tv dinner.

my addiction: AppleTV. i have season passes for "downton abbey," "top gear," and my new favourite cooking show, "dinner with the band" with chef sam mason.

i have to admit, i haven't really followed the career of chef mason because he looks like a relative of mine who i'd like to decapitate and stitch his head back on with an awl on a regular basis, so i've got irrational bias. i know i'm totally late to the party, but when i read about "dinner with the band" i knew it was worth checking out--indie music? good food? add a couple of fast cars in the mix and they woulda hit a trifecta, but two out of three is rarely ever bad, even if it is a meatloaf song.

if you haven't seen the show, the basic conceit is that a band shows up at chef mason's space, he cooks a meal and creates a cocktail that is somewhat tailored to the guests, and they play some music. zomg, the music! soooo good. great bands--most of whom i'd heard before, but i'm totally loving the ones i'd not known previously, in particular theophilus london and the devil makes three.

chef mason is a good host, really at ease in front of the camera. he's never at a loss for words, but still able to carry a conversation with the bands whilst prepping the meal. he's a bit no-nonsense, yeah, he's got that hipster thing going, but he's got a quick wit and easy going manner that appeals. and anyone who has a kick-ass waylon jennings tattoo is alright with me. then there's the food, which is far more interesting than i had anticipated, yet still executable by the average home cook. i watched six episodes in a row, and wanted to make everything.

luckily, i actually had most of the ingredients on hand to make the main part of meal from the murder city devils ep: midnight burritos at the mason kitchen.

sam mason burrito

chef mason said that this was his take on mission-style burritos. and then he said he'd never been to san francisco. um, it's kinda evident he's never had a mission burrito, which is a hulking, amalgamated behemoth. this is not. this is actually the antithesis of the mission burrito--healthier, lighter, of average proportion, and orderly.

sam mason burrito innards

chef mason lines up the ingredients in such a way that plucks at my OCD heartstrings, so of course i had to as well. the innards of the burrito contain chorizo, green cilantro rice, refried lentils, goat cheese, queso fresco, and watercress salsa verde. when i first heard the components, i was doubtful but damn if this isn't one fine burrito. (okay, if you call this a burrito in my 'hood, you'd get laughed out of town. so let's say this is one fine mexican-inspired wrap.)

sam mason salsa gunge

the lentils are a particularly nice addition because they are so much lighter than the traditional refried beans. the goat cheese was an eye-opening, mouth-watering surprise--the sharpness and musty creaminess adds extra depth, and the watercress salsa verde is soooooo nice. the original recipe calls for fresh tomatillos, which unfortunately i didn't have, so i had to make do with some frozen roasted ones i chucked in the freezer mumblemumble months ago. still, the peppery spice of the watercress played well with the heated spice of the jalapeño, and the fresh herbiness works well with the roasted fruit (i'm guessing tomatillos are fruit). i look forward to whatever season brings in fresh tomatillos on island, because the original sauce is a beautiful, verdant, springy green, and i'm sure the salsa verde will just knock my socks off. if i wore socks.

here's the band:

who freakin' rock it out. and here's another link to the recipes. i wish i had enough tomatillos to make the agua verde cocktail, but there's time enough for that.

my notes:
--i used frozen pre-roasted tomatillos in the salsa.
--the chorizo is a local product, and pretty freaking awesome. i used the chicken chorizo, which didn't produce a lot of oil, so for the lentils, i drained off some of the 'rizo juice and added a small glug of olive oil.
--i used regular lentils and didn't mash them down that much as i was looking for more texture.
--even though there are a zillion components, it is actually not that complicated. from start to finish, i had all the components made and the burritos assembled in just about an hour.

"dinner with the band" is on IFC, or by download on itunes.


see, this is what happens now I don't use a reader and am unused to checking you for updates, there are two! that show sounds great - if only I knew what apple tv was:( For someone who works in the tech industry I am woefully ignorant.

because what I meant to say was "hooray" both the things look like scrumptious things to eat.

hi amanda! apple tv is just a way to stream video and audio content onto your television. i actually have an old model, which stores videos in it as well. i can't access a lot of streaming content because i'm not in the continental US, so i rely on itunes downloads. but i'm happy with what i get!

the cheese puffs were a nice amuse bouche, so light and tender. you'd never know there was so much cheese in them :) the burrito thing is AWESOME. i'm totally making those again, and all the components on their own are pretty great too.

You've managed to work Devil Makes Three, an SF burrito and Katson's into one post. SWEETNESS.

I have danced my butt off to the first, was born and raised on the second, and serve the third every day at the restaurant where I work. (Their vegan one, too!)

The photos are beautiful to boot.


i'm new to devil makes three, but imma gonna check them out. have you seen this show? it's pretty great.

I love your blog. My hubby loves Top Gear, did you see that one where they came to New Orleans? Hi-freakin-larious!

Though this has nothing to do with TV dinners, I didn't know where else to leave you a note, so sorry for being off topic. I read your post about Martha's striped rolled tuiles, and how well that turned out :) and that reminded me of barquillos, yummy barquillos of my youth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLE6jC7zbtg

Now I'm obsessed with making them...but one small hitch, I cannot figure out where to find a barquillera. Arrgghhh, I've just about googled every possible combination, barquillo, barquillera, wafer iron, wafer press, etc... Any chance you might be able to point me in the right direction? If not, I guess I'll have to learn blacksmithing. Oh for the love of a good barquillos!

Thanks very much! Keep up the great blog.

hello artisan fork! i actually sort of hated that episode of "top gear." i felt like there was a lot of forced baiting but at least the locals called them on it.

i don't know where one would find a barquillera...not even in the philippines :/ divisoria? you can always experiment with a flat top grill and a flat cast iron press like a bacon press, i reckon. good luck in your search!

I just stumbled on your blog (found the tapioca pearl creme brulee recipe) and I just wanted to say I love your photography :)