Fall TV Frenzy! Pairings for Your Favorite Shows

The arrival of fall brings us the return of many of our favorite shows. Some enjoy the comedies, the cheesy chick flick(ish) shows, and others the thrillers. Regardless of what show(s) you prefer – they’re back! Several hours will be taken away from the time you thought you had in your day as you stare at the tube losing brain cells. The least you can do is feed your body with tasty food and beverages. For you we polled our trusted ES focus groups ourselves to determine the shows that we are looking forward to watching most, pairing them with our own crazy dishes. Plan some parties with your several friends and impress with creative themes and pairings. You’re welcome.

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FOX – New Girl

A show about a girl living with a bunch of dudes (and her ex) but somehow they all get along. Crack open a pumpkin wheat beer that everyone can enjoy together and put together (or order) a buffalo chicken pizza. While some biased people out there liken beer and wings to men, there are plenty of women out there that enjoy it too. Like Jess, find common grounds and dig in.

Drink: Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat

Eat: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

 

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FX – American Horror Story

Always a little creepy, and typically even more disturbing, American Horror Story merits something that will take the edge off while watching. The Séance Saison is a fall seasonal that adds fall spices to the mix to get you in the spirit. Also considering the fact that this year’s season’s theme is circus, we thought the best meal to pair with the theme would be circus food: corn dogs and some air popped popcorn.

Drink: Séance Saison

Eat: Corn Dogs with Popcorn

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Cooking with Fabio: Drunken Red Spaghetti

Has anyone else missed Fabio Viviani? I know I’d take his crazy Italian ramblings over this year’s boring Top Chef-testants any day. Well, not to worry—I just stumbled upon his new web series, in which Fabio and his disturbingly hot mom cook up drunken red spaghetti—pasta doused in red wine and smothered in pecornio, walnuts and caramelized pancetta. I love this dish because he doesn’t add just a little bit of booze. Uh-uh. He adds enough wine to turn those noodles purple! Now that’s Italian.

Also – check out his nickle-and-dime pasta serving size trick at 2:40!

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A Response to Pete Wells, From Guy Fieri

Earlier this week, New York Times food critic Pete Wells, apparently too lazy to call a town car to take him to another hip SoHo gastropub, instead wandered two blocks from his office over to TV star Guy Fieri’s “Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar” in Times Square. Mr. Wells, shocked to find the obvious tourist trap serving anything less than Per Se-quality fare, churned out the scathing restaurant review that everyone and their mother has since shared with you on Facebook.

Because Wells’ now-infamous zero-star “review” is written entirely in questions, we decided to give Guy Fieri a chance to respond. Note: We don’t actually know Guy Fieri, but we’re pretty sure this is what he’d say if he got the chance.

GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square? Have you pulled up one of the 500 seats at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar and ordered a meal? Did you eat the food? Did it live up to your expectations? Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?
P-Wells, seriously…what’s harshing your vibe? Why so many questions? When did you become an angry food blogger? I thought you wrote for a newspaper. What happened, homeslice? Did your editor threaten to send you back to the obit desk if you don’t double your page views, pronto? This is all way harsh, bro.

When you saw the burger described as “Guy’s Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche,” did your mind touch the void for a minute?
Yes. You’re right, that sounds like it must have been a really tough moment for you. You have a rough life, don’t you, Pete? Well, now you know what real pain is like. A burger description with too many words. Try reading a restaurant review that’s 12 paragraphs longer than it needs to be.

Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table? Were the “bourbon butter crunch chips” missing from your Almond Joy cocktail, too? Was your deep-fried “boulder” of ice cream the size of a standard scoop?
So…first my restaurant’s menu isn’t fancy enough for you, and now you’re complaining that your serving of DEEP-FRIED ICE CREAM is too SMALL?? What did you want, a gallon of it? It’s fried ice cream! Petey, I admit I wasn’t shooting for a Michelin star, but the one thing I can say with certainty is that if you did not get enough food at this restaurant, you have a serious problem. Most of our appetizers have more calories then a four-person family is supposed to consume in a week. Chiiiiiiiilllllll.

What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy’s Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy’s, in any meaningful sense? Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are? If you hadn’t come up with the recipe yourself, would you ever guess that the shiny tissue of breading that exudes grease onto the plate contains either pretzels or smoked almonds? Did you discern any buttermilk or brine in the white meat, or did you think it tasted like chewy air?
My bad, bro. You must have forgot to look at the back of the menu. That’s where our ten-course foie gras tasting options are.

Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret — a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers — called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?
You ate the whole menu?!? Wow, someone has some extra time on their hands. Not even my mom did that. Is everything OK at home?

When you have a second, Mr. Fieri, would you see what happened to the black bean and roasted squash soup we ordered?
Really, Pete, it’s the New York Times. Is this personal query really relevant to the masses? Perhaps you should have…I don’t know—reminded your server? No, no, never mind—you’re right. An angry online complaint is much more effective than asking in person for your personal problem to be fixed. Have you tried Yelp yet, Mr. Wells? You’d love it.

Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?
Here’s a tip for the next time you go recreational slumming, Wellsie. You order a blue drink at a place like this for one reason, maybe two: it’s probably going to be giant, and it’s definitely going to get you (and your date) hella wasted. It certainly doesn’t matter two shits what it tastes like. People know this. In fact, you are the first customer to ever inquire as to what our giant blue “margarita” might taste like. I’m sorry it didn’t have the subtle cloying notes of a 1985 malbec. We’ll work on it.

At your five Johnny Garlic’s restaurants in California, if servers arrive with main courses and find that the appetizers haven’t been cleared yet, do they try to find space for the new plates next to the dirty ones? Or does that just happen in Times Square, where people are used to crowding?
Oh the horrors! I’m guessing this is also your first time eating at a restaurant where there was no silent waiter on hand whose sole job is to discreetly sweep the crumbs off your tablecloth in between the cheese plate and the sorbet course?

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Top Chef 10 Preview: Wolfgang Puck on Going Back to Basics

What a week. Election yesterday, and the premiere of Top Chef: Seattle tonight! As someone who lived in Seattle for the past six years, I’m especially excited to see what beautiful Northwest sights and tasty Seattle restaurants they decide to feature this season. (It doesn’t seem fair; when they did Top Chef in Austin I was in Seattle, then I moved to Austin and they went to Seattle! I just want to befriend Padma!) Anyway, what I’m saying is: I’m psyched for tonight, so obviously I was also psyched when I got the chance to jump on a call with Wolfgang Puck, one of the judges this season, to get a sneak peek at what we can expect from Top Chef 10.

On thing Wolfie (can I call him Wolfie? I feel like we’re BFF at this point, so it’s probably cool) is particularly vehement about is the whole “back to basics” thing that Top Chef is touting this season. He explained: “To me… I judge these chefs on how they can cook an egg… I say, okay, make me an omelet. All these people say they cook in fancy restaurants, but you need to know the basics. Cooking an egg is like cooking a steak or something. Oil, butter, some cream, cook them fast enough so they’re cook on the outside and soft in the center. And it’s amazing how few professional cooks can actually do that.”

Amen, my Austrian brother.

Wolfie says it was interesting to see the new contestants and the choices they make. Some he assumed would be good ended up being very spotty, and a lot of them “tried too hard.” He described the judging experience as, “some terrific dishes where I said ‘wow, I would hire them!’ Then the next show, ‘wow, is that the same person?'”

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Around The World In 80 Plates: The New Top Chef?

Wednesday night Bravo dishes out its newest, and what is claimed to be most expensive original programming venture yet — Around the World in 80 Plates — an ambitious show that pits 12 chefs from across the US against one another in a global setting. I know what you’re thinking: another Top Chef. So was I. But it turns out that 80 Plates is different. In fact, after previewing the first episode, I’m going to be so bold as to say it’s better, and perhaps a legitimate successor to the stale and repetitive Top Chef. Think Amazing Race meets the “restaurant wars” episode of Top Chef, which I know we can all agree is the most exciting and entertaining challenge that Top Chef has to offer these days.

80 Plates is hosted by Cat Cora and Curtis Stone, who, as we also know, I’ve been crushing on for some time. Throughout the course of the season we’re going to be treated to “food ambassadors” such as Jose Andres, Nigella Lawson and Wolfgang Puck. These ambassadors won’t play judge but will act as mere representatives of the cultures to which the competing chefs are exposed.

Continue reading for what to expect in episode one — no spoilers, I promise.

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Plate It or Hate It

Recent food world discoveries the ES crew is loving and hating…

Plate It: Peanut Butter & Jelly M&Ms

Why in the world aren’t these limited-edition babies sold year-round? BUT we have discovered they are available online.

Hate It: Mad Men Cocktails/Tasting Menus

Already more tired than getting “Zou Bisou Bisou” stuck in your head. Sure, everyone loves Don Draper, but we don’t actually want to adopt his diet.

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Plate It or Hate It

Recent food world discoveries the ES crew is loving and hating

Plate It: Creamed Honey

We love honey. We hate how it sticks all over everything. Creamed honey is pure honey that is crystallized so that it changes texture; you get a smooth, creamy product that spreads like butter and doesn’t drip-drip-drip all over everything like that pedestrian un-creamed honey. Brilliant. (Available at http://www.shopbot.co.nz/)

Hate It: Push Pop Cakes

The latest mom blogger craze picks up where cake pops left off. Come on, foodie moms — please stop sacrificing practicality for cuteness. That is not how you eat a cake. Push it up and things start to fall apart once you take your first bite.  (Photo: kristin_a)

Plate It: Travel-Size Brie

Finally. We no longer have to fly with just Laughing Cow. Quality doesn’t compare to regular brie, but it’s sure better than no brie. (Available from Ile de France)

Hate It: Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off

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