When I first sat down to watch The Affair I figured I was in for another soapy melodrama that I wouldn’t be able to get enough of because I’m a sucker for guilty pleasure TV — I was half right. The Affair started off as a dramatic tale of sexy summertime fling between two married people, but it has turned into a dark murder mystery full of lies and deceit that I can’t seem to turn away from. On the surface it is the melodramatic primetime hit I was hoping for, but there is something about this series that ultimately makes it one of the most unique shows I’ve seen lately.
My mom used to always say that there are three sides to every story — His, hers and the truth. Each episode of The Affair tells the same story from separate viewpoints, which allows the viewer to interpret the truth as they best see fit. Throughout the first season we saw the start of Noah and Alison’s affair through each of their eyes. Each episode also started and ended with scenes from the investigation of a future murder, which constantly had fans on the edges of their seats trying to guess what would happen next.
As the story progressed into it’s second season, we started to see the aftermath of both divorces. We were also introduced to two new points of view, giving us insight into the minds of Cole and Helen. These two quickly became stand out characters and fan favorites because they are both much more appealing than Noah and Alison, even on their worst days (looking at you Helen).
With the season 3 premiere right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about what to serve at my watch party and was instantly drawn to the idea of having separate drinks and snacks to represent each of the main characters of this story.
Sorry Whitney…We still love you.
Click here or check out the gallery below to see the recipes featured in this post.
Helen — White Wine Spritzers
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Club Soda
- Lemon Juice
- Lime Juice
- Pour white wine over ice
- Top with club soda and fresh citrus juice
- Garnish with lemon and lime
As I mentioned earlier, the introduction of these new perspectives really helped bring the supporting characters to the forefront of this story. Helen has easily become one of my favorites because of how real and believable her side of the story is. One of my favorite scenes thus far is from S2E4, when Helen’s stress from the separation finally pushes her over the edge. We’ve all been there, at one point or another…Drinking wine straight from the bottle, stripping down to your spanx and belting out an angry melody at the top of our lungs.
Cheers, Helen! This one’s for you…
Start with a bottle of your favorite white wine — I chose a crisp Sauvignon Blanc for my spritzers, but a smooth Pinot Grigio or sweet Riesling would work just as nicely. Pour the wine over ice, top with club soda and freshly squeezed citrus juice. Finally, and sliced lemon and lime rounds for garnish and enjoy!
Noah — Manhattan
- 2 ½ oz Bourbon Whiskey
- 1 oz Sweet Vermouth
- Dash Angostura Bitters
- Orange peel
- Maraschino Cherry
- Combine Whiskey, Vermouth and Bitters in mixing glass
- Fill with ice and stir for 30 secs to chill
- Strain into chilled glass
- Garnish with orange peel and maraschino cherries
Next, we move on to the villain of our story, Noah Solloway. Over the course of the past two seasons we’ve watched as Noah’s character went from bad to worse. At this point, we’ve seen Noah make mistake after mistake and we can’t seem to get enough of it. Most of those “mistakes” were alcohol-induced — A bar fight with a college newspaper reporter, unknowingly skinny dipping with his 17-year old daughter, almost hooking up with his publicist while Alison goes into labor, this list goes on…
Naturally, a boozy drink was the only way to represent his character, but which one? When I think about a brooding writer like Noah I picture him sitting in his study, sipping on a glass of whiskey, struggling to find the right words to put on the page. Since the story takes place in the state of New York, a Manhattan seemed more than fitting.
To make a classic Manhattan you will need bourbon whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters. Combine these ingredients in a cocktail mixer, add ice and stir for about 30 seconds. Strain the drink into a chilled rocks glass, and garnish with an orange peel and cherries.
Cole — Fish & Chips Sticks
- White Fish
- Potato Chips
- Salt, Pepper, Cayenne
- Combine potato chip crumbs and spices in a shallow bowl. Coat strips of fish in flour, dip in eggs, toss in the crumb mixture and place on greased baking sheet.
- Bake fish sticks in a 450° oven for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Serve with tarter sauce and chips!
Since Montauk is a big fishing town, the docks ended up being a crucial setting for this story and therefore served as the inspiration for this next dish. Midway through season 1 we learn that Cole and his brothers have been providing the locals and “the summer people” with drugs for years by smuggling cocaine into town through the fishing docks.
By using the potato chips I’d traditionally serve alongside my fish as the base for my breading, I was able to combine to classic favorites into one delicious snack. Crush up your favorite potato chips until they are nice and fine, similar to breadcrumbs that are traditionally used. Once you’ve cut the fish of your choosing (I went with mahi mahi) into strips you’ll want to coat each one in flour, then eggs, then chip crumbs and bake them at 450° for about 10 minutes.
I decided to make my own tarter sauce and potato chips to serve alongside, but you can always settle on the store-bought kind if you don’t have as much free time on your hands. For the sauce, essentially all you’ll need is mayo, relish, onion and lemon juice. You can get more creative with the chips if you’d like though — I settled on some classic salt & vinegar for my batch.
Alison — Lobster Rolls
- Boil lobster for approx. 10 minutes, remove the meat and chop into small pieces if necessary
- Toss chopped lobster meat with mayo, lemon juice, salt, pepper, chives in a medium bowl and set aside
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and cook until browned; Once browned, place cut rolls facedown and cook until toasted
- Remove the buns from heat, add the lobster mixture and enjoy!
Now I know you didn’t think I was going to throw a watch party for The Affair without making lobster rolls, did you?! The Lobster Roll is the name of the restaurant where Noah and Alison first meet. The whole Solloway family strolls into town and stops for a bite to eat, where Alison is their waitress. As time passes the restaurant gets put up for auction, and Cole and Alison team up to buy it. If you thought that The Lobster Roll was full of drama under Oscar’s management, just wait until we see what’s in store for the new owners…
To start, you’ll want to hit up your local grocery/seafood store for some fresh lobster. If you’re as nervous about cooking and removing the meat as I was, fear not because it’s actually pretty simple — Check out this handy step-by-step walkthrough. Once you’ve cooked and removed the lobster meat from its shell, toss it with mayo, lemon juice, chives, salt and pepper.
Next, you’ll want to toast up some buttery rolls to serve the lobster mixture in. I’m a sucker for anything that includes brown butter and figured the nutty flavor it gives would be a great addition here. Browning butter takes a bit more concentration than other cooking methods, but it’s totally worth it in the end. In a light colored pan (if you have one) melt the butter and swirl it occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly. Once the butter turns brown and foamy you’ll place the split rolls facedown until toasty.
[SPOLIER ALERT] Who’s ready to see what happens now that Noah has taken the blame for Scotty’s murder to save both of the women he’s loved? I know I am! Grab yourself a wine spritzer or Manhattan and join me in following the rules below while you watch the season 3 premiere this Sunday (11/20) on SHOWTIME.