Cauliflower Medders Soup

Main, Side, Snack, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Ryan witnessed an all in brawl for the idol that he already had nestled away next to his idol after he joined Mike in the season’s idol holder club. Not that Ryan was in major need for another idol as he was safely part of a 7 person mega alliance. And damn, skinny boy packing. Mike worked his way off the bottom, sneaking into the mega alliance as Lauren held onto her vote for a later round – oh yeah, Lauren got a vote advantage requiring her to abstain one week to use the vote another – sending Desi from the game … to Ponderosa as the first juror.

The next day Lauren, Mike and Ryan watched the sunrise with Ben, giving Mike another chance to find a crack in the alliance. And if that didn’t work, to throw Cole and Joe’s name out there as much as possible. Given they’re universally despised, it really isn’t a tough sell. Lauren and Ben pulled away from the others to talk about her successfully saving her vote the night before, vowing not to tell anyone else.

Meanwhile Ryan had hooked up with the neverending torso that is Devon – who has really grown on me – to discuss what happens when they arrive at 7, given they’re outnumbered by heroes. Ryan then shared his idol news – the other one – with Devon, making them giddy at the chance of taking control. Ryan then pat his butt and made me moister than a damn oyster … that Monica wouldn’t want Kimmi to overfish.

Sensing my arousal, Probst appeared to lord over the reward challenge where the tribe were split into two teams and required to swim out to a ladder, climb over and jump off to release a buoy with a key before using the three keys to release balls that they need to shoot into their targets. Aka saturday night, which coincidentally is also on a luxury yacht with a boozy feast. Ben got his team –  Devon, Ashley, Ryan and Lauren – out to an early lead on the swim until Chrissy overtook him at the buoy handing her JP, Cole, Mike, and Joe the lead. Despite Ashley’s killer performance swimming – given she is a freaking lifesaver – Chrissy’s Hunk maintained their lead. Ben’s team evened things up when unlocking the balls, however it wasn’t enough as Joe proved to be the more skilled shooter.

In the words of Andy Samberg – kinda – things were incredible on the boat, particularly for Chrissy who was surrounded by (mainly) hunky men. And it was also obviously incredible for Cole, who could feast again. Joe however tried to use the reward to make inroads with the majority. They then cruised past the camp and the captain – shady bitch – honked the horn leading to the losers mooning the victors. There was more pube blur than Amanda Kimmel. Ryan then used the empty camp to fill Ben in on his idol, which I feel is going to come back and bite one of them.

Back at camp Joe adopted the Russell mantra, trying to upset the camp enough to keep on the assumption they can get rid of him at any time. While it seems stupid, when you’re on the bottom anything that keeps you an extra day is a decent plan. He then returned from a stint digging on the beach to put the plan into action and instigate a fight with Ashley back at camp, pissing of her and Chrissy … actually putting the target on his back.

The next day Ben took Devon for a walk up the hill behind camp to get a better view and form another sub-alliance. To solidify said alliance, Ben told Devon about Ryan’s idol which he already knew about and either feigned surprise or told him that Ryan told him he was the only person that knew. In any event, this doesn’t bode well for Ryan in the long run.

Jiffy Pop returned to the scene for the next immunity challenge where everyone will have to squat with two bars on their shoulders with an urn of water balanced on the end over a fire. Congratulations whoever does the most crossfit or has dabbled in power lifting! Ashley quickly dropped first followed by Mike …  holy shit, JP shook his arse and it is everything. Sadly it cost him immunity, followed by Devon and Joe who were focused on Chrissy’s form. Ben soon followed leaving Ryan, Cole, Lauren and Chrissy to battle it out … which is not the four I was expecting. After 20 minutes Chrissy couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping out followed by Ryan. Despite some precarious movement from Lauren, she managed to outlast Cole who got distracted, handing her immunity.

Back at camp Ben was thrilled that Cole didn’t take out immunity, while Cole brushed dust of his chest … drawing attention to it, again, making me moister than an oyster. Ben convened the alliance to talk about taking the opportunity to get rid of Cole when they can, upsetting Ashley who desperately wants to get rid of Joe. They argued back and forth with Ashley rationalising that if the other side has an idol, they’re likely to play it tonight meaning another one will be in play the next day … which means Joe is likely to find it if he survives.

Ashley ran to Chrissy and Devon to try and turn the vote to Joe, while Mike approached Ben to find out what was happening. Sadly Mike didn’t feel the love, sending him to Joe to discuss who they’d be splitting the vote on and how best to play the idol. Meanwhile Chrissy then approached Ben to try and convince him to get rid of Joe, given he is more of a threat than Cole. Unless it is a plate-nipple contest, in which case Cole wins. Every. Time. Chrissy tried to explain to Ben that people were feeling steamrolled by his behaviour, which he immediately shut down … proving her point in the process.

After barely arriving at tribal Mike whispered to Joe to trust him while Desi slowly – really fucking slowly – meandered into tribal. Joe spoke about feeling lost given that he was on the outs, while Mike was the jester and Cole was playing left-right-out. Chrissy then brought up the fight with Joe which he tried to defend himself before Mike stepped in and ran complete distraction talking about the round table vs. the statute of limitations. He then continued to argue literally everyone in the majority’s statements, before Ashley calmly explained that every conversation adds to their relationships which make the hard and fast numbers difficult to identify.

Despite trying to hide away while Mike tried to draw the focus on to him – and them incorrectly play the idol on himself – poor Cole found himself voted out of the game and into my arms in pounderosa as the second juror. Yes, pounderosa, because it wasn’t just Cauliflower Medders Soup on the menu. Well, in my fantasies at least.

 

 

Side note: what are they going to eat off now that his glorious plate-nips are now out of the game?

Warm, creamy and altogether salty and sweet, I could fill myself up drinking Cole’s glorious soup all day. And he mine.

Despite how it sounds, I do mean the soup. While cauliflower gets a lot of hate, this soup goes a long way in proving just how tasty it can be. Add bacon and parmesan, and well, you’ve got a party. Or pre-party, as it were.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cauliflower Medders Soup
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
3 celery stalk, sliced
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 potatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tbsp roughly chopped sage leaves
2 bay leaves
1kg cauliflower florets
6 cups chicken stock
½ cup thickened cream
1 cup grated parmesan
4 streaky bacon rashers, roughly chopped

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and garlic, and cook stirring for 5 minutes or until softened and just starting to caramelise. Add the potato, nutmeg, sage, bay leaves and cauliflower and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the stock. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to deglaze the pan. Once bubbling like a mofo, reduce heat to low and simmer for twenty minutes, or until the veggies are tender.

Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly before blitzing with a stick blender until smooth. While the soup is cooling – in the last par yo’ – fry the bacon in a medium skillet until crisp.

When blitzing, beware of splatter … thus the cooling. Stir through the cream and three quarters of the parmesan, and season with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve the soup, topping with bacon and the extra parmesan before slurping down … like you would Cole.

 

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Jane Porrocks Pies

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Main, Party Food, Pie, Side, Snack

I honestly wasn’t sure how I’d top the delight of catching up with my dear friend Jen, nor am I sure why it has taken us so long to celebrate Ab Fab. In any event, I am filled with joy knowing that my dear friends are finally getting their moment in the sun that is this anthropological endeavour. None more so than the divine, bubbly, little voice herself, Jane Horrocks.

Now Babs – as her closest friends slash anyone that has read her Wikipedia entry know is her real name – and I have been the dearest of friends for close to three decades, after meeting during casting of The Witches.

In his golden years, Roald had asked me to oversee the production of all adaptations of his work, starting with The Witches. As soon as Jane walked in to the audition, I know that she was the only person that could play Susan … and is oft the case, vowed to make her a star.

When Jen mentioned transitioning Ab Fab into a show, she asked me to help assemble a killer cast, the likes of which had never been seen. I knew that Jane would be absolutely perfect for the role of Bubble and immediately drafted a contract and offered the role without Jen ever seeing her.

While she was annoyed by my underhanded tactic, her rage quickly dissipated after laying witness to Babs’ talent. I mean, she was almost nommed for an Oscar, for christsakes!

Given how busy I’ve been, I regret to admit that we haven’t seen as much of each other as we’d usually like. That being said, our friendship is so dear that it is always as though no time as past between our dates.

After a long hug we got to work drinking, laughing and reconnecting … and toasting to Ab Fab’s success with a big batch of Jane Porrocks Pies.

 

 

As British as tea, scones or the Queen – not Sandra, soz – pork pies are not just delicious, they’re comforting … and, dare I say it, life affirming. They just aren’t particularly healthy.

But who really minds about that? Enjoy!

 

 

Jane Porrocks Pies
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
500g Cumberland sausages, skins removed
200g streaky bacon, diced
⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tbsp sage, roughly chopped
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 sheets shortcrust pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
sesame seeds, to top

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the sausage, bacon, breadcrumbs, sage, nutmeg and a good whack of pepper in a large bowl, scrunching until well combined.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 even squares and line 18 holes of (two) muffin pans with pastry. Divide the mixture evenly between the holes and tightly packing it in … you know I love that. Fold any extra pastry over the mound of meat, brush with some egg and top each with the remaining squares of pastry. Fold it in on itself – obvi in a decorative fashion – cut a small hole in the top of each, brush with egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds and transfer to the oven to bake for 30-40 mins, or until golden and brown and cooked through.

Serve immediately, hot, slathered in caramelised onions.

 

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Jessicarbonara Johnston Pizza

Main, Pizza, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, new-Yawa remained undefeated after the swap while at Levu, Joe proved that finding idols truly is a bald man’s game. Things however weren’t so peachey at Soko with Chrissy and Ryan having to decide between keeping JP and Ali, sending the latter out of the game

Back at camp Chrissy was quick to make JP feel comfortable after tribal, and was thrilled to be closer with each of the boys than they are with each other. We checked in with Yawa the next day to learn that Cole was feeling confident that should they merge, they were five strong. That, of course, was quickly disputed by Ben who rightfully was concerned by the closeness of Cole and Jess. Rounding out the catch-ups, Ashley spoke about how broken, starved and divided Levu is. So … final three of Chrissy, Ashley and Ben/Ryan/Cole/Devon, yeah?

Probst quickly arrived for the reward challenge, much to the excitement of the hungry Levu tribe. Though it wasn’t actually a challenge, it’s the merge – what a surprise!? After dropping buffs – sadly, not JP’s trou again – and getting swanky new purple ones, Probsty informed the starved castaways that instead of the merge feast, they’d be going to Queen Sandra’s fave – Outback Steakhouse.

The castaways toasted making the merge – YAS, they’re all dateable – downed steaks, and drank up which brought down Joe’s defenses and allowed Chrissy and Ben to quickly deduce that he has an idol, painting a larger target on his back. Jessica also emerged from her shell, hitting on the waiter’s thunder from downunder.

Back at camp, the new Solewa tribe got to work improving or building – who knows whether it is a new camp – their shelter, while Cole searched for a clue which was hidden in the wad of nails he was using. Bless him. Jessica and Desi got reacquainted, while Ryan and Devon caught up and floated the idea of a hustler-heroes alliance to take out the healers. The boys looped Lauren in on the plan, who wasn’t so keen on the plan giving she is aligned with Mike. She then told Mike and I was reminded of the epic ‘David as an idol’ scene from Millennials vs. Gen X.

Devon took the plan to Ben and Chrissy to get rid of Joe, that latter of whom was thrilled given she found him insufferable at lunch. Ben however was more keen to take out Cole, given he literally eats whatever he wants. Jessica and Lauren pulled Cole aside to warn him about his eating, Ben floated the idea of booting Joe or Cole with Mike, and I am reminded how freaking confusing merge episodes are.

Thankfully, Cole is pretty and Devon’s torso is longer than I am tall.

Pulling me out of the alliance whirlpool, Probst returned for the first immunity challenge where everyone stands on a narrow beam and keeps a ball spinning within a disc. As quickly as it started Ryan dropped out, followed by Mike whilst trying to be cute while taking a step – what did Alyssa Edwards say? Jessica was out after taking her second step forward, followed by Ben, JP, Devon and Lauren as they dropped to the final section. Joe soon dropped out, leaving Desi, Cole, Chrissy and Ashley to fight it out for immunity. Which Desi won, after Cole and Chrissy dropped their balls and Ashley dropped while trying to move her second foot onto the narrowest section of the beam.

Getting straight back into it, Cole pulled Ben aside back at camp to apologise for eating all the food and not thinking about others. Despite accepting his apology, Ben did not in fact accept said apology – preach – though wasn’t sure whether booting him was a good plan, or could blow up in his face.

Feeling unsafe, Cole approached Joe to fill him in on the new Yawa alliance immediately pissing off Joe, who knows Ben will flip at the first opportunity. Cole then joined Mike, Lauren and Desi to talk about getting rid of the heroes biggest threat Chrissy, leaving them to debate whether Ben was with them or about to go against the family. Obviously Lauren then approached Ben to talk about which side they would go with, before the hustlers and heroes – sans JP – got together to pick their target. Given they’re concerned about Joe and Cole having an idol, and the Cole and Jessica alliance, Jessica seemed to be their safest option.

At tribal, Probst quickly brought up the theme and put the target on the plentiful healers. Everyone danced around loyalty and truth, trying to keep their allies calm and not give anything away. Mike then offended Joe, who was talking about being extremely loyal, leading to him pulling out his idol and threatening to use them. Cole was unphased by the display –  given he helped Joe find his first idol – while Ben announced that the battle lines were drawn and they need to vote to see where the chips may fall. Joe played his idol just in case they fell for him, which they did not, instead coming down to Chrissy and Jessica, with the latter booted from the game … as the final pre-jury boot.

Poor, sweet Jessica was feeling quite down when she arrived at loser lodge – particularly after finding out it hadn’t ticked over to Ponderosa as yet – though quickly perked up when she saw me, her dear friend, waiting for her. Like the great, great Cirie Fields, I first met Nurse Practitioner Jessica while in rehab. She was completing a placement at the time and given how kind she was, she took a lost cause like me under her wing and helped me through (one of) my most recent stint(s) in rehab and got me sober. As such, we’ve been friends ever since.

After getting her out of her post-boot funk, we got to work catching up, talking about how dreamy Cole and his nips are … and then dreaming we were eating my Jessicarbonara Johnston Pizza off dem plates.

 

 

If CalebAras and Joan – and Skarsy, obvs – have taught you anything, I love me some carbonara. I mean, warm, salty, creamy goodness going straight down my throat? Sign me up … and now, in PIZZA form.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jessicarbonara Johnston Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
1 cup parmesan, grated
2 eggs, lightly whisked
salt and pepper
200g pancetta, roughly sliced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
a handful mushrooms, thinly sliced
125g pecorino cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare bases as per Zsa Zsa’s method – sans tommie paste.

Whisk the parmesan, eggs and a good whack of salt and black pepper until thick and combined.

Spoon the egg mixture onto the rolled out dough and spread across the bases. Sprinkle over the pancetta, shallots and mushrooms, and top with pecorino.

Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until the bases are crispy and the cheese golden. Devour.

 

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BBQ Pork & Luscon Pizza

Main, Party Food, Pizza, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers

Previously on Survivor, the tribes switched but thankfully didn’t break up the lovebirds Cole and Jessica. Well unless you’re Jessica, who spread word about her advantage to block a vote at the upcoming tribal to everyone on new Yawa. Meanwhile Ryan was sitting pretty at new Soko, remaining with ally Ali and united with Chrissy who he bequeathed the OG advantage to in episode one. None of that mattered as Levu lost immunity, leaving Devon as the swing vote between the OG heroes and healers … until Jessica’s advantage stripped him of his vote, followed by Joe successfully playing his idol, saving himself and sending Alan from the game.

Things were suitably awkward back at camp, with Ashley and Devon congratulating Joe on successfully playing the idol. While Ashley wasn’t a huge fan of Alan, she was feeling the pressure since, at best, she is two vs. two if Devon is on her side.

The next day we dropped by Yawa where the crackling fire started to freak out Ben, bringing up bad memories of his time in the Marines. Lauren then went to the beach to see if he was ok, making me realise that the two of them and Chrissy are my dream final three. And given his powerfully personal confessional, I am thinking his chances are pretty good.

Allowing me to use my tissues for another reason, Probst returned for the next reward challenge. Reviving the Millennials vs. Gen X classic, the tribe members arms and legs were bound and required to slither across the sand and push a ball to the end, before shooting said balls – not in my tissues – into a basket … for coffee and treats. Desi dominated, getting Levu out to an early lead, allowing Ashley to get to the second mat before Roark had even gotten to Soko’s first. Levu finished the course before Soko and Yawa had even finished, shooting a basket before Yawa finally joined them shooting and poor Ryan repeatedly struggled to get over the first mound. Levu took out victory as Ryan finally made it over the mound as Cole madly tried shot his final baskets, securing them coffee and Ryan a faceplant on the mat courtesy of JP.

Everyone was happy at Levu as they returned with trays of food and coffee, uniting the tribe after the previous tribal. That being said, the 6m torsoed Devon still wasn’t trusting Joe and pledged his allegiance to Ashley as Joe and Desi went for a pow-wow on the beach. While two vs. two isn’t helpful, they are confident that they’ll be able to sway Desi if the other option is rocks.

Meanwhile Ryan was busy apologising to everyone at Soko for his dismal performance in the challenge, cracking jokes and trying to make the most of his social game. We then heard from Roark for the second time in two episodes, where we learnt she was thrilled to be the swing vote in the swap … though I’m getting the vibes, she will get Julia’d by Ryan’s Aubry if they end up at tribal. Wanting to further her own game, Ali went for a walk with Roark to see what numbers they each have and whether they can work together. They decided to target the heroes, making Ryan nervous as he is closely aligned with their first target Chrissy.

Over at Yawa, Cole was eating their minimal food directly out of the containers, much to the chagrin of Lauren and Ben. Wanting to keep the healer majority, Jessica took Mike to get water and form a closer bond given Cole was fast becoming public enemy number one. Since Cole had obviously been unable to keep the whereabouts of Joe’s idol secret, Mike knew where to look and found the Yawa idol. Sadly while Jessica was present, forcing them into an alliance whether he wanted it or not.

Jiffy Pop returned for immunity where the tribes were required to swim out to a boat to collect three bags of rice before pushing them through a wall, walking them across a balance beam and tearing them open to find balls … which they then had to maneuver up a wall before landing them in a hole. With Ryan sitting out, Yawa got out to an early lead followed closely by Soko, while Levu struggled to get through the wall. They then hit the balance beams, allowing Levu to not only catch up but overtake and get a decisive lead, with Yawa following closely behind with JP singlehandedly tried to keep Soko in the challenge. Ben made quick work of sticking the first ball in, giving Yawa the lead with Devon close behind and Soko falling out of it. Jessica and Cole also made quick work of the wall, handing Yawa immunity while Chrissy bombed the wall … allowing Desi to secure the other immunity for Levu.

Back at camp Chrissy was feeling anxious after bombing the challenge, making her vow to play big. Identifying Roark as the biggest player in the game, she pulled her aside with the view to forming an all women alliance. While Roark said she was interested, she most definitely was not and Chrissy knew it. She then approached JP – who’s chest hair is really growing out quite nicely – and Ryan about taking out the girl in the middle – so Chrissy is Aubry? This put Ryan in a hella awkward position, as Ali was firmly in the Roark camp and his other ally wanted her out. Totes awkies, as they say.

At tribal council Ali quickly started throwing shade at Chrissy for bombing the challenge, which didn’t set well with Queen Chrissy who immediately jumped in to defend herself. Ryan gave a non answer, giving no hint as to which way he was leaning. Roark got extremely sassy about Chrissy not approaching her until they lost the challenge, Ryan and JP were allegedly concerned about Roark and Chrissy’s chat by the beach despite the fact they’re clearly voting for each other. Ali made a subtle pitch to Ryan, about trust being earned at tribal council … which clearly didn’t work as he joined JP and Chrissy to send Roark from the game.

I first connected with Roark while she attended Vanderbilt University. My ex Anderson Cooper begged me to act as a life coach slash mentor at his great-great-grandfather’s university and my friendship with Roark makes me grateful for not being able to say no to that silverfox. As a superfan, she was gutted to go pre-merge but the pain quickly disappeared when she saw my BBQ Pork & Luscon Pizza.

 

 

While we barely heard from Roark pre-swap, I can attest that she is worthy of this majestic pizza. Now I know pineapple is a contentious ingredient on a pizza, it more than earns its place here – the sweet fruit perfectly cuts through the hot chilli and tart olives to leave you wanting more. Kinda like how you feel about Roark’s edit, you know?

Enjoy!

 

 

BBQ Pork & Luscon Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
passata and italian herbs, for the aforementioned bases
3-4 pork & fennel sausages, casings removed and fried into meatballs
3-4 rashers bacon, cut into strips and fried until crisp
⅓ cup diced pineapple
1 red onion, thinly sliced
⅓ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
pickled jalapenos, to taste
¼ cup BBQ sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare bases as per Zsa Zsa’s method.

Smear the dough with the passata and italian herbs, top with the sausage balls and bacon, sprinkle over the pineapple, onion, olive and jalapenos, artistically pour over the sauce and cover with cheese. Bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Then devour, regretting your place on the jury.

 

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Jericroquettes Malabonga

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

And after 55 days out in the Samoan jungle, we finally have a new sole survivor in the form of Jericho.

He and Tara managed to outwit, outplay and outlast Joan, Adam, Kate, Tarzan, Aimee, Sam, Mark, Jacqui – yes this is a shameless plug for all our other recipes – Kent, AK, Ben, Odette, Jarrad, Anneliese, Henry, Tessa – yep, still going – Sarah, Luke, Ziggy, Locky, Michelle and Pete, to battle it out in the final tribal council.

While his performance at final tribal was – like night and day with last year’s champ Kristie’s – rather subpar, Luke’s going into bat for him and Henry pushing him to get fiery were enough to hand him a win for a game well played.

I mean, sure, I am shook to see that sometimes nice guys do win after he worked his ass off around camp to provide for his tribe, single-handedly tried to save his tribe from crushing defeat and made some hilariously ridiculous metaphors to give people a laugh … I assume. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he did get pretty villainous on his way to the prize.

Now it is quite awkward, but Jericho and I aren’t the best of friends after he restrained me on a flight for “drunk and disorderly behaviour,” so I wasn’t thrilled to see him out in Samoa, let alone taking out the win … but he did manage to win me over while we shared his victorious Jericroquettes Malabonga.

 

 

It could be said that croquettes are quite simple, but there is no denying that they’re delicious and definitely have more than meets the eye. Plus – potato, bacon and cheese. How do you go wrong?

Congratulations on your victory Jericho – enjoy!

 

 

Jericroquettes Malabonga
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
5 potatoes, cooked, mashed and cooled
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced, fried and – you guessed it – cooled
2 eggs
3 shallots, thinly sliced
½ cup plain flour
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup milk
salt and pepper

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mashed potato, bacon, 1 egg, shallots, half the flour and the mozzarella in a bowl. Divide into 10 balls – I like a big fat croquette – and roll into a sausage shape.

Place the remaining flour in a bowl, with the remaining egg whisked with the milk in another and some seasoned breadcrumbs in another. Roll the croquettes in the flour, followed by the egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined baking tray, chuck it in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and devour immediately, with some Spicy TomaJones Sauce.

 

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Stephanie Fried Rice

Main, Side, Snack

It felt like such a relief to be able to just jump in the car and drive a couple of suburbs this week, rather than having to get my people to organise the logistics of transferring major A-list celebrities to-and-from Brisbane Airport without anyone realising they are in town. I don’t want to complain about my blessed life, but sometimes it does get exhausting.

As I mentioned, I was once a swimming trainer – mainly to fulfill my passion for men in speedos and/or super tight pants – here in Brisvegas, as we oft loathsomely say. While my students feature the who’s who of Australia’s swimming elite – obviously though Grant Hackett and I used to booze together and Kowalski and I … well – my personal fave was little Stephy Rice.

I mean, sure, she felt it appropriate to tweet a homophobic sledge at a rugby team in 2010 but she did actually seem remorseful – plus, it’s not like I haven’t forgiven someone for making stupid statements – and apologised profusely. Shockingly I made the mature choice and accepted her apology and moved on … on the express condition that she appear on The Celebrity Apprentice.

While I stacked the cast with an actual businesswoman to shame her out of the competition and my nemesis Dawn Fraser – who hates that we’re close – she somehow won the game. Sure it further inflamed my rage for a couple of hours, but then I had to admire her moxie and we’ve been the dearest of friends ever since.

Sadly for the ailing Australian swim team, I couldn’t convince her to join me in staging a comeback but it was such a treat to catch-up and reconnect. We laughed, I briefly made her cry like she was apologising for a homophobic slur – despite her aggressive suggestions to the contrary, she is obviously voting ‘yes’ in the offensive same-sex marriage postal survey – and we ultimately became closer than ever before.

Though maybe that is just the Stephanie Fried Rice talking?

 

 

There is nothing better than fried rice, particular when it is sans prawns. Spicy, fresh and with a kick of heat, this is the perfect comfort meal to mend friendships and alleviate hunger.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stephanie Fried Rice
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup long-grain rice, cooked as per packet instructions
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels, cooked and drained
1/2 cup peas, cooked and drained
1 capsicum, diced
2 tsp char sui sauce
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp rice wine
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat half the vegetable oil in a small frying pan, and lightly cook the eggs until they form a delicate omelette. Leave to rest.

Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a large frying pan and add the bacon, frying until crisp. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for a further minute, or until fragrant. Add the carrot, corn and capsicum and cook for a further five minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for ten minutes before adding the sauces and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Devour.

 

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Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton

Burgers, Main, Side, Snack

After the highs of the Emmys and the lows of being reminded that intolerance is still alive and real, it was such a joy to reconnect with my dear friend slash ex-lover Blue and see what he and his beautiful family are up to.

I first met Blue while working together at Warner Music Group and love quickly blossomed. While it sadly didn’t work out for us romantically in the long run – he is too damn nice and couldn’t overlook my rage blackouts and scams – it slowly turned into a dear friendship.

A couple of years after our breakup, I visited Blue while on holidays and decided to set him up with a friend of mine. Cut to a few years later, he and Matt are married and fathers to a beautiful little boy. You’re welcome, both Blue and members of the public that get to watch them on social media.

Anyway – Blue answered my hysterical calls asking for some emotional support while working through the homophobia incited by the Australian government, jumped in the car and met me in L.A. to talk through the pain and catch-up.

While I was a mess when he arrived, he quickly cheered me up reminding me that the world is not that bad a place and our community is stronger than a vocal minority empowered by an ineffective government. Plus – he reminded me that our best friends’ meal is a Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton and that is all the repayment he needs for supporting me.

 

 

It is no secret that I love me a burger, and this is up there with my faves. The huge whack of blue cheese, mixed with the glorious bacon and the sweet onions? I just came a little while thinking about them.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter and olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
500g beef mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
8 rashers of streaky bacon
4 Kirsten Bunst
200g blue cheese, crumbled

Method
Heat the butter and oil in a medium frying pan, adding the onions when the butter is nice and foamy. Reduce heat to low and sweat for about half an hour, stirring to avoid them sticking. Once they are really soft, crank the heat to medium and add the balsamic, muscovado and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are sticky. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Meanwhile combine the mince, garlic, yoghurt, Worcestershire and a heaped tablespoon of caramelised onions and scrunch with your hand to combine. Form into four patties and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.

When you’re ready to eat, heat a lug of olive oil on a griddle over medium heat and cook the patties for a couple of minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and cook the bacon for a couple of minutes each side before transferring to a plate.

Split the buns – my favourite pastime – and lightly toast them on the grill before getting down to assembly. Place a dollop of caramelised onions on the base of the burger, followed by the patties, then the bacon and a good crumble of blue cheese – I obviously used more than blue cheese – before devouring.

 

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Eggs Benedict Burgan

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Breakfast, Burgers, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, we were reminded that there were three idols in play – two normal, one super – and after a tribal switch, they all landed on the same tribe. Meanwhile new Asaga featured a battle-royale between Tara and AK, with Luke joining with Tara to help her exact her revenge and finally send him out of the game.

Back at camp Tara was as giddy as a schoolgirl, while Luke was yacking it up before letting us know that witnesses would be the first to go, and as such totes homo Pete, would be the next to go. This once again, obviously, makes me hopeful that we’re leading to back-to-back falls of the cocky male players.

I’m also hopeful Locky will break his 11 episode nudity drought.

When we checked in with Samatau, I assumed my dreams were coming true as Locky, Henry and Ziggy went for a swim. While I was crestfallen to see both the boys fully clothed, I was thrilled to see that their positions were looking up as they formed an alliance as the three strongest people in the game. She then had a lapse of judgement and told them that she had an idol – leaving out the super aspect – which obviously led to the boys plotting to get rid of her.

Tara was still loving life at AK-less Asaga and Luke was still extremely overconfident, referring to himself as the King. He then reaffirmed that getting out Pete is the priority, which thankfully Sarah disagrees with. She then approached him by the shore and broached the idea of taking out Luke, to both eliminate a batshit insane, erratic player and to cement connections with those at Samatau. The girl is playing hard, no one notices and I love it.

We returned to Samatau where Locky was quick to approach Anneliese with Henry about joining them and Ziggy in an alliance. Sadly, she assumed he had the original Samatau idol and that he gave his clue to Jericho. Being another queen, she decided to ask him if it were true pointblank … which he then denied. Thankfully they went to meditate where sanity prevailed and Henry decided to trust someone in the game and told her the truth. Anneliese then told him about her idol, they secured each other’s trust and went to loop Locky in to solidify the final three we deserve.

Michelle, who is essentially how I would be on the island, told us that while she isn’t really built for island life, she is built for the quarter of a million dollars that could build her dream home. With that, she got to work trying to find the cracks in the tribe and vowed to turn things around on Ben. She then approached Ben – which I admit, doesn’t make any sense – who speculated at her about the super idol and told her he would vote out Locky next. It now makes sense, given he gave her a shit tonne of powerful information and screwed himself.

Little JoJo arrived for the immunity challenge where Luke and Tara were proudly sporting a pair of shit eating grins as Samatau discovered AK’s demise. After some shady chat, JLP explained the challenge where each tribe member would have to hold a sandbag tether to a trough of water. Essentially it is the icon Teresa Cooper / Shi-Ann Huang / Parvati Shallow memorial challenge, but in tribe format. After about five minutes Michelle tapped out and handed her bag off to Henry and Locky. Jarrad soon followed, leaving Locky and Henry to struggle with two bags each while everyone from Asaga remained in the challenge with their sole sacks. Tragically Locky and Henry’s bag sack handling skills weren’t up to pass, dropping the bags and handing Asaga their first immunity win in fuck-knows how long.

Samatau returned to camp to commence scrambling, with Michelle vowing not to go home without a fight. Sadly for Mich, Henry and Locky decided that getting rid of her was the smarter option given Ben was more easily manipulated … and a goat for Henry. Tessa agreed Michelle was more dangerous, as did Jarrad who decided he wanted to keep Ben around given the fact he has him wrapped around his little finger. There is a pattern emerging, and it isn’t saying much about Ben’s intelligence.

Despite the fact that she is apparently fucked, Michelle got to work putting Ben’s intel to use. She hightailed it over to Anneliese and Locky, telling them that Ben was planning on taking out the latter with his arm of one. They ate this shit up as she continued to point out that Luke also wants Locky out and Ben would flip to help him achieve that goal as soon as the merge hit. This convinced Locky that Ben definitely needs to go.

While Henry and Jarrad tried to convince him that Ben didn’t have any friends to flip said vote, Locky was seemingly resolute. He then spoke to Ziggy and Anneliese by the beach, before Ben approached to throw a spanner in the chat. Hilariously, they seemed unfazed, and continued to plot about flipping the vote on the unaware Ben. Anneliese they included him in the conversation to see what his plans were post-merge, to which he replied it probs, maybs, is to stick with Samatau.

The kid is doing Michelle’s job for her .. though his apparently questionable intelligence is kind of a reason to keep him and maybe this is all a rouse?

At tribal, JLP was quick to check-in with Michelle about how she was feeling post-swap fucked. While she handled the question with ease, Ben stumbled as Jonathan asked how he was feeling, pointing out that he felt like he was on the bottom. Everything continued to go to shit for Ben, with Locky admitting that while he feels close to Henry, he struggles to make a connection with Ben. The latter of which tried to work his way into a deeper hole, causing Anneliese and Locky to talk about needing to get word to Henry that Ben needs to go.

JoJo noticed the discussion, giving Michelle the opportunity to campaign, HARD, against Ben, and air all of his dirty laundry and spilt tea. While it was glorious to watch – GLORIOUS – I almost felt bad to the kid as he awkwardly tried to dance out of the shit-storm and she kept pulling him back in. Michelle is the new queen and she is a queen that we don’t deserve. The tribe then voted and amazingly, Michelle saved herself – though highlighted herself as a threat in the process – sending Ben out of the game.

I immediately took him under my wing when the poor thing arrived at loser lodge, completely gobsmacked and full of praise for Michelle. She may have outplayed him, but he was impressed and that goes to show what a nice kid he truly is. I mean, he even forgave me when I asked to speak to his manager and tried to get him fired from Grill’d. Given the fact it eventually became a personal joke between us, I knew I had to whip him up a nice fat Eggs Benedict Burgan.

 

 

If I were to narrow down to my two greatest culinary loves, they’d have to be burgers and breakfast … and this little baby has the privilege of falling into both categories. Juicy, spiced patties, tangy hollandaise and salty bacon, BETWEEN BREAD? You had me at the tribe has spoken.

Enjoy!

 

 

Eggs Benedict Burgan
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
250g beef mince
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ ground sage
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
white vinegar
4 rashers streaky bacon
2 eggs
½ batch Hollandaise Taylor
2 Jon English Muffins

Method
Combine the mince, chilli, sage and a pinch of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine and form two, thin patties.

Get a saucepan of water with a lug of vinegar on the boil over high heat.

Heat a lug of olive oil in small frying pan over medium heat. Add the patties and cook for three minutes each side. Remove from the pan and add the bacon, cooking until crisp.

The water should be well and truly boiling at this time, so reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, swirl the water and crack the eggs in. Cook until the white is just cooked, and the yolks are gooey.

Quickly whip up the Hollandaise Taylor and toast two Jon English Muffins.

To assemble, place two rasher of bacon on the base of the muffin, top with the patty and poached egg and drown with hollandaise. Top with the other half of the muffin and devour.

 

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Chicken Corbin Bleu

Main, Poultry

I know, I know, I’m late! I’m so sorry … but Corbin had his work cut out for him and I couldn’t just kick him out as soon as he finalised a gameplan for me reconnecting with Zac now, could I?

Lol, I totally could have but that would be really poor form! Even for me.

While reaching out to Corbin for help means that he no longer owes me – I’m the one that convinced Ken Ortega to cast him in HSM – I truly believe it will be worth it. Corbs was patient, kind and smart as a whip, proving why we’ve been such close friends for more than a decade.

Then he refused to tell me who wins Battle of the Network Stars because – and I quote – “I don’t think you should start gambling again since you lost your last two homes.”

Yuck.

I mean, sure, he is right and it is very sweet … BUT GIVE ME THE INFORMATION I NEED TO EVEN UP WITH MY BOOKIE, DAMMIT.

Anyway … despite that late breaking drama, it was so nice to see Corb again, talk about our concern for Misch and devour some glorious Chicken Corbin Bleu.

 

 

Cordon Bleu is one of those dishes that need no spruiking – salty smoked ham, gooey bubbling cheese and the crisp crumb work together to create perfection. I mean, bacon and cheese? You can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Corbin Bleu
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
4 slices swiss cheese
8 slices smoked ham
1 egg, whisked
½ cup flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
olive oil
fries

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Slice a pocket into each chicken breast where the tenderloin joins the breast. Stuff a couple of slices of cheese and ham into the pocket, close the fold and secure with some toothpicks.

Place the egg, flour and seasoned breadcrumbs in three bowls. Dip the breasts in the flour, followed by the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for half an hour, or until golden and browned.

Serve with fries and devour, immediately.

 

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Tom Paterscone

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

After a rough final tribal council, particularly for our third place finisher Barb, my dear friend Tom sadly wasn’t rewarded for his physical dominance landing as the runner-up. While it was kind of expected after the Avi love fest, I was shocked – and of course angry slash out for vengeance – to learn that he only mustered one vote.

Consider yourselves officially out of my little black book, Lee and Mike.

While Avi’s social game took him over the line, Tom played the game on the back foot from day one and needed to work harder to survive day after day. He had a brief period of luck post-swap, before ending up back on the bottom – swoon – at the merge.

He then won challenge after challenge, buying him enough time to build the relationships that took him through to the final three.

Sadly though, the jury couldn’t see that – or did, and didn’t think it was worthy – with only Jak voting for him to win. Which is tragic, but it at least gave him the runner-up title outright.

He arrived in loser lodge where I completely flipped out because of his loss. After about an hour or so, he managed to calm me down enough – with clothes on, most shockingly – to whip him up a batch of my delicious Tom Paterscones.

 

 

I love me some bacon. I also love chilli and live for cheese, throw it in a scone, slather it in butter and you’re in for a dreamy treat. Almost as dreamy as the babe-town that is Tom.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tom Paterscone
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
125g chilled butter, cubed
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced and fried
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
200g aged cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
200ml milk, plus extra to glaze

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour until it resembles wet sand. Stir in the bacon, spring onion, chilli, tomato and ¾ of the cheese.

Whisk the eggs with the milk and combine with the flour mixture using a cutting motion, with a round bladed knife until a soft dough forms. Turn into onto the bench and knead until it just comes together, ensure not to overwork it.

Roll out the dough until it is 2-3cm thick, cut into rounds and place on a baking sheet. Brush with milk, sprinkle with leftover cheese and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed.

Devour, slathered in butter.

 

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