The Joy of Cooking Milhouse

“Krusty Gets Busted” season 1 episode 12

I’ve been rewatching The Simpsons (again) from the beginning, and while I’ve seen all of the classic episodes countless times, I haven’t watched the first season as much as the seasons that follow. While they were clearly still figuring out the characters and designs, there’s some good stuff in there, including episode 12, “Krusty Gets Busted.”

The episode begins with the Krusty the Clown Show and Krusty “shooting” Sideshow Bob out of a cannon. Although he appears briefly in an earlier episode, this is Bob’s first meaningful appearance on the show. As Marge protests Itchy & Scratchy, Lisa has the astute response “if cartoons were meant for adults they’d put them on in primetime.”

Patty and Selma come over to the Simpsons home to show slides from their trip to the Yucatan, including a Mexican delicacy called the “taco platter.” Homer goes by the Kwik-E-Mart to pick up premium ice cream when the shop is robbed by Krusty the Clown himself!

A SWAT team arrests Krusty and Homer identifies him in a “send in the clowns” line-up. He manages to miss the extremely thorough slideshow and gets home in time to turn on the news. Bart is crushed that Krusty is G-I-L-L-T-Y.

During the trial, Homer is called as a witness and points at Krusty in dramatic fashion. Reverend Lovejoy gets a Krusty merchandise bonfire going with the town burning everything bearing the clown’s face. Krusty is found guilty and the show is passed on to Sideshow Bob who turns it into an educational, high-class affair. For some reason he wears the same outfit.

Bart asks Lisa to help him investigate and, after gathering clues, they decide Krusty must be innocent. They go to the studio to talk to Sideshow Bob and Bart ends up as a guest on a show segment called “Choices.” He figures out mid-show that Sideshow Bob framed Krusty thanks to his giant feet and exposes him. Krusty is freed and thanks Bart, who goes to sleep that night with a room full of Krusty merchandise, his faith restored.

Let’s get back to that “Mexican delicacy” the taco platter. Patty and Selma declared it delicious and, while it’s clearly less than authentic, it’s hard to argue. Based on their thrilling slide show, the tacos look like hard-shell beef tacos—just like the ones you ate as a kid. They may not be a delicacy per se, but they’re nostalgically delicious. Add you choice of toppings (that’s good!).

Taco Platter
Serves 4

1 pound lean ground beef
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 pinches cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon water
12 hard taco shells
Toppings: shredded cheddar or Jack cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, taco or hot sauce (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven according to the taco shell packaging.
  2. Add the ground beef to a large, non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook, breaking up, until no pink remains. Drain the fat. Return the pan to the heat.
  3. Add the spices, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, and add the water. Stir and cook until well-coated. Reduce the heat to keep warm.
  4. Heat the taco shells according to the package directions. If the beef starts to get dry, sprinkle with more water and toss.
  5. Fill each taco shell with the seasoned beef. Top with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and sauce (if using). Serve immediately.
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