El Diablo Cody

Drink, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather

The last year has been an exciting time for cinema – and I’m not just talking about the peach scene that I will never stop talking about from Call Me By Your Name – and it feels like there is an electricity in the air. Though maybe that has something to do with the fact I’m kicking off this year’s Oscar Gold celebration – The Goldfather, FYI – with the delightful Diablo Cody.

Despite the fact I’m yet to win a screenwriting Oscar, or well, even be credited as writing a screenplay, Diablo and I are essentially the same person. She studied media, I studied journalism in the same class as Sylvia Jeffreys. She got her start on blogs, I am the only person willing to publish my work. She quit her job to become a fulltime stripper, I am a fulltime, unpaid stipper (you say flasher, I say stripper).

On and on and on the similarities go. I mean, when I have a blog turn into a book – just let that marinate – I am two years off an Oscar.

Anyway, circling back – I met Diablo while working together at The Skyway Lounge and while I wasn’t able to parlay my appearance on the ameteur night into a paying gig, we became the best of friends. And I would argue that I played an integral part in pushing her to write the majesty that would become Juno and inspired the Meryl starring Ricki and The Flash.

Anywho, enough about D and my best friendship, which is what it is. You came here for the running of the Oscar odds and bi George, you’re going to get it, gurl … (sorry, I was possessed by Jonathan Van Ness).

Given she won an Oscar on her first attempt at a screenplay we’re obviously tackling the screenwriting portion of the show. There is no doubt in either of our minds that James Ivory deservedly has the Adapted Screenplay gong on lock for Call Me by Your Name because the movie truly does the book justice, captures all the long and removes the distractions … not including cutting out eating the peach which should have stayed put. My apologies to my dear friend Sorki, obvi.

The OG Screenplay category is where we ran into trouble. McDonogh took the Globe and BAFTA while Peele took the WAG and Critic’s Choice Award. While I’d love Gerwig to pull out a surprise victory, I feel like her best shot is as a director … so I settled on Jordan Peele. D, thankfully is tipping Gerwig to triumph and with it, give me the opportunity to pretend I was letting her have it. It being victory in the non-existent tipping competition.

As is oft the case, it was some thirsty work which made it super convenient when I sidled up to the bar and whipped us up a pair of my El Diablo Cody.

 

 

Like me, Diablo likes a devilishly good time and with it, a devilishly good drink. And well, as the name suggests, this baby fits the bill perfectly. Spicy and tart with a bit of a kick, its everything I like, TBH.

Enjoy!

 

 

El Diablo Cody
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
2 shots tequila
4 shots ginger ale
1 tsp crème de cassis
1 lime wedge

Method
Combine ice and tequila in a highball.

Add the ginger ale and crème de cassis, and stir to combine.

Add a wedge of lime and down.

Lather, rinse and repeat.

 

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Nico Tortellini

Main, Pasta

Sorry for the delay with this week’s recipe, I am only just coming down from my wonderful week at a private villa with Nico. While it was only meant to be a friendly catch-up between friends, Nico is truly intoxicating … and like Joni Mitchell, I couldn’t help but drink a case of him.

As you know, I first met Neeks through Mich and Corbs on the set of the egregiously shortlived TBL, and while I’d love to say it were his brains and many talents that drew me to him, our sexual chemistry is what brought us together.

Thankfully it didn’t take long for me to see him as the kind, wise and talented individual that he is, and we became friends after being lovers. Which kinda flips Bolton’s rule, no?

Anyway … let’s get to the good stuff. I picked Nico up from the airport, it was hot and humid and we drove to a private villa not far from the scene of the cage-fighting accident with Miley that rendered Annelie out of action on here.

We swam, we laughed and we literally ticked all the boxes. It was, as you would expect, glorious.

When it came to nightfall, we were absolutely ravenous for something carby and glorious, that could easily be eaten off a body Samantha-in-SATC-style. Which meant I obviously went for a Nico Tortellini.

 

 

“It is so thoughtful,” he said as I brought it to the table.

“Creamy, hot and spicy, and packed full of sausage – it is everything this week has been.”

Enjoy!

 

 

Nico Tortellini
Serves: 4-6 … or 2 starved lovers on Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients
1 cup ricotta
½ cup emmental
½ cup grana padano
pinch of nutmeg
1 egg, lightly whisked
salt and pepper, to taste
60 gow gee wrappers
olive oil
6 spicy Italian sausages, excluding your lover’s
3 garlic cloves, minced
small handful mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1-2 cups baby spinach
300ml double cream
½ cup grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

Method
Combine the ricotta, emmental and grana padano cheeses in a bowl with the nutmeg, egg and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Grab your gow gee wrappers, a pastry brush and a half-filled mug of water. Spoon out a large teaspoon of mixture into the centre of each gow gee wrapper, lightly brush the edges with water and fold the pastry in half leaving you with a filled semicircle. Take the two edges and turn them into to each other and press together to form a large tortellini … because I love his large tortellini.

Once they’re all ready, get a big pot of salted water boiling over high heat. When bubbling as aggressively as your chemistry, add the pasta and cook for five minutes, or until they are all floating. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.

While the pasta are cooking, heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and push meatball-sized pieces of meat out of the sausage and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they’re all cooked. Add the garlic and mushroom and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until the mushies are softening and the kitchen fragrant. Add the chilli, sundried tomatoes, spinach and double cream and cook, stirring, for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, stir through the parmesan and season well.

Return the tortellini to the pasta pan, pour over the sauce and toss until well covered. Serve immediately, in a bowl, on your sexy lover or both, the latter two after they’ve adequately cooled, ovbi.

Sprinkle with even more cheese – sausage’s best accompaniment – and devour.

 

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My love bomb, about to explode

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Ah, Nico. Nico. Nico, Nico, Nico. How I love thee, my dear Nico.

I’ve known Nico for close to ten years, after meeting on the set of The Beautiful Life through my friends Corbs and Mish. To say the deep sexual attraction was instant, is an understatement.

After the tragic felling of our mutual friend Milk on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, I was feeling sooo emotional – am I right, Sash? – so called Nico to see if he wanted to reconnect.

“Oh Ben, I’d love to spend Valentine’s with you,” he giddily screamed into the phone.

“I’m on the next plane, I won’t need to pack much … I can’t wait.”

He then sent me this picture.

Well this should be a fun week, I guess …

Image source: Unknown.

 

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.

Pie Float Newton

Gravy, Main, Pie, Snack, Street Food

Oh how bittersweet it was to reconnect with moonface, during the most rare lunar occurance – the super blue blood moon – in our lifetimes. Apparently, anyway. While I can confirm he is doing far better than the media cares to report – he is not on death’s door, nor does he have a gambling prob – he is getting on in age.

And the fact he kept patting me on the back saying, “Ben, my boy.”

You’d think he’d learn, no?

“This is a once in a lifetime event.”

Only served as a reminder that he won’t be around forever. It also further proved the fact eldery people love to bash the media for lies, but also take their word as truth if it suits. I mean, is this super bloody blue balls moon really that rare? Please answer in the comments below.

Anyway, I’ve gone well off topic so will start to work my way back. I first met Bertie in the early ‘60s through my ex-boyfriend Graeme Kennedy, and we became the fastest of friends. While Grae and I didn’t last, my friendship with Bert did and I helped guide his career, from late night, to game shows, to midday and most importantly, morning programming.

So as is oft the case, you’re welcome.

While I couldn’t convince him to make yet another comeback, TV or otherwise, I could convince him to split an iconic Pie Float Newton to toast his contribution to Australian, nay, global culture.

 

 

Now I know these don’t look overly appetising, nor do they look moderately healthy, but daaaaamn are they good. I mean, pie and mash is perfect, pie and gravy is glorious, and pie with peas sings. How can you go wrong by combining them all … with sauce?

Not possible, so enjoy!

 

 

Pie Float Newton
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 individual beef pies – you could make a bigger version of Mini Beaf Arthur & Mushroom Pies or Pie-an Ziering without the blue cheese, or you know, go with Four’n’Twenty. I ain’t judging … much
olive oil
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups chicken stock
5 washed potatoes, diced
2 tbsp milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp flour
2 cups beef stock
tomato – aka tommie – sauce

Method
Cook the pies as per their recipe, or the packet instructions you bloody bludger, strewth cobber.

While that is happening, heat a lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sweat the shallots for a couple of minutes or so. Add the peas and stock, bring to the boil, reducing to low once rollicking and simmering for half an hour, or until the liquid is reduced. When there is about 1cm of stock left, mash the peas until semi-smooth.

Meanwhile place the potato in a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for ten minutes, or until just cooked through. Drain and return to the pot with half the butter, milk, a whack of salt and pepper, and the parmesan. Mash until smooth.

And just to add to your cleaning, melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once frothing, add the flour, whisk to combine and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and whisk in the stock before returning to the heat and bringing to the boil. Cook for a couple of minutes or until it is your desired consistency. Season and remove from the heat.

To serve, layer a bed of mash on your plate, top with some peas, then the pie … then drown in gravy and squirt with some tommie sauce. Because apparently, that was critical to the floater.

Then devour … or shame eat. Though you shouldn’t feel shame for loving something so damn good.

 

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Once in a blue moon

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Good news – this week is reverting back to our regularly scheduled programming (aka, no more celebratory weeks until the Oscars).

That being said, programming may be back to normal however the lunar cycles are not, with a super rare, super blue blood moon arriving this Wednesday. Between that and the fact we just marked Australia Day – which should definitely be changed, FYI – I realised there was only one friend I could call to drop by.

Moon face himself, my dear friend Bert Newton.

What says I love you, you’re an icon (you look like Linda Evangelista, did you stone those tights yourself) and I’d love to celebrate you … still being alive?

Image source: Unknown, but highly likely TV Week.

 

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.

Tyramen Banks

America's Next Top Model, Main, Poultry, Soup

Oh my GOD – you would not believe the week I have had! I was quietly resting off a post-boozing-with-Cath hangover on Thursday morning, minding my own business, when I received a call from my dear friend Tyra Banks.

“Ben, just wanted to check when your recap of our premiere would go live?”

I stayed quiet, hoping she would think I wasn’t there.

“Ben … Ben … BEN?”

“Um, you see, I wasn’t actu … ”

“I was rooting for you. We were ALL rooting for you.

“Tyra, you never invited me out to set so I couldn’t …

“Stop talking. Ben, stop talking. Be quiet, be quiet … STOP. I have never yelled at a friend like this before. I know you have a time machine, I
know zthat isn’t an excuse. I want us to work together to become next level fierce.

“When I yell at a friend like this it is because I care … “

“Sorry Tyra, I’ve got another call coming through. It is Naomi, she wants to … “

“Ben,” she said as sweetly as possible. “I love you, you’re fierce, you make me smize, you pop. Maybe I should pop … on the next plane and we should reconnect and discuss making this all work.”

True to her word, my girl Tyra arrived on my doorstep the next day, held me in her arms, apologised for yelling at me. Given we’re such old dear friends – we met whilst supermodelling, obvi – and the fact I was pretty cold bringing up Naomi Campbell, I forgave her. And yeah, I guess you could say this is happening. ANTM is joining the ranks of Survivor, Australian Survivor, Drag Race and Survivor New Zealand, and getting the whole culinary condolence treatment … and our friendship is renewed.

That, I guess, is the soothing power of my Tyramen Banks.

 

 

Crazy hot with a little bit of sweetness, this baby is everything you want from a ramen. And is super easy to whip up, making it look like you’ve been planning it for ages. Because I was, Ty, I was.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tyramen Banks

Serves: 2.
Ingredients

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp tamari
400g egg noodle
500g chicken breasts
1L chicken stock
2 tbsp sriracha sauce
½ cup bean sprouts
½ red capsicum, finely sliced
5 spring onions, sliced
1 fresh red chilli, sliced
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Method
Combine the soy, tamari, minder ginger and chilli in a large bowl. Toss through the chicken, cover and leave to marinate for about eight hours or so. Or while you’re at work, for example.

Preheat the oven to 180C and prep all the ingredients.

When you’re ready to go, place the chicken on a lined baking tray and cook for about fifteen minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile bring two saucepans of water to the boil and cook the eggs until soft in one, and the ramen noodles per packet instructions in another.

And in a third saucepan, cook the chicken stock and sriracha over medium heat until piping hot.

To serve, place the noodles on the bottom of your bowl, pour over the chilli stock and top with bean sprouts, capsicum, spring onion and chilli. Slice the chicken on an angle and place over the top before breaking the eggs in half and adding them to the bowl.

Garnish with coriander and a wedge of lime. Squeeze said lime in the broth before devouring, and curing all that ails ya.

 

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Creamed John O’Hurleeks

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Side, Vegetarian

We’re rapidly approaching the pointy end of our 12 Days of Festivus celebrations *sighs whilst simultaneously taking a deep breath* after catching up with Jase, Heids, Barn, Liz, Wayne, Mike and Pat, so I thought it was high time to charge our final side dish on the Peterman account.

Yas bish, my dear friend John O’Hurley is today’s guest of honour.

While I didn’t meet John-John until he walked onto the Seinfeld set, our friendship was instantaneous. Sure sharing the same sense of humour helped that cause, it was our passion for talking like a game-show announcer that truly brought us together.

Now while that eventually lead to a massive falling out after he got the host role on To Tell The Truth – “Just tell me John, the truth, why did you go behind my fucking back,” I screamed before lunging at him and pulling him in a pool La La Land slash Dynasty style – we were brought back together by my dear friend Kelly Monaco who creamed him in the first season of Dancing with the Stars.

Just don’t tell him it was me that rigged the show in her favour.

In any event, I like to rub that loss in as often as possible – “Oh calm down Johnny, I’m just joking. I got over you snatching my game show!” – so always whip up some Creamed John O’Hurleeks whenever he is in town.

 

 

I feel it is kind of redundant to tease this baby given the majesty of the ingredients list, but let me just say, this side is perfection. It is also probably really bad for your cholesterol … but choose your choice, you do you boo, etc.

Enjoy!

 

 

Creamed John O’Hurleeks
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
4 leeks, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste

Method
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat until foamy. Add the leeks and cook for 15 minutes until softened and sweet. Add the stock, reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour, stirring occasionally.

Stir through the cream, salt, pepper and cayenne and cook for a further fifteen minutes, or until gloriously reduced. Serve immediately and then devour, greedily.

 

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Betty White Chocolate, Pumpkin and Walnut Cookie

Baking, Side, Snack, Sweets, Thankgiving for being a friend

Despite the fact my girl Betts is the only surviving Golden Girl, I applied yesterday’s logic with Rue – that she’d be upset if I disappeared after catching-up with Bea and Estelle – so decided to stick around in ‘87 to see out this year’s thanksgiving. Well, technically that year’s thanksgiving. But in lieu of this year’s.

Fuck – time travel can be a confusing bitch, no?

I’ve known Bet for years and years, after meeting on the set of Match Game in ‘63. Side note: based on how much fun we had, I suggested Ru do a version on Drag Race … and Snatch Game was born. You’re welcome.

While Betty and I talk on the phone every other day in the present day – I got super paranoid about a Golden curse in 2010/11 after Rue passed away a year after Bea, and she a year after Stell – we weren’t able to see as much of each other as we liked in the ‘80s. I mean, between my various crimes, scams and love affairs and her hit show, we were lucky to catch up once a month.

I rolled up on the lot for the fourth day in a row – talk about deja vu – as Betty raced into my arms for a hug.

“My dear Ben. I’ve missed you! It will be so wonderful to have my turn marking Thanksgiving with you.

“I’ve been so happy all day … Bea wanted to kill me!”

She burst out laughing while a fear gripped me … before I realised it wasn’t the present and she has outlasted the curse thus far. We gossiped and laughed as we drove back to her house. Both thankful, most of all, for each other’s company. And, obviously, my festively approved Betty White Chocolate, Pumpkin and Walnut Cookie.

 

 

Yes, cookie. In the singular – this was our first foray into the majesty of the skillet cookie. And dare I say it, we nailed it. Perfect spiced dough combined with the sticky sweet chocolate and pumpkin, and the earthiness of the nuts join together for a perfectly festive dessert.

I mean, how can you not be thankful for nuts in your mouth?

Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Betty White Chocolate, Pumpkin and Walnut Cookie
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
½ small butternut pumpkin, cut into a 1cm dice
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
150g unsalted butter, chopped
½ cup firmly packed muscovado sugar
¼ cup raw caster sugar
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup plain flour, sifted
½ tsp bicarb soda, sifted
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 cups white chocolate chips
⅔ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin on a lined baking sheet with a lug of water and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Toss to combine, transfer the tray to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and sweet. Allow to cool while you get to work on the cookie.

Combine the butter and sugars in a 20cm, ovenproof skillet and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, or until the butter has just melted and everything combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Whisk the egg and vanilla into the mixture before folding in the flour, bicarb soda, remaining cinnamon and nutmeg until just combined. Fold through the pumpkin, chocolate and walnuts, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Allow to cool for half an hour before serving just warm with ice cream.

 

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Chicken Cormac McCarthy

Main, Poultry

Full disclosure, Cormac is one of those celebs that I’ve always assumed has died and I’ve got the time machine half way out of the garage, before I realise that just because his beautiful prose is timeless does not mean the man is dead.

And boy doesn’t he remind me in the kindest, most elegant of ways. Every. Damn. Time. We’re. Together.

As I mentioned, Cormac and I connected in the 50s at a writing workshop and I was brought to tears by the beauty of his words. I mean, it completely took my breath away and I knew that I was just what he needed to go from unrefined talent, to the literary icon he is today.

I’m sure that Cors would have a different take on our early years together – he’d downplay his talent, or something … I’m sure he is aware the my mentorship was the key to his success – our friendship has always been consistently strong.

Despite never being asked to write a foreword or a blurb for a novel, not that I’m bitter or anything like that!

Given that Cors is getting on, I met him at the airport and drove him straight to my home for a 4PM dinner. I mean, yes, we reconnected, caught up and chin-wagged the early afternoon away but by 4 we were well and truly done, so sat down for his favourite writing food, my Chicken Cormac McCarthy, and toasted to our beautiful friendship.

 

 

Fun fact: all the pretty horses was actually named after my original version of this dish … which he didn’t realise I actually made using horsemeat. Upon discovering that horrid little secret, he implored me to change over to chicken and this smooth, spicy delight was born.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Cormac McCarthy
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
800g chicken breasts, diced
50g natural yoghurt
sunflower oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp grated ginger
12 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp hot chilli powder
1 bay leaf
4 whole cloves
1 tbsp plain flour
small pinch of saffron
2 tsp muscovado sugar
1 cup cold water
¼ cup double cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Chuck the chicken in a bowl with the natural yoghurt and a good whack of salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large pot and sweat the onions, garlic and ginger over low heat for about fifteen minutes or so, or until your kitchen is so fragrant you just can’t control yourself anymore. Add the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli, bay leaves and the end of the cloves – throw away the stalks, I hate them – and cook for a further five minutes.

Stir in the flour, saffron, sugar and a good whack of salt, then slowly pour in the water while stirring. Cook for a further ten minutes before removing from the pan, removing the bay leaf and blitzing the mixture until smooth.

Return the pan to the heat and add the chicken and yoghurt, and cook over low heat, stirring, for about half an hour, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir through the cream and cook for about ten minutes.

Season to taste and serve immediately with some freshly cooked rice … to help with the devouring.

 

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.