The Spanish Recipe

We all love to hate the Food Network. This is of course because it sucks; much like today’s new, improved GOP, it continues to find ever-cheesier ways to continue digging the mouth-breathing corporate shill-hole deeper and deeper. But I have some good news for you, o brilliant and discerning readers of this fine site: they’re picking up their game. (Food TV, that is. The GOP? Seriously?) Why on Earth would I say such an improbable thing? Well, I have some exciting news.

To boost its prestige, the Food Network is starting a new show called “Eat Your Words” that allows important contemporary literary and cultural figures to reflect on the role and history of gastronomy in both their lives and the world at large. Thanks to a mole inside the network, I just happen to have obtained a few pages of the script for the pilot episode, featuring none other than award-winning play- and screenwriter and director David Mamet. It’s an instant classic; his fans will love the snappy, witty dialogue that is “natural” in much the same way that the Shouts & Murmurs section of The New Yorker is “funny.” And Food Network lovers will adore the sumptuous feasts prepared by people they think they saw on that thing on PBS that one time! Talk about synergy, right?

So read, learn, and marvel as veteran Mamet alum Joe Mantegna joins Dave for an impromptu paella-making demonstration. I bet you’ll feel smarter by the end. And hungry!

Kitchen interior. Night. Dave and Joe stand behind a counter island wearing aprons. Dave’s has flowers on it.

JOE

Dave… Dave. Dave. You like paella?

DAVE

What, like rice? With the stuff in it? With like…

JOE

Chicken, sausage…

DAVE

…sausage, what’s it called, the Spanish sausage…

JOE

Chorizo.

DAVE

…and what, shrimp? Isn’t chorizo Mexican?

JOE

Yeah, but it comes from Spanish. Like they speak. And peas, and peppers and shit. Saffron. Paella. You like it?

DAVE

Shit, I dunno, I guess. You making some? Now?

JOE

Thinking about it.

DAVE

Thinking? Are you thinking about it, or are we talking about…

JOE

…making it?

DAVE

Yeah. Are we?

JOE

What, talking about it?

DAVE

Paella? The… making it?

JOE

We’re speaking about talking about thinking about making paella.

(pause)

Yes.

(pause)

You like it? You can… you want to learn? You can help. It’ll be finished faster than Jeremy Piven snorting fat rails of mercury off a hooker’s ass.

(pause)

It’s rice, chicken, sausage, shellfish…

DAVE

How come you know so much about this… aren’t you…

JOE

(checks watch)

Yeah, Italian. I like to cook. I’ve been to Spain.

DAVE

All that? In one pot of rice?

JOE

It’s hot. Put those onions and peppers, in the oil, to… and…

DAVE

…I’m…

JOE

yeah, the saffron… and…

DAVE

It’s all… it’s… wow, turning yellow. Is it all going to fit? Does… do they… all those things go in?

Joe

…stir them… if you… instead of chicken, you could use other birds.

DAVE

Other birds?

JOE

You know, like, you know…

DAVE

…what, like a duck?

JOE

…like a duck, yeah, or also pheasant, maybe, or squab…

Dave

Squab? Isn’t that a fancy name for a pigeon?

Joe

I guess so.

Dave

I don’t eat pigeon.

JOE

At least you give her roles in your movies. You gotta… stir the… yeah, it’s sticking. You… broth, it needs more broth. They use whatever they got. Fish.

DAVE

So, these clams…

JOE

The clams?

DAVE

(simultaneously with “clams”)

The clams.

JOE

Right.

DAVE

…the…

JOE

(texting on his phone)

So. The clams. Right.

DAVE

Now?

JOE

Yeah, right now. The clams. Add them.

DAVE

…in the pan…

JOE

…the pan, push ‘em into the rice. They’ll cook…

DAVE

…just like that? They’ll cook? No lid? Like that they’ll cook?

JOE

…and they’ll open up. They add flavor. And the mussels, them too. Kinda arrange…

DAVE

…like an arrangement…

JOE

…evenly around the pan. They’ll cook and open up. There’s no lid. It’s got… the… there’s no… the pan has no lid.

Unfortunately, that’s all I got from my source. But what a taste! Think of the possibilities for future programs! David Brooks could make his famous Beltway Cocktail Wieners and talk about the long hours he spent learning all about regular folks at the Applebee’s salad bar. Amy Chua might show us how real Chinese Mothers abuse and humiliate ingredients into submissive, obedient excellence! Jeff Koons could have sex with a porn star while someone else makes his dinner! Ann Coulter, desperate to regain her place at the top of the Harpy Heap, could eviscerate a live bunny rabbit and eat its entrails! Does anyone think that Jack Black couldn’t give “Dump and Stir” a whole new meaning? Hell, if it catches on, I bet they could even get Tom Cruise to show us some alien mind-and-cheese melting techniques from the Scientology closet cookbook! It makes one giddy with anticipation.

9 comments to The Spanish Recipe

  • Dang, and we don’t have cable TV. I just new we were missing out on all the good stuff.:) Your too funny.

  • Janet

    You are one sick puppy. ;-)
    Wait, didn’t you mention hot dogs or wieners or something…

  • I love the idea! Maybe John Travolta could join Tom Cruise in that episode and talk about how to fabricate a baby out of a 56 year old woman and some common kitchen utensils, including a turkey baster.

  • You totally had me fooled until I got to the Jeremy Piven part.

  • QUENTIN TARANTINO

    So we just polished off this delicious meal at this Italian joint on Hester Street, osso bucco, linguine and clams, the works, and the waitress comes over and asks if we want dessert. And my buddy says to her, “Yeah, this guy over here wants tiramisu.” And I say to him, “Fuck you, asshole, if any yuppie faggot scum wants tiramisu around here, it’s you!” And our waitress starts giving me the eye and kinda smiling. And I look down, and she’s wearing six-inch heels and she has a tattoo of Betty Davis on her inner thigh. No, the funk singer! That’s fucking Bette Davis, dumbass! (throws saucepan)

    SAMUEL L. JACKSON

    There ain’t gonna be no motherfuckin’ tiramisu if we don’t get these motherfuckin’ egg yoks whipped up proper! (draws gun)

  • how can i comment anything after franklin? i can’t top that…

  • Peter
    This was funny. How about designing some toilet paper or facial tissues imprinted with the Food Network logo? I’d use them.

  • Peter

    MIke: Not having cable is the single best decision you can make these days.

    Janet: Yes, I called David Brooks a wiener. On account of he is one.

    Jonny: I like where this is going.

    Blanche: Did you hear Mamet’s reaction to Piven quitting? “Maybe he can find work as a thermometer.”

    Franklin: Inglourious Custerds.

    Claudia: You could top it with whipped cream and cocoa powder. And then get real high and watch Uma Thurman eat it, slowly.

    Bob: I love it. Seriously. The logo, or Ray-Ray’s grinning mug.

  • This is what happens when it’s single digits and the snow is up to your knees for weeks on end. I love it.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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