Mahersharaspberry Coulis

Condiment, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Sauce, Sweets

Can you feel the excitement in the air? It is Oscars weekend (well, in Australia) and in addition to the media just realising that Australia has more than two nominees this year – go Josh Lawson, bring it home for Brisbane – we’ve reached the biggest categories of this year’s Oscar Gold.

After running the writing with Diabs, reflecting on the music on the way to visit Mancini, to the directing with Kath and Best Piccie yesterday with Brad, we’ve made it to the acting categories –  and Best Animated feature, which should just be a formality – and I’m so excited to have reigning champ and my dear friend Mahershala Ali over to help.

While he tragically isn’t taking me as his date this year, we’re still the best of friends. Though, given we’ve known each other for a decade, that one small slight won’t end our friendship. I was obviously part of Brad’s entourage when we met on the set of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but was taken by the insane talent of Mahershala and vowed to make him a star and get him a damn Oscar.

Ten years later, and you’re all welcome. From House of Cards to Luke Cage and his Oscar winning turn in Moonlight, Mahershala’s quiet commanding, dignified performances are nothing short of revelatory and I love him. Maybe that is why I haven’t vowed to ruin his career for not inviting me on Sunday?

Anyway, after a quick catch-up and the assurance that True Detective will be good again in season 3, we got down to the important business at hand, who will win the male acting gongs. But first, Coco is winning Best Animated Feature and if it doesn’t, it will be a worse robbing than those committed by Ernesto De La Cruz. That being said though, the artistry of Loving Vincent is impressive. Just the movie was rather dull.

Anyway, succeeding Mahersh as Best Supporting Actor will be Sam Rockwell, though I feel it should be going to Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me by Your Name and he feels Willem more than earnt it for The Florida Project. Best Actor has given us a similar dilemma, while we feel Gary Oldman has it on lock, Timothée Chalamet was a revelation in a more understated role. Plus – the final scene as Sufjan plays? Heartbreaking. For those playing along, that is now 30 awards I would have handed to Call Me by Your Name but feel it won’t win.

That bitter taste could only be washed away by something sweet, and there is nothing sweet than my Mahersharaspberry Coulis.

 

 

I know it seems hella improbable every time I have a celebrity friend drop by and they only request a condiment, but Mahersh just can’t get enough of this. Lightly sweet, perfectly taste and with the velvety smoothness of the vanilla? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mahersharaspberry Coulis
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g frozen raspberries
¾ cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Combine the sugar and berries with half a cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring sparingly, for about ten minutes or until sticky and thickened. Remove from the heat, stir through vanilla and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, blitz with a stick blender until completely smooth before straining into a container. And then serve – preferably on a Peach Idris Melba – or in a shot glass, before devouring.

 

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Jacob Dipwin

Bread, Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, thirty-five seasons of bad decisions culminated in a new island chain popping up in Fiji known as (the) Ghost Island(s). Twenty new Americans were marooned on the island, challenged with one task … reverse the curse of these epic fails. Oh … and the usual battle each other until only three are left to fight for the chance to become the sole Survivor. After forming two tribes, Naviti and Malolo, they competed in a reward challenge. Well, until leader Chris from the Naviti tribe felt they were going to lose, making the Malolo tribe rich by Survivor standards. Tragically that didn’t translate to victory in the immunity challenge, after which Jacob saved himself by becoming the first inhabitant of Ghost Island and Gonzalez made a speedy exit from the game.

Over at Naviti, Dom was staying awake and creepily watched over his tribe as they slept. Feeling paranoid and on the outs, he used his alone time to search for idols which he miraculously did. Well he thinks, since he couldn’t read the note in the middle of the night. The next day however, he discovered it was authentic. In fact, it was authentically the idol that Andrea was blindsided with in Caramoan.

Feeling a little bit more secure, Dom used the time to get to know Morgan, Sea Bass and Bradley, while they discussed Ghost Island and how best to play it. Morgan excused herself to find the legacy advantage that Jacob willed to her during his stay on the aforementioned island.

Speaking of which, Jacob was using his solo time to do some arts and crafts to fashion a hidden immunity idol that he could use to bluff his way through the next tribal council, should he attend. He returned to camp where Donathan looked adorably happy to see him, and he was shocked to discover that Gonzalez had become the first boot. He then got to work sharing news of his (fake) idol with the tribe. Obviously no one believed his story that he lost the note that accompanied said idol on Ghost Island, with Brendan and Jenna leading the charge to take him out ASAP. Stephanie however, bless her, decided that him knowingly being on the bottom provided her with the opportunity to add him to her brood of reliant allies.

Over at Naviti Dom was showing the tribe his power snatch – no joke – and used his new found safety to continue forming bonds. Further still, he decided to pull Chris aside to clear the air and wipe the slate clean between them. Chris asked if he had found the idol, which he quickly bought. Wanting to solidify their keep your enemies closer alliance, Dominic made a fake idol, hid it with his real note and showed it to Chris. Surprisingly Chris did not buy it, though I think was more concerned about him lying about not having it earlier more so than realising it is fake.

Wanting to keep things moving, Jiffy Pop returned for the second immunity challenge of the season where they would be required to race through some watersport obstacles, release some balls and shoot them into a basket. Sounds fun, no? In addition, the victors would win a tonne of comfort items, which I assume Wendell has already fashioned for his tribe from reeds and grass as he is the best.

Once again, Naviti got off to an early lead and continued to extend it bit by bit. To the point where poor James was left to struggle to release Malolo’s finally batch of buoys, while Naviti started shoots their hoops. Donathan was beckoned back to at least try to release the balls for his tribe and after a motivational pep talk from Probst, pulled it out and got Malolo back into the challenge. Tragically though it wasn’t enough, as Naviti continued to shoot their baskets and secure immunity before Malolo even got one. After his heroic moment, Naviti opted to send Donathan to experience Ghost Island … which is good, since his defeatist attitude could have bitten him and he is too cute.

At Ghost Island, Donathan smashed the second urn to discover there would be no chance for him to win an advantage today. He then shared about his upbringing and being an outcast as an out gay man in the south, though he was proud for people to see his performance in the challenge and living alone on Ghost Island.

Meanwhile over at Malolo, James was quick to own the fact he blew the challenge for everyone and hoped that people would be able to look past it. Stephanie, Brendan and Michael discussed the merits of voting out Jacob or James, ultimately deciding to throw votes on the latter to protect against Jacob’s potential idol. Wanting to play the game, Stephanie approached Jacob about mixing things up, with Jacob throwing out Michael as potential boot to protect against a potential tribe swap. Jacob was confident that he had found an allie, so then spilled all the tea to Stephanie – the idol was fake, he found a legacy advantage and gifted it to Morgan. So now, Stephanie is all powerful and while he trusts her and that is good for her, being the only other person to know about the legacy advantage would be good for her.

Stephanie then floated the Jacob alliance with Jenna, who was open to the idea if that is what she wants but would rather keep strength, rather than booting Michael. Meanwhile Jacob approached Laurel and James who seemed open to taking out the beautiful people, while Michael, Brendan and Libby noticed all the talk and started to get anxious before heading off for tribal.

Once there Jacob received his torch and then got confused about which show he was on, lip syncing for his life to Probst’s introduction. James quickly took the chance to own his challenge loss again before Jacob continued to talk about his advantage he was trying to pass off as an idol. While James didn’t love the information imbalance – like Jiff, I loved the phrase – he was glad it was his tribe that held the knowledge and not Navitit. Jacob still believed his tribe where the greatest, earning an eye roll from Michael, before they started to talk about the shifting alliances.

Jacob, unwittingly or not, spoke about feeling like the tribe could have conspired before he returned to camp to make him feel good and blindside him, which appeared to make Stephanie feel guilty. Meanwhile Brendan said he wasn’t feeling safe despite being BUILT, and Michael just wanted to reverse the curse that is fast becoming their tribe. As the votes rolled in, Jacob elected not to play his fake idol … and tragically found himself becoming the second boot.

While Jacob was completely bummed to be out of the game so soon, as a super fan he was thrilled to be living out his dream of having me whip up a commiseratory meal. Seeing me, obviously, perked him right up. Though maybe it was the sight of the Jacob Dipwin.

 

 

There is no way that any cob would ever be perceived as terrible, so this is no shade to the others. But hands down, this is the best you will ever eat. Creamy, rich and tangy, this is the perfect way to sop up your post boot pain.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jacob Dipwin
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese
300ml sour cream
500g frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed of all moisture
1 packet French Onion Soup Mix
1 cup tasty cheese, grated
1 cob, hollowed out
1 breadstick, sliced

Method
Put the cream cheese, sour cream, spinach, soup mix and tasty cheese in a large saucepan over low heat and cook until thick and juicysludgey.

While that is cooking, hollow out the cob and slice the breadstick.

Pour the dip into the hollowed cob, scatter the chunks of bread around it and devour, greedily. Thankful no socks were harmed in the making of this cob.

 

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Ivana Hummus

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the mo-dels ventured to Venica Beach for a coaching session slash runway with Stacey McKenzie. Which also turned into a pep-talk from Stacey about confidence for Ivana. We were then reminded that Liberty has questionable politics, Coura is perfection and Maggie had no idea who she is, leading to her boot from the competition of the fiery, clean freak Brendi K.

The next day the girls woke to see Coura’s best photo greeting them, reminding Rio that she is her number one competition before Tyra Mail arrived … announcing Ty-overs. Ty-YAS KWEEN. Sandra, Christina, Khrystyana, Liz, Erin, Rhiyan, Shanice and Rio all seemed pretty pleased with their makeovers. On the flipside, Brendi K was nervous about her buzzcut, Ivana was scared to go short, Liberty was heartbroken to be punished for being pro-Trump by becoming a fire crotch and Kyla seemed concerned about her tracks. That left Coura to be confused about her upcoming Coura look titled the Coura, and Jeana scared to she her alopecia induced wig.

Sandra then brushed into Christina in the hallway and didn’t apologise, which set off world war III. She was telling the story to some girls in the kitchen within full earshot of Christina. Brendi K then jumped on the bandwagon and misquoted an interaction where she was told to throw Christina’s trash away. While it was simply a matter of semantics, Christina wasn’t living for it and screamed about being bullied. She then called Brendi K, Brendi which was super offensive to Brendi K. So I guess it was lucky she missed her calling her trailer trash?

At the salon Coura found that the Coura meant she didn’t need a makeover as she is perfection, so I guess she is going to occupy herself like Chad Michaels in the Hall of Fame through All Stars 2? Brendi K was still nervous about the buzzcut, but ultimately looked fierce. Dare I say it, next level fierce. Rhiyan was living for her to-the-floor weave, vowing to use it as a weapon. Literally. I didn’t really notice any difference to Kyla nor could I spot any tracks.

Jeana started to breakdown about taking her wig off, reminded of the bullying she experienced at school. Drew and Law comforted her – the latter showing the most compassion I’ve ever seen from him as he broke down in tears – as her wig was removed. She then had her head completely shaved and looked insanely beautiful. Sandra ended up looking like Kim Kardashian, Christina surprised by rocking her highlighter green look and Liberty ended up looking amazing with her red hair.

Erin was feeling young with her long hair, Rio loved her blonde buzzcut and Ivana once again had a crisis of confidence as her hair got shorter. Liz loved her My Little Pony pink look, Krystyana also barely registered a change, going from blonde to platinum blonde, and Shanice was concerned about her makeover as it may flair up her psoriasis. Tyra then suggested they hold off on getting a makeover to focus on looking after her skin. This in turn led to her breaking down as she wanted the makeover and just wanted to fix it.

In the car home, Brendi K then broke down about her makeover, concerned that it will only exacerbate her looking masculine … as Drew said last panel.

The next day the girls arrived at a studio to film a video showcasing their signature looks with Director X. Liz, Coura and Erin were living for themselves, Rhiyan disappointed, Jeana was amazing and Ivana channeled Nomi from Showgirls – her words, not mine – though lacked any confidence and was a total mess. Shanice looked terrified, Khrystyana, Sandra, Rio and Kyla rocked it before Liberty shocked everyone by dominating. Brendi K got stuck in her head, having another breakdown before Rio gave her a pep-talk which made her yet another of my faves and made me want Rio around whenever life got me down.

Shanice and Brendi K were both feeling anxious as they arrived at panel, before Tyra had one more surprise for the girls – Jeana had inspired Law and Drew to undergo their own makeovers. Law also went for a buzzcut to shed the last of his baggage from when he was 100 pounds heavier before Drew went makeup free to show off his vitiligo, which truly is beautiful. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Jeana slayed the challenge, as did Liberty, Rio, Brendi K and a neck-less Liz. Christina and Sandra were boring, Coura and Khrystyana were inconsistent, Kyla was praised for being beautiful and Erin was age-shamed. At the other end of the spectrum, Shanice struggled, Rhiyan was one note and Ivana’s lack of confidence, again, was called out.

Backstage Liz and Brendi K had a fight before Liz threw a low blow about Brendi K’s family, which I hope carries over to the next episode. Cause yeah, that was a choice. And you know how Tatianna feels about choices … thank you. Trump-fan Liberty got best photo, Brendi K was devastated to see Liz survive – gurl, bring the drama – and poor Ivana and Shanice landed in the bottom two, before Ivana was sent packing for not feeling herself.

My girl Ivana never seemed to find her footing in the competition which legally is not my fault, despite the fact that I’m her life and confidence coach. So no matter what she says or does, my Ivana Hummus is definitely not an apology meal.

 

 

With a whack big whack of garlic and a zing of lemon, this classic hummus is perfect for all occasions. Particularly if said occasion is for comforting a booted top-model hopeful.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ivana Hummus
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
800g canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 lemon, zested and juiced
parsley, to garnish

Method
Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and blitz until all of their confidence issues are smoothed away … like a hummus should be.

Season to taste.

Serve, drizzle with oil and dust with parsley before devouring.

 

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Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal

Condiment, Dip, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Party Food, Side, Snack

After hanging out with two of my newer friends – hey Rach and Az! – to kick off my Golden Globe Gold celebrations, I decided it was high-time I reconnected with one of my oldest friends and ex-mother-in-law, Golden Globe winner Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal.

Yes, I was secretly married to Jake Gyllenhaal for a decade before splitting amicably. Extremely out of character for me I know, but the Foner Gyllenhaals are old friends and I didn’t want to lose them.

Anyway, I first met Naomi through my dear friend and Jake’s godmother Jamie Lee Curtis – she gave my away at the aforementioned wedding to Jake – and our bond was instant. We would talk at length about our lives, loves and in my case scandals, with one of the latter where I blew up a lab inspired her Globe winning screenplay for Running On Empty.

It has been a couple of years since I caught up with Nay, on account of Jake and my divorce, so it was wonderful to reconnect and chill as friends again … before running the odds. With that, Nay and I both agreed that Greta Gerwig is a lock for Best Screenplay after her egregious snubbing for Best Director. Given I don’t have enough suitably nominated friends, I also got her to give me a hand with the Best OG Song and Best Foreign Film. As such, she was tipping that song from Jakey’s friend Michelle’s musical (The Greatest Showman, FYI) – fuck, do I ever need to catch-up with Michelle … – will take out Song, though I find it hard to go past Remember Me from Coco. We both agreed that First They Killed My Father would win Foreign Film for no other reason than this is the Golden Globes and as such, Angelina Jolie is enough to get it over the line.

It was a gruelling couple of hours debating the merits – Michelle is such a sweetheart, she should win! – of each nominee, so it was lucky I had a hella huge and hella hearty Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal to keep us going.

 

 

This fondue is by no means healthy – though I guess no fondue really is – but damn if it’s not delicious. The cheesy tomato sauce is the perfect punch of pizza perfection – add in the dippers made from the best toppings and you’re in heaven. Though maybe that is just because you could die from the excess of cheesy cheesy goodness.

In any event, enjoy!

 

 

Naomi Fonerdue Gyllenhaal
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
¼ cup dry cinzano
700ml passata
3 cups grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup grated parmesan
small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
small handful fresh oregano, roughly chopped
sliced salami, olives, sliced mushrooms, sliced capsicum, Karlic Lagerbread and anything else you could use for dippin’

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sweat the garlic and onion for a couple of minutes. Add the cinzano and cook off a couple of seconds before reducing heat to low and stirring through the passata. Once piping hot, stir through the cheeses and cook until melted. Add the basil and oregano with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further minute.

Pour into a serving dish and devour, piping hot, with your dippers.

 

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Joe Manngo Chutney

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Mike and Joe frantically searched for cracks in the alliance of seven. While they were successful in finding an in, it was in know way to their credit, as Ben, Lauren, Devon and Ashley hatched a plan to blindside Ryan and Chrissy and take control. While I’m still confused how inserting someone into the game on day 28 only to blindside them is a power move, farewell JP. We barely knew ye!

Things were hella awkward back at camp after the blindside, with Ben pretending to be upset and Chrissy pretending to be cool with the vote … as her voice got higher and higher with each sentence. Ryan was mildly more successful pretending to be gracious about the blindside, though was still hella pissed about the vote. Though it appears not as personally attacked as Chrissy. In any event, Ben should play the Glenn Close role in the reboot of Fatal Attraction.

Ben went for a walk with Lauren and Ashley to discuss their success under the guise of making nice, while Ryan and Devon got together to clear the air. While Ryan tried to argue the semantics of his idol lie, Devon pretended they were ok despite being completely unmoved.

The next day Devon entered the winner’s edit fray, giving some nice personal content before meeting up with Ben for some breakfast, thankful that after one vote, their majority will be on lock and Ben can come out of the closet. The alliance closet, tragically. In any event, Devon’s cockiness seems far more likeable, making me feel like it won’t bite him in the butt. Yet.

My boy Probst arrived for a spa reward challenge, where the tribes would be split into teams and required to swim to a boat before rowing to the shore, collecting blocks along the way. They then need to use the blocks to push puzzle pieces out of a tunnel before, obvi, building said puzzle. Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead before stranding Ben with the second puzzle pieces and allowing Chrissy, Ryan, Mike and Lauren to catch-up. Sadly, that wasn’t enough as Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe’s brute strength returned their lead while releasing the puzzle pieces, giving them victory before Mike and Chrissy could claw back.

At the reward, Joe was feeling better about his place in the game after surviving the last tribal and getting a shower. Devon’s stocks continued to rise, grateful for a shower … and Ben’s skillful portrayal as a blindsidee scorned. While the boys showered – in separate showers, sadly – Devon and Ashley gloated about the move, with the latter also realising that Ben will need to be legit blindsided soon.

Back at camp Ryan was feeling nervous, pulling Mike aside to try and find some common ground to form an alliance. Poor Mike was feeling super confidence in his new alliance of five – which is made up of three aligned people with two patsies – so quickly shut him down. Sadly Chrissy was having as much luck trying to win Lauren over by starting to discuss strategy on day 28. Chrissy’s mood continued to plummet as the rain rolled in the next day, taking some time alone in the shelter to wallow by herself. Thankfully Mike was on hand with some rice and comfort to perk her up.

Jiffy Pop returned for what looks to be a huge immunity challenge, where they were required to wheel a key through an obstacle course, unlock some puzzle pieces and, wait, build said puzzle. So yeah, not actually that huge. Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead with Chrissy and Ashley close behind. Aka, Mike, Ryan and Lauren are total non-events. Devon was first across with all the puzzle pieces, followed closely by Ashley and Ben. thankfully for everyone else, the puzzle proved extremely difficult allowing Chrissy to catch up and snag immunity, despite everyone trying to cheat off her answers.

The tribe quickly commenced scrambling with the secret final four alliance of Ashley, Ben, Devon and Lauren sneaking away to lock in a vote against Joe. Ben then exited, allowing the three to tell Mike and Joe that the five of them will be splitting the votes between Ben and Ryan. With them busy, Ben joined Chrissy and Ryan to discuss who they should target, tossing up between Devon and Ashley, while Ben encouraged Ryan to save himself by playing his idol. To add a little confusion to the mix, Lauren and Ashley hooked up to discuss the issue of getting rid of Ben. While they agreed he will need to go eventually, they aren’t quite sure if it is the right time. Ashley then took the plan to Devon, who wasn’t convinced that it was a good idea just yet.

At tribal council Cole and JP continued to wear clothes, while Mike seemed pretty happy with himself, as too was Chrissy which makes more sense given she has immunity. Joe started to gloat about successfully taking advantage of the people at the bottom of Ben’s broken alliance, which to reiterate, nobody knows isn’t broken given he continues to get a Meryl-worthy performance. Mike joined in the gloating act, highlighting that neither he nor Joe are very self-aware. Vague talked turned to trusting your alliance and the ebbs and flows of the game before Joe announced that he was the safest he has felt even without an idol, thanks to his alliance. Sadly for him, that trust was misplaced as Ryan needlessly played his idol on himself, allowing the votes to roll in for Ashley before sending Joe out of the game.

What I didn’t mention when filling you in on JP, is that our relationship broke down after he discovered I was the firebug destroying his town all to assemble a life-calendar in my boudoir. I was arrested and since I’m a celeb, quickly put on parole … which is where I met and befriended Joe. While I gave him a decent amount of shit for the way he played the game, Joe is an absolute sweetheart out of the game and I wholeheartedly credit him for turning my life around. And for that, he’ll get aw many vats of my Joe Manngo Chutney whenever he is down.

 

 

The strong kick of chilli mixed with the hint of curry work perfectly with the sweetness of my juicy, juicy mangoes, leaving you with a condiment you want to drink by the jugful. Which Joe coincidentally does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Joe Manngo Chutney
Serves: 500ml-1L.

Ingredients
2kg mangoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
sea salt
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups muscovado sugar
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground clove
¼ cup sultanas

Method
Put the mangoes in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover and leave overnight to rest. In the morning, drain off the juice and rinse the fruit thoroughly.

Combine the apple, garlic, chilli, vinegar, sugar, ginger, cumin, coriander, mixed spice, cloves and sultanas in a large saucepan over a low heat, and cook until the sugar just dissolves.

Add the mangoes, bring to the boil and add simmer for an hour, or until the chutney is thick and syrupy.

Spoon into sterilised jars and seal … or devour immediately with cold meat and sharp cheeses. Or use it in the Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza.

 

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Pico de Vincent Gallo

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Side

The pain of losing Locky from Australian Survivor combined with a date with one of my more controversial friends got me feeling all misty for my wild, artsy and extremely controversial youth. With that, I picked up the phone and begged Vincent Gallo to end his self-imposed exile and reconnect.

Obviously, he said yes and hopped on the next plane for Brisbane.

While we haven’t seen much of each other in the last few years – Chris Rock and I had a huge fight on the set of 2 Days in Paris and Vin refused to leave with me – we’ve be the closest of friends for the past couple of decades after meeting on the set of Buffalo ‘66.

I was working as Angelica Houston’s stand-in, Mickey Rourke’s dialect coach and Christina Ricci’s personal assistant at the time, but found more than enough time to make things work with Vin. The affair was torrid and passionate, and shockingly somehow survived our break-up to become the best of friends.

Given our past, he reached out to me in the early noughties and asked me to complete the infamous scene in The Brown Bunny due to my insane abilitiessimilarities with Chloë Sevigny. I mean, talk about doppelgangers!

It was such a treat to get him out of his exile and to reconnect whilst discussing a crossover sequel to The Brown Bunny and Buffalo ‘66. I mean, sure, he had no interest in doing my project, but at least we got to yack it up like we did in the good old days with some Pico de Vincent Gallo.

 

 

Now I know that most people wouldn’t consider pico de gallo a meal but Vin and I are not like most people, so gladly down it at any and all opportunities. I mean, fresh, zingy and packing a punch – how can you go wrong?

Enjoy!

 

 

Pico de Vincent Gallo
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
6 ripe tomatoes, diced
½ red onion, diced
4 shallots, sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 limes, juiced
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the tomatoes, onion, shallots, chilli, coriander and garlic in a large bowl.

Toss through the lime juice, a lug of olive oil and season to taste.

Devour … or you know, serve with a taco or something.

 

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Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

There is no easy way to bring this up so I’m just going to spew it out – I saw my girl Rutina Wesley at Nelsan Ellis’ funeral and we were so overwhelmed by our shared grief, that we vowed to catch-up and to help each other work through our pain.

You see Nels, Ruts and I attended Juilliard around the same time – I was in Group 35 – and became a close trio of friends, so the last few weeks have been really hard as we’ve been coming to terms with the loss of such a kind soul like Nels.

I arrived at the airport super early and paced around the arrivals gate anxiously, as I waited for Rutina to arrive. As soon as I laid eyes on her, I started to cry tears of relief and ran into her arms and didn’t let go for what felt like an eternity.

We headed back to my place – in an extremely coordinated Schapelle Corby fashion, obvi – and spent the last few days sitting around, holding hands and talking through our feelings and all the good things Nels would be wanting for us.

While we became dear friends at Juilliard, it was working together on True Blood that truly cemented our friendship. Al had come onto me for help assemble the cast and while I questioned the inclusion of my friend Anna as Sooookaaaahh, like Al, I knew that only Rutina could play the role of Tara – and Nels, Lafayette.

I was also extremely vocal about (other, better) Al’s need to be constantly naked, however that only paid-off in the season six finale.

Anyway – Rutina has been super busy since True Blood, with a short stint on Arrow and the lead role in Oprah’s Queen Sugar, so I know that Nels will be watching over her and cheering on her success. As I’m sure he was watching over me as I whipped up my Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki.

 

 

The earthy roast beetroot and kick of garlic, live together in perfect harmony with the tang of the yoghurt and fresh herbs, to create a more-ish variation on tzatziki you can’t go past.

Enjoy!

 

 

Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
1 large beetroot, roasted and peeled
½ Lebanese cucumber
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
juice of a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
Turkish bread, to serve

Method
Grate the beetroot and cucumber into a sieve and press to drain off the liquid.

Transfer to a bowl, add the garlic, yoghurt, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil and stir well to combine.

Transfer to a dish and devour with a tonne of Turkish bread.

 

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Shayonnaise Swain

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Shay and Tom buried the hatchet before Shay quickly unburied it, played dirty and tried to get him. They then all got dirty in a very sensual, muddy challenge which led to Tom winning over Barb whilst sharing Avi’s reward before returning to watch Shannon permanently eliminate herself from redemption.

Jak and Mike returned to redemption island, shocked to still be in the game on no man’s land. They then threw some shade at Shannon and were generally a bit obnoxious. Meanwhile back in the actual game, the tribe were feeling bad for Shannon’s loss and were being nice about the boy’s skills … though they all admitted to not caring for either of their returns.

Oh and Tom has decided Shay needs to go as Shannon has already promised to vote for her if she makes it to final tribal. I honestly can’t keep up with those two.

Nate and Shay took a leaf out of Barb’s book and discussed strategy and the threat Tom and Avi’s relationship poses – particularly given the potential returnees – all whilst reclining. Avi broke up the plotting and tried to reaffirm his alliance with Shay but did admit that Tom is having doubts her.

Shay then did the rounds, sidling up to Barb and her nemesis Tom to see where their heads were at and try and place a target on anyone but her. Less than a minute later, Tom floated getting rid of Shay with Nate and Avi, which the latter was not onboard with at all. Though he really had no option given no one trusts her, nor wants her around.

Nate then got word that Shay spoke about him being homesick and decided she was hoping people would boot him for that, despite the fact we all know that he’d go to redemption … and then the jury and could not possibly go home before the end of the game anyway. So yeah, I’m not actually buying that it’s a nefarious plot.

Wanting to get in on the action Matt returned for the next immunity challenge, involving beams, poles and balls, which is right up my alley. Despite starting strong and throwing the kitchen sink at it, Avi was first out of the challenge. Shay and Tom miraculously survived the second round of the challenge before Nate and Shay quickly dropped out when moving to the last section, followed by Barb, handed Tom his fourth immunity in a row, firmly painting a target on his back.

Back at camp the tribe were chatting about the challenge before out of nowhere, Avi took off running down the beach for no reason. He returned later and downplayed his minor breakdown before Tom pulled him aside to continue trying to turn him against Shay. Meanwhile Nate talked about getting rid of Avi given his likeability and the fact that anyone would beat Shay.

Avi continued to try and save Shay but TBH, it seemed more like lip service given the fact he didn’t really talk to anyone else about saving her. Nate floated an Avi blindside with Barb and while she seemed open to the idea, was ultimately non-committal. Which she confirmed by running straight back to Avi.

Meanwhile on redemption, Jak continued to tell unfunny jokes while he and Mike speculated who would be joining them that night.

Back at camp Nate and Avi went for a walk to where Nate quickly covered his tracks, telling Avi that he tested Barb’s loyalty for him. While Avi didn’t buy it at all, it was a nice try. Barb filled Tom in on what was going down, which made Tom annoyed by Nate. Tom then quickly tried to convince Avi that getting rid of Shay was still the best idea before heading off to tribal.

At tribal, Matt made quick work of making Nate cry by reminding him about the game. He then asked Avi about flipping and set him up for a massive case of the guilts. Avi said he felt it was important not to turn on your own, before Nate pointing out they’ve already had to do that in the game and Shay mentioned that she has a clear conscience and isn’t responsible for sending anyone to the jury … and reconfirmed how much she trusts Avi.

But it turns out she shouldn’t as Avi joined the rest of the tribe to vote her out of the game, again. While she was clearly bummed, she told her tribemates there were no hard feelings … until she got to redemption island that is, where she joined Jak and Mike to talk smack about Avi. Who Mike is still referring to as RV.

The next day at camp Avi continued to go full Blanche Dubois, having dreams about abandonment whilst realising he is now taking after the villainous Shannon … who is only a villain to herself and a passive aggressive Mike. At the other end of the spectrum, Tom was loving life with Shay out of the game and Barb Marley – who is now the last surviving female and really wants to win an immunity – appearing thrice daily.

Avi then started to foreshadow his downfall talking about how shocked and betrayed he would feel to be voted out next, which is how Shay felt when he flipped on her last night.

Back on redemption Shay explained that despite him flipping on her last night, she was working Jak and Mike overtime to help save Avi if they return by painting him as a non-threat.

After a brief interlude of Tom and Avi discussing how to play Mike if/when he returns, Matt returned to the screen for a paired off reward challenge for nuts. NUTS. I mean, I love we some nut but damn, on day 33 I’d want a fucking steak. Anyway, there was some kind of noughts and crosses style game for an island pick and mix, which Avi and Nate quickly took out thanks to an early mistake from Tom. But again, it was just for nuts … so who really cares.

Thankfully for Avi, it meant they were able to take their full sacks of nuts to a secluded section of the beach to bond and see where things go. Sadly Avi wasn’t able to lock in Nate’s trust or talk any strategy, so instead he reclined and tried to win him over with his masculine wiles.

Upon returning to camp, the final four (now) joined together on the shore to watch the sunrise and start black-market crab racing. After her crab turned out to be a rock, Barb reaffirmed her commitment to giving up on the game to focus on getting Avi and Tom to the final three … when she is by far the best remaining winner.

Talk once again turned to redemption island and the potential returnees, with Barb coaching Avi on how to win the game and the best way forwards depending on who comes back. Avi then joined Tom who made it obvious he was far more deserving of taking out the victory, given he actually seems to understand the game.

Finally we got a reprieve from all the talk, with the redemption island dwellers destroying the place on their way out to the battle … expecting it to be the last, which it clearly is not. Oh my, the fucking lols. Before we get to see their hilarious reactions when they realise they have to return to their mess, Shay, Mike and Jak competed in the Crystal Cox memorial challenge where they have to keep to poles balanced between the back of their hands and a beam.

Despite going better than stripped Olympic medalist Crystal Cox, Shay wasn’t able to outlast the boys and found herself out of the game, for realsies. While the boys were more heartbroken to discover they’d be going back to their destroyed camp and not returning to the game, yet.

While I had to explain to Shay that she wouldn’t be able to call her husband and smash any brownies after being eliminated, she was ok with the booby prize – my Shayonnaise Swain.

 

 

I mean, sure, mayo is a condiment and not a meal on its own. But when has that ever bothered me? Plus … it is pretty delicious, so shotting it isn’t that far outside the realm of possibility.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shayonnaise Swain
Makes: 1 cup(ish).

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
¾ cup canola oil

Method
Combine everything but the oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Either whisking by hand, using a stick blender or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer – the latter being my preference – constantly whisk the mixture, while slowing adding the oil, allowing it to come together before adding more oil. Continue whisk on medium until the mayo has come together and it thick and glorious.

Cover and chill for a few hours before devouring … within two days. I feel it is too icky to keep it any longer.

 

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Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade

Condiment, Snack

It has been a very long week and as is often the case, that meant I had a few wines … which in turn meant I got feeling wistful for the days of old. And when I think about the good old days, I remember my dearly departed friends like Alan.

As you know, the documentation of my celebrity catch-ups potentially killed off some of Hollywood’s biggest heavyweights in the last year, though thankfully Alan was not my fault.

Despite not killing Al, we didn’t get to catch-up before he died last year and I wasn’t able to go to the funeral due to my feud with Robin … and the whole banned from the U.S. by Trump thing. Given that, my wistful feelings lead to getting out the time machine and having some closure with my boy.

I first met Alan on the set of Growing Pains – I’m actually the one that got Leo the job – when I was working as a bodyguard for Tracey Gold who I met on the set of CHiPs. Given my penchant for fine older gents, Al and became fast friends and he grew to become a Hollywood father figure to me.

Given that his death was quite surprising, I only went back six months because there wasn’t much risk of spoiling anything. While he was a bit confused by my sporadic tears, he completely bought my excuse of feeling hurt by Kirk Cameron being a complete dick.

I didn’t want to run the risk of letting any information slip, so when he called our catch-up to a close and asked me to play hockey with him and his son in a few weeks, I wiped a solitary tear and made him promise to finish off his Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade as quickly as possible.

 

 

Full disclosure, I absolutely hate, hate, HATE marmalade, but it is Alan’s favourite … and it goes well in things (like glazing a ham or something). Plus, this one is so fresh and delicious that it is hard to hate, even when it isn’t your jam.

Because it is marmalade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Thicke-Cut Marmalade
Makes: 2-3 cups.

Ingredients
1kg oranges
1 lemon
cinnamon quill
1kg muscovado sugar
1kg raw caster sugar

Method
Juice the oranges and lemon, and pour through a sieve into a large pot.

Cut the peel into chunks and add to the pot with the cinnamon – despite this being thick-cut marmalade, I erred on the side of caution and went thinner. Add two litres of water and bring to the boil over high heat, before reducing to a simmer for a couple of hours.

Add the sugar and stir to combine. Bring back up to a rapid boil and cook until thickened and set (this is when it is around 100°C), though I don’t mind it a bit thinner.

Once done, allow to rest for twenty minutes or so before removing the cinnamon quill and transferring to sterilised jars.

Or devouring.

 

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