Your Saturday Plans: A PBS Cooking Show Marathon + Furikake Popcorn

September 29, 2017

As the weather cools down, get your fall cooking inspiration in order with back - to - back cooking show premieres on WGBH 2. The full schedule below plus an amazing recipe for furikake popcorn to snack on the entire day.

Emily Balk

Starting in 1963 with The French Chef, hosted by the unflappable Julia Child and produced by WGBH, public television has been pioneering educational, entertaining and innovative cooking shows.

Tune in to WGBH 2 on Saturday, October 7 starting at 11am for a cooking show marathon featuring back-to-back season premieres starring chefs such as Ming Tsai, Vivian Howard, Pete Evans and Lidia Bastianich. Read on for the full lineup of programs and a recipe for an addictive, marathon-worthy furikake popcorn.

11am – Sara’s Weeknight Meals 

Sara’s Weeknight Meals is about the things that matter most the world over — quick, tasty home-cooked meals eaten with family and cooked with love. In each episode, Sara Moulton shares her vast culinary experience for putting flavorful, healthy food on the table with minimal fuss.

This season, Moulton takes to the road to discover how America cooks. She travels to Arkansas to fish for catfish with a local farmer and discovers his favorite way to prepare it. In Charleston, South Carolina, Moulton visits Martha Lou Gadsen of Martha Lou's Kitchen to sample her legendary fried chicken. While there, Moulton also learns about the hidden history of Southern cooking, and the ingredients developed by African American cooks. Back in Moulton’s kitchen, noted Indian chef Floyd Cardoz joins her to cook wild striped bass curry from his native Goa, and slow cooking expert Michele Scicolone shows how to make a delicious pork ragu with broken lasagna in the slow cooker.

11:30am – Martha Bakes 

Martha Bakes enables the home baker to create the finest desserts and goodies in his or her home kitchen. Throughout the series Martha Stewart shares the best tips and techniques, giving viewers the confidence to create delectable baked goods - from scratch - in their own kitchens.

Stewart kicks off Season 8 with a lesson on how to replace typical ingredients with more wholesome substitutes in three updated classics: luscious rhubarb and raspberry rye crisps, as trendy as they are delicious, flaky buttermilk barley biscuits and a lofty spelt layer cake lightened with whipped cream and berries.

12:00pm – A Chef’s Life

A Chef's Life takes viewers inside the life of Chef Vivian Howard, who, with her husband Ben Knight, left the big city to open a fine dining restaurant in small-town Eastern North Carolina.

In Season 5, Howard finds plenty of reasons to celebrate, as Chef and the Farmer turns 10 years old and her first cookbook hits the New York Times bestseller list. So, she sets out on a book tour with her trusted team and a finicky food truck. In between greeting hordes of fans in multiple states, Vivian discovers small batch whiskey in Kentucky, fishes for trout in the North Carolina mountains, and breaks bread with fellow chefs in the Virginia hills where good food and good music meet.

12:30pm – Pati’s Mexican Table

Pati’s Mexican Table brings authentic Mexican flavors, colors, textures and warmth into American kitchens. A former policy analyst focused on Latin American politics and history, Pati Jinich is a chef,cooking teacher, food writer and mother of three whose true passion lies in sharing the tastes of her childhood and culinary adventures in her native country.

Each half-hour highlights a singular Mexican food - from familiar ingredients like vanilla, avocado and chorizo to the mysterious grains used by the Aztecs and the adventurous and trendy cuisine found across Mexico today. From traditional takes on tomatillos to modern spins on huevos rancheros, Pati inspires viewers to make great Mexican dishes in their own homes.

1pm – Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking

Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking takes viewers on a culinary journey with host Pete Evans, Australia's top celebrity chef, and America's most innovative food artisans.

Each of the 13 half-hour episodes features a pop-up feast in settings from California's wine country to the bustling skyline of NYC, where Evans and local chefs source the finest ingredients and work against the clock to prepare a multi-course menu for a ravenous group of foodies. Viewers watch as diners sit down to enjoy these spectacular meals hosted in some of the most unlikely places.

1:30pm – Lidia’s Kitchen 

Lidia’s Kitchen is a paean to the importance of mealtime. Over the course of 26 episodes, Daytime Emmy winner Lidia Bastianich conjures simple, seasonal and economical dishes with grace, confidence and love.

She teaches viewers to draw on their roots, allow for spontaneity and cultivate a sense of home in the kitchen. Lidia makes rustic staples, including oatmeal biscuits, apple cider-braised pork shoulder, potato pizza, salmon with mustard sauce, country onion soup, lentil country salad and Grandma Rosa's apple cake. Filled with tips and techniques collected through years in the kitchen and at the family table, Lidia channels her passion for teaching into a fun and trustworthy curriculum of kitchen wisdom.

2pm – Simply Ming 

The Emmy-nominated public television series Simply Ming is back featuring 26 fresh new episodes.

This year, Ming and his guest chefs will be "cooking on the fly" finding inspiration from his East-West pantry and surprise ingredients that range from exotic fruits and vegetables to meats and fish. In each studio episode, Ming kicks off the show by highlighting techniques to help you "cook on the fly" at home. From filleting a fish to sharing the technique for cooking vegetables kids will love, Ming and his guests use their culinary tricks to bring you a season of delicious new recipes.

2:30pm –  Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke 

Multi-award-winning author, journalist, cooking teacher and TV host Steven Raichlen takes a side journey away from classic grilling to explore the rich flavors of smoked food in the 13-part series Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke.

Project Smoke focuses on the art of smoking techniques and recipes from hot smoking and cold smoking to smoke roasting and "smoke-tisserie" cooking. Using traditional and cutting-edge techniques in must-try recipes, the grilling and smoking authority shows how to smoke a variety of iconic foods, such as Texas brisket, Kansas City ribs and Carolina pork shoulder. 

3pm – America’s Test Kitchen from Cook’s Illustrated 

America’s Test Kitchen from Cook’s Illustrated uses a common-sense, practical approach to solve everyday cooking problems and save viewers time and money. Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison lead a team of dedicated test kitchen cooks to reveal the basics of foolproof home cooking while preparing dozens of exhaustively tested recipes.

The series also features the popular segments viewers know and love. In "The Tasting Lab," expert Jack Bishop puts supermarket staples to the test before revealing the series' top food recommendations. Then, equipment tester Adam Ried takes viewers through an exhaustive and unbiased search for the best kitchen items in "Equipment Corner." Meanwhile, in "Gadgets Galore," Lisa McManus reviews her favorite gadgets and reveals which ones are worth the cost-or not.

3:30pm – Cook’s Country  

Cook’s Country features the best regional home cooking - from potluck dinners and holiday favorites to simple suppers and lost recipes.

The Daytime Emmy-nominated series takes the same practical, no-nonsense and scientific approach as Cook's Country magazine by providing home cooks with foolproof recipes and cooking techniques developed through rigorous investigation and careful testing. In season seven, test kitchen chefs Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison cook a variety of family-friendly recipes with host Christopher Kimball.

4pm – Milk Street Kitchen

The world of home cooking is undergoing a revolution with new tastes, flavors, techniques and influences. Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Kitchen wants to change how Americans cook by bringing home a fresher, bolder, simpler way of preparing food. This episode, Milk Street goes to Mexico to get an insider view on traditional classics. 

Now for the marathaon snack....

Stovetop Furikake Popcorn

Popcorn is the perfect marathon snack. It’s light and airy, and since you’re not touching the remote control, it doesn’t matter if your fingers get all buttery. Take your popcorn game to the next level with this easy stovetop furikake popcorn - crunchy, salty, sweet - with a strong umami punch from the furikake, a Japanese seaweed and sesame dry seasoning. Find it at most Asian markets. 

Makes one to two servings


  • 1½ tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons popcorn kernels 
  • 3/4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 
  • ¼ tsp honey 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste  
  • 1½ tablespoons furikake 
  • ¼ cup Japanese rice cracker snack mix (optional) 



Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Place one popcorn kernel in the pot and cover with a lid. When the kernel pops, pour remaining kernels into the pot and cover with lid, shake the pot occasionally until the popping slows down. Turn off the heat.

When the popping has stopped, pour popcorn into a large bowl.

Stir the honey into the melted butter and drizzle over the popcorn, stirring gently to distribute evenly.

Sprinkle salt and furikake over the popcorn and mix to distribute. Add more salt if desired. 

Mix the rice crackers, if using, into the popcorn.

Serve immediately.



  • September 29, 2017