Nachoey Cheese McCann

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Cheese, Condiment, Dip, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Brawns continued their reward streak and to make matters worse for Andrew, he got whacked in the nads while losing another challenge. Meanwhile Simon found not one but two idols in the space of mere minutes and obviously grew in confidence. Shocking everyone Brawn turned things around, bucking tradition and winning their second immunity challenge. Back at camp George decided his best chance of survival was to target Laura while Joey locked the alliance’s vote on George. Until, you know, he walked into camp wearing an idol, and as such, Joey flipped things on Mitch instead, booting him from the game and flushing George’s idol with it.

We first checked in with the Brawns tribe where spiders were nesting in Shannon’s knickers. While that alone is concerning, the scariest part is the fact they were holding their own shape. Before we could explore that further, Flick explained that the tribe were living their best lives, focused on training to keep their winning streak up. Speaking of winning, Simon was thrilled to secure himself a path to the endgame with his two idols. That being said, Gerald knew about the idols and was extremely focused on getting him out toot suite. Gerald checked in with my Queens Kez and Flick, spilling all the deets on the idol. And just like that, the trio got to work planning to raise Simon up so that he was so confident that they could blindside him.

Over at Brains the tribe were soberly eating their prison food, with Rachel only happy with the fact she drew a line in the sand with George at the last tribal council. And well, let’s just say that George now had Rachel in his sights. His first move was to confront her in front of everyone and when she was unapologetic, they fought. With Laura and Rachel then muttering about him. It was a move, but I never said it was a wise one. We finally go to learn more about Cara, who in addition to real estate and her empathic abilities, is an expert in meteorology. And well, she and George have really been vibing and she is confident in her abilities to temper his worst impulses and keep things tight, hopefully going to the end together.

Joey meanwhile was growing cocky, catching up with Laura and Andrew to laugh about how screwed the minority are now that they’ve taken control. Which is never an endearing look.

Jonathan made his triumphant return to our screen for the reward challenge where the tribes would weave through a series of obstacles while tethered to a rope before digging up sandbags and tossing them to smash six targets. For choccy milk and lamingtons, which again, bloody iconic combo from the reward team. Brains quickly got out to an early lead, given their smaller bodies made it easier to work through the obstacles. Sadly Cara started to struggle, tying things up for the tribes. And well, then George and Wai literally tied themselves into a knot and well, all appeared to be lost for the Brains. As Rachel screamed at George from the side of the course, Emmett started to taste the chocolate milk in his mind. Then Joey and Andrew happened, smashing target after target in quick succession before Brawns had a last minute surge, stealing victory out from underneath the Brains.

Wanting to create some drama, Jonathan offered the Brawns the chance to invite one of the Brains over to share the reward with the Brawns opting for Joey, hoping his big mouth will give them enough information to create drama post swap.

The Brawns and Joey arrived at their bush cafe, with Joey continuing to be loud and energetic, unaware that they invited him over solely because of that. As everyone smashed their lamingtons and milk, Simon asked the obvious question, how in the hell did he land on the Brains tribe? While Simon softened him up with compliments, the girls went in for the kill, asking what happened at the previous tribal council and why George didn’t go since he clearly hates him. And well, once he popped he didn’t stop. Making Flick a very happy girl with all the free flowing information.

Back at Camp Brains, the tribe were heartbroken to have come so close to winning again with Wai promising to try her best in the next challenge. As everyone assured her that she is valued, Rachel opened up and said that George bitching about the tribe in front of the Brawns isn’t helpful before a challenge and creates disharmony, distracting from the task at hand. This obviously pissed off George, who stormed off with Georgia sent to follow him and try to keep him in check. The one positive of the scene is that we then finally learnt more about Georgia, who was using her forensic psychologist background to try and understand George a bit better. Sadly for her, all it did was piss him off, making her the new biggest target in his eyes.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the Brains were delighted to see a puzzle was in the mix, while the Brawns were obviously terrified. For the challenge, the tribe would paddle a boogie board out to an apparatus to release five keys before getting wheeled back in, one at a time. They would then use the keys to release puzzle pieces and then, you know, solve the puzzle. Importantly, Simon is in his speedo. As is oft the case, the Brawns got out to a sizable lead at the start of the challenge, powering through the physical side of things. While George reminded the Brains not to worry, given they have a puzzle to sort things out again. Sadly with Wai on the bench they had no real leader in the puzzle which allowed Simon to direct his tribe to yet another victory. 

Back at camp the tribe joined together to lament their loss, while George knew that his luck was about to run out. Joey meanwhile was feeling super confident, joyfully swimming in the billabong with Georgia and Laura, talking about how much better things will be once George is gone. That being said, this is Survivor and when people’s backs are against the wall, they get crafty. George joined with Cara, Baden and Wai, identifying Georgia as their best chance to get out. But to do that, he needs some luck. As such, he and Cara went hunting for idols and while the cool kids mocked them from the billabong, Queen Cara took the throne, finding her first idol. And you best believe she was ready to do whatever necessary to keep her alliance safe.

Cara, George, Wai and Baden caught up again, with George quickly suggesting she play the idol for him given he is their only target and as such, they can take out Georgia instead. That however made Cara nervous that the other alliance could opt to change the vote to her and as such, she wasn’t sure whether it was worth the risk.

Laura meanwhile started to grow suspicious about George or Cara finding the idol, rallying the troops to float the idea of splitting the vote JIC. That being said, there is no way they can do that without flipping someone over. And instead of getting Baden or Cara, Joey decided the Wai was the best idea, given she is logical. He, Cara and Hayley pulled her aside and while they were confident they did enough to charm her over to their side, she wasn’t sure who to go with. You know, since the person that saved her on day two is also the most volatile person in the game. 

She took the information to George and admitted she was thinking about flipping and as such, he emotionally begged her to cast him aside after this tribal council, not before. With that Cara, Baden and George got together, with George assuring her that he wants her to play the idol for herself and only herself. Before they decided the wisest move was to put on a massive display of pass-the-parcel with the idol and once they’re all confused, hope Wai is spooked back to their side.

At tribal council Cara kicked off the proceedings by wearing her hidden immunity idol, with George suggesting he may have something up his sleeve too. Joey wasn’t sure what the plan was with Cara’s idol, though he desperately just wanted to get rid of George. Aka the bad egg. Cara then continued to earn her Queen crown, admitting the tribe have nothing in common and as such, she is struggling to deal with the people that aren’t wanting to work together to let people flourish. As Wai started talking, the theatre commenced, with Cara whispering in Baden’s ear before passing the idol over to him.

While Hayley admitted their game was making her nervous, her alliance have definitely come up with a couple of different plans to counteract whatever they’re doing. George admitted that while he desperately wants to win the game, when watching Wai struggle on day two, he realised that winning at all costs was not him and as such, he is happy to exit the game with his head held high. George admitted there is no hope for him before Wai and Rachel admitted that there is a lot of tension in the tribe, but more importantly, Baden passed the idol off to Geroge. Wai spoke about the alliances changing day by day, admitting it has definitely changed for her from day two to now. This elicited more compliments from George, successfully guilting the hell out of Wai.

With that the tribe voted – Wai for George, calling him out for holding the day two stuff over her head like parents that tell their kids they should be grateful they have a roof over their head – before Cara played her idol for George. And oh God, Queen Cara, no. The votes rolled in for Cara and Georgia, ending in a 3-3 tie. As such, the tribe revoted and poor Queen Cara found her torch being snuffed. But gagatondra, all was not as it seemed, as she found a Brawn buff on her way out the door, directing her to head over to Brawn and join the new tribe.

As she stumbled through the bush in absolute darkness, she eventually arrived at her new camp and proceeded to dive on to her campmates. Startling them awake, either delighting or enraging them. Or potentially a bit of both.

We checked in with team Brains the next day, where George suggested that putting snake skin on a tree was the cause of all of their misfortune. As such, he removed it and tried to stay quiet while the majority rejoiced in their growing power. Joey spoke about the excitement of the last tribal council, despite the fact George was still in the tribe. Joey went to Laura and Andrew, pledging his undying allegiance to them and Georgia, meaning Hayley, Rachel and Wai were just numbers waiting around to be picked off after George and Baden. Speaking of George, he was heartbroken to have lost his best friend Cara, however was immensely grateful that she gave up her game for his.

Oh and now George was over Wai, given she betrayed the good guys.

Despite not being able to look at her for hours and hours, he eventually pulled Wai aside to find out why she turned on him. Wai called him out for being volatile and how it is hard to be around and as such, she opted for the more peaceful path. While George argued that he was iced out by Joey from day one, Wai still couldn’t see the value of realigning with him. Particularly because she doesn’t like to feel indebted to him for the entire game because she is playing her own, damnit. Like a queen.

The next morning Cara was getting a deep dive on the Brawn tribe as Simon sexily walked out of the billabong in a speedo and the rest worked out. Oh and then she got food with flavour, and ate off crockery. There were blankets, dance class and well, the Brains are dead to her. Officially. And she looks forward to spilling the tea on Joey and Laura’s bullshit to everyone that will listen.

With that, she pulled all the Brawns around to talk about how awful they are, while playing up how loyal George is. As she continued to talk smack, Simon quickly deduced that she has no intention of aligning with any Brains and as such, he can pull her in and take control of the tribe. Particularly since she just wants to raise people up. Sadly for him, Shannon also identified her as a priority ally and quickly went walking for firewood for her to bond.

The tribes reconvened to meet Jonathan where the Brains were gagged to see that Cara was still in the game, none more delighted to see her than George. Meanwhile Joey looked ready to kill and Rache continued to try in vain to get George to stop talking shit about the tribe. Cara meanwhile said that she was thrilled to finally be on a tribe with heart, while Simon agreed that she was a very welcome addition. In any event, this week’s reward challenge would require everyone to hold a barrel of water up with a tribe out if any person drops their bucket. Though they can pass their bucket off to others. Oh AND it was for BBQ. As you can imagine, this challenge isn’t overly exciting to write about however after Wai and Shannon tapped out, the latter used it as a chance to woo Cara who was sitting out of the challenge. Sadly for her though, Simon was watching the entire interaction.

Just as I say it isn’t exciting to write about, Chelsea accidently took her hand off a ring while passing one along and got herself eliminated from the challenge. And just like that, Brains were well positioned for victory. She was followed out by Dani before Gerald started to struggle under the weight of two buckets, as did Daini and Flick. After what felt like an eternity of struggle, poor Gerald couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping the buckets and handing Brains their first ever reward. Leaving Cara to once again starve.

Oh and was the snake skin actually cursed? I don’t want to say George was right, but George is probably right.

Back at camp Brains, the tribe were delighted to see their abundant feast awaiting them, quickly firing up the barbie and smashing everything in sight. We then learnt Laura is into angel golden showers, while George was just thrilled by how great he did in the reward. Talk soon turned to Cara surviving the previous tribal council and joining Brawn, with Joey disappointed to not be able to take out another target. As such, Joey followed Baden into the water and quickly got to work teeing up a new alliance. Tragically for the former though, it was right in front of Hayley who decided now was the time to make a move and take control of the tribe.

Slay Queen Hayley.

Over at the Brawn camp, the tribe lamented their loss while Kez encouraged everyone to just keep going. Gerald on the other hand was heartbroken to have lost the challenge for the tribe and as such, felt like a target. Cara tried to rally everyone around, putting her empath powers to use. She then straight up identified Daini’s broken jaw and Shannon’s reproductive concerns and damn, she is a witch. While everyone else was crying, moved by the experience, Simon was more focused on trying to build his own bond with her before they go to the next challenge.

As such, he asked when older women go through menopause, implying she is old and just, no. Simon, no.

My love Jonathan returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribes would race up a ramp to collect ropes, build a bridge with them, cross said bridge, climb a tower and retrieve an idol and then work through obstacles before untying a platform which they need to use to lift the idol up and hook it in a cage. Oh and in addition to the challenge, Jonathan announced that a hidden immunity idol is at the end of the course and if they want it, they can go for it. Though risk annoying their tribe, obvi.

While Brains started strong, the Brawns quickly pulled away before George disappeared to make a snatch for the idol. Sadly for him, Hayley and Gerald quickly joined him, with Queen Hayley snatching it and returning everyone’s focus back to the challenge. While Brawn was still out in front, Hayley worked furiously to make up for slowing them down. Again both tribes somehow caught up at the end, but they were no match for Cara who played a calm, critical role in helping Brawn secure another immunity win.

Back at camp Joey was very blasé about the loss before Rachel encouraged everyone to go for a swim to get all the dust off themselves. As she and the alliance of four caught up, Joey obviously suggested they finally get rid of George. As everyone agreed the tribe will be so much calmer without him, Joey suggested that they split the vote between George and Wai just in case he has an idol. Everyone joined back up at camp, with George congratulating Hayley on snagging the idol and cheekily asking if she would play it for him. Which Joey felt was insufferable, though Hayley did slyly suggest that anything is possible.

Preparing for his inevitable boot, George once again wandered around looking for a miracle. He first tried for the boldest, pulling Joey and Laura aside to float other names that would be decent targets given there are weaker people in the tribe. Like say, Wai or Rachel. Joey and Laura caught up with Hayley to reiterate his pleas fell on deaf ears, however that made her frustrated given the hierarchy of the tribe is blatantly obvious and frankly, boring, if someone doesn’t step up with a big move.

As such Hayley approached Baden, suggesting that instead of following along with orders they instead take control and flip the vote on Joey. While Baden felt it was a bold choice, he was also keen to stir up some drama and force the other group into playing. Next up in her plot was talking to Rachel, who felt it was too risky a move to make. Hayley then went to Wai and knowing that she would be a tough sell, told her about the plan to split the vote on her. As such, she wanted to vote for Joey instead. While Wai was scared about burning more bridges, Hayley pointed out that if George goes, she is clearly next and as such, they will just get picked off one by one. But Wai just wanted a little time to figure out her options.

By the fire George made things awkward, asking Wai if she reflected on the last tribal council and how horrible she made him feel. And ugh, that may have been enough to turn her off joining Hayley, isn’t it? And given Hayley didn’t even get a chance to talk to George, there is no way this plan will come together, is there?

At tribal council Hayley spoke about voting Cara out to try and improve the mood in camp, with Rachel agreeing it definitely improved things as they enjoyed their feast. Georgia spoke about it being hard to vote people out, while Baden shared that he wasn’t concerned about being voted out yet and is doing what he is told. That is, until he needs to turn the tables on someone. Joey admitted to having a solid alliance, while Hayley said that pecking orders always change but she hopes her relationships will make the difference.

Laura spoke about not having a pecking order within the alliance, while Jonathan pointed out that that is what the people on the top say. Wai admitted that there is a plan at this tribal council, while Andrew agreed that something can always happen and people can pull something out of their hats. Hayley shared that she believes the tribe will be united after this vote, before George reiterated that he is an asset to the tribe and he doesn’t believe that would be the case if he goes.

This made Laura smirk and while she agreed that he was good in the reward challenge, he doesn’t contribute much in camp. As George told everyone to look forward, Georgia reiterated past behaviour is the best indicator for where things are going. That being said, Hayley tapped George on the elbow and mouthed to vote for Joey, giving him a cheeky grin, while Hayley said that everyone has had the discussions they needed to to make their decision.

With that, the tribe voted, Hayley stood firm and held on to her idol while the cool kids split the votes on Wai and George, before the votes piled up on Joey and he was booted from the game. As Hayley ascended the throne and George dodged yet another bullet.

Joey being the most eager, upbeat and energetic person on the season, he was still peppy and positive by the time we caught up in Loser Lodge. Pulling me in for a hug and ready to celebrate his entertaining, albeit short run. Emphasis on run, which is how we first met. You see, I was formerly a champion marathon runner and had a startling rivalry before my career was derailed by a hit and run – the car hit and I ran away because I wanted to watch TV, true story.

Despite the rivalry, Joey took me under his wing and nursed me back to health to the point I can now go for a bit of huffy puffy at the speed of Kath Day-Knight. Needless to say, that kindness is something I have never forgotten and as such, I was thrilled to be able to celebrate his game with some velvety Nachoey Cheese McCann.

I know American food often gets a lot of shit, but if you’ve read more than five recipes on this patch of cyberspace, you know that I passionately love it. And this gooey cheese is no different! Spicy, creamy and oh so moreish, there is nothing better to eat when you’re down.

Enjoy!

Nachoey Cheese McCann
Makes: 2 cups.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 cup milk
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste

Method
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until fragrant, 1 minute. 

Slowly add milk, whisking until no lumps remain. Add cheese and cook until melted, 5 minutes, then stir in salt and a pinch of cayenne. Serve immediately.


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Hickory Clinton Smoked Ribs

Amer-she-can Week, Main

There are no prizes for people that guessed HRC – my fave triple-barrel – is the culmination of Amer-she-can Week. I mean, it was a week celebrating her historic nomination AND independence day after all.

But I was here on official duties – and again, no prizes if you guessed … because I’m too selfish/ a hoarder and wouldn’t give them out if I had any – I’m taking over from Nigella the wonder dog as HRC’s campaign manager AND, wait for it, will be appointed her Chief of Staff after she wins the election in November.

Now don’t worry, Nige and I haven’t fallen out – Annelie is still suffering from her cage-fight induced amnesia and despite excelling in her studies in medicine to cure her ailment, Nigella feels she is needed at home to offer Annelie more support and kindly shoulder tapped me to take over the campaign.

Hizza, Annelie and I have long been friends, having met in Yale in the ‘70s. Annelie was helping me run a scam while I worked as the Executive Vice Dean Chancellor – Hizza knew something odd was up, discovered the scam and got us sent to prison.

While you would think that going back to prison would be the worst, I knew that we’d spend our lives in and out of jail and had prepared for my return by stashing cigarettes around all prisons I had attending thus far, to use as a bartering tool if and when I returned – yes people, I am the person that inspired the character of Vee in OITNB.

Fun fact, I also faked my death by getting run over during an escape too. THIS IS NOT MY REAL NAME.

Anyway, back to Hiz.

We fully expected to go to priz again, so were more impressed by the fact that we were brought down by someone smarter than us and sought her out upon our releases. She was kind enough to take pity on those two junkie grifters she caught all those years before.

Seriously – wouldn’t my life make a killer movie on Lifetime?

Anyway, HRC saw our intelligence shine through our oft scummy behaviour and called upon us to assist in vetting and selecting most of Billy’s high-level positions, running her Senate campaign in the early noughties and acting as unofficial advisors during her time as Secretary of State.

Since we’ve been busy – what with her campaigning and me experiencing resurgent fame – it has been hard to be able to have a physical catch up. Thankfully when I got the call to replace Nigella, I quickly cleared my schedule and am ready to focus on the campaign.

But don’t worry guys, I’ll be able to keep up this anthropological endeavour thanks to time-travel!

Anywho, HRC has this renewed energy after finally securing the nomination and we spent our cook-up plotting the best way to bring down Trump – other than simply letting his mouth end his chances, obviously – and her preferred look for the sequel Clinton White House.

Remember, I’m also her interior designer.

So given the breadth of important topics we had to cover, I needed to make something hearty enough to fuel our beautiful minds and my Hickory Clinton Smoked Ribs are the only thing worthy of the honour.

 

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While yes HRC had requested an international take on the celebratory week, I had to go with something all American for the next POTUS!

Smoky, sweet and a just damn delicious, the pork just falls of this slow-cooked ribs and into your salivating mouth. Seriously, these are amazing and smoking liquid is my new favourite thing.

You get smoked flavouring, you get smoked flavouring – EVERYONE GETS SMOKED FLAVOURING.

Anyway, happy Fourth of July / Amer-she-can Week – you’ll be seeing me whispering in HRC’s ear for the next few months like a hybrid of Gary and Amy. Enjoy!

 

hickory-clinton-smoked-ribs-2

 

Hickory Clinton Smoked Ribs
Serves: 4-6, dependent on sides and greed.

Ingredients
2 long racks of pork belly ribs
2 tbsp hickory smoking liquid
100ml orange juice, freshly squeezed
5-10 rosemary stalks

Dry rub
2 tbsp ground fennel seeds
5 cloves, ground
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp smoked paprika
3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed
5 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper, to season

BBQ sauce
½ cup ketchup
1 tsp hot sauce
¼ cup molasses
3 tbsp apple juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp hickory smoking liquid

Method
Get out your glorious ribs and baste them on either sides with the smoking liquid, cover and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Combine all the ingredients for the dry rub, remove the ribs from the fridge and rub the spices into the ribs – again on both sides. Spread some rosemary on the base of a large baking tray that will just fit the ribs and pour over the orange juice and any of the remaining hickory smoke you used the basting. Yes, it seems like a lot but I want the smoke to really hit me. Plus … it seems stronger before the cooking.

Anyway, cover the baking tray tightly with a couple of layers of foil – really tightly –  and bake in the oven for about 4 hours. You’ll know they are done when you try and lift the rack and they start to fall apart and make you salivate.

While the ribs are making your kitchen smell amazing, get to work on the BBQ sauce – which is super difficult – by combining all of the ingredients in a measuring jug.

When your ribs are done, remove from the oven and turn on the grill. Baste the ribs, liberally, with some barbecue sauce and grill – watching the entire time to avoid setting off the fire alarm and getting a massive fine – for about ten minutes or until they are brown, caramelly and sticky.

Devour with chips and slaw and any extra barbecue sauce.

 

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Ruth Bader Gingersbread

Amer-she-can Week, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Sweets

So my Amer-she-can Week celebrations are about to reach their crescendo, so I needed to up the stakes as I made my way to the finish line … and there is no one more bad ass than my second favourite triple-barrel – RBG.

Yep – yesterday I caught up with the dominant force of nature who just so happens to be a close personal friend, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I first connected with RBG in the ‘60s while I was working at Lund University. She was in town learning Swedish and researching for a book on civil procedure, while I was in town trying to woo myself a Swedish husband and fell into my first academia scam.

Despite only knowing the Swedish equivalent to the lyrics to Lady Marmalade, I took RBG under my wing and was able to teach her enough to write the book and for that, she has always been grateful.

RBG has been super busy lately dominating Texas’ moronic abortion laws, so it was such a treat for her to take the time out and catch up over a big fat piece of Ruth Bader Gingersbread.

 

ruth-bader-gingersbread-1

 

While I’m not exactly sure of where to geographically place this delightful cake, it was inspired by a recipe I made from Nigella’s Kitchen so I sold it to Hizza as a firmly, pre-Brexit British dessert.

I used to hate ginger and gingerbread, probably due to the awkward combination of my child tastebuds in the ‘90s and a bad experience with a hard, gross bakery gingerbread. Either way, Nige opened my eyes to the wonders of ginger with this soft, spiced cake.

Then I tinkered with it, slathered on some cream cheese icing and made something as beautifully notorious as RBG.

Enjoy!

 

ruth-bader-gingersbread-2

 

Ruth Bader Gingersbread
Serves: 8-12. Or two hardcore pals.

Ingredients
150g butter, plus some for greasing
1 cup golden syrup
1 heaped cup muscovado sugar
1 cup Guinness
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cups sour cream
2 eggs

Icing
225g cream cheese, at room temperature
150g icing sugar, sieved
80ml thickened cream
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C and grease a large square pan (about 25cm x 25cm).

In a large pan over low heat, melt the butter, syrup, sugar Guinness and spices together. Remove from the heat and whisk through the flour and baking soda thoroughly.

In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and eggs together before whisking through the spicy, liquored batter.

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until risen, dark and starting to come away from the sides. When done, move the cake to a cooling rack.

While it is cooling, whisk the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, about a couple of minutes. Beat in the icing sugar, in three parts until fluffy and smooth. Add the cream and vanilla, beating a further minute and cool in the fridge until the cake is completely cooled.

Then, you know the drill, cover the cake with a thick smear of icing and devour.

 

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Colin Kung Powell Chicken

Amer-she-can Week, Main, Poultry

I know what you’ve been thinking, my relationships with all of my recent guests have been strangely harmonious for someone as terrible as me! Don’t worry, I was an absolute jerk to poor Colin Powell when we first met.

You see I was working closely protesting with Jane Fonda during the Vietnam War and Colin invited me for a sit down so that we could discuss his experience. Being young, strung out and generally dislikable, I spent the time abusing Colin.

About a decade later, during a stint in NA, I reached out to Colin in an effort to make amends and given his kind heart, he agreed and we were able to work through all of the problems and trauma I caused for him.

It has been a couple of years since I was last able to catch up with Colin, given how busy and important we both are, so it was great to be able to take some time out, reconnect and discuss the current political landscape and how best to tackle the campaign.

Shit, I might be saying too much – bait your breath, ok?

Anyway in continuing with HRC’s request for a multicultural theme Independence Week celebration, we opted for a big serving of my Colin Kung Powell Chicken.

 

colin-kung-powell-chicken-1

 

So you know how I love chilli? This dish makes me pretty damn happy.

While I don’t feel like my insides are liquefying from the heat – which I admit, does disappoint me a bit – it has the perfect balance of sweet and sour rumbling under the strong heat. And that sweet/sour combo makes up for me retaining my organs.

Enjoy!

 

colin-kung-powell-chicken-2

 

Colin Kung Powell Chicken
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
¼ cup flour
500g chicken thighs fillets, roughly chopped
vegetable oil
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced
4 shallots, cleaned and finely sliced on an angle
6 dried red chillies
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
50g unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped
coriander leaves, to garnish

Method
Heat a large frying pan over high heat and toast the Szechuan peppercorns until golden and fragrant. Pour the peppercorns – can you just call them corns? – into a mortar and pestle and grind until you get a rough powder. Mainly cause they are tough and I’m weak though?

Anyway, pour the ground corns – I’m going with corns – into a large bowl and mix with the flour. Toss through the chicken until it is coated.

Pour a good lug of vegetable oil into the frying pan and return it to a hot hot heat. Add the chicken and fry for 5 minutes, or until crisp, browned and cooked through.

Add the garlic and ginger, the shallots and the dry chillies and fry for a couple of minutes before adding the tamari, vinegar and honey, and cook until reduced and sticky.

Remove from the heat, stir through peanuts, garnish with coriander and devour with a shit tonne of rice.

 

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Madeleines Albright

Amer-she-can Week, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Sweets

If there is anyone that can follow up my date with POTUS, it is Mads All-right. She may be very small, but my girl Madeleine has the biggest heart and legacy I know.

As the first woman to become the Secretary of State – I pushed BC to give her the job on account of the fact that she is a damn saint – Maddy is a pioneer and has long been someone I’ve admired.

We first met on Ellis Island in the ‘40s when she emigrated to America. I had recently arrived from Australia and was trying to be adopted by a kind emigrant family who could fund my pursuit of stardom thinking I had no one. Despite seeing through my sham the Korbelovás were so kind that they took me in anyway and Mads and I quickly formed a close sibling-esque bond.

While I made my way from Long Island to Broadway, I always stayed in contact with Mads and she supported me despite the myriad of crimes and misdemeanours I racked up.

I haven’t seen Mads since the New Hampshire Primary, where I played an integral role in her inclusion of her quote that Taylor Swift likes to lift when feuding with the Poehler-Feys. As you know, it didn’t go down well so I’ve tried to lay low until things blew over.

Thankfully my dear, sweet Mads isn’t one to hold a grudge and we spent yesterday afternoon gabbing – in French, which is the only language we speak together – over a tray of my delightful Madeleines Albright.

 

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Like Mads, these delicate little cakes really pack a punch with the sweet vanilla hitting all the right notes. And then some.

Enjoy!

 

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Madeleines Albright
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
salt
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
225g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for the pan
2 tbsp vanilla extract
icing sugar, for dusting

Method
Whisk the flour, baking powder and a teaspoon salt together in a bowl.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and caster and muscovado sugars on high speed until they are pale and fluffy or about ten minutes.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold through the flour in two additions, broken up by folding through half the butter and vanilla.

Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours while you preheat the oven to 180°C. Remove the batter from the fridge and leave to rest for fifteen minutes.

Butter the madeleine pans with the extra butter and spoon the batter into the pans and bake in the middle of the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and flip them out onto a cooling rack.

Rebutter the moulds and repeat the process until the batter is done.

Dust with icing sugar and devour.

 

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Barack O’lamba

Amer-she-can Week, Main

Happy Fourth of July!

Go big or go home, has long been my motto. Originally in my ads for a sugar daddy in ‘80s West Hollywood – it originally read, go big and I’ll go home – but I’ve digressed.

Since it is his final Fourth in office, Barack has relaxed his stance on the privacy of our annual Fourth cook-out celebration and is letting me take our friendship public. I guess he figures he needs to make the most of his final months.

As I work as HRC’s interior designer – amongst other jobs – I needed to drop in on the White House and take some measurements for the renovations I have planned to make the second Clinton White House the biggest and best sequel ever produced. So this visit – soz Barack – helped me kill two birds one stone.

Well three, considering Michelle and I will be able to release her workout DVD next year, Michelle’s Ob-arm-a-rama System © – a collection of arm workouts set to the classic music of Bananarama.

Anyway, I really need to learn to stay on topic – amirite?

So, I’ve been friends with the Obamas for about thirty years now after meeting Barack in Harvard where I was running a scam as a Law Professor. Despite the fact that I was unqualified, I somehow taught his cohort enough for them to attain their qualifications and pass the bar – I assume that you pick up a thing or two when you’ve spent a life in the courts defending your various crimes – so thankfully Barack never held my indiscretion against me.

Despite not having an official role in the administration, Barack has relied on me to provide advice during his presidency and it is such a thrill to finally be able to share our White House bond with the world.

It was such a joy to be able to sit down – for what will likely be our last time together in the White House – and reminisce about our past and his future, following Michelle and our booming fitness empire (watch your back Bridges).

We needed something hearty and robust to be able to stand up to our deep conversations, so I opted for my (very Australian) Barack of O’lamba.

 

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Yes, Amer-she-can Week is all about celebrating America, HRC’s upcoming presidency and Independence Day (not the terrible movie and – I assume – its terrible sequel), Barack wanted our final Fourth together in the White House to be more like a state dinner – celebrating the culture of his foreign guest.

Plus, HRC wanted the week to celebrate culinary diversity … unlike any week Trump would have me host. Thankfully we are feuding … and you thought he hated Rosie O?!

And anyway, who can go past succulent lamb on a bed of sharp goat’s cheese, creamy potatoes and blistered tomatoes? Exactly.

Enjoy!

 

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Barack O’lamba
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6-10 small chat potatoes
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
8-bone rack of lamb
olive oil
1 handful pitted kalamata olives
a bulb of garlic cloves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
a few sprigs rosemary
150g feta
olive oil

Method
Preheat the oven to 190°C.

In a large pot of salted water, parboil the potatoes until tender.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat and sear each side of the lamb until golden. Remove from the pan.

Reduce the heat to low and add the potatoes, smash with a spatula and fry each side until crisp. Remove from the heat.

Squeeze the tomatoes to break them and add to the pan with the olives, the leaves of the rosemary and garlic. Empty into a large roasting pan, chuck the lamb on top and cook for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the lamb / whether they’ve devoured roids.

When done, rest the lamb for five minutes and slice into pairs. Serve, crumbling the feta over the garlicky, tomato, potatoes.

Then devour.

* Adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe.

 

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Amer-she-can!

Amer-she-can Week, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Guys guys guys, relax – Fourth of July is tomorrow and I am in the mood to shake that Conga.

Again.

I was heading over to the grand U S of A to discuss a very exciting job that I’m about to commence – which I’ll announce Friday, so stay tuned – so decided to round up some of my best friends to celebrate Amer-she-can Week in honour of my dear friend (and … TBC) Hizza finally clinching her historic presidential nomination!

Given that it is an election year, I’m sticking to my friends in D.C. so get prepared for a week with gastronomic, governmental gravitas. I want you, to get excited – Amer-she-can Week starts tomorrow!

Now who is stately enough to start off my Hizza celebration?

Picture source: Still from Drop Dead Gorgeous (New Line Cinema Productions, Inc.).

 

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David Sespare Ribs

Americana Week, Main

Picture it, Christmas, Macy’s, 1991. Annelie had just been cast as Santa and I had successfully made the cut as a Christmas Elf after the casting director noted that he had “never seen a man so small and light in his loafers.”

It was the same year that Dave Sedaris made his triumphant debut as Crumpet the Elf (I went by the name of Twerk and inappropriately gyrated in the back of photos, inventing twerking). The three of us quickly formed the instant, unbreakable bond that can only come from working a Christmas in retail, having to endure the true horror that is the general population.

We spent the time threatening customers, warring with rival elves and trying to woo the sexy-Santa; it was glorious.

Following our time at Macy’s, we briefly travelled around with Dave working in orchards, picking up litter and hitch-hiking, before Annelie and I left him to flourish while we headed back to LA to scam some celebrities and avoid real work.

Despite his success and penchant to work hard, he has always admired our hustle and lack of work ethic, and we in turn admire him for that.

We dropped in to New York on the way to Washington and thought we should catch up with Dave and his sister Amy, in the hope that we could steal his latest manuscript and hock it as our own and get a voice role on BoJack Horseman as our relationship with Will Arnett has soured without Ames (Poehler) constantly requesting he give us another chance.

To sweeten the deal/bribe them, we decided to make some all-American David Sespare Ribs.

 

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All together smokey, sweet and with a kick of heat, these are quite possibly the best ribs you can make … other than the ones you “made” by purchasing them from the Rammer Jammer.

Enjoy!

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

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David Sespare Ribs
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
1 x 1.5kg – 2kg rack BBQ ribs
2 cups apple juice

Dry rub
4 tablespoons smoked paprika
6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons celery salt
2 teaspoons chipotle chilli powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt flakes

Grilling sauce
2 cups of your favourite barbecue sauce
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup apple juice

Method
Combine all dry rub ingredients. Rub over rack of ribs and refrigerate, covered, for at least three hours or overnight.

When it is time to cook, preheat oven to 140 C. Place ribs in roasting tray with ½ cup of apple juice, cover tightly with foil. Roast for 3 hours, topping up apple juice every hour, until fork tender.

Meanwhile, combine cinnamon sticks and apple juice in saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently until reduced by half. Remove cinnamon stick and stir in salt and pepper.

Generously cover ribs with barbecue sauce. Grill under high heat for 5 minutes or until dark and sticky.

Mickey Rooney Cheese

Americana Week, Main

The year was 1962 and life was grand, except for the part where Mickey Rooney put a hit out on us.

Ben and I met Mickey in the late 1930s at the height of his Vaudeville days – as fellow Vaudevillians we bonded instantly. Our deep friendship allowed us to convince him to take the iconic role as Breakfast at Tiffany’s Mr Yunioshi, something he regretted but we certainly didn’t.

In addition to scouting roles for Mickey, we also managed his financial affairs, inevitably leading to his extraordinary bankruptcy in 1962. Look, we tried to tell him, Mickey – you need to lay off the alcohol, the burgers and the women – but he wouldn’t listen to his closest friends.

Time (and alcohol-riddled events) softened the rift between us, however it was only now that Ben and I decided to time-travel back to 2012 and make proper amends with our old friend.

Mickey Rooney is a true hollywood hero amongst us. Vanity Fair lauded him as the original hollywood trainwreck – something not even Ben and I have been able to top. After eight marriages (seven of which we split up), two bankruptcies and one yellow-face saga, his legacy is truly worthy of admiration. Farewell to you and your clusterfuck of a life, Mr Rooney.

 

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We needed to offer something simultaneously comforting and denture-appropriate. Something that went down well with a few cheeky beverages as we reminisced and cat-fought over days gone by. Mickey Rooney Cheese seemed the perfect option.

Also guys, as we are so social and so technologically advanced we have gone nuts on the social medias. You should follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Friendster, FriendFace, Myspace and YouFace coming soon.

 

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Mickey Rooney Cheese
Serves: 8

Ingredients
500g macaroni pasta
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 cup cream
2 cups mixed grated cheese (we prefer cheddar, gruyere and parmesan)
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
200g stale sourdough, processed into crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter, extra

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook macaroni according to packet directions.

While macaroni is cooking, make a roux with butter and flour. Whisk in milk, cream and mustard and simmer until thickened. Add 1.5 cups cheese and season to taste. In a separate bowl, mix bread crumbs and additional butter.

Mix macaroni and cheese sauce together and pour into 8-cup capacity baking dish. Top with bread crumb mixture and sprinkle with 1/2 cup leftover cheese. Bake in hot oven for 20 minutes or until breadcrumbs are toasted and cheese is melted.

Sweet Potaylor Swift Skins

Americana Week, Party Food, Side, Snack

We thought it best to start off Americana Week by dropping in with one of our closest all-American friends and who is more red…white and blue than dear Taylor Swift?

Like many of our relationships, we started off as Tay’s staunchest of enemies following an altercation at Chateau Marmont in the mid-00s.

We were all young when we first saw her, I close my eyes and the flashbacks start…we were living in Beverly Hills with Lisa Vanderpump at the time and were trying to grift Lindsay Lohan, who was staying at the Chateau when TayTay and her entourage stopped us in our tracks and defended Linds.

While it used to be bad blood between us (these songs were both written about us), the three of us now have nothing but mad love for one another after T-Swiz accepted our baked apology during one of our 12-step programs.

Little known fact, but we are actually the ones that got Tay and our Hollywood friends first hooked on baking!

We made a beeline for Taylor’s Beverly Hills cottage as soon as we landed and were greeted by a batch of cookies and freshly squeezed OJ. It goes without saying, but Ms Swift is a delightful, saint.

We spent the morning baking it (our jetlag) off, gossiping about what has been happening in Hollywood since we left (other than Jaime King erroneously snubbing Annelie and I for a co-Godparent role with Taylor) and how hilarious it is that people don’t know we went back in time to choreograph the aerobics video to Shake It Off as a laugh.

Our wider circle of friends dropped by for an early 4th of July party and at Tay’s request we whipped up a batch of our universally lauded Sweet Potaylor Swift Skins.

 

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Regular potato skins are good, but if you want to really make them sing like Taylor, you’ve got to use sweet potato. The rich, sweetness is cut by sharp cheddar and a kick of chilli leaving a party in your mouth to which everyone is invited. Unlike our celebrity soirees.

Lucky we let you read about them!

Also guys, as we are so social and so technologically advanced we have gone nuts on the social medias. You should follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Friendster, FriendFace, Myspace and YouFace coming soon.

 

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Sweet Potaylor Swift Skins
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2-4 large sweet potatoes
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated
4 shallots, finely sliced
hot sauce, to taste
pinch smoked paprika
chives, for serving
sour cream, for serving

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C. Thoroughly wash sweet potatoes and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender. Allow sweet potatoes to cool (leaving oven on).

Cook bacon in a small fry-pan for 5 minutes, or until crisp. Remove from heat.

Cut sweet potatoes into quarters, ensuring skin remains intact. Scoop out flesh, leaving roughly a 5mm layer of potato. If your potatoes are huge, cut them into smaller strips (like in the pictures) Place skins onto a baking tray, flesh-side down and bake for 5 minutes, or until golden. Turn over and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Sprinkle bacon, shallots and a dash of hot sauce into skins. Top with cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden.

Serve with sour cream , finely slice chives and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.