Eat. Work. Eat. Work. Eat. TV. Sleep. Repeat.
For most of us, this new routine is starting to feel all too familiar. And like most of you, our days are often ending with a steady stream of television. But if we’re binge-watching shows, they may as well be good ones. And if we suddenly find ourselves eating in front of the TV more often than we typically would, we can at least make sure the food is good, too.
If you’re craving a new show to dive into and need some recipe inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of our current favorites for your perusal. Some of us are dipping back into classics from the past several years, while others are exploring newly released series. Here’s what’s in our queues and on our plates.
What are you watching and eating while you watch? Tell us in the comments below.
“Schitt’s Creek” — “Four Months” cookie
Where has this show been all my life? When my husband and I finally jumped on the bandwagon recently, I thought we were in for merely a smart farce, and it certainly is, but the surprise is in how much of a big heart it’s hiding. There are enough food-related plotlines for a dinner party’s worth of dishes — bagels, cinnamon buns, Moira’s “ON-chiladas” and more — but my favorite is the cookie Patrick gives David for their four-month anniversary, part of the Season 4 arc that includes a certain swoon-inducing open-mic performance.
— Joe Yonan
“Gentefied” — Tacos
Last week, after plowing our way through “Chernobyl” and continuing to chip away at “The Americans,” my girlfriend and I were craving something — anything — a little less anxiety inducing. We stumbled on “Gentefied,” which follows a Mexican American family struggling to keep its floundering taqueria afloat in the rapidly changing Boyle Heights neighborhood in East Los Angeles. In one early episode, Chris, an aspiring chef, attempts to use his fine-dining chops to help his grandfather make the taqueria’s menu more alluring to the area’s new clientele — but not everyone is on board with the idea of a chicken tikka masala taco. The show is part comedy, part heavy-hitting commentary, with an excellent all-Latino cast that powers through some of the unevenness of the writing. And, there are always tacos to be had.
— Matt Brooks
“The Americans” — Pasta with vodka sauce
My husband and I are addicted to this spy thriller’s edge-of-the-seat action (okay, let’s be real, we’re sunk into the sofa) and emotional resonance. As the characters, Russian agents posing as American suburbanites, struggle with allegiance to Mother Russia and the lure of Western ease, vodka keeps popping up as a motif. The booze plus the show’s 1980s setting makes me think of penne a la vodka, which would be the perfect bowlful for our next date with the wily Jennings family.
— Emily Heil
“Sesame Street” — Cookies
“Sesame Street” has long been a staple in our house, but it’s a lifesaver now that our toddler is home with us 24/7. The children’s show, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, never ceases to educate and entertain — even me. Cookie Monster is a favorite in our house, no matter which way the cookie crumbles. (If you’re wondering what I watch on my own time, it’s “Outlander,” ideally with some shortbread.)
Recipe: Every-Monster Cookies
— Becky Krystal
“30 Rock” — Mac and cheese
I’m late to the party on this hit show and so now I’m binge-watching. The characters, especially Liz Lemon, eat a lot and talk a lot — a lot — about food. I love the scene above because you know we’re all under a bit of duress these days. And, mac and cheese is the ultimate in comfort food.
Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Mac-n-Cheese
— Ann Maloney
“Sex Education” — Banana bread
There’s a certain scene involving a character conducting a tutorial using a banana. This show might feature a lot of very dirty things, but honestly, it’s a very sweet show about the awkwardness of growing up. That’s why this Naturally Sweet Banana Bread recipe is the right choice here.
Recipe: Naturally Sweet Banana Bread
— Kari Sonde
“Chernobyl” — Dark & Stormy
My wife and I decided to binge-watch “Chernobyl,” the HBO miniseries about the Soviet-era nuclear disaster, because, well, misery loves company. M. Carrie Allan (the Spirits columnist for The Post) and I have been struck by the parallels between Chernobyl in the Soviet Union and covid-19 in the United States: In both cases, scientists push back against leaders who want to forward a more optimistic narrative. In any case, food doesn’t play a large part in the series — food shortages were a fact of life in the Soviet Union — but there are many scenes in which characters knock back shots of vodka. Neither Carrie nor I fancy vodka much, but we fully endorse the Dark & Stormy, a sister cocktail to the Moscow Mule.
Recipe: Dark & Stormy
— Tim Carman
“Unorthodox” — Chicken soup
Food, in Jewish faith and culture, is a centerpiece of community. Specific foods that one should and shouldn’t eat (dietary restrictions called kashrut) are mentioned in the Torah (Old Testament), and there are symbolic foods for every holiday and even a holiday where one completely abstains from food and drink (Yom Kippur). Families on “Unorthodox” come together over meals, be it protagonist Esty’s wedding or Passover Seder or the food she eats once she escapes to Berlin. To her, food is a connection to the world she knows as well as the world she’s learning about.
— Olga Massov
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