Host an "Arrested Development" Party

by Lauren Salkeld


Frozen Chocolate BananasCelebrate the return of our favorite dysfunctional television family with bananas, ice cream sandwiches, and Cornballers

Ingredients:
One hardworking single father and his awkward teenage son; a lazy shopaholic sister, her never-nude psychiatrist-turned-actor husband, and their movie-executive teenage daughter; a Segway-riding failed-magician older brother; a one-handed younger brother and his vertigo-prone older girlfriend; an alcoholic family matriarch, her fugitive husband, and his identical twin brother

Preparation:
Take your stair car (avoid hop-ons) to pick up blue body paint, a fur coat, an orange jumpsuit, and a case of bag-and-boil frozen dinners; pop a Teamocil for camaraderie (ignore the numbness and memory loss); write your cousin a love letter; and put on your dress eyebrows-whatever you do, avoid swimming in the ocean.

Yield:
A meal that's as dysfunctional as the Bluth family

The Menu:
Arrested Development's Bluth family may have lost everything, but they still have each other-and the company credit card. To toast the long-awaited return of this too-short-lived Ron Howard-narrated show, we recommend gathering around the model-home dining table for a Bluth-themed feast.

The Bluths are a drinking family, so don't scrimp on the hors d'oeuvres-you'll need something to soak up all that vodka. Parmesan Pepper Popcorn is our nod to when Oscar, attempting to share his Pop Secret kernels with Buster, inadvertently reveals that he's Buster's real father. We also recommend Fried Calamari with Peperoncini Mayonnaise, our take on "calamari with club sauce," because who can forget Gob reading the country club menu to his date, Lucille Austero? Feel free to swap out the calamari for one of the other menu options: popcorn shrimp with club sauce, fried cheese with club sauce, or chicken fingers with spicy club sauce.

Party Tips:

Our main course, Veal Marsala, has a double meaning. It's the bag-and-boil frozen dinner that George Sr. gets stuck in the hot tub, and also a tribute to Ann Veal, George Michael's conservative and impossibly difficult to remember girlfriend. On the side, serve Fried Corn Cakes with Green Onions, which are our take on Cornballers, the deep-fried treat made using George Sr.'s dangerous, available-only-in-Mexico Cornballer machine. We round out our menu with a House Salad. We don't recall anyone eating salad on Arrested Development, but George Michael did tell his father that "Sudden Valley," the proposed name for the Bluth Company housing development, reminded him of salad dressing. Plus, the recipe reminds us of the important role that houses play in the Bluth family escapades-not only do they live in a rapidly declining model home, the family business is real estate development and the Bluth Company is suspected of building houses in Iraq for Saddam Hussein.

Then, of course, we have to include Frozen Chocolate Bananas, an homage to the family-owned Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand, where George Michael and his cousin Maeby, with whom he is secretly in love, often work. Business suffered a bit during the low-carb-diet craze, but as George Sr. likes to repeat, "There's always money in the banana stand." George Sr. is also known for his love of ice cream sandwiches, and there's even an ice cream sandwich vending machine at the Orange County Prison, where he is incarcerated for fraud. Our Custom-Made Ice Cream Sandwiches are a bit over-the-top, but that seems fitting for a Bluth-themed feast.

Of course no tribute to Arrested Development would be complete without a healthy selection of drinks. Lucille drinks a lot of vodka, especially Cloudmir, a brand that's popular in Newport Beach, but she also beat Kitty Sanchez, her husband's former assistant and mistress, in a tequila-drinking contest at Señor Tadpole's. The family matriarch also likes white wine, but be careful with boxed wine, which your less sophisticated guests might mistake for a giant juice box. Of course, there should also be unlimited juice. That's what is going to make your party "off the hook."

Party Tips:
Host a talent show, inviting your guests to perform any of the following: Star Wars impressions, cross-dressing as a British housekeeper, magic tricks carried out to Europe's 1986 hit, "Final Countdown," racially charged ventriloquism, mother-and-son duets, chicken dancing and clucking, and folk music (no woodblock allowed).

See more from Epicurious:
Arrested Development TV Dinner
Party Planners Inspired by Our Favorite TV Shows