Hulk Hogies

Baking, Bread

Given my passion for men in tight clothes or lycra, men holding each other in a homoerotic fashion and my undying love or sports, it should come as no shock that I am highly involved in the wrestling industry. And as such, am a dear friend of Hulk Hogan.

I’ve been trying to get Hulk out to visit since this anthropological patch of cyberspace began, but our busy schedules have always been working against us. Thankfully that all changed this week.

“Ben, my little hulkamaniac. I’ve got this weekend clear, you free to catch-up and hulk smash some food.”

While I feared he was succumbing to the ravages of old age, I was pleased to discover he was only referencing the release of Infinity War and making a hulk joke rather than confusing his catch-phrases with that of the big green guy.

Anywho, I’ve known Hulk forever and was closely involved with making him the star he is today. You see, I spent months lusting after him at the gym and eventual grew to notice he had other talents. Like his talent for clothed wrestling. I called the Brisco Brothers – who I worked with to bring the sex appeal to wrestling – and got him a spot at Hiro Matsuda’s gym. Bada bing, bada boom – he became and star, and us, the best of friends.

For years and years we’ve been catching up, plotting how to reinvigorate his career – damn, that is this week’s theme, no? – and share a deliciously carby cheat meal together. As such, I knew I couldn’t go past devouring some Hulk Hogies together on our date.

 

 

You know I have a passion for smashing warm buns against my face, but this would have to be one of my favourites. Well, when it comes to food at the very least. Soft and pillowy, this babies are the perfect bun for all occasions. And you know I mean all.

Enjoy!

 

 

Hulk Hogies
Makes: 8.

Ingredients
7g active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm (30-40C) water
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
4 cups flour
1 1 /2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Method
Mix the yeast in a jug with half the water and sugar and leave to foam in a warm place for five to ten minutes.

Combine the flour, remaining sugar and salt in the bowl a stand mixer and slowly stir through the foamy mixture, remaining water and vegetable oil until everything is wet. Pop the dough hook into the mixer and knead for five minutes or so, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover and leave to prove for an hour or so, or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Shape them in an oval and place on a lined baking sheet, leaving room for them to grow. Using scissors, cut a gash in the top of each roll before covering and allowing to prove for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 200C.

Once puffed, transfer the buns to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove to wire racks to cool slightly before slicing and devouring.

 

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Gaberry Soufflibe

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After a hint of Megs and a dash of Shirls, we’ve arrived at the televisual stardom section of my egg-based ritual. And based on her successful post-Precious TV career with The Big C, American Horror Story: Coven through Hotel and Empire, my girl Gabs Sidible was the only person worthy of joining me for day three of this year’s Easter Meggstravaganza.

I’ve known Gabs for years after meeting on the set of Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. I was there visiting my part-time lover Lenny Kravtiz and was immediately drawn in by her performance and vowed to make her a star, and get her an Oscar. While she was robbed by my frenemy Sandra Bullock – she should have been robbed by Meryl instead – she never held my inability to bring Bullsy down against me.

Given how busy I’ve been being Miley and the sort, and she is still hard at work on Empire, Gabs and I haven’t had the chance to catch-up in a while. And let me tell you, it was such a treat to see her again.

She was not only so excited to see me again and reconnect, but also help bring Megs the renewed fame she deserves. We laughed, we hugged, we plotted my way into American Horror Story and finally put on our ritualistic robes and devoured a Gaberry Soufflibe.

 

 

Don’t let the terrible photos scare you – the air conditioning really did a number on them – these babies are damned near perfection. Light, sweet and full of berrylicious tang, it is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. Or off, TBH.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gaberry Soufflibe
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup raw caster sugar
100g blueberries
100g raspberries
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cornflour
2 egg whites
icing sugar, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the ¼ cup of sugar, berries, vanilla and cornflour in a saucepan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for five minutes or so, or until broken down and thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool for an hour or so.

When you’re ready to rock and or roll, place the remaining sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the egg whites and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold through the berry mixture and pour into 6 small ramekins, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for ten minutes or until risen (like Megs’ career, yo).

Dust with icing sugar and devour.

 

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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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Pasta alla Jenovese Garth

Donna Martin graduates, Main, Pasta

I know you’re never meant to have favourite children, but Kelly Taylor / Jennie Garth is mine. Oh, FYI I am the Mrs Garrett of the 90210-ers.

I mean sure, Torz grew up with a wrapping room, Luke is hot, Jace is dreamy, Ian was a stripper, BAG bagged himself Megan Fox, Gabrielle Cataractis was 100 and you should respect your elders and Shannen Doherty would kick the shit out of me for saying it, but Jennie was always the one I related to the best.

I first connected with her in the late 80s when we both auditioned for Saved by the Bell. While I nailed (the chemistry test with) Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Jen and I were bonded after being robbed by Tiffy T for the role of Kelly Kapowski.

Seeing the bright talent she was, I contacted Azzy and asked him to create a better Kelly on his then in development show 90210. Again, you’re welcome. For those keeping score this is two from two stars I recruited to the show. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but I was very skilled at being Azzy’s right hand … but again, I’ve digressed and I don’t want to make things smutty.

Jen and I were as thick as thieves on set – some say she felt like she owed me, others that I threatened her into joining my squad like a 90s T-Swiz – and she always had my back when Annelie and I were feuding / throwing acid at each other.

It has been a busy few years for Jen and I, so we haven’t been able to catch-up as often as we like. Can you believe I haven’t seen her since her wedding last year … where I was Maid of Honour?

We spent the catch-up chatting and giggling like school girls and completely forgot that we were meant to be sharing the graduation of Donna Martin to trigger Annelie’s memory. Maybe she is never meant to get it back? I don’t know. All I know is that my Pasta alla Jenovese Garth makes everything feel ok.

 

pasta-alla-jenovese-garth-1

 

This meal is the perfect balance of fresh and hearty … and fits in with the strange dietary requirements of a toddler – EVERYTHING MUST BE THE ONE COLOUR. Or maybe that is just my nieces and nephews? I’ve been too successful with my Diva coaching, shantay you stay in my heart kids.

I’ve digressed.

The lemon and basil work together to make the veggies sing. And then add cheese? You know I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

pasta-alla-jenovese-garth-2

 

Pasta alla Jenovese Garth
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ – ⅓ cup Toni Basil Pesto (you can replace parmesan for pecorino)
200g cream delight potatoes
500g tagliatelle
1 big handful fine green beans, topped, tailed and halved
100g pecorino cheese, grated
basil leaves

Method
Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

Thinly slice the potatoes in half and then into very thin half-moons – as Jackie Taylor, I assume, would tell you, thin is in.

Add some salt to the boiling water and add the pasta, cooking as per packing instructions.

When there is about three minutes left, add the beans and potatoes and cook until the pasta is al dente and the veggies are cooked … but still have a bit of bite. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Return the pasta and veggies to the pan, off the heat, and stir through the pesto. If the pasta is too claggy, stir through some of the cooking water to loosen the sauce. Season to taste, serve and top with pecorino and any extra basil leaves.

You can also trade out the beans with halved brussels sprouts and add a whack of dried chilli if you want. It tastes pretty amazing, FYI.

 

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