We are a nation that loves to be entertained, with a little something to munch on the side.
Popcorn, Junior Mints, Raisinets and the movies. Hot dogs, cheesy nachos and baseball. Cold pizza, Red Bull and YouTube.
And television? There are hundreds of shows on an equally large number of channels, and we’ve come a long way since the frozen TV dinners of several decades ago.
So what do you eat while watching your favorite show?
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With so many season premieres and season finales filling up the next few months, we suggest foods that complement the personality, the content, the total zeitgeist of a few popular TV shows.
Yes, we’ve completely ignored cooking-related and calorie-counting reality shows. Would you ingest anything other than baby carrots and large amounts of a frisky prosecco during those things? I think not. And yes, we know, we know, you should (a) be sitting down with your family at the dinner table instead of plopped in front of the TV, and (b) these may not be the most nutritious suggestions on the planet, but you’re not doing this every day, right?
So with all the soon-to-air season finales or premieres in mind, we offer a few ideas on what to eat with 10 shows:
“American Idol” (Fox): Ham (yes, gooey and cloying) plus a really cheesy potato casserole. Note: Good with any show that “celebrates” America’s, um, talent: “America’s Got Talent” (NBC) and “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC), etc.
“Friday Night Lights” (NBC): Bad hot dogs, cheap chips and cold coffee with nondairy creamer. Or upscale the eats with barbecue and fried pickles.
“Glee” (Fox): Carryout from Olive Garden, heavy on the breadsticks. Or sloppy joes and potato chips. Or toss a slushies party.
“Gossip Girl” (CW): Strictly liquid diet (i.e. coffee or Cristal).
“Mad Men” (AMC): Martinis, iceberg salad, coq au vin, red table wine, scotch, fruit cocktail, brandy, Salisbury steak.
“Modern Family” (ABC): Cereal. Frozen TV dinner and a big glass of milk.
“NCIS” (CBS): Leroy Jethro Gibbs (coffee), Abby Sciuto (Caf-Pow) and Timothy McGee (Nutter Butters)
“The Good Wife” (CBS): Big steaks, bigger glasses of red wine, Italian beef sandwiches with soggy fries or hot dog on a sesame seed bun with neon-green relish. May induce heartburn if consumed watching “The Chicago Code” (Fox).
“30 Rock” (NBC): Cheesy Blasters, mac ’n’ cheese, doughnuts and “funky juice” – white wine, ice and Sprite – cinnamon nuts (from Nuts 4 Nuts).
Reporters Christopher Borrelli, Carmel Carrillo, Steve Cavendish, Courtney Crowder, Renee Enna and Julia Keller contributed to this report.
Prep: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 cocktail
1/4 cup tomato juice
3 tablespoons vodka
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon each: salt, freshly ground black pepper, ground red pepper
1 dash lemon juice
Combine all ingredients with ice cubes in cocktail shaker. Shake just long enough to chill thoroughly; strain into highball glass.
Nutrition information: Per serving: 110 calories, 1 percent of calories from fat, 0.1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 830 mg sodium, 1 g fiber
Source: This take on the classic bloody mary is adapted from “The New American Bartender’s Guide.”
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red or green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/2 cup each: ketchup, water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 kaiser rolls, toasted
Heat oil in medium skillet.
Add onion and pepper; cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.
Add beef; cook, breaking up pieces, until browned and crumbled, 4 minutes.
Mix in ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste; simmer until flavors are blended, 15 minutes. Serve on rolls.
Nutrition information: Per serving: 415 calories, 31 percent of calories from fat, 14 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 69 mg cholesterol, 42 g carbohydrates, 28 g protein, 1,087 mg sodium, 2 g fiber