Ok – so I know it makes running the odds all the more difficult, I couldn’t bare to hold an Emmy Week without seeing my ex-love and six-time victor Bryan Cranston.
Plus he has won for Best Actor in a Drama and Best Drama on top of his nominations for Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, Best Limited Series or Movie and – catch your breath – Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, meaning he can run a shit tonne of odds with me.
Let’s start with Best Supporting Actor, on account of yesterday’s catch-up with Tone, where Bry (like me and honestly Tone) is going for the well-deserved though underdog Tituss Burgess. I mean, the academy really should make up for the fact he lost last year despite the majesty of Pinot Noir.
Anyway, let me take you back to the early 80s. As you know, I was working with my dear friend Erik Estrada on the set of CHiPs when a young Bry arrived to guest during an episode. Using my keen sense of great talent – I discovered Meryl Streep, did you know? – I knew that he was destined for greatness, kinda dumped E and hitched myself to the Cranston Wagon.
We stayed close through his bit parts on Murder She Wrote, Matlock, Baywatch, The Flash, Seinfeld before I finally got him his big break – via my ex-lover – on Malcolm in the Middle and the rest, as they irritatingly say, is history.
While I was never able to get through the shit stretch of Breaking Bad, I’ve always been Bry’s number one fan and know that he will once again take out the Emmy, this time for Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (I mean, the man won a Tony for the play) – obvs I’m putting a cheeky bet on Hiddleston for the sole reason that he finally broke up with Swifty.
Once again, despite our extremely loud and incredibly close relationship, Bry has opted to go to this year’s Emmys with his wife, although was kind enough to point out that Kit and I would make such a cute twincest couple, albeit with me in the role of low-rent Jon Snow. With such a beautiful compliment, I had to repay him so still whipped up a batch of my Bryam Cranston Balls.
You know that like the egreciously snubbed Jane Krakowski’s alter ego Jenna Maroney, I’m a huge fan of balls. Balls, balls, balls, balls.
Balls, balls, balls, balls, balls, balls, balls. If I can form food into a ball, I will.
So yes, these are just a version of arancini, but arancini is the best, so is that a crime? Add in some yam (or you know, sweet potato in a pinch … I was in a pinch), spinach and goat’s cheese and you’ve got a preemptive seventh Emmy party in yo’ mouth!
Bryam Cranston Balls
250g yam (or sweet potato), peeled and cut into 1cm dice
3 cups chicken stock
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup white wine
1 cup baby spinach
100g goat’s cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp sage, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
½ cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Place the yam on an a baking tray, drizzle with oil and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and tender.
Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat.
Meanwhile, heat a good lug of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and soft. Add the rice and cook for a further couple of minutes or until they start to go translucent. Add the wine and cook until it is all absorbed, followed by the stock, half-cup by half-cup until all gone, absorbing between each addition.
Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is al dente. Remove from the heat, stir through the baby spinach and allow to cool for an hour.
When it is as frosty as a Daytime Emmy winner at a Primetime Emmy party, stir through the sweet potato, goat’s cheese, sage and chilli.
Line a large baking tray, roll the risotto into 1-2 tablespoon sized balls and place on the tray to rest until the mixture is all gone.
Place the flour in a shallow bowl, the eggs in another and the breadcrumbs in another. One by one, roll each ball in the flour, then the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Return to tray and repeat until all done. Place the tray in the fridge to chill for half an hour.
Remove the tray from the fridge, drizzle with oil and bake for 30 minutes, flipping once, or until golden and crisp.