Pairing TV Shows with Three-Course Meals: Arrested Development

I was recently looking back at old entries and realized that some of my posts are about a bajillion words long. In an effort to be more concise (sometimes), I’m trying to narrow the scope of my entries, a bit. So, in the latest installment of “Pairing TV Shows with Three-Course Meals,” (click here to see the first post) I decided that I would just highlight one excellent comedy series: Arrested Development.

Likely my favorite comedy show of all time, Arrested Development is full of wit, snark, epic storytelling, and distinguishes itself from all other shows because of my love/hate relationship with every single goddamn character. Also, there are few comedies that make both me and my husband laugh aloud. You know the kind where you’re totally not prepared to burst out laughing, so you end up spraying an inappropriate amount of saliva over your furniture/loved ones?

So, as far as the menu goes, I went in a more literal direction, since there are so many food-related gems in the series. Without further ado, I present to you my very heavy three-course meal for Arrested Development.

Course One: A Mayonegg Banger in the Mouth
Scotch Eggs: Hard boiled qual egg wrapped in sausage, coated in breadcrumbs, then fried. Should probably be fried in the very dangerous cornballer.

George Michael: She sometimes takes a little pack of mayonnaise and she’ll squirt it in her mouth all over. And then she’ll take an egg and kind of…mmmm! She calls it a ‘mayon-egg.’ Are you okay?

Mrs. Featherbottom: Who’d like a banger in the mouth? Oh, right, I forgot. Here in the states you call it a sausage in the mouth.
Michael: We just call it a sausage.

Course Two: Annyong’s Improved Hot Ham Water
Budae-Jjigae: Army stew with kimchi, spam, bacon, hot dogs, ramen noodles, baked beans, mushrooms, onions, and cabbage

Course Three: The Banana Stand’s Ten Dollar Cornhole
Deep-Fried Banana Corn Fritters with Honey

Lucille: Everyone’s laughing and riding and cornholing except Buster.

Coming Up…Meal Planning 101: On Creating a Menu for Dinner Guests, Plus Recipes for Hainanese Chicken Rice, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Shallots in Fish Sauce Vinaigrette, and Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Loaf Cake with Bourbon and Coffee

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!


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)


 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.


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.

Korean fried chicken wings in a spicy/tangy sauce

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

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.