Hamry Asparagus Aramancini

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food

After kicking off this year’s Oscar Gold celebrations – The Goldfather, FYI – with my delightfully acerbic friend Diablo Cody, I decided day two required some quiet, respectful dignity. And what is more quiet or inspiring of respectful dignity, than a dearly departed friend?

As such, I whipped out the delorean, set a course for 1963 to escort my dear friend Henry Mancini to collect his third Oscar.

I first met Henny in the mid-50s while working together in the music department of Universal Pictures – I played recorder, triangle, tambourine and, obviously, yazz flute. We became the fastest of friends, and I eventually became his muse.

Now at the risk of confusing the timeline, I grew up to my present self and met my husband in this timeline, then took him back in time to get Hen the Oscar he so sorely deserved … as he never won in the OG timeline. When I got back in time, I convinced Mickey Rooney to take on the racially appropriated role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Thanks to Mick, it got greenlit – why Aud wasn’t enough is beyond me, but whatevs – and I got Hen the job doing the score.

He then witnessed my husband and my love, and wrote us a song to mark the occasion. It was Moon River, I encouraged him to use it in the film … badda bing, badda boom, two Oscars in one year. Aren’t I all sickening with this love talk?

Anywho I obviously used the time driving back in time to focus on the odds for Best OG Song and Best Score, in honour of my chum. Score is obviously going to Alexandre Desplat who will get his second Oscar for The Shape of Water. Best OG Song however is a three horse race, one of which I put in the race simply by not shutting up about it. While I’d love Mary J. Blige to convert one of her noms, I don’t see her taking either. And while both of Sufjan Stevens’s songs from Call Me by Your Name bring me to tears, Mystery of Love is the dark horse that I’m willing into the race. The Oscar will go to one to either Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for a second year, for The Greatest Showman or Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for Coco. Which TBH, made me cry so damn much. Ti amo, Gael!

Henry was mildly confused when I arrived with in ‘63, though lapped up my excuse that I was so moved by his inevitable third Oscar. I mean, he lapped it up like it was a plate full of my Hamry Asparagus Aramancini.

 

 

Now I know I only just posted another arancini recipe a couple of days ago … but get off my back. I mean, creamy risotto, rolled into balls, crumbed and baked? How could you resist? Plus – ham and asparagus is super different to mushroom and gorgonzola.

¿ Por que no los dos ?

Oh … and enjoy.

 

 

Hamry Asparagus Aramancini
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3cm lengths
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry vermouth
⅔ cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
200g ham, diced
150g vintage cheddar, cubed
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

Method
Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer. Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sweat for 5 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the asparagus and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft bright green. Stir for a couple of minutes, or until the rice starts to get translucent around the edges.

Stir through the vermouth, followed by half a cup of the warm stock and stir until the liquid has just all absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat the process until it is all gone, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the parmesan and seasonings, and stir to combined. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place the breadcrumbs in one bowl, the flour in another and whisk the egg and milk in another. With wet hands, take 1-2 cup of risotto in your hands, form a ball while squeezing out all the air. Form a whole in the centre, press the cheddar inside, enclose and roll. Repeat until they’re all done.

When you’re ready to crumb, roll each arancini in flour, followed by egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour.

 

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Chicken Sades

Main, Poultry, Side, Snack

I feel like I say this often, but words honestly cannot do justice to how kind, sweet and divine my girl Sade is. It’s kind of weird that I appreciate kindness in others, when I value ruining the careers of any celebs that cross me. I truly should be studied.

But enough about me, Sade and I have been dear friends for decades and I am the reason the smooth operator made the switch from a fashion career to music.

Obviously it was me that suggested Sade, Stuart and the Pauls deflect from Pride and start up a rival band in the ‘80s. I was the inspiration behind the songs – including but not limited to, obvi – You’re Love is King, Smooth Operator (changed from masturbater for “mass” appeal, apparently), Sweetest Taboo and No Ordinary Love. It was also me that successfully campaigned for her to become a Commander of the Order of the British Empire earlier this year.

Given that last fact, Sade had come over to thank me for always championing her career and ensuring she gets the recognition she so greatly deserves. Can you believe it? A doll. The woman is an absolute doll.

It was such a treat to kick back and catch-up over expensive champagne, imported Iranian caviar and a big old batch of my Chicken Sades (… as a booze chaser).

 

 

A little bit spicy, a dash of sweetness and packed full of nuts, the satay works perfectly with the tender chicken leaving a party in your mouth, to which everyone is invited. That sounds wrong … or like the sweetest taboo TBH.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Sades
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken breasts, cut into strips or dice … I don’t mind. You do you, boo
peanut oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp tamarind paste
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 can coconut milk

Method
Thread the chicken onto metal skewers and allow to rest, covered in the fridge, for about half an hour.

While they are chilling, heat a small lug of peanut oil in a small frying pan and fry the garlic, shallots and chilli for a few minutes or until the kitchen is fragrant. Add the sugar, soy sauce, tamarind and peanut butter, and stir to combine. Add the coconut milk and cook until thickened.

Remove the skewers and cook the chicken your preferred method brushing with satay sauce as you go, I went baked because they were too long for my griddle and I’m morally against BBQs. I mean, sure, the satay sauce went a bit crunchy … but it tasted delicious.

Plus, you serve it with any leftover sauce … before devouring.

 

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The smoothest operator

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I don’t know whether it is the fact we’re both accomplished musicians, fashionistas and/or Officers of the Order of the British Empire, but the relationship Sade and I share could only be described as no ordinary love.

Sads and I have been the best of friends since the ‘70s, after studying fashion design together at Saint Martin’s School of Art. We both used to sing to ourselves while designing and I suggested that she take up the sweetest taboo professionally.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

She gave me a buzz over the weekend to see if we could catch up, to which I obviously said yes. What do I make that says thanks for going to coast to coast, LA to Brisbane-o, for your fave western male?

Image source: David Montgomery/Getty Images.

 

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 and Tumblr.

Quincy Jones Paste

Condiment, Dip, Snack

Let me get it out of the way straight away, ironically; dear, beautiful Quincy is the one that first awakened my sexuality in the 60s. So yes, you could say that Quincy made me mincey.

Digressed? I’ve done it.

I first connected with Quincy in ‘64 when I was trying to get signed as a swing superstar, without realising it was a musical style. At the time, Q (obvs, I call him Q), was the vice-president of Mercury Records and despite not being interested in my offer to swing, say a different talent with my mouth/throat combo and hired me to sing vocals on his compositions.

My stunning vocal stylings lead to him taking the leap into the film industry. Say what you will about giving talentless people attention, but he fuelled me to become a triple threat and despite his eventually diagnosis with tone deafness leading to the realisation that I was utter crap, it did lead to the birth of his majesty.

You’re welcome. Also, I think that doctor was a quack because, well, what did it even take to be a doctor in the 60s? I assume cigars, scotch and stethoscopes, but I’ve digressed. Either way, I have talent and the doctor obviously lied.

After a successful two decades as his muse, Q and I lost touch as I discovered cocaine in the 80s and commence my priz and rehab period. It wasn’t until I was working the casting department of this timeline’s Park and Recreation and I noticed a young Rashida Jones, who I hadn’t seen since she was knee high to a pig’s eye, and I reached back out to connect with her father. Obviously we’ve been going strong ever since.

Q is such a sweety and given the soulful sound of his music and creative nature of our friendship, we like to get together for a few wines while discussing jazz, the industry and scat. Not that scat, obviously. As you would no doubt be aware, wine calls for snacks and nothing is the soul to wine’s bossa nova quite like some cheese with my Quincy Jones paste.

 

quincy-jones-paste-1

 

Maggie Beer’s quince paste has long held the mantle for greatest paste I’ve eaten (Clag being ineligible in this fantasy challenge), but no offense Mags this is better.

Now I am not saying I’m the second coming of Maggie Beer, per say, however it is hard to go past a fresh paste, you know?

And I am the second coming of Maggie Beer – enjoy!

 

quincy-jones-paste-2

 

Quincy Jones Paste
Makes: Enough for a stack of cheese plates? Say, 12-16 servings.

Ingredients
2 quinces, cored, coarsely chopped (leave the skin on … f-loads of pectin, yo)
raw caster sugar

Method
Place the quince in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes and delightfully tender.

If it is not delightful, keep going until it is.

Place the soft quince in a food processor/blender/a jug and stick blender combo and blitz until smooth and glorious. I mean really blitz the absolute shit out of it, ok?

Measure out how much puree you’ve got and combine that in a saucepan with an equal amount of raw caster sugar. Place over very low heat and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 hours. In that time, science will create wonders and it will turn ruby red, thicken and be all around stunning. At that point, set aside for 15 minutes to cool.

Combine quince and sugar in a large, clean heavy-based saucepan. Place on a simmer mat over low heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to very low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 1/2 hours or until mixture is ruby red, thick and leaves the side of pan. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.

Meanwhile, line some ramekins or a square baking dish (depending on how much you end up with, the depth of the set paste etc. Just go nuts) with cling. Pour quince mixture into whatever dish you select and smooth the top. Cover directly on top with cling and set aside for 6 hours or until set.

When set, carve what you want and place it on a serving dish with copious amounts of cheese and crackers.

The rest can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. How long, I don’t know. I downed mine in under two weeks … and hope to get a spot on the next Biggest Loser season.

 

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+.