Chickwendy Empanadiaz

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, two became three but the OG Manu’s still couldn’t seem to catch a break, with Wendy isolated with only her chickens for comfort, while the rest were shipped off to a new island and promptly continued their losing streak. When all hope appeared lost, David managed to snatch a come from behind immunity win, sending NuManu back to tribal council. And while it appeared Big Wendy was down for the count, Victoria pulled off an epic blindside by sending Queen Aubry to the Island of Extinction with an extra vote and idol in her pocket. And quickly ascended the throne to become Queen Victoria.

Or Queen Vicky, I can’t decide.

On the Island of Extinction Aubry was feeling the pain of following in JT’s footsteps, by being blindsided with some many advantages in his pocket. Despite being broken, she was hopeful as the only way is up for her, and she is going to wait around and get back when she can.

Before we could learn anything else, Jeff returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would leap over tables, release some sandbags and then throw them at a target until flags are released. Given it is for coffee and snacks, I would literally destroy everyone if I was on that island. Surprisingly all three tribes were neck and neck by the time it came to tossing the sandbags, though hold Wardog’s beer, because he cannot throw and Lesu are back in last. Obviously Joe snagged Kama first place, while Gavin just snatched victory for Manu despite a late push from Lauren.

Back at Kama the tribe continued their vacation courtesy of Joe with Julie really struggling to comprehend what it would mean to lose. She then praised him for being so damn amazing, though reiterated to us that she has zero interest in working with him and is just blowing smoke up his arse. Speaking of Joe, he was breaking down about Aubry being voted out, knowing that the returnees are public enemy number one and he feels super alone. Unlike at home, where fan favourite, game changer SDT is waiting for him. Joe caught up with Julia and pointed out that he isn’t the only threat and that all the strong people will need to band together if they want to have any hope of staying around. Particularly since their winning streak has no doubt pissed people off.

Speaking of which, Lesu were lamenting their loss and wishing that they could be Joe for just one minute. While David was keen to go try and kind food, Lauren and Wardog opted to sit around and complain about being starving and over their shitty camp. If only they could muster enough energy to help him get the massive clam that is on the shore! Instead of helping, Wardog pulled Kelley and David aside to talk about getting rid of Lauren, which made the returnees nervous given he just won’t pick a lane. The only glorious thing to come out of it, is the fact that Kelley and David are now aligned.

Back on the Edge of Extinction, Chris discovered a basket with five maps full of holes. Reem requested everyone stay calm which Keith agreed to however it is Keith, so who knows. After folding the maps, the tribes wandered up the hill before Rick figured out that the reward was back on the beach and that they’ve wasted their time. Despite his location was wrong, Reem discovered the reward in the beach … only for Keith to snatch it from under her, earning him the chance to penalising someone in the upcoming returnee challenge. Pray circle (jerk) for Chris. Particularly after he pointed out that Reem gave the reward away, setting her off on a tirade against him which may get physical. All I know is, I feel sorry for Rick, Chris and Aubry.

Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to climb a ladder, manoeuvre a bag through a frame, open said bag, release a ball and open a gate. Then solve a puzzle, obvi. Oh and only one tribe would secure immunity, and the other two forced to attend tribal together and get rid of a single player. I have Malcolm PTSD. No surprises Kama snatched an early lead however they all eventually caught up at the puzzle. Despite David thinking he was close to victory, Joe proved adept at puzzles too and solved it just in the knick of time, handing Kama immunity and sending the other tribe to tribal council.

Back at Manu Eric was feeling the loss hard, concerned about the potential for a tied vote and no doubt, concerned Wendy will flip back to her original tribe. Victoria rallied the troops and told them to stick together, while Wendy suggested they don’t target David since he doesn’t have any allies and as such, they should go for Lauren, Kelley or Wentworth. Eric then changed his no rock stance, and told everyone to stick together and threaten to go the rocks, since returnees aren’t likely to waste their shot. Eric and Gavin then went for a chat, reconfirming their relationship and locking in the rocks option. Sadly for them, Victoria is less inclined to go to rocks for these bozos as she is a Queen and wants to win. But thankfully for her, no one appears to have figured that out yet.

Meanwhile over at Lesu Kelley was confident that the other tribe would stick four strong and while targeting the big guys is the best idea, Victoria could be the safest move given they won’t expect it. Wardog had other ideas however, saying that they should vote Wendy because in the event of a time, the others will likely flip on her given they haven’t been together that long. While this is the only correct move for the tribe – outside of pulling Wendy over to their side – Kelley was annoyed that Wardog continues to ignore everyone else and push forward with his ideas. David suggested that he should tell Wendy to vote for someone and hope that it doesn’t go to rocks, while Lauren was confident that they will vote for her and as such she was worried. Even though being the person locked in the tie is literally best case for rocks, which the tribe were keen on.

Wardog went to relax by the beach and questioned going to rocks for Lauren, who is clearly breaking down and as such, went hunting for an idol. The other three figured it out and grew more frustrated with him, deciding they needed to find the idol first. Which Wentworth did, while right next to Wardog. Kelley ran back and filled in Lauren, while Wardog continued to climb trees desperate for the idol. Lauren too wanted to share some intel, sharing that she won’t go to rocks for Wardog and will flip if it comes to it.

The tribes arrived at tribal council and both admitted that they all planned to stick with their tribe, Wardog reiterated that he is ready to battle for his group while Eric admitted that neither knows the others dynamics and as such, it is going to be unpredictable. Kelley offered Manu loyalty were they to flip, which Gavin too offered. Wendy shared that she feels trapped in the middle, with David talking about his love for Wendy while Eric mentioned that Wendy told them otherwise. Kelley started whispering to Wardog while David reminded everyone that he has no qualms going to rocks, which Victoria thought was bullshit. Wendy whispered to David that if he flipped, he’ll be safe, Wardog whispered to David, Gavin whispered to Eric and David asked Wendy to go aside for a little chat. With that the tribes voted and despite all the whispers, the votes rolled in four a piece for Lauren and Wendy. With that the whispering started again, this time with Eric joining Lesu while Kelley and Lauren spoke to Victoria and Gavin to come up with a plan, while poor Wendy sat alone in the middle. Before being booted unanimously.

While she was upbeat upon discovering the Edge of Extinction sign and discovering that she would get a meal to accompany her boat ride, her mood soon deflated.

“This is delicious Ben, what are we eating?”

“Well Big Wendy, I wasn’t sure what to make you originally however I found three chickens wandering the island and was hit with a brain wave.”

You could pinpoint the exact moment her heart broke, and while I kind of feel bad that her rescue was only temporary, when it tastes as good as my Chickwendy Empanadiaz, she can’t really hold a grudge. Right?

 

 

In my defense, since Annelie got cage-fight induced amnesia, I have been unable to make another empanada, but when I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to make some tweaks and move past my fears. And oh how glad I am that I did, smokey, sweet and packing a hell of a punch, they’re the kind of thing you can’t stop eating. Ever.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chickwendy Empanadiaz
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1kg chicken thighs, diced
2 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
1 green capsicum, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
4 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and chicken, and cook for a further five minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves, capsicum, tomato pastes, paprikas, oregano and cayenne, with a good whack of salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour, or until the sauce is thickened. Leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cut each piece of pastry into 9 equal squares.  Place 1 tbsp of filling in each and scrunch the egse to form little half moon pockets. Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with the egg and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and crisp.

Devour immediately, in honour of those poor, briefly freed chickens I cooked.

Don’t tell Sia.

 

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Aubry Braccob Pie

Main, Party Food, Pie, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor a tribe swap gave Big Wendy four new people to terrorise on NuManu, finally releasing the chickens and making herself even more of a target. Meanwhile over at NuKama – which was just OG Kama, minus Aubry, Eric, Gavin and Victoria – Ron continued to target Joe, employing mute Julia to look through his bag for an idol whilst pretending to be besties. The newly formed Lesu tribe – which was OG Manu minus Wendy – meanwhile continued their losing streak, with David and Rick facing off against Kelley and Lauren for Wardog’s affection. With him obviously siding with the girls, as poor Rick found himself heading to Island of Extinction.

Surprisingly absolutely no one, Reem was not thrilled to be reunited with Rick who was thrilled to have a second chance, despite not having any pals on the decrepit island. *Pray for Chris’ beautiful back after his seat broke*.

Forgoing any camp footage, Probst arrived for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would race through obstacles to collect bolos, which they then need to land on a target, with the first tribes to finish getting PB&Js and milk, or just PB&Js. Surprisingly the tribes were neck in neck at the start, until David David-ed and struggled to untie the bolos, giving Kama and Manu a hearty lead. Gavin scored Manu’s first point before Lesu arrived at the target, it was neck and neck between Manu and Kama with Julie snatching first place for Kama, while Victoria eventually grabbed second place for Manu, while Lesu barely registered a point.

Back at Kama the ever victorious tribe celebrated their victory, and we won, by finally meeting Julia. No surprise, she too desperately wants to get rid of Joe since he is the biggest threat. Joe being Joe, he did the only thing he could by continuing to dominate challenges and desperately try and provide for the tribe. While he went fishing, Ron, Julia and Julie met to discuss potentially throwing the upcoming immunity challenge to get rid of Joe and reduce the number of returning players, so they don’t run the game.

Over at Manu, they too were thrilled to be smashing sandy jays, given they can’t eat the chickens on account of Wendy freeing them. While the chickens continued taunt them from the shrubs, Eric too was concerned by the dwindling numbers and the fact that the returnees haven’t taken a hit yet. Aubry however is growing tired of not attending tribal council, as she came in to play the game aggressively and she needs to go just to see where the numbers truly lay. Sadly for her, Victoria, Eric and Gavin where catching-up and decided that she is still their number one target – despite Wendy being Wendy – and Victoria would go to her and proposition a women’s alliance, in the hopes of diffusing any advantages she may possess. Oh and Victoria is an icon, and gives zero fucks about booting her despite being a friend. Victoria and Aubry then caught up to enact Victoria’s plan and poor Aubry fell for it completely, calling her Vic in confessionals and I just want to scream that she is in danger.

Meanwhile Lesu were lamenting yet another loss, with Wardog not into trying fishing with David. However being shunned gave David a chance to split from the group and hunt for an idol, while the other three spoke about how desperately then need to watch David and make sure he doesn’t find an idol like Chrissy, Devon, Ryan and Mike in HvHvH. David eventually reappeared, leaving Wardog and Kelley the chance to go for a walk to discuss taking out Lauren. Which really doesn’t make sense for either them, but I appreciate Wardog throwing it out there.

Back at extinction Chris discovered a box – not mine, tragically – featuring four maps with vague instructions, which Rick quickly figured out required them to fold it for their directions. Reem suggested they all have lunch before heading off to find the loot, however Keith wandered off to claim them for himself. Reem lead the charge against Keith, as the others chased him to get the loot first. Which, sadly for Keith, they did as Chris tackled him to discover three bamboo sticks with a note that reads practice while Rick found an extra vote hidden at a second tree, which must be gifted to someone on the losing tribe at the upcoming tribal.

Speaking of which, Jeff returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would have to swim to a pontoon, run up a ramp, dive and retrieve puzzle pieces before dragging them to another pontoon which they drag to a third pontoon on which they build a buoy puzzle. This time it was Kelley’s chance to get Lesu out to a slow start, while Manu dominated with Kama close behind while Lesu still had zero puzzle pieces. While Kelley and Lauren sat waiting for a miracle from Wardog and David, Manu and Kama struggled with their puzzles. Eventually Wardog released the first puzzle piece, with Lauren finally releasing the second one and allowing them to catch-up just as Kama snagged immunity. With that Aurora tried to coach Aubry and Manu to victory, before David somehow managed to snatch victory for Lesu. Much to their own shock.

Back at Manu Aubry finally got her wish of kick starting the game, with her joining Gavin, Eric and Victoria to lock in the vote for Wendy. Who sat on the shore by the beach. Aubry and Victoria got together to discuss Victoria’s fake plan to pull in Wendy to get rid of Eric or Gavin. While Aubry was nervous about making a move too soon, they approached Wendy about joining them which Wendy, bless, turned down leaving them super confused and TBH, Aubry was pissed. Aubry went wandering alone to clear her head before tribal when she stumbled upon the extra vote in her bag, making her more confused about what to do with her power and which advantage to use, rather than playing from the bottom.

At tribal council the OG Kama’s finally collected their torches and joined the game before Gavin kicked things off by sharing that the tribe was pretty relaxed after immunity, and as such he isn’t sure what is going to happen. Aubry spoke about the need to be a conversation ahead of everyone else to survive, while Wendy admitted that her gameplay is chaotic and confusing and I live for her. Aubry shared the need to find your allies and that you can’t lock in alliances, until they’re forged by an actual vote. Gavin spoke about Aubry’s value in sharing advice based on her previous games, while Wendy gushed about how great Aubry is and admitted to struggling with separating feelings from her game. Leading into the vote Gavin said his choice is the one that will benefit him the most and Eric admitted to feeling nervous about being played, while Aubry believed it would be a simple vote.

Which was tragically wrong as the votes rolled in and Queen Aubry became the first returnee booted from the game. Even before discovering the existence of the Island of Extinction, Aub’s took her boot in her stride, though was confused as to why I was cooking on a camp stove outside tribal council. She then saw the offer to remain in the game, took 0.0001 of a second to decide, grabbed a torch and I literally had to chase her down the beach to give her my Aubry Braccob Pie before going to get Reemed.

 

 

I saw this concept whilst surfing the interwebs one afternoon, and was immediately smitten. I mean, I am passionate about cobs and I am passionate about pies … and little ol’ Taste.com.au had been smart enough to combine them. And changed my life for the better. With a few little tweaks along the way, the meat was saucy, the pastry flakey and Aubry was thrilled to become the first Survivor three-peat on this ‘ere ol’ patch of cyberspace.

But can she make it to four?! Dun, dun, dun … enjoy!

 

 

Aubry Braccob Pie
Serves: 1 sad booted returnee, or 4 happy shiny people.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1kg beef mince
3 tbsp flour
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups beef stock
½ cup ketchup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 cob loaf
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly whisked

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large frying pan and sweat the onion over medium heat for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before adding the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go, until browned. Add the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further minute before adding the stock and Worcestershire. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes. Stir through the parsley and remove from the heat.

Preheat oven to 160C.

To assemble, carve the top off the cob and scoop out most of the bread, leaving enough around the edges to retain its structural integrity. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to crisp for 10 minutes. Remove, fill with the meaty mixture and top with pastry, crinkling the edge with as much artistic flair as you can muster. Brush with egg and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and puffed.

Remove and devour immediately, lamenting the tragedy of your Survivor experience thus far.

 

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Amanda Seyfried Brie

Party Food, Side, Snack, That Is So Fetch Week

I had had a dream that Lindsay Lohan would be able to drop by as a surprise first That Is So Fetch Week, Mean Girls Day celebration but then she started attacking Syrian woman in Moscow – on transit here, no less – and I thought mamma mia, I can’t have her here right now so quickly booked a private jet for Amanda Seyfried and brought her visit up a day.

Mand and I first met through the divine Susan Lucci. Suze was completely in awe of her talent, gave me a call and said, “Ben my dear. I’ve found another ingenue that you just have to meet and shape her career so that she can become a star.”

Obviously I take Susan’s opinion very seriously, so I jumped on the very next plane to the All My Children set to see for myself.

Immediately, I was taken by her talent and I grabbed my rolodex of hate because I hate the phone, not my friends obvi. Oh and yeah, I coined the term, but whatevs – to see if there was anything my friends were doing that would be suitable.

Tina doll, aren’t you writing that movie about bullying?” I naively said, implying that Mean Girls would just be a story of my life, rather than an iconic film.

“I’ve met this girl and I feel she could add some depth to the bimbo girl I told you about from school.”

With that, Mands snatched the role of Karen and we’ve been the best of friends ever since. To the point where I don’t even mind that she has co-starred with Meryl twice while I am yet to make it into one of her movies.

Given how busy she has been with Mamma Mia 2 and raising her young girl, we haven’t seen as much of each other as we would like. But thankfully our friendship is one that you can slip straight back into like no time has passed at all. Though how could things be awkward when you’ve got a plate of Amanda Seyfried Brie sitting in front of you.

 

 

Hot and gooey on the inside, golden and crisp on the outside, these fried portions of cheese prove that sometimes, somehow, you can improve on perfection. So like hang in there, you know? Maybe I should be a motivational speaker too …

Enjoy!

 

 

Amanda Seyfried Brie
Serves: 4

Ingredients
250g brie
1 egg, whisked
1 tbsp buttermilk
2 cups breadcrumbs
flour, salt and pepper, to taste
2-4 cups vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Cut the brie into wedges. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together in a small bowl, place the breadcrumbs in a second and a heap of flour in the third with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Coat the brie in flour, dip it in the egg and coat in the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined plate and leave to set for fifteen minutes or so … before re-dipping in the egg and breadcrumbs. Transfer to the fridge to set for half an hour.

When you’re ready to go, heat the oil in a pot over medium heat and when nice and hot, cook a few pieces at a time for a minute or so, flipping once, or until golden brown.

Devour immediately with Chillijamin McKenzie, being careful of the molten cheese.

 

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Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Party Food, Pie, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders were smarting from losing the first immunity challenge and booting out misogynistic Matt, with Robbie leading the way to try and prove themselves against the Champions. While it was another epic fail at reward, Heath lead them to victory in the immunity challenge which sent the Champions into chaos as they prepared for tribal. Russell pulled out his idol, desperately scraped together an alliance and caused so much confusion that he somehow caused a tie between him and Jackie. Sadly for him, Sharn and Moana were not willing to take his crap, called his bluff and sent him from the game with an idol around his neck.

Things were decidedly less dramatic the neck day at the Champions camp, no, no, there was screaming and drama as a huge chicken miraculously wandered into camp. Thankfully it led to some of the best slapstick I’ve seen in years, as Sam madly ran around the camp trying to capture it. It wasn’t calm, but there was comedy and for that, I am grateful. Meanwhile Sharn and Moana – or Shaoana … Moarn – were thrilled to have taken out Russell, calling his bluff and I assume, claiming my heart. The two Queens then went for a walk down the beach and Moana shared about her experiences as a full time carer for her sister Livinia and oh my god I am crying, give her the damn money. She then locked in Sharn as her ride or die and I am all in, like they’re the nude quadruple on the Contenders.

Speaking of which, the Contenders were sitting down to breakfast, remodelling their camp and altogether loving life. Just tragically clothed.

Almost giving me whiplash, we returned to the Champions camp where Damien was trying to overcome his amputations and prove his worth to the team. Meanwhile Jackie’s poker skills were being put to good use, as she speculated felt everyone was turning against her and she needed to wake up and paint the target against her. She then started to target Damien as he has physical limitations, which can be a liability – her words, not mine – while also not wanting to face him at the end, given he is a freakin’ war hero. In any event, given we’ve seen the Contenders for a minute this episode, we can rule them out of attending tribal council this episode. Well done team!

Speaking of challenges, my love Jonathan returned for this week’s reward challenge where the Contenders were delighted to see that Russell was booted at the last tribal. While some of them were sad to have missed out on meeting him, Lydia assured them that they missed nothing. Anywho – the challenge is essentially a penalty shootout for a huge fishing kit and a fish. Basically the Champions got out to an early lead, never really lost it, Shane Gould is adorable, Damien is a saint and Monika scored the winning goal.

The Champions arrived back at camp to discover their fish had not just been cooked, but also slathered in salsa and looking glorious. Speaking of glorious, Damien was thrilled about playing a huge role in their victory and feeling like he was before his accident. While everyone feasted Moana loitered around awkwardly as she is a vegetarian, but didn’t want to ask them to leave her some veggies.

Meanwhile back at Casa de Contenders, the tribe was feeling defeated and hella hungry. Heath wandered off to grab water and discovered a clue hiding in the well, instructing him that a hidden immunity idol would be placed in the lid of the voting urn at the next tribal council should they attend. So now he is keen to throw the next challenge, particularly since Robbie caught him finding said clue and spread the intel to Benji, throwing their alliance into doubt. Speaking of idol clues, the Champions continued to feast on the fish, completely oblivious to the hidden immunity idol at their feet. Given Moana the vegetarian had zero interest in the food, she noticed and stealthy snatched it out from under their noses.

To reiterate, Moana is Queen.

Cutting me off from Moana’s coronation, Jonathan arrived for the next immunity challenge. Well, after the Champions were done gloating about their fish reward and motivating the Contenders even further. The challenge required seven members of the tribe to wheel a giant wheel around with two tribemates on top who were required to fish puzzle pieces along the way. The last two having to solve said puzzle, obvi. The Champions got out to a slight lead, however the Contenders caught up by the first puzzle pieces. By the third stack of puzzle pieces the Contenders pulled away – in no small part thanks to Shane knocking the Champions puzzles off the shelf – handing Tegan and Fenella a massive lead for solving the puzzle. While Jackie and Monika tried their best to make inroads, it was all for nought as the Contenders dominated and snatch victory before they even had a chance to get started.

Jackie immediately started to panic back at camp, bursting into tears and apologising for choking at the challenge which successfully garnered sympathy from the tribe. She then went for a walk with Monika and decide to flip the game on Damien, in the hope of ‘keeping the tribe strong’. She then approached Moana to try and get her on board, which tragically fell short as Moana sees her as lady Russell and desperately wants her and her crocodile tears out of the game. Moana approached Steve W and Mat to rally troops against Jackie instead, which they were both keen for leaving them to split up and pull in more numbers. Sharn then went to rally troops to take out Damien, pulling in Lydia … before going to Moana and agreeing to take out Jackie as they headed out to tribal council leaving me ridiculously confused.

At tribal Jonathan started by throwing some shade about their loss, with Mat trying to dance around the specifics of why exactly they lost. Jackie tried to garner some more sympathy for losing the challenge, before Damien spoke about the risks associated with the epic spotlight on him whether he performs well or not. Brian appeared to talk in sports metaphors, Steve W completely owned my heart by straight up blaming Jackie for the loss before Mat piled on and tried to convince everyone to keep Damien. Sam spoke about the importance of making alliances to save yourself when you have a run of bad luck, leading to Steve W feeling frustrated by the fact that Russell has rubbed off on them … before admitting he had made alliances. Lydia admitted she planned to vote off a weaker player while Moana evaded the question saying she wants to win challenges but also needs to think about the game.

With that confusing back and forth, the tribe went off to vote, Moana managed to snatch the idol without anyone noticing and poor Damien found himself becoming the third boot for being a liability … despite as Steve W put it, him having no legs because he was blown up helping people in Afghanistan. Speaking of which, that is actually where I first met my dear mate Damo. You see after getting kicked out the USO shows for being too lewd, I decided to try my luck performing tamer routines for the Aussie Army and became quite popular for a brief period.

After his accident, I would visit him daily and sing to him to try and make him feel better. While the doctors banned me from the hospital and got me deported for what they described as cruel and unusual punishment – bitch, I can hit more notes than Mariah you’ve got no idea – Damo knew I was just trying to help and we became the best of friends. That is why I knew my Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts would be the perfect way to cure his post boot pain.

 

 

Does the name roll of your tongue? Not really. Should I have gone with Caramelisedamien? Probably. But given how delicious these taste, I think you should cut me a break. The sweet onion melts in your mouth and dances with the earthiness of the cheese and the flaky gloriousness of the pastry.

Just trust me, they’re perfect. And hella moreish.

Enjoy!

 

 

Carameliseien Thonionson & Goats Cheese Tarts
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 onions, sliced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp ground chilli
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
150g goat’s cheese, crumbled
lemon thyme, to garnish

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring, for fifteen minutes or until soft.

Add the sugar, balsamic, chilli and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further five minutes or until rich and sticky. Allow to cool for ten minutes or so.

Meanwhile cut each slice of puff pastry into nine equal squares and place on lined baking sheets. Top each with a dollop of onions, crumble over the goat’s cheese and transfer to the over to bake for fifteen minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden.

Devour, immediately scattered with thyme leaves.

 

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Domenicken Liver Abpâté

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

After being technically booted from the game – and being whisked out of time to join me for a date – Laurel grabbed the urn and walked up to cast the sole remaining vote for the winner. Which lead to Probst opting not to read that vote and instead take it back to the US to pick the winner … meaning Laurel truly, finally got to make a game changing decision.

Just not the one she was really aiming for. Though it was definitely the one she deserved.

With that, Probst moved his hand deep inside Tony and Woo’s urn and pulled out Laurel’s vote which crowned Wendell the Survivor: Ghost Island sole survivor and left Dom to realise his fears had come true by not facing him in a fire challenge.

New curse to reverse though? So, that’s something.

Anyway, Dom played a killer game and despite making the bone-headed move to call out Chris’ day one decision and instantly started a feud, he managed to make a solid relationship with Wendell and they complimented each other perfectly to get to the end.

But buddying up with Wendell wasn’t his only move, his ability to make friends with literally everyone – except Chris – is the reason none of the moves ever came to fruition this season, as either Kellyn, Laurel or Angela would tell him – oft knowing it was against their best interests – and he would be able to avoid the boot or even needed to play his idols.

As such – and I’m not just saying it because it finished in a tie – he truly is the best to never win (behind Cirie, obvi). And because of that, I gladly pulled out a big fat Domenicken Liver Abpâté to dull the pain of just missing out on victory.

 

 

Pâté is something I have loved my entire life, until I discovered it was made from livers when I was ten and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it for six horrible years. Which I regret as much as Dom regrets not trying to get rid of Wendell on day 38. Rich and earthy, it is the perfect accompaniment to your pain, wine and a big old sourdough baguette. Oh – and I obvi just adapted this recipe, because who the hell can just trial-and-error with livers.

Enjoy!

 

 

Domenicken Liver Abpâté
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 tbsp currants
100ml verjuice
1 ½ tbsp water
⅔ cup port wine
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp gelatin
pinch of allspice
100g unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
500g chicken livers, trimmed
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
3 thyme sprigs, leaves only
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Soak currants in verjuice overnight.

Combine the water and half the port in a small bowl and dissolve the gelatin in it for five minutes. Bring the remaining port to a light simmer in a small pan with the sugar and allspice. Add the softened gelatin, cook until well combined and remove from the heat to cool completely.

Melt 100g of butter in a pan over low heat and cook the cook the onion and garlic for a about ten minutes, or until translucent and sweet. Add the livers, rosemary and thyme to the pan with a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a couple of minutes or until just cooked. Like, still pink in the middle just. Add the verjuice and currants and cook for a further minute.

Transfer everything to the food processor and blitz until completely smooth. Pack into a container and gently pour the cooled jelly over the top of the pâté and leave to set.

Once set, devour with a baguette and forget they’re livers.

 

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Gregk Meatballouganis

Main, Party Food, Snack

Well do I have a gag of the season for you – and surprisingly that is neither what he or I said – I came clean to Greg about only reaching out in ‘88 to try and snatch the rights to his story that eventually lead to Breaking the Surface starring Mario Lopez. And not only that, he laughed, told me he always knew that and was just pleased to have my friendship once again.

After meeting at the University of Miami in the late ‘70s, I was immediately drawn to Greg’s talent on stage and in speedos and I made it my goal to get together and live out our twincest life. I was successful and for a beautiful couple of months, I was known around campus as Greg’s lubed anu … well, let’s just say people knew I was always ready for him to dive in.

As I mentioned, things got ugly when he found out I was mainly pushing him in to diving to make room for me to star on the stage. Thankfully three decades on, he appreciates the fact that it inadvertently motivated him to succeed in diving and as such, he should be thanking me for making him the success that he is.

Which I quickly told him I wouldn’t just appreciate, I required it before he got to eat anything.

He laughed it off as a joke though his thanks and praise seemed genuine enough that I opted against starting another feud and instead, enjoyed his company and reconnected. We laughed, we cried and most importantly, we got to fill our mouths with as many big, meaty balls as our hearts desired. In the form of my Gregk Meatballouganis.

 

 

Honouring both our love for ball play and his father’s Greek heritage, these big morsels are near perfection. Spicy, sweet and packing pockets of creamy feta, these lamb meatballs work well as a snack, in a yiros or – gasp – accompanying a big ol’ salad (what have I become).

Enjoy!

 

 

Gregk Meatballouganis
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup oregano leaves, roughly chopped
100g feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place everything in a large bowl and scrunch until it is well combined and thoroughly mixed.

Using meat hands, shape into golf ball-sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet until all the mixture is gone. Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Allow to rest for five minutes before devouring, preferably covered in tzatziki.

 

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Puttaneskarla Karaitizza

Main, Party Food, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor NZ, 18 new castaways were dumped on islands in the middle of a Thai lake where Matt made quick work assuring everyone that the rules of the season will mirror traditional US Survivor – which is the gag of the season, TBH. He then thrust the castaways into an individual challenge for an unknown power … which turned out it gave the winner, Jose, the chance to select her own tribe. Sadly for her, she didn’t seem to do the best of jobs with Chani losing both the challenges and sending her out of the game as the first boot.

Back at camp the surviving members of the Chani tribe returned to camp with Liam reeling from the choice to send their strongest female home. On the flip side JT was celebrating and quickly defended himself by saying Jose targeted him, while Franky and Renee reiterated that she was dangerous and made them feel on the outs. And as for Karla, well she was thrilled to have survived and to be able to show her strength … she was keenly aware that she was still firmly on the bottom of the tribe.

The next day the Chani tribe were thrilled to finally have fire and be able to eat actually cooked rice while the winning Khangkhaw tribe were beginning to show cracks. Particularly for poor Dylan, who’s plans to align with the biggest threats didn’t suit the bigger threats in Matt, Josh and Brad who instead wanted him out ASAP and to align with Tess, zaddy Addy and per Tess’ request, Lisa. Clever girl Tess, clever girl. The one thing going for Dylan is that as much as they want him out, they also don’t like Kaysha and want her out as well.

My boy Matt arrived for this week’s reward challenge where Khangkhaw were shocked to see Jose became the first boot. The challenge involved tribe members getting in the drink and swimming out to a platform, jumping off and releasing a key which will then unlock a box of rocks that they will use to break tiles, all for fresh tropical fruit which made Zadam cream his shorts thanks to his passion for watermelon. And that in turn made me cream my shorts thinking about him creaming his shorts. Anyway, he got the tribe out to a strong start beating Dave to the platform though was tragically overtaken on the ladder until he slayed the swimming portion and snatched back the lead. Renee took the lead over Tara giving Liam a huge advantage over Kaysha which was made worse when she couldn’t smash her key allowing Karla to lap her when getting Chani’s fourth key. JT was out for the fifth key before Matt flashed his way into my heart like King Locky. While they were well and truly behind by the time Josh swam out … when it looks that good, he shouldn’t complain.

Damn Matt, you making a play for my heart and I am so into it.

Anyway by the time they got to throwing balls Brad made quick work of overtaking things before pulling ahead and snatching victory from Chani. But since Matt gave us a killer view of his rump, everyone’s a winner … and that’s all that matters. Well, except for Chani who were dejected, Kaysha who injured herself and Zadam who projectile vomited from over exertion. Thankfully he put it down from trying so hard whilst being completely unfit … though mentioning he had a rock in his knee makes me nervous we’re going to suffer a huge loss via medevac. He quickly perked up back at camp and taught everyone about the wonders of watermelon and his mantra, ‘peace, love and watermelons’.

Meanwhile over at Chani, JT and Liam discovered a new twist requesting they send one member of their tribe to the Outpost. While they weren’t sure what it exactly entailed, everyone was ok with him going and seeing whether he is honest and trustworthy. And not put a target on their back. Over at Khangkhaw the tribe danced around volunteering by figuring out what the outpost is before Matt suggested they all draw straws rather than continuing to waste time. With Tess selected, her alliance were thrilled while Kaysha was desperately hoping for a tribe swap.

Tess and JT arrived at the outpost where Matt explained that a different person needs to attend each week and will be faced by a challenge or dilemma, which would have ramifications throughout the game. He then challenged them to build fire and burn through a rope for an unknown reward … which is totally an idol clue, no? Out of nowhere, Tess was quick to get a flame and – gag of the season – build a lasting fire while JT struggled, snatching victory for herself. Which was a hidden immunity idol clue. Matt then gave Tess the chance to lie to her tribe about what happened and talk to her opposition JT, who quickly worked to convince her that telling him the clue was a good idea in order to keep his silence. While she was initially reluctant to share the clue, she quickly folded and they both learnt that the clue would be hidden under the mat at the next immunity challenge. He promised to keep quiet and go with whatever lie she wants to tell her tribe, but there was no way you could make her feel ok for making the epic blunder.

Tess returned to Khangkhaw and told them she was against JT and won the fire challenge before seamlessly slipping in the lie that the challenge was for mattresses, tarps and other comforts … but for both tribes. So to continue rubbing salt in their wounds, she opted for no one to get the reward. Over at Chani JT made quick work of throwing Tess under the bus, telling them about her victory and the location of the idol … but that it was only for her tribe. While Arun wasn’t buying the entire story, JT filled him in on the fact it would be under both mats and wasn’t sure whether to keep it in their alliance and only tell Dave and Eve, or tell everyone. Showing that he is playing a long, deep game, he explained that no matter what seeing if anyone else goes for it will show who she is aligned with and has the idol which will be valuable information come the merge.

Franky proved to be mildly psychic, concerned about getting a roof on the shelter in case it rained which of course led to a torrential downpour. That led to Franky having a mild breakdown and came close to quitting while Karla shivered her way through the night, making Renee proud of them and Arun concerned about their willpower. Franky continued to struggle throughout the day with a fever and struggling to breathe leading to them calling the medic to make sure she was ok. This made Karla felt a little bit safer, and as such, she was instantly iconic and I love her. Meanwhile at Khangkhaw, Tess pulled Adam aside and told him the truth about everything that happened at the outpost, with them to scramble to come up with a plan to snatch the idol whilst simultaneously blocking him from going for it.

The tribes arrived at the immunity challenge where the Khangkhaw alliance and Arun and JT panicked to figure out how to snatch the idol without anyone noticing. Matt explained that the challenge would require three people to hold a stick across their back while the remaining members for the other tribe would load them up with weights. Brad seamlessly snatched the idol without anyone noticing thanks to an untied shoe before he, Josh and Kaysha faced off against Dave, Arun and Renee for immunity. While Khangkhaw focused on putting weight equally amongst the Chani tribe members, Chani loaded up the boys – dream – before Dave became the first person to drop out of nowhere. Renee followed soon after leaving Arun to carry the entire tribe on his back. While Brad struggled with his 70kgs, Arun couldn’t hold on any longer dropping the bar and handing Khangkhaw yet another victory. Though that lead to Lisa adorably fanning out over snatching the idol from Matt and snuggled with sexy, naked Matt and as such, I feel Chani should be grateful.

The Chani tribe discussed Khangkhaw’s ribbing as they arrived at the challenge before Arun quickly shared the information that Tess is clearly aligned with the Brad, Josh and Matt since they played dumb about what she won at the challenge. Given the way they figured out all the politics of their rivals, I wouldn’t count them out just … hang on, we’re at Khangkhaw post challenge. And Josh and Brad are swimming together and look totally babin’ before we learnt the rules of the idol, which seem to be the same as the US though it may remain in play if you’re not physically in possession of it when you get voted out. I dunno, that sounds weird. But Kiwi Jeff is wild and babin’, so who knows?

Back at Chani the tribe finally got to scrambling with Liam keen to get everyone focused on getting rid of the weakest tribe member, given getting rid of Jose didn’t help them in challenges. While they agreed Karla was the weakest, JT was concerned that Franky was also weak and a threat, and that makes her the most enticing of targets. While Karla was emotional, she seemed to accept her fate while Franky started to pull it together and find a way to keep herself alive, assuring Renee that while she almost quit she can sort it out and fight for the tribe.

At tribal council Matt quickly kicked them while they were down, saying they were dejected at the immunity challenge. Eve spoke up and countered that while yes, they were tired, they’ve pulled themselves together and are a strong, close family. Karla defended herself, saying that everyone had a dark moment last night, but they all pulled together before everyone but Arun admitted it was far tougher than they were expecting it to be. Franky shared that while she wanted out last night, she fought to stay and will continue to fight. Renee and JT agreed that life has been hell back at camp, though JT believed that a Chani will win the game meaning it will either be prophetic or he’ll look like an idiot. While we won’t find out for weeks, Eve jumped in to talk about her family getting her through before she broke down over how much she missed them. While everyone, Karla and Franky included, felt that they needed to keep the tribe strong, Karla tried to fight for her spot sharing that she is an experienced camper and knows how to maintain a fire. Nervous, Franky jumped in and reminded them that while she has been sick and wanted to quit, she fought through it and will continue to fight for the tribe. Sadly for Karla, Franky’s impassioned plea had more of an effect on her tribemates leading to poor Karla becoming the second person out of the game.

Given I’ve known Karls the longest out of all the castaways, I was gutted to see her walk into loser lodge knowing the true grit – great movies, both versions FYI – and determination she possesses. I first met Karla when we were studying journalism together – though separate to the time I studied with Sylvia Jeffreys and mentored Matt Chis. I get around – and we quickly bonded over our love of photographic excellence (remember, I was an Instalebrity briefly). Anyway, we’ve been dearest friends for close to two decades and as such, I knew the only thing that could cheer her up after suffering shitty luck in the game was a Puttaneskarla Karaitizza.

 

 

While I hate anchovies with the fire of a thousand suns – If I wanted something hairy and full of bones I visit Matt and his peach … or Nico, swoon – but if you take them out of a puttanesca pizza, you truly have perfection. The capers and bacon bring more than enough salt, so by the time you add some sriracha, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Puttaneskarla Karaitizza
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced and fried
⅓ black olives, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup capers, roughly chopped
sriracha, to taste
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases and sprinkle with the herbs and garlic. Heap on the bacon, olives, mushrooms, capers and sriracha, and cover with mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, in fear for the next person I’ve flagged for pizza on Reality TV. Because it is most definitely a cursed cuisine, just ask Steph, Brendan and Steph.

 

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Matt Cheeseballm

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand

Good news everyone! Survivor NZ returns in less than a week, and while Thailand is far less likely to result some butchered pronunciations – remember Knee-Coo-Argh-Goo-Ah? – my dear, dear, dearest friend Matty Chisholm is back on the case to carry the show to greatness once again.

While sure, it felt very old school compared to what we’re used to these days … and both Tom and Barb were egregiously robbed of a deserved win, Survivor NZ had its moments of greatness. And had the ability to fix some of its mistakes heading into the second season.

Or so Matty assured me before I was whisked away to share a villa with him in the Thai jungle for 40 days whilst cooking for the latest cast-offs.

(“I’d be too nervous unless we share Matt!” I lied through my teeth).

Anyway, as a fellow, classically trained journalist, Matt and I have been close friends for years. I was working on the 20/20 crew that was interviewing his family about his inspirational brother’s story, and took Matt under my wing after spotting a fellow storyteller.

While Matt is hella busy with press and the impending arrival of his second child, he was thrilled to be able to follow in Probst and Jonathan LaPaglia’s footsteps and countdown to the latest season / celebrate all things Survivor.

Obviously we can’t spoil too much other other than to say that this season is nik livil – dare I say it, school yard pick tribes are on the horizon to start – though after a belly full of my Matt Cheeseballm, why wouldn’t you be happy?

 

 

Now first things first, yes, this recipe sounds like jizz ball. But I will counter by saying, how doesn’t that sound appetising? Creamy, salty, meaty and packing a kick, what more do you want to smear on a cracker? I’m talking about the dip FYI. And a cracker, not a SAO.

Enjoy!

 

 

Matt Cheeseballm
Serves: I say one, you say 6-8.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese
1 ½ cup vintage cheese
1 red capsicum, diced
4 shallots, sliced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced, fried and drained
a handful of chives, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
a handful of parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Blitz the cheese together in a food processor until well combined.

Remove to a bowl, fold through the capsicum, shallots, bacon, chives and a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour or so.

Once chilled, remove from the fridge, shape into a ball and roll through the roughly chopped parsley to coat. Place on a plate and chill in the fridge to fully set for an hour or so.

After that, it is open slather so demolish with you fave crackers.

 

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