Binging with Babish: Arrested Development Special (feat. Sean Evans)

Binging with Babish: Arrested Development Special (feat. Sean Evans)

[GEORGE MICHAEL] Dad, it’s okay we can just work together with them, you know? [MICHAEL] Yeah, I mean that makes sense. I mean, we don’t really even know the recipe. [GEORGE MICHAEL] Oh, there’s no recipe. You just freeze a banana and then you stick it – [MICHAEL] Don’t tell them! [ASSISTANT] Stick it in the what? Stick it in the what? [GOB] No, it’s okay, son, we’ll figure it out! [BUSTER] So watery… and yet there’s a smack of ham to it. [LINDSAY] It’s hot ham water. [MICHAEL] It’s the poor carpenter that blames his shoddy tools for the- ow! *bleep* Ah, that stupid corn-balling piece of – [ANDREW] Hey, what’s up, guys? Welcome back to Binging with Babish, where this week we’re taking a look at the foods from Arrested Development, starting with the famous Bluth frozen bananas for which it turns out there’s a little bit of a recipe. We’re gonna make magic shell, that almost inappropriately fun ice cream topping that hardens as soon as it hits your frozen treat. We’re gonna start by melting a whole bunch of chocolate in a double boiler, getting it about halfway melted, and then adding a few generous dollops of coconut oil. This is going to help keep the chocolate liquid even at room temperature. There’s no super exact recipe here, but you want a ratio of about five to one chocolate to coconut oil. Continue to melt until completely melted, then remove from the heat and set aside and then go and retrieve your slightly overexposed bananas from the freezer — these have been simply peeled and then impaled — and then we’re just going to dip it in the Magic Shell, and then very quickly before it hardens, we’re going to hit it with a couple different toppings. I’ve got some chopped peanuts, some toffee, and some sprinkles, comma, rainbow But feel free to go ahead and get creative! Now, I unfortunately can’t eat these because as many of you know, I have a deathly banana allergy. I wish there was someone who could help me taste test. What?! Why, it’s internet sensation Sean Evans! [SEAN] Hey Andrew! I, like the rest of the world, am not allergic to bananas. [ANDREW] Music to my ears. So what do you think? You want to try one of these things? [SEAN] These look good! Can I make one? [ANDREW] Totally, dude, batter up! Simply insert your rock-hard banana into the loving embrace of the warm, molten chocolate. [SEAN] Wow! And so they freeze in the pot? [ANDREW] Yep. So you gotta top it quick. So which toppings are you gonna go for? [SEAN] You know, I can’t pick just one. I kind of want to dump the whole topping buffet on this thing. [ANDREW] As usual, Sean, I like your style. No wonder you beat me in the calzone cook-off. Alright, nice! So now that we have these bananas out onto a tray, we gotta let them harden for just a couple more seconds before diggin’ in. What do you think? [SEAN] Mmm, yeah! MMM! Damn, now that’s a good frozen banana. I’m sorry you have a weird banana allergy, Andrew. [ANDREW] It’s not that weird. There are literally dozens of us. But thank you very much for being my taste tester, man. [SEAN] Anytime, Andrew. Peace, bro! [ANDREW] What a nice guy. I bet we’re gonna see more of him in a few minutes. So now this stuff is room temperature stable so you can jar it and give it to Sean Evans before he leaves! And then it’s time to take a turn for savory because we’re gonna take a look at hot ham water. This, of course, starts with a big ol’ canned ham, as specified by Lindsay. So we got to peel this sucker open, take a sniff. Ooh. Yep, that’s definitely ham. And be sure not to waste all that included ham water when making hot ham water. Get this fella out of his can and then drop him gently, tenderly into the- oh Jesus be careful. Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes, so that one flavor can get to know itself, and then it’s time to enjoy a hearty spoonful of hot ham water, which I got to say, not a huge fan of. Yes, there is a smack of ham, but it’s so watery. But of course, I need confirmation. Sean. What do you think of this grey, pallid piece of pork? [SEAN] Not…bad? You know, I actually thought it’d be worse. Gonna go in for another. [ANDREW] Oh my god, all that hot sauce over the years seems to have numbed your taste buds. [SEAN] Watery… But it’s that kiss of ham that really works. [ANDREW] Huh. Well, I stand corrected. I applaud your bravery, but I think it’s time that we make a Babish version of hot ham water and that to me screams tonkotsu broth, which starts with pig trotters or pig’s feet that I have cut into these 1 inch thick discs. I’ve got about four pounds of them that I’m going to place in a large stockpot, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer. Right off the bat, you’re gonna see a whole bunch of gross grey scum float to the top. This is what we want. These are a lot of impurities and nasty stuff that we’re getting out of the pig’s feet. Then we’re gonna take it one step further by straining the pig’s feet and, using a chopstick, scraping out all the grey gunk that we can get our hands on under some running cold water. Then we’re gonna place these back in the pot, which of course we’ve rinsed out, cover again with cold water and bring again to a rolling simmer. While waiting for that to boil it’s time to bring some other flavors to the party. I’ve got a whole onion cut into quarters, some chopped scallions, and some chopped fresh ginger all of which I’m going to get some nice dark color on in a non-stick pan over high heat. This is going to bring both color and a whole bunch of flavor to our tonkotsu. And now it’s time to let this guy cook for 12 hours. Yes. You heard me right, we want this at a rolling simmer for 12 whole hours, enough time to run out and get a fresh tattoo while you keep an eye on your broth through a sort of makeshift baby monitor. And your patience will be rewarded with a beautiful smell and a thick, creamy, tonkotsu broth. That rolling boil has allowed solids in the bones to dissolve and emulsify and it’s gonna make for some seriously good ramen. We need this stuff to cool completely before we can refrigerate it, so strain the broth into a smaller pot and place that into an ice bath, getting it as cool as possible as quickly as possible before pouring into jars and then refrigerating or freezing. Now this is some hot ham water that I can get behind. We’ll take a closer look at tonkotsu ramen in an upcoming episode of Basics with Babish, but for now, we’ve got one more Bluthian creation to tackle: the cornballer. Now as we saw, the cornballer gets extremely hot and should never be touched, especially if — [SEAN] Dude, I was just thinking about that recurring gag in Arrested Development and – gah! [Sean starts to swear angrily and heavily, but every curse is bleeped] [ANDREW] Ooh, okay, so while Sean goes and washes his mouth out with soap and tends to his wounds, we’re gonna make my best approximation of corn balls, which is hush puppies. We’re combining 120 grams of corn flour, 85 grams of all-purpose flour, a teaspoon and a half of baking powder, half a teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of kosher salt and half a teaspoon of smoked paprika or cayenne pepper. Whisk until totally combined and then in a separate bowl, we’re going to combine our wet ingredients. That is 3/4 of a cup of buttermilk and two whole eggs. We’re then going to whisk those to combine, making sure that we’ve got the eggs and buttermilk totally incorporated, and then add those to the dry ingredients. The purpose of doing this? Much like in pancake batter, we want to prevent the build-up of gluten. We’re even gonna leave it a little lumpy like pancake batter, which is going to result in lighter, fluffier Hush Puppies. Now let’s talk fillings. We’ve got lots of options: chopped scallions, chopped jalapeño, whole corn, but I’m gonna take a page out of the Sean Evans playbook and just put them all in there. This is after we’ve let the batter sit for 10 minutes to let any undissolved pieces of flour soak up more moisture and we’re going to gently fold our fillings into the batter. Now let’s move the cornballer over to a safer, more fireproof space, and use a small ice cream or cookie dough scoop to portion out maybe six separate tablespoons of batter, which we’re going to fry up to golden, puffy, crispy completion. I mean just look at these things I can’t think of anything finer to have come out of the South than, well, maybe all of the most delicious foods in the world so never mind. We’re plating these guys up with some simple tartar sauce. Now, let’s rip one open and see what kind of texture we’ve got on the inside. Ethereal, light, fluffy, flavorful. I know this isn’t a very faithful recreation of what they made on Arrested Development, but I will take any excuse I can to make hush puppies, ’cause oh my god, they are good. I would happily induct these into the Clean Plate Club all myself, but I’m trying to be just a little bit healthy, so I’m gonna go have Sean help me off-camera. Hopefully that swelling has gone down. [SONG: “Sleepwalker” by Emily King]

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About the Author: Sam Caldwell


  1. my wife is from rochester and had never heard of hush puppies before i introduced her to them at bubba's shrimp shack in gloucester, VA. She's a big fan of fried food and a bigger fan of bread. she had never fathomed the idea of frying batter in ball form until i brought her to the beautiful, humid, and infectious south

  2. I’m Irish. We always drank ham water in my house. We had the ham with cal cannon and other foods or even adding it to coddle (Irish stew) but I always drank the water as a kid right out of the pot while it boiled. It was delicious.

  3. I have a severe banana allergy too! 😀 It's always iterating when I find another person who has the same issue.

  4. it's okay babish I'm allergic to bananas too. I didn't know until I was in my 20s though because I thought "banana tingles" were a thing. it wasn't until my boyfriend informed they aren't that I realized something may be wrong with my ability to consume bananas

  5. Sean Evans (the man who didnt fix his stove for a year because he didn't use it enough to know it was broken) beat Andrew at cooking? Insanity.

  6. I have a mild oral allergy to almost every fruit— including bananas. It sucks. I have to microwave all my fruit before I eat it to break down the protein I am allergic to. Microwaved apples taste not great.

    Also didn’t figure out about my allergy until 17 years of age. Just thought fruit was supposed to hurt. The difference in taste between fruits that don’t make my teeth feel loose and my lips puff up, and those that do is, well it’s VERY different.

  7. Seeking feedback; would it work to build the tonkatsu broth in a slow cooker? The prospect of such a lengthy rolling simmer feels like a bit of a fire hazard.

  8. The Steve1989MREInfo reference did not go unnoticed. And the "literally dozens of us" never-nude reference was classy as well.

  9. “Let it simmer for at least thirty minutes so that that one flavor can get to know itself.”
    The flavor: WHAT AM I, WHAT IS MY PURPOSE???

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