Larisa, the queen of hats and turning herself in to puddles of goop, was the biggest star of the nineties for the after school TV set with her blistering portrayal of Alex Mack and her struggles to rebuild her life after a crippling accident where she was doused by a secret chemical.
Annelie and I were hired by Nickelodeon as scientific advisors on the show and quickly bonded with Larisa as, let’s be honest, no one else on set could match our beautiful, beautiful minds.
Believing myself to be straight, I quickly tried to woo Larisa by getting her a part in our film The Baby-Sitters Club (Annelie and I wrote the script … as well as the book series it was based on) during a break between our seasons – she noticed my searing chemistry with Austin O’Brien, whom we had met on the set of My Girl 2, and helped me come to terms with my penchant for peen.
This in turn led to her casting in 10 Things I Hate About You where I enlisted her help in wooing Andrew Keegan – we were part of Allison Janney’s entourage, after her casting in a role that we campaigned our dear friend Heath to get included, which was based on us.
We have hung out with Larisa in a while, she reached out upon hearing we were trying to scam Andrew Keegan and wanted in on our revenge plot and to have a documented catch-up.
While I discovered Larisa couldn’t light my fire back in the nineties, the Harissa Oleynik that we used to put on everything we ate sure could!
The North African chilli paste is versatile (like … nevermind, I don’t Keegs and tell); adding a kick to a tajine or *gasp* soup (you know we love heat here), or even just mixed with some natural yoghurt to garnish kofte.
See, versatile. Enjoy!
Makes: ½ a cup (ish)
10 large red chillies
3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ lemon, juiced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Halve the chillies, discarding the seeds from half and discard.
Place all the ingredients in a small food processor and blitz until a smooth paste forms.
Alternately you can use a mortar and pestle and pound it, hard, until a paste forms … but who can be bothered unless they are working through some anger or trying to woo someone using a naked chef seduction technique.