Jenna Baoman

Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Des finally decided to bring some excitement post the Chris v. Domenick feud and approached the Malolos about taking out one of the bigger threats. Sadly for her, Laurel and Donathan had been doing a good job of keeping their alliance with said big threats a secret so took the plan straight back to them. That in turn led the champion of Naviti Strong – I assume a sequel to Country Strong – Kellyn to join them in turning on her and sending Des out of the game and straight to the jury.

Lavita returned to camp where Dom was thankful to still be in the game thanks to Laurel’s loyalty. Given the fact she saved not only him, but Kellyn and Wendell too, Laurel finally felt that the had a hold on the game. Sadly Kellyn pointed out that OG Naviti still had the numbers and as such, #NavitiStrong.

The next day Sebastian returned to our screens to briefly talk about upping the food intake before Wendell and Domenick stole the show to talk about sticking together no matter what. Well, that is Wendell was feeling while Dom was willing to get rid of him and his secret allies Laurel and Donathan. To further solidify his power in the game, Dom went for a walk to see if yet another idol had been hidden. Which he obviously found. However tragically for him, it was David’s fake idol that screwed Jay – #Justice4Jay – in the generation battle and unlike Ozzy’s stick, it didn’t glow up. Instead, the advantage was a beautifully designed fake idol that could be used to dupe someone into embarrassing themselves. Again. Which Dom was obviously confident he’d be able to do.

With the excitement of the shady non-idol out of the way, my boy Probst returned for this week’s rewa … wa, wa, what? The immunity challenge? Already? In any event, they’d be required to hold a bar up and keep a ball balanced between the contraption and a beam. Sounds simple … but that is NOT all. This week there will be two immunity winners and two people will be going home AT SEPERATE TRIBAL COUNCILS. The remaining players selected either orange or purple to form temporary tribes which would go to individual tribals and vote out a person each. Poor Michael seemed screwed on the orange team with Kellyn, Wendell, Laurel and Domenick while I dunno, Angela is screwed with lovers Sebastian and Jenna, and Chelsea and Donathan?

Kellyn quickly dropped the ball, literally, followed by Mich-angel leaving Wendell, Dom and Laurel to fight it out for the orange temp tribe. Donathan was the first purple out, followed by Laurel leaving Wendell and Dom to battle it out for orange immunity. Sebastian and Jenna soon dropped leaving Angela and Chelsea to snatch purple immunity. Despite Chelsea almost dropped it, Angela’s ball slipped out of nowhere and handed Chelsea immunity. Sadly for her group, she couldn’t hold on any longer meaning they’d be the first ones attended tribal. Wendell and Dom then brought their smacktalk game while struggling to hold on before Wendell just gave up and handed Domenick the second individual immunity.

Back at camp the two groups broke off and commenced scrambling with Domenick quickly deciding to lock in a vote for Michael. Meanwhile Michael, knowing full well he was royally screwed, approached Donathan to ask him whether he could borrow it for an hour to convince everyone it was his and deflect the target on to someone else. Donathan gave a firm no however, knowing it could come back to bite him breaking both mine and Michael’s heart. Michael then approached Kellyn and tried to feed her the simple lie that he has an idol. While she bought everything he was selling, she was concerned and hoped to put the target on to Laurel as a back-up. On the flipside, Domenick was not concerned when Kellyn brought the information back to him and vowed to get Michael out.

Clearly still concerned Kellyn went to Chelsea and Wendell to talk it through and hopefully convince Wendell to join her in sacrificing Laurel instead. Wendell took said information to Laurel who agreed Michael was acting like he had something up his sleeve, or had simply given up. Knowing full well that Kellyn was willing to flip on her, Laurel decided she would rather vote for Kellyn instead to ensure her safety. Sadly for her, Kellyn was planning to use her second vote and load them up on Laurel to ensure her safety.

The other group were decidedly less intense with Sebastian, Chelsea and Angela keen to stick with Naviti and take out Sebastian’s girlfriend Jenna while telling her they’re targeting Donathan. Jenna was feeling nervous, so approached Sebastian and Chelsea to confirm they’re voting for Donathan … and then went and told Donathan that they told her they’re voting her out. Confusing no? Wanting to try and turn the tables, Donathan then considered playing his idol on Jenna while she was working to turn the vote on him while lying that she was targeting Sebastian. To complicate things, Laurel approached Donathan with her concerns that Dom and Wendell wouldn’t turn on Kellyn and it would end up in her going out … unless she had his idol.

We arrived at the first tribal with me completely confused about what is going to happen. Donathan echoed my sentiments before Sebastian confirmed that someone from Malolo would definitely be leaving this group tonight. Jenna was quick to pretend she was going home and just wanted to vote already and get it over with. That upset Sebastian and made Donathan feel a little bit concerned about his place, and I assume, reconsider playing his idol for her. Jenna continued to talk about herself being the target, leading Probst to put a hold on the questions and get to the vote. Picking up on everyone’s shiftiness, Donathan decided to make the smart move and played his ScotJasonTai idol on himself negating the one vote against him and sending Jenna from the game BY HER BOYFRIEND.

Given the Sebastian’s ultimate betrayal and the fact Probst sent her straight to the jury, instead of doing the walk of shame, Jenna was feeling pretty upset by the time she made it into my arms in Ponderosa. Thankfully the fact that I banned [redacted] from entering Ponderosa until we had finished our feast seemed to cheer her up pretty quickly. Though I have a sneaking suspicion my Jenna Baoman may have helped.

 

 

Now I know what you’re thinking – didn’t I see some sweet looking things in the cover image of this here ‘story’? A) the use of inverted commas is shady, which I love, but also hurtful and b) this is my attempt at a dessert bao. And while it may not look impressive, the flavour sure as hell is! Chocolate and (peanut butter and) vanilla (ice cream), swirl … swirled together on a caramelly bun? Poifection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jenna Baoman
Serves: 16.

Ingredients
7g yeast
160ml lukewarm water
250g flour
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons oil
¼ tsp baking powder
¾ cup double cream
100g milk chocolate
100g crunchy peanut butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
Vanilla Ice Cream
salted peanuts, roughly chopped to garnish

Method
Combine yeast, ¼ cup water, ¼ cup flour and 2 tablespoons of muscovado sugar in a jug and allow to rest until foamy and glorious, or about ten minutes. Once foamy, combine the yeast mixture in the bowl of a large stand mixer with the remaining water, flour and sugar and salt and oil. Knead using a dough hook for about five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and allow to prove in a warm area for a couple of hours.

Once the dough has doubled, remove it from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Flatten out, sprinkle with baking powder and knead by hand for five minutes or so,or until well combined. Roll the dough into a long dough and cut into 16 pieces, placing them on a lined baking tray to rest for ten minutes or so, or until puffed. Once they’re glorious, steam for about 8 minutes or until they’re cooked through.

While the buns are provin’ and steamin’, combine the cream, chocolate, peanut butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and cook over low heat until melted, combined and thick.

To serve, split the buns – my favourite pastime, FYI Michael – place a teaspoon of peanut fudge sauce on the bottom, followed by a scoop of ice cream, more fudge and freshly chopped nuts. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Vecepia Baowery

Main, Poultry, Street Food, Survivor: Marquesas

Just like the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, I’m about to be back, back, back, back, back again on a remote(ish) island in Fiji to cook-up some culinary commiserations for the 19 soon to be losers and 39 days, one sole survivor, of Survivor: Ghost Island. As has now become traditional, I am counting down to the premiere by spending time with past victors. And we’re kicking things off with one of my favourites – Vecepia Towery.

Now hold up – did I desperately want Kathy Vavrick-O’Brien to take out Marquesas? Without a doubt. But does that take away from the low-key brilliance that was Vecepia’s win, the likes of which we had never seen up until that point? No.

I mean, not even the kite flying challenge could diminish my love of the underrated Marquesas.

Not only did Vecepia land on the worst tribe in Survivor history at that point, but she overcame a three-seven disadvantage at the merge to lead (with Sean and Kathy, yes) the first ever shake-up in Survivor, rallying the minority to turn on the majority and overthrow the game. For that alone, you can’t count out Vecepia. Particularly when you take into account the journal she kept, that helped her snatch victory in the fallen comrades challenge.

Anyway, as you should probably have guessed by now, V is one of my dearest friends and I will defend her to the end of the earth. Knowing that, she was thrilled to answer my call and drop-by to honour the 36th season of the show … which Marquesas kind of set up to become what it is.

We laughed, we cried, we strategised about ways to get more people from early seasons brought back for returning player seasons and most importantly, we absolutely annihilated some four-weeks-to-go Vecepia Baowery.

 

 

I love me some bao buns. So, so, much. And these spicy little numbers do nothing to reduce said love. Spicy, sweet and a bun slathered in white creamy goodness? Perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Vecepia Baowery
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
5 garlic cloves, crushed
3cm piece ginger, sliced
3 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 long red chillies, chopped
½ cup Chinese rice wine
⅓ cup dark soy sauce
1L chicken stock
4 chicken thighs
½ cup rice flour
2 tsp Chinese five-spice
vegetable oil
8 buns and the cucumber from Bret LaBao Buns
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
small handful of coriander leaves, to taste
kewpie mayo, to taste

Method
Prep your buns and cucumber as per Bretty’s recipe.

Place the garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, chillies, rice wine, soy and stock in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, reducing heat to low when rollicking. Add the chicken and simmer for twenty minutes or so. Remove and allow to cool before cutting across the thigh into short 1 inch wide strips.

Combine the rice flour and five spice in a bowl and toss through the cooled pieces of chicken to coat. Place enough vegetable oil to fill a pot up to 1cm and place over a high heat. When shimmery and starting to get that weird dancing appearance, reduce heat to medium and add half the chicken, cooking for a couple of minutes – flipping once – until they’re gloriously crisp. Remove to a paper towel and repeat the process.

To assemble, spread open your buns, slather with some kewpie, top with cucumber, capsicum, chicken, more kewpie and some coriander. Devour immediately.

 

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Bret LaBao Buns

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X

Previously on Survivor, we opened the finale with Jay’s killer blindside. Or maybe it wasn’t, I’m still not sure if we were meant to know that the idol was fake and I can’t be bothered rewatching yet.

Not wanting to dwell on the last tribal too much, we arrived at the next immunity involving swimming, traversing a ball through some obstacles, hard poles – yay – and a puzzle, which terrified David on account of his questionable swimming ability.

Ken got out to an early lead thanks to his exquisite ball play, his wet torso glistening beautifully in the sun.  As he lay me down on the sand and leant gently beside me and ki … sorry, tangent.

Sadly Ken wasn’t kissing me, now was he as good with those hard poles – he’ll learn, I have faith – with Bret overtaking him and snatching the lead. Despite Bret’s lead, the rest of the castaways caught up allowing Ken to snatch individual immunity with one of Jeff’s favourite phrases to say to the millennials, “not a participation trophy.

Can we just pause here to enjoy how pretty Ken looks whenever Jeff gives him immunity?

The tribe arrived back at camp where Adam got Bret to run interference for him while he scoured the island for the hidden immunity idol. With Adam away, David went to Hannah and Ken to reconfirm their final three alliance and the plan to boot Adam.

Sadly for David, Adam was successful in finding the actual hidden immunity idol, at least I think … right now.

With Adam busy celebrating his find, David and Ken pulled Bret aside to get him to join the plan to boot Adam. Bret then went to Adam to let him know David and Ken’s plan, while Adam shared his idol secret with Bret and then shared his news with Hannah who announced that she was in control of the outcome at the next tribal council.

Which generally doesn’t bode well for the person that said that.

Vinegar, sorry Vinaka, arrived at tribal and discussed the hunt for the idols, before Bret – this time – sparred with David about their threat status’, statuses, stati?

Whatever the plural of status, Hannah did control the outcome of the tribal and made the worst possible move – at least from the viewers’ perspective – sending Bret out of the game in fifth place as the ninth juror.

Obviously I know Bret, given my love of beer, Boston, bars, bars in Boston and picking up cops who are trying to arrest me for drunk and disorderly behaviour after drinking too much beer in bars in Boston.

The love affair was brief but we remained friends ever since (and I will cherish splitting Ben & Jerry’s after sleeping together through Peter Pan Live!), meaning I knew there was only one thing I could make to dull his post boot pain – Bret LaBao Buns. Emphasis on buns, that foxy minx.

 

bret-labao-buns-1

 

I love pork buns more than life itself. I also love bao buns and David Chang (and The Bun Mobile as well), but i’ve always been scared to try making them at home myself (until Cumberbitch) … but the Momofuku recipe is easy and put my mind at ease.

So yes, this is not my recipe … but I put enough love into it to make Bret happy.

Enjoy!

 

bret-labao-buns-2

 

Bret LaBao Buns
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
hoisin sauce, to serve
sliced shallot, to serve
sriracha, to serve

Steamed buns
7g dry yeast
⅔ cup water, at room temperature
1 cup bread flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp kosher salt
pinch of baking powder
pinch of baking soda
30ml vegetable shortening

Pickled cucumbers
2 thick, juicy lebanese cucumbers, cut into thin disks
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp kosher salt

Pork
1.5kg slab skinless pork belly
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar

Method
To start, place the pork belly into a roasting pan. Combine the salt and sugar and rub all over the meat, erotically if you want but that is a bit weird. Cover in cling and allow to rest overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 225°C and discard any juices – or discharges if you will. Once the oven is piping hot, place the pork in the oven, fat side up and cook for an hour, basting with the rendering fat throughout.

While that is getting as hot as Bret, my husband and I were while Walken sang his heart out, combine the yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with the dough hook. Add the flour, sugar, milk powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and fat, and mix on the lowest speed possible, just above a stir, for 8–10 minutes. Once it has formed a nice, not-too-sticky ball, turn it out into a lightly lubricated bowl, cover with a wet tea towel and leave to prove in a warm, dry place for an hour or so.

Reduce the pork to 110°C and leave to cook for a further hour and a half, by which point it is tender, pillowy and glorious. Once that is done, remove from the oven, transfer to a plate and allow to rest.

Get back to the buns by punching back the dough. Turn it out onto a clean work surface and divide it in half, and half again and then each piece into three. Roll them into balls, cover in cling and allow to rest for half an hour.

While the dough is proving, prep the cucumbers by combining them in a small mixing bowl with the sugar and salt. Toss to coat and leave to rest – feel free to adjust the sugar and salt levels, to taste.

Then cut out 12 generous squares of baking paper and coat a chopstick in some shortening. When the balls are fully engorged, take them in your hand – and left turn – and flatten them into a long oval shape. Place the chopstick in the middle and fold over to make the bao bun, pulling the chopstick out the end to make the flaps nice and moist and place on the baking paper.

Yes – that sentence was deliberate.

Cover with cling and leave the buns to rest for half an hour.

While taking the final chance to prove themselves, cut the pork belly into 1cm thick slices.

When the buns have proven themselves, get a large pot with a steamer on the stove and bring just enough water to the boil. Working a couple at a time, place the buns in the steamer, cover and steam, for ten minutes or until puffed and beautiful.

To build the bun, place one on your plate, slather with hoisin, top with the pickles and a few slices of pork belly. Top with shallots and sriracha, and devour.

 

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