I am almost overwhelmed when it comes to talking about my beautiful, breathtaking and languid friendship with the gorgeous Ang Lee. He has brought me so much joy over the years – adapting books I love, casting men I love and having them flash their buns, which I love.
Ang Lee is both a pimp for my love of celluloid flesh and a saint, which is a stunning combination.
I first connected with the celebrated director while attending the Provincial Tainan First Senior High School where his father, our principal, made him act as my mentor to curb my shameful, wayward behaviour.
Ang was such a kind, gentle soul and I desperately wanted to avoid disappointing him, however me being me, I rubbed off on him and he failed his final exams and couldn’t progress to being a professor. Thankfully it led him to eventually being a director so, in a roundabout way, I am responsible for his lush films and lauded career.
We lost contact after his mandatory military service however reconnected through Em Thomp – my closest boozing bud – while he was making Sense and Sensibility and I became his most trusted advisor, leading to Bana buns in Hulk and Brokeback Mountain.
While it was very hard to be overlooked for the role of Ennis opposite J-Gyll, Ang was kind enough to introduce us on set – he hired me as the resident flannel expert – and we enjoyed a torrid love affair that I ran to the paps about, thus starting all of the Jake gay rumours.
No one was better to discuss this year’s Best Director crop than the two-time winner, so I whipped up my Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts to fuel our moving discussion about the possibility of our dear friend George Miller finally getting recognised for his work after such a majestically eclectic filmography.
Dark horse pick goes to Adam McKay. I mean, he was robbed for the Anchorman movies.
While asparagus pee is both a blessing (I’m special) and a curse (it is rank), these tarts are well worth it. The sweetness of the leek with the sharp goat’s cheese and earthy asparagus create a delicate little tart that packs as much of a punch as one of Ang’s films.
Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
2 leeks, finely sliced
1 bunch asparagus
Freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
150g goat’s cheese
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Melt butter over low heat and saute the leeks until soft, and place into a large mixing bowl.
Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut into 5cm pieces and fry for two minutes on high heat in the same pan, until bright and just cooked. Add asparagus to the leeks and allow to cool.
Once cooled, add in the eggs and cream, season and stir to combine.
Place the puff pastry on a clean surface and cut both into a 3×3 grid, so that each sheet make nine squares. Roughly press each square of pastry into a muffin tin, to create a rustic looking case – I am too lazy to worry about it looking “nice,” as is Ang.
Pour the vegetable/custard mixture even amongst the 18 cases and crumble the goats cheese on top.
Whack in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until set and golden. Remove from the oven and rest for about 20 minutes before inhaling.
Devour in a poignant fashion.