Stuffed Shelly Long Bake

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Pasta

After spending the last few days catching up with the current shining stars of television – hey there current nominee Christina Applegate, and rising stars Riz and Tatiana! – I decided Emmy Gold: Golden Family needed some gravitas in the form of some TV royalty. So I picked up the phone and invited myself over to celebrate Shelley ma’ fuckin’ Long.

While yes, she is still working hard with killer runs on Modern Family and less recently – and my favourite – playing Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch movies, her Emmy winning turn as Diane in Cheers is truly the stuff of TV legend.

I mean, her and zaddy Ted Danson’s will-they-won’t-they romance is enough to flood my basement even now.

Obviously Shell was honoured to finally get the call up to appear on this patch of cyberspace and introduce herself to a new audience. While our relationship started out quite rocky thanks to the meddling ways of the morally corrupt Kelsey Grammer, Rhea Perlman – the saint that she is – was able to sit us down, make us see sense and finally end our feud in 1987 before Shelley departed Cheers.

Did I mention I was a featured barfly in Cheers? Because I was.

Anyway, given she starred in one of the most iconic comedies of all time, I got her to help me run the odds for Outstanding Comedy Series, hoping that this category provides a well-deserved surprise slash great return on gambling investment. While Veep, Barry, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Fleabag are generating the most chatter to take out the win, this is the category that I could honestly make a case for every nominee taking it out. Russian Doll was bold and moving, The Good Place is the greatest exploration of morality ever committed to screen and Schitt’s Creek is a remarkable show filled with hope and joy.

While my heart wants Schit’s Creek to take it out and Shelley thinks The Good Place deserves it, I think it will go to Fleabag. But given Schitt’s has the worst odds, am betting it all on them for a good return on investment. While Shelley tried to suggest I go for a safer bet, I didn’t listen and drowned out her wise words by smashing a big Stuffed Shelly Long Bake.

 

 

There is nothing better than pasta … except kitsch foods, so using that logic, this baby is the holy grail. Large shell pasta bake full of rich, creamy spinach and cheese floating through a sea of spicy tomato sauce like the SS Noms? Sign me up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stuffed Shelly Long Bake
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
300g jumbo pasta shells, cooked per packet instructions
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
250g spinach, roughly chopped
500g ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, lightly whisked
a small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups marinara sauce
1 tbsp chilli flakes

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the spinach, remove from heat and cook, stirring for a minute or so, or until the residual heat has wilted the spinach. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

Once the onion, garlic and spinach are pretty much tepid, add the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil and a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

To assemble, pour marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and stir through the chilli flakes. Stuff each shell with the cheese mixture and place randomly in the baking dish. Repeat the process until the pasta and/or cheese is all used up.

Dot with any remaining cheese mixture, sprinkle with a little extra parmesan and transfer to the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Or until gloopy and glorious.

Leave to rest for five minutes before serving and devouring. Triumphantly like an icon.

 

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Veal Tatiana Marsala

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Pasta

After catching up with Chris and Riz to kick off this year’s Emmy Gold celebration Golden Family, I got to thinking about how sometimes the Academy just truly gets it right. When it isn’t given Modern Family Best Comedy for way too many years, for instance.

One of those right times is when my dear friend and mentee Tatiana Maslany finally snatched gold for Orphan Black. I mean, she straight up slayed multiple roles for five years on Orphan Black and honestly could have been nominated against herself for each damn performance.

As you can guess from the mentee comment I’ve known Tatiana for years, first meeting when I was a primary school teacher in Regina, Canada. I immediately saw a ferocious talent and encouraged her to give drama a try.

Given that advice gave her a lifetime of happiness, we stayed in touch – you could say I was a cool teacher – and I have been guiding her career ever since.

While we haven’t caught up in a hot minute, Tatiana was honoured to join this patch of cyberspace and help me run a myriad of Emmy odds to help me get out of debt with my bookie. As Drag Race superfans, we both firmly believe Ru will take out victory for Best Competition Program again. She was too scared to disagree when I said that it was Amy Lou Sedaris’ DAMN TIME and she will win Outstanding Variety Sketch Series whether they like it or not. A game of eenie meenie saw her backing Colbert for Variety Talk, while I landed on Samantha Bee.

Then we got to the pointy end of the show with the female Drama categories. While I desperately tried to convince her that Lena Headey MUST win for literally drinking wine and gazing out a window for three episodes – “People need to know that is a real fucking career option, Tatiana!” – she believed that Gwendoline Christie will instead take Supporting for her heartbreaking portrayal of Brienne of Tarth. We both agreed once again, however, that Jodie Comer is likely to follow in her co-star Sandra Oh’s footsteps to claim lead Actress in a Drama.

It was an exhausting and at times fiery discussion, which desperately took it out of us and as such, we nearly screamed for joy as a popped some Veal Tatiana Marsala on the table in front of us.

 

 

The kick of marsala with the smooth, melt-in-your-mouth veal and the rich punch of cream are a trio that make me infinitely happy. Add in the perennially delightful nature of pasta and you’re on a winner with this.

Enjoy!

 

 

Veal Tatiana Marsala

Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g fettuccine, cooked per packet instructions
50g butter
500g veal, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, to taste
flour, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ cup marsala
¾ cup cream
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups baby spinach

Method
While you’ve got a pot of water rolicking for the pasta, place the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook until foamy. Add the veal, garlic and flour and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to brown. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper, and add the mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Pour the marsala into the pan in one go and stir as it simmers and thickens. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring sporadically, for a further five minutes.

When the pasta is cooked, add the parmesan and spinach to the creamy veal pan and cook for a further minute, or until wilted.

Serve immediately on a bed of pasta and devour.

 

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Rizsole Ahmed

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Snack

While Christina has been TV royalty for close to three decades, I decide that this year’s Emmy Gold celebration – Golden Family – should focus on both the old guard and the young upstarts that have shone so brightly in the last few years. Like me boy, rapper, actor and zaddy Riz Ahmed.

After a decade working hard and building a resume of fantastic roles, Riz’s career skyrocketed a couple of years back with the one-two-three punch of Nightcrawler, The Night Of and Girls, the latter of which took him to the Emmys, the former of said latter of which led him to this date.

While you may have only known Riz for a few years, I first met him way back when we studied at Oxford together. He was a shy, gorgeous man who immediately caught my eye. The feelings weren’t reciprocated, so I tried to take the high road and instead become his friend.

At first we bonded over our mutual passion for rap – I was a founding member of Swet Shop Boys, until I was kicked out for diva behaviour – before I ultimately decided he needed to pursue acting seriously.

And given he starred in a superhero with Queen Michelle Williams, I think you will agree that he has made it.

Speaking of Michelle, my bookie is chasing me up to lock in my bets so I got to work at the task at hand and got Riz to run the limited series odds with me. Obvi we’re both backing Mish to take out Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie though part of my thinks he was just too scared to say that Patty Arquette has it on lock. We truly agreed that Jharrel Jerome will win Outstanding Actor, though wouldn’t mind if he ties with Jared Harris.

The supporting category is where we started to differ, with him thinking zaddy Stellan will take Actor while I started screaming that it is Ben Whishaw’s time. For Supporting Actress he went with Patty Clarks, while I said this is where Patty Arquette deserves to win. I mean, I have never so equally despised and pitied a character in all my life. We came back together to agree that When They See Us will win best limited series, while aren’t sure but are betting on Deadwood taking out TV movie.

With that we sat down, toasted to his ongoing success to try and snag an invite if he has one and smashed a Rizsole Ahmed or two.

 

 

Spicy and hot, these babies are the perfect way to toast the red hot career of this beautiful man. The earthy lamb, a hint of spice and lemon work together to form a flavour combination that you just can’t beat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rizsole Ahmed
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
⅓ cup feta, mashed
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Moroccan seasoning
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon, zested and juiced
handful parsley, roughly chopped
handful mint, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine everything in a bowl and scrunch together with your hand until well combined. Split into 8, form into patties and place on a lined baking sheet.

Bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Serve immediately with yoghurt and some Larissa Oleynik to really make it sing.

 

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Christina Applegate Sauce

Condiment, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Sauce

As you know, most of my time celebrating an Award Show is dedicated to finding someone that will take me as their plus one when the relevant academy chooses yet again, not to invite me. So since my dear Christina Applegate is nominated again this year and co-starred opposite Ed O’Neil, I couldn’t go past kicking off this year’s celebration with her.

I’ve known Chris for decades, after meeting on the set of Married. While I was employed as part of Kate’s entourage, I was drawn to Chris due to our similar sense of humour and we quickly developed a strong, unbreakable bond.

Given how busy she is, I haven’t caught up with Christina in close to 12 months, so it was such a joy to swing by her pad and toast her success on Dead to Me. While she wouldn’t give away any spoilers on season 2, she did assure me that should Linda agree to end her feud with me she could find a way to work me in to the season.

And I assume, finally get me my elusive first Emmy nomination.

Speaking of Emmy nominees, we sat down to run the odds in the Comedy Game. Despite both loving her performance in Dead to Me, we agreed that JLD will take Best Actress despite Catherine O’Hara deserving it. Best Actor she thinks will go to Bill Hader, while I think Ted Danson will make his triumphant return to the stage. While I am hopeful Anna Chlumsky will finally take out an Emmy for her role in Veep, Chris thinks it will go to Olivia Colman. When both obviously agree that Henry Winkler will take out Best Supporting Actor once again.

With that I wished her luck and toasted to her ongoing success with a big pot of sweet, spiced Christina Applegate Sauce.

 

 

While most people would argue that apple sauce is apple sauce and it isn’t anything special, I urge you to try this and then try to go back to store bought. Because you can’t. Lightly spiced with a caramelly hint, this smooth sauce is the perfect accompaniment to a big, salty slab of pork. Or great to shot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Christina Applegate Sauce
Serves: 1 saucy nominee and her inspiration.

Ingredients
5 granny smith apples, peeled and cored
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 cinnamon quill

Method
Place everything in a saucepan with two tablespoons of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, covered, and cook until apples are very soft. About ten minutes should be enough.

Remove the cinnamon quill and blitz the sauce until smooth and serve immediately.

 

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Golden Family

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, TV

Roll out the red carpet and guild the small screen as the Emmys are fast approaching, giving us time to celebrate the best of television. And question why some shows have continued to be egregiously snubbed.

Looking at you, Broad City.

But for every Broad City, there is a Schitt’s Creek entering the fray and a big nerd like Rach taking out some gold for her life’s work. And that is why I keep coming back for more.

So sit back, relax and get ready to honour the Golden Family for this year’s Emmy Gold!

Image source: The Television Academy.

 

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Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Snack

And now, the end of The Gold Wing is here and I thought it best to once again go back in time and celebrate with someone that has faced their final curtain – Toto that into My Way, would you? – my dear friend Aaron Spelling.

As you know, I’ve long been a friend of the Spelling Dynasty and my catch-up with Loni – who played Candy in Tori’s hit show So Notorious – reminded me that Aaron has a couple of Emmys to his name, despite creating some of the most iconic TV shows of our time.

I used my time in the purring delorean to finalise my tips for the best series gongs, settling on an ASP clean sweep as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel takes Comedy, The Handmaid’s Tale goes back-to-back for Drama and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is honoured for Limited Series. I found things more difficult for Talk and Sketch Series, eventually decided Variety Talk would go to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and At Home with Amy Sedaris will/should surprise for Variety Sketch.

Oh and I obviously am backing RuPaul’s Drag Race but that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one.

By the time I arrived at the epic Spelling Compound, I was so overjoyed to see Aaron one last time that I didn’t want to let him go. I desperately danced around filling him in on what I had been up to, lest I set off a butterfly effect, eventually shoving Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies into our mouths to avoid any issues.

 

 

Inspired by a delicious Nigella classic, these babies are decadent, rich and a little bit healthy – yay spelt! – so you can devour them without feeling to guilty. And while that is a total lie, just buy it … because they are worth it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies
Serves: 2 nostalgic friends, or 6-8 normal people.

Ingredients
150g peanut butter chips
125g dark chocolate
125g spelt flour
25g cocoa
½ tsp bicarb soda
pinch of kosher salt
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g muscovado sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, still cold

Method
Chuck the peanut butter chips in the freezer and preheat the oven to 160°C.

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl and leave to cool a little, and combine the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in another bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled chocolate until well combined before adding the cold egg. Scrape down the sides, reduce speed to low and carefully add in the dry ingredients, avoiding a mushroom cloud of flour at all costs. Remove from the stand and fold through the peanut butter chips until combined.

Dollop a tablespoon of dough on a lined baking sheet, leaving a large rim for spread, until full. Place the remaining dough in the fridge while you transfer the baking sheet to the oven for ten minutes and bake until just set. Leave to rest on the warm pan for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Repeat the process until the batter is done, and then devour.

 

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Lena Wafers

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Sweets

It is the second last day of this year’s Emmy Gold celebration The Gold Wing, can you believe? And something something segue Gaz, Marg, Ava, Rami and Rhea something, I am thrilled to catch-up with my dear friend and semi-freshly minted Emmy winner Lena Waithe.

Given she won her Emmy with my (problematic) friend Aziz for the beautiful Thanksgiving episode of Master of None, it should come as no surprise that he is the reason we became friends.

I was visiting the set during season 1 and Lena and I got to talking about our coming out experiences, and Aziz suggested that they write it into the second season. So you’re welcome, because that episode was perfection and he and Lena truly deserved that Emmy and I can’t even begrudge them for not including me in the writing process.

Since her victory, Len’s career has absolutely exploded and while it means we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, I’m so proud of her. And it makes our fleeting dates even more special. As a fellow writer, I knew that she would be best placed to go through the writing categories with me. Obviously she agreed that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s auteur Amy Sherman-Palladino would snag it for Comedy. Continuing our agreeance, we both backed Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Killing Eve, Steve Martin and Martin Short for their Netflix special and William Bridges and Charlie Brooker will snag it for USS Callister.

With the formalities out of the way, we toasted her success and got to work demolishing a big batch of Lena Wafers.

 

 

Not your childhood’s technicolour crosshatched biscuits, these wafers may not look as perfect but damn they are delicious. Light, sweet and delightfully crisp, they are the only thing worthy of honouring my girl Lena.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lena Wafers
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g raw caster sugar
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
200g flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of kosher salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for a couple of minutes, or until it is light and fluffy. Still going, add the egg, vanilla and milk and continue beating until just combined.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl before folding through the wet ingredients. Cover and transfer to the fridge for half an hour.

When you’re ready to bake, place teaspoon sized bowls on lined baking sheets, leaving plenty of space for spread. Flatten each ball to form a thin disc and transfer to the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once set, devour.

 

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Tandoorhea Perlman

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Main, Snack

We’re hurtling towards the end of this year’s Emmy Gold celebration, The Gold Wing, and I knew that after catching up with Gaz, Marg, Av and Ram, that Rhea Perlman was the perfect person to help me round out the acting categories. I mean, she has four Emmys and is a TV legend. What more could you want?

As you probably are expecting, I first met Rhea on the set of Cheers when I was visiting my friend Kirstie Alley. Given Rhe was an absolute laugh riot, I gravitated towards her and we slowly became the best of friends.

In the decades since, she has continued to dominate the small screen and brought boundless joy into my life. And the lives of anyone with a TV. Or those that have seen her egregiously Oscar snubbed turn in Matilda.

Anyway, I catch-up with the De Vito-Perlman’s on the reg, however it has taken me this long to convince one of them to drop by on the record. Which I assume is on account of Danson’s nom and me telling her that her refusal would bring him bad karma in his category?

Thankfully it wasn’t awkward when I arrived at their mansion and we quickly caught up and got to work running the odds. Obviously I am still on the The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, so forced her to agree that Rachel Brosnahan is guaranteed the Lead Actress win, despite agreeing Pamela Adlon and Issa Rae are both worthy victors. When it came to her former category of Supporting Actor we deviated, with her backing Zazie Beetz for Atlanta and me going with Betty Gilpin for GLOW. With that out of the way, we went out to their lanai and smashed a shit tonne of my Tandoorhea Pearlman.

 

 

Packed full of spice, these little koftas are the perfect way to heat up a boring school-night meal and fill you full of joy. Like sweet Rhea does with all that she … does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tandoorhea Perlman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
2 tbsp tandoori paste
2 tbsp natural yogurt
2 tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minces
1 lime, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
salad, Michael Flatley Bread and Raita Mitchell, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Chuck everything – but the salad, Michael and Radha, obvi – in a large bowl and scrunch until well combined.

Shape into koftas and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour with salad, bread and raita.

 

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Pastrami Malek

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Main

Today’s former Emmy winner slash friend dropping by to celebrate The Gold Wing is very special to me. Not to take away from my dear friends Garry, Marg or Ava obviously, but Rami Malek is such a lovely delight and we met through this year’s hopefully dominant force of nature Amy Sherman-Palladino.

I was hanging around on the Gilmore Girls set, desperately hoping to get that triplet storyline off the ground with Alexis when Amy asked me to show a supporting player around the lot. I lay eyes on Rami and immediately said yes, hoping to make him my husband.

While I didn’t succeed in wooing him outside of a brief, tender kiss under the gazebo, we did become friends and given he is just the sweetest, I vowed to make him a star. This in turn led to me contacting Mickey Rooney and getting him a role in the Night at the Museum franchise, and well, then he became a big, big fucking star.

Given he has been hella busy with Mr. Robot and winning Emmys over the last couple of years, we haven’t spent as much time together as we’d usually like to, so it was wonderful to just hang together and run the Drama and Limited Series acting categories together. As a former champ, he can’t go past my friend Matthew Rhys for The Americans for Best Actor in a Drama while I am still hoping Milo Ventimiglia can pull it off for This Is Us Making You Cry. Nobody is beating Darren Criss for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. As a dear friend, I hope Peter Dinklage takes Supporting Actor for Game of Thrones, though the category is kinda wide open. And Supporting Actor in a Limited Series should go to Brandon Victor Dixon for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert though a Finn Wittrock win for American Crime Story wouldn’t surprise me.

As seems to be the case with these odds fests, we were desperately hungry after we were done and thankfully I had a big ol’ hunk of Pastrami Malek waiting to sustain us. Because you know meat alway sustains me.

 

 

Another suggestion from Fame Hungry superfan Glenn DeLaCreme – beats ramen, no? – I was terrified to try making my own pastrami. But I persevered by combining a string of recipes I found online because I love my adoring fans, and I’m glad I did. Salty, spicy and sweet, this is the second best piece of meat you can put in your mouth.

The best being bacon, sickos. Obvi. Enjoy!

 

 

Pastrami Malek
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
1kg corned beef or beef brisket
2 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
2 tbsp smoked paprika, ground
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
The night before you plan on tackling this, rinse the corned beef under cold water for a couple of minutes before placing in a large bowl of cold water. Cover, transfer to the fridge and leave to desalinate overnight. You can use brisket, however the pink curing salt is meant to be toxic, so I was too scared to home-cure.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, and rinse the corned beef once again. Generously rub the spices into the meat and place on a plate to come to temperature for a couple of hours.

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Transfer the meat to a rack on a baking dish, cover tightly with foil and bake for a couple of hours.

Once done, remove the meat and allow to rest uncovered for fifteen minutes before slicing and devouring.

 

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