creatures, delightful sexual fantasy sequences, kind of progressive politics, and insanely stylish femme villains…what isn’t to love (besides the downward spiral the show took after the third season)? Plus, my somewhat embarrassing love for the Sookie Stackhouse novels makes it impossible for me to dislike the show. Quick aside, I made a book cover for the first Sookie Stackhouse novel since I was slightly ashamed by the cover illustration (and the content). On it, I scribbled “OLD MAN AND THE SEA” and felt so very smart. I sat on the subway, took the book out with great confidence, and started reading. The man sitting next to me smirked at me (I fucking hate smirks from men) and said, “That is clearly NOT Old Man and the Sea.” I realized that he was reading over my shoulder, and sadly, I was on an especially smutty part of the book. After that incident, I decided to read my books loud and proud.

Thoughts for a Three-Course Meal
I think it’s important to utilize very seductive and bloody food for this meal. Think: bloody/decadent chic. The name of each course is based on episode titles.

Dead Meat
Steak tartar with quail eggs, horseradish yogurt, and a bright lemon-dressed arugula salad

You Smell Like Dinner
Chateaubriand (cooked RARE) with a red wine sauce, baby potatoes roasted in duck fat, and garlic sauteed julienned vegetables

Plaisir D’Amour
Dark chocolate cake w/ Irish cream buttercream, spiked mascarpone whipped frosting, and whisky ganache

Nothing is sexier than constipation and gout, which are likely outcomes after eating this meal.


HIGH MAINTENANCE

Why I love the show
For those of you who don’t know about this wonderful webseries, it follows the life of weed dealer in NYC/Brooklyn as he interacts with his customers. It is a surprisingly tender and loving show, and occasionally reaches some incredible emotional depth. Also, it’s hilarious and sometimes VERY Brooklyn specific.

Thoughts for a Three-Course Meal
I’m basing these dishes off of my initial reaction to some of my favorite episodes. Each dish is named after the episode that inspired it.

Ruth: The Guy sets up Ellen with Victor. The date goes from awkward to funny to great. I came up with an appetizer that is awkward to eat (especially on a date), but ends up being great once you get comfortable enough with the messiness to enjoy the taste.
Rachel: A cross-dressing author struggles with writer’s block, which puts a strain on his marriage. The Guy makes a delivery to him and is introduced to Rachel. The big reveal at the end is unexpectedly sweet, so I picked a dish that starts salty, but ends with a sweet aftertaste.
Matilda: The Guy struggles to entertain his teen-aged niece who is visiting from out of town. He doesn’t want to conduct business in front of her, but when their plans to see “Matilda” get complicated, one of his customers offers to help out. During a DIY “TED Talk” in Brooklyn, the niece has a great time. The episode walks a wonderful line between irony and sincerity, so I chose a dessert that I would both mock and love.

Ruth 
Korean fried chicken wings in a spicy/tangy sauce

Rachel
Shanghai-style braised pork belly with jasmine rice and garlic sauteed bok choy

Matilda
Assortment of cronuts


I hope you enjoyed! Write in the comments section if you would have made a different menu. Also, if you want a hand in selecting the next three TV shows to pair with three-course meals, vote below!

Lastly, I know I’m long overdue in posting a recipe, so I promise that the next entry will include one.

2 thoughts on “Pairing TV Shows with Three-Course Meals: Part I

  1. Wow, how thorough, this post! Ya know, I was gettin’ all ready to click on one of these shows in your poll, but then realized that I haven’t watched ANY of them? Whoa! Yes, I live in a cave – with a garden in which I have to pull weeds from everyday. Haha! I’ve greatly enjoyed reading your excellent writing, Yejin!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Pairing TV Shows with Three-Course Meals: Arrested Development | Exposed Eats with Yejin

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