Madreas Wheeler Curry

Main, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Omar continued to take control of the post-merge game, quietly pulling Mike aside to warn him about Hai no longer having his back. All while Hai was gratefully reflecting on how close he and Mike had gotten in the game. After Lindsay won an overnight reward, she selected Omar and Mike to join her, giving Omar plenty of time to completely turn Mike against Hai. After Lindsay took out immunity, the tribe wanted to finally take a shot and get rid of Jonathan before he had the chance to go on an immunity run. Luckily for him, Omar’s mist proved too powerful as he swayed she tribe to blindside Hai instead.

Back at camp the tribe were thrilled to have come together for the blindside, and while Mike in particular was thrilled to get his revenge on Hai for playing him – which I repeat, did not happen – everyone just quietly added that yeah, yeah, it was good. That being said, Romeo was also particularly smug to have gotten rid of the only person that was targetting him, knowing that the underdogs are almost at the point where they can take control. While Lindsay was just thrilled that her and Drea’s amulets were now a steal a vote.

The next day things were far more chill as Drea was regaling everyone with tales, while Maryanne shocked them with the fact that she loses toenails at least twice a year. Which yeah, is wild but it is Maryanne, so I love her. And the fact that like Romeo, she is readying herself to take control and earn the win. Sadly for her, while she and Romeo talked about gaining power, the rest of the tribe hung on the beach bitching about Romeo and how they are going to get rid of him for doing absolutely nothing to help around camp. Instead snacking on leftover rice and jumping on board with any and all plans screw everyone else over. The beach crew then locked in a final five alliance and while it all looked kosher, Mike assured Omar that he still wants Drea gone as she is the biggest threat left in the game.

Which made Omar nervous, given Mike clearly is growing mad with power.

We then fast forwarded to day 20, with Jonathan opening up abut how exhausted he is while simultaneously wanting everyone to appreciate how much he is sacrificing by not eating more than them but not wanting people to see it, as it is his game plan. He went down to shore to help the tribe fish while Drea told him to help more, leading to them both fighting due to their hanger. While he tried to explain himself to Lindsay and Omar, Lindsay took that back to Drea, Romeo and Maryanne, telling them that she is ready to take him out given he is quite bossy. And to us, shared that his bossiness is becoming dangerously close to ruining her game.

Right on cue, the tribe caught up with Probst for the immunity challenge, once again featuring the Do or Die twist. After explaining how it worked, only Lindsay and Jonathan opted to compete in the challenge where they would stand on a beam and balance as they hold onto handles behind their heads. Last person standing winning immunity, the other facing off with the game of chance. And while Joanthan spent most of the challenge shaking uncontrollably, Lindsay dropped out of nowhere after 12 minutes, handing Jonathan immunity and leaving her place in the game up to fate.

Back at camp Lindsay was regretting her choice to compete in the challenge, with her opening up about her fighting, athletic spirit from childhood. Omar and Maryanne were feeling just as emotional about potentially losing Lindsay too soon, and as such, tried to perk her back up. Drea and Jonathan meanwhile were not bothered about Lindsay potentially going home, partiularly the former who was excited by the prospect of her amulet becoming an idol. To go with her knowledge is power advantage AND extra vote.

Mike meanwhile was the only one focused on the possibility of Lindsay surviving, as such telling Drea that they will just vote out Romeo while rallying everyone else to blindside Drea as their biggest threat. As he caught up with Jonathan and Omar, the latter became keen to vote out Mike instead, though admitted that Drea is just as much of a threat. As he caught up with Drea to float the idea, Drea assured him that Mike’s idol would not be an issue for them, given she has the power to steal it and while they were both giddy about the plan, I’m still worried things will fall apart. Sadly for her, Omar shared everything with Lindsay and the duo realised they could protect Mike by hanging onto the idol for him, neutering both of their advantages and getting rid of either person.

At tribal council Jonathan shared that he competed for immunity because he knows he will now always be a target, while Lindsay admitted that she was blinded by her competitiveness. Mike spoke about how much he admires both of them, while Maryanne reminded her to always keep that competitive edge. Omar meanwhile was happy he sat out, while Maryanne opened up about the varied ways that people communicate while scrambling. Drea meanwhile spoke about her passion for observing literally everyone and everything around camp. Talk turned to the many ways you can miscommunicate around camp with Omar pointing out that there is a time when people need to stop talking, lest they shoot themselves in the foot.

With that, Probst set up the Do or Die boxes and called Lindsay over to the table where she confidently selected the middle box. Probst opened one of the other boxes, revealling a skull before Probst offered her one final chance to swap. With her thankfully sticking to her guns and earning herself immunity. As she returned to her seat, she opened up about how excited she was to evade death and just as Probst was about to send them off to vote, Drea stopped proceedings and asked Mike for his idol with her Knowledge is Power advantage. Sadly for her however, Mike had passed off his idol to Omar before tribal council for safe keeping and as such, Omar successfully neutralised both powers.

With that the tribe finally voted – Drea twice as she used up her extra vote – as the tribe banded together to blindside Drea from the game (well together minus Romeo). Officially turning Lindsay’s amulet into an idol in the process. Drea was delightful and giddy as she exited, praising everyone for being lovely and well, it was so damn wholesome.

She kept that charm up as she entered Ponderosa, pulling me in for a massive hug and sharing how grateful she was that I was on hand to provide her with the culinary comfort I so often provide. And by so often, every week. In return, I praised her for being such a dominant force throughout the season and racking up advantages like it was nothing. As is oft the case, being a dominant force tragically ended up being her downfall however. Meaning I could only toast that success with a big bowl of Madreas Wheeler Curry.

Maybe it is the fact it has been cold and rainy the last few weeks, but there is nothing more smoothing than a rich and earthy madras curry. Packed full of spices, with a light, lingering heat, this is the perfect way to eat your feels.

Enjoy!

Madreas Wheeler Curry
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 bird’s eye chillis
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp ginger, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 onion, sliced
12 curry leaves
3 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
2kg lamb shoulder, diced
400g diced tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
1 tsp tamarind paste
rice and raita, to serve

Method
Start by grinding the coriander, fenugreek, mustard seeds, cumin, fennel and pepper in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Transfer to food processor or blender, and mix with the cinnamon, clove, chilli, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until it forms a paste. Transfer to a bowl and stir through the turmeric, because it will stain.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and cook the onion for five minutes or until soft and sweet. Add the curry paste, along with the curry leaves, cardamom and bay leaves, and cook for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant. Stir through the lamb and cook for another couple of minutes to coat.

Stir in the tomatoes, stock and taramrind paste, season and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring infrequently for about an hour, or until the lamb is cooked through.

Serve with rice, some raita and devour, greedily.


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Sichuanyx Chilli Oil

Condiment, Dip, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls starred in los Javis’ neauvo rusical Holy Drag Camp! And well, while we literally saw the entire show, the quality held up and I kept my complaining to a minimum. Despite having a killer voice, Juriji struggled while Jota disappeared into the background as her sisters shone. Oh and Onyx was just there, but given her character was a painting, there wasn’t much she could actually do to stand out. While Sharonne continued to deliver killer performances, it was Estrella who was rewarded for killing each week as she took out her first victory of the season. Juriji and Jota landed in the bottom too and while Jota put everything on the line, Juriji absolutely slayed the lip sync, saved herself and sent sweet, young Jota packing. 

Backstage Diamante couldn’t give a shit to have lost their youngest sister, while Juriji paid tribute to Jota’s bravery and how talented she is at such a young age. Despite not lip syncing, Onyx was disappointed to have received negative critiques from the judges, while Sharonne desperately tried to remind them how talented both the bottom queens are. While Diamente, again, just wanted Juriji to wake up and put up, though was hopeful lip syncing was the push she needed. Everyone pivoted to praising Estrella on her well deserved win, before Diamante gave them all one final wake up Pearl moment, which is a pretty confident thing to do for safe.

They then all made out and snuggled and yeah, my basement was and continues to be, flooded.

The next day the dolls were doing their best animal impersonations, which is a vibe, before speculating what challenge they would be facing this week. Supremme soon arrived to put them out of their misery by immediately throwing them into this week’s Mini Challenge where they would have to recite poetry in front of a big fan. More importantly, the Pit Crew arrived in mesh underwear, so obviously I stopped paying attention on anything else. After they all hornily reached into the Pit Crew’s sacks to grab a poem, they had 20 minutes to merrorise the poem and get into some quick drag before the Pit Crew wheeled out said fan to blow on their face while they recited their erotic poetry.

As is oft the case when the Pit Crew around, we all proved to be winners, though apparently it was Onyx that took out victory for keeping her dignity, winning a huge haul of sex toys.

Supremme then dropped the big news though, as the dolls learned that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be playing Snatch Game! The dolls quickly split up to start prepping their looks before Supremme dropped by to learn who everyone would be playing with Diamante hilariously doing wrestling mask RuPaul – don’t get this franchise cancelled, Diamante! – Marina will be playing Antonia Dell’atte, Onyx shared she would be doing Jauna de Loca or Valencia’s neighbour, which got a big reaction from Jruiji, given the latter is her number one choice. Sharonne will be playing Veronica Forque – who died after the show was shot, thus her receiving a tribute at the top of the episode – while Drag Sethlas will be Carmen Lomana, Estrella meanwhile was playing Paquita Salas and Venedita will be Miguel Bose.

We quickly pivoted to set where Jedet and Eva Hache were lined up to star as guests, and while it is always harder to get the references in foreign franchises, it was clear that Sharonne and Juriji were slaying the game. While Onyx was well and truly bombing, alongside Diamante, who made RuPaul as proud as Trixie before her. And while the rattlesnake noise tells me she was bombing, I lived for Drag Sethlas vocal fry as Carmen Lomana. Oh and Venedita’s wackadoo, anti-vaxxer was hilarious in a way that transcended language.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with Diamante terrified about landing in the bottom, while the dolls were proud of how funny Juriji proved to be. They then split up to get prepped for the runway and for some of them, hopefully save themselves from their terrible performances. Onyx opened up to Juriji and Drag Sethlas about her depression and the struggle to accept her weirdness as her strength. Marina and Estrella joined the conversation, talking about how great it is that they can all be themselves and are celebrated for it and ugh, again, they are all too sweet.

Supremme, Ana, y los Javis were joined on the panel by Goya winning actress, Maria Leon for the Spanish Dolls runway where Marina opened the show as a neon, plastic disco delight and damn, she looked good. Diamante was a voodoo ragdoll, Sethlas went nude, serving genderless Barbie realness, while Onyx was perfection as a porcelain doll. Sharonne was serving perfect face as a pillow doll before revealing herself as Teela from Masters of the Universe. Juiji was a glam, goth porcelain doll, Venedita was perfection as a Matador souvenir doll, while Estrella was a creepy, crazed paper doll before revealing herself to be a sexy blow-up doll.

Ultimately Marina was sent to safety alongside Estrella before the judges read Diamante for being terrible in Snatch Game, which is something she freely agreed with. The judges wished Sethlas chose her other Snatch Game option, before Onyx was read for being completely stuck in her head, though they loved her runway. Sharonne once again received universal praise for everything she did this week, particularly for nailing the characterisation of Veronica. Juriji too received universal praise, with the added bonus being that she surprised the judges with how good she was. Oh and they lived for everything that Venedita did this week too.

Backstage the safe dolls were busy chatting away when the tops and bottoms joined them to talk things through, with Diamante sure that she would lip syncing. While Sharonne admitted the choice between Sethlas and Onyx joining her is a tough one, with both sure it would be them. Juriji meanwhile was proud to show off her skills while the dolls questioned if there was anything Venedita can’t do!

Despite Juriji and Venedita giving very strong performances, it was Sharonne who took out her second win of the season. At the other end of the pack, Sethlas narrowly avoided the bottom leaving Diamante and Onyx to lip sync for their lives. As soon as Arrasando by Thalia kicked off, both the dolls went off. They hit every lyric and danced around stage and while Diamante gave the more traditional, ballroom-style lip sync, I was living for Onyx’s silliness and campy moves and as such, I was absolutely heartbroken when she was told to sashay away.

Like Onyx, I am riddled with self-doubt and each day is a struggle to self acceptance so when we met up backstage, I quickly pulled her in for a massive hug. I mean, yeah, I also find Onyx ridiculously attractive, so the hug was just as good for me as it was for her, but I knew she needed to remember that she is talented, loved and to know other people could see it. And while it may not seem like it, I feel my Sichuanyx Chilli Oil truly proved it to her.

As hot and spicy as Onyx herself, this oil packs such a deep, earthy punch. Perfect for dipping, drizzling and in a state of disappointment, I guess, drinking, the oil’s warmth carries on long after it passes your lips and acts as a delicious hug for everything that passes. Food wise, obvi, because it is spicy.

Enjoy!

Sichuanyx Chilli Oil
Makes: 1 ½ cups.

Ingredients
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
4 star anise
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt

Method
Pop the vegetable oil, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves and Sichuan peppercorns in a saucepan over low heat. Cook for about half an hour, or until lightly fragranced. Crank the heat to high and cook for a a couple of minutes before removing from the heat.

Combine the chilli flakes and powder, and salt in a bowl and strain the oil over to combine. Stir and leave to infuse for a couple of hours before serving. Or devouring.


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Gigantes Swati Goel

Breakfast, Main, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, mother nature proved quite the spoiler in the immunity challenge and while Taku were able to dominate and quickly earn their immunity, the other tribes weren’t so lucky. Mainly because they didn’t have a Jonathan who absolutely beasted his way through the challenge, keeping his tribe from drowning and single handedly finishing said challenge. After resetting the challenge and skipping over the water section, Vati lost and despite knowing her alliance was already down a vote, Chanelle decided to risk hers at the summit. Which obviously meant she lost hers too, leading to a deadlock vote between Lydia and Jenny, before Daniel’s fear doomed not only his alliance with Chanelle – after throwing her under the bus over and over – but sent the iconic Jenny from the game.

Back at camp Daniel realised how badly he cooked things but instead of immediately apologising, he requested the tribe ignore everything for the moment and instead talk it through in the morning. Chanelle meanwhile did not want to wait, calling him out for completely throwing him under the bus though admitted to us that getting rid of Lydia was totally her idea. She then continued her revenge bus-throwing, telling Mike that Daniel told her he didn’t have a vote because of his idol. While Hai summed it up succinctly explaining that everyone in the tribe blindsided him except for Lydia, who is only here because Daniel stupidly told him that he desperately didn’t want to go to rocks, meaning all Hai had to do was hold firm. Hai then pulled Mike aside and the duo apologised to each other and vowed to work together now that Daniel is persona non-grata. While the same can not be said about Mike and Daniel as Mike parented him by explaining how disappointed in him that he was.

Jeffrey arrived first thing the next day as the tribes lined up for a reward challenge where they would each have to untangle themselves from a rope, hook a sled of balls and then shoot some hoops for a feast of fish. Which they obviously have to clean and cook themselves in this new era of Survivor. Taku got out to an early lead which was obviously only extended, given they have Jonathan on their tribe. Maryanne quickly shot her first basket, followed by Omar on his second try before Jonathan and Lindsay secured reward before anyone else even came close to finishing. Sadly though, Jonathan explained that they keep dominating because they’re such a tight four which obviously painted a target on all their backs. Despite the fact Tori called Jonathan out for carrying his tribe. Which seems like a bad idea for her game too, but whatever.

Taku returned to camp and was delighted by just how massive their fish were before Maryanne and Omar told Jonathan that he shouldn’t have outed how tight they are. Though given he is so indispensable, he doesn’t really have to worry. Jonathan opened up to Lindsay about how he hated Tori calling him out for being so strong, though he did try to look on the bright side about how it now means everyone knows that he is the ultimate shield. He then told us how playing Survivor has always been a dream of his and how he is working so hard so that his tribe knows that he is playing a selfless game to lessen his threat level. Given it is a bad idea to boot someone who is straight up keeping you alive. Well, bad idea to boot them early.

Meanwhile over at Ika, Romeo was busy building a fire while Rocksroy barked orders to him about how best to do things. Which made Romeo more and more annoyed by him. Swati and Tori caught up with Swati floating the idea of getting rid of Drea and her extra vote so that they could take a power position. Sadly though, Tori had no interest in working with Rocksroy and he was essentially their only option to take control. Despite hating him, Tori caught up with Rocksroy to form a bond though given she thinks he is a narcissist, she has no interest and this isn’t going to end well. She continued to push through her reservations, telling Rocksroy about Drea’s extra vote to build trust. Which he immediately broke, going straight to Drea to out her for sharing said information and essentially making everyone turn on her.

The tribe rejoined with Jeff over the water for the latest immunity challenge where after Maryanne once again told her tale of the bunny rabbit eating dinner in the mailbox, they would race out to a tower, climb said tower to release keys before unlocking puzzle pieces. And solving said puzzles. While yeah, yeah Taku got out to an early lead, the most important part of the challenge was who took Monika Radulovic’s mantle as the belly flopping icon with Lydia missing her key multiple times though thankfully she did not crack her gut . As Taku whipped through the puzzle, Ika struggled, allowing Vati to catch up with Chanelle powering along and taking out the second immunity, sending Ika back to tribal council.

Back at camp Rocksroy was growing more and more frustrated by the tribe’s inability to win, though he was very much looking forward to getting rid of Tori. Meanwhile Tori was catching up with Romeo, who told him that Swati told her that everyone but her was aligned and as such, Tori felt she could only work with Swati. This pissed off Romeo who went to Drea to float the idea of getting rid of Swati instead. Particularly since she straight up told everyone that they were her number one. Tori included, who they next caught up with to officially lock in the vote to get rid of her instead. Swati grew nervous and caught up with Romeo and then when he didn’t make her feel any better, she approached Drea to try and clear the air. And while Tori’s story sounded more plausible, Drea felt like neither she nor Swati were really good for her game and as such, she wasn’t sure who to prioritise getting rid of first.

At tribal council Drea wasn’t really sure how to articulate the general vibe of the tribe, while Tori straight up called it a mess but was hopeful that voting out the messy one will help bring them together. Swati tried to talk around in circles and play coy about Tori trying to blindside Drea before Tori jumped in and told her she was projecting and that Swati had been trying to get rid of Drea from the first tribal council. Drea meanwhile was frustrated to always have her name on the block despite wanting to bring everyone together while Swati grew more and more nervous, telling the tribe that getting rid of Tori will fix all of the tribe’s problems. With Romeo agreeing that getting rid of the person the majority wanted to vote out would bring them together. Rocksroy jumped in to praise Swati for putting herself out there despite her insecurities. Which appeared to be the kiss of death as after playing her shot in the dark and not gaining safety, she was booted from the tribe. While her sole remaining ally Rocksroy looked on, enraged.

Sweet Swati was pretty chill and accepting as she entered Loser Lodge, despite her obvious disappointment. While everything seemed to be going well early on in the game, Swati’s multiple deals unravelled everything. Along with Tori taking advantage of it, which was something she and Zach were able to bond over. That and a piping hot bowl of Gigantes Swati Goel.

I know, I know – beans aren’t usually the most exciting of meals, but these are an oh so delicious exception. Smooth, sweet and packing a little bit of spice, these are a perfect mid-week dinner or a delicious winter breakfast. Essentially, get amongst them.

Enjoy!

Gigantes Swati Goel
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 tsp chilli flakes
800g can diced tomatoes
400g can butter beans
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
⅓ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
100g feta, crumbled, for serving

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and cook the onion and bacon together for five minutes. Or until golden and sweet. Add the garlic, carrot and chilli and cook for a further few minutes or until starting to soften.

Stir in the tomatoes, butter beans, tomato paste and bay leaves with half a cup of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley, red wine vinegar and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with a heaping of feta and devour. Soothingly.


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Birriana Goodchild

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 new castaways were dropped into the middle of the lush, Australian bushland. While they entered the game as 12 pairs, Jonathan quickly split them up to form two tribes of individuals. Each had to face off in the first reward challenge where Nina beat her mother – Queen Sandra – to secure reward for her tribe. The Water tribe however bombed the following immunity challenge, while a poor, injured Alex looked on from the sidelines. Back at camp, Andy quickly suggested everyone should band together to get rid of him, however Nina had other ideas as she effortlessly rallied the tribe against Andy. At tribal, Shayelle and Briana were beaten to the idol by Chrissy which was ultimately pointless given Andy was booted anyway.

The next day Shayelle was worried about how her partner Ben was faring over on the other tribe, so focused her energy on leading the tribe in some yoga as a distraction. Because she is an actual yogi, rather than a Henry yogi. While everyone was living for her calming energy, Chrissy was more focused on the fact she was a goddess and instead decided she would try and beef her up in the jungle.

Meanwhile over at the Blood tribe, Sophie was struggling with the heat and completely shocked by life in the jungle. We then learnt that the tribe had still not gotten fire which is quite a concern on Day 3. Thankfully, Briana’s dad Dave finally got a flame as everyone gathered around to block the wind, which instantly changed everyone’s mood as they sat down to a pot of rice. Sophie caught up with Sandra, sharing that a bunch of people would love to learn from her while they are here which made Sandra feel mildly more relaxed about her standing. Though Sophie knew that as great as having Sandra is, she is always a threat. Which should in turn make her nervous. The tribe ventured to the well, worried about who had been voted out at the last tribal council with Kate already having a bad feeling it was Andy. While Sandra warned us that should Nina be voted out, she will be coming for anyone and everyone like the Hulk.

Speaking of Nina she was busy knocking up a washing line on the Water Tribe before they all lazed under the shelter to enjoy some shade. That is, until some of the logs started to snap and they had to rebuild the entire structure. Nina shared that while her mum prepared her for life in the game, she is wanting to play her own game and opened up to her allies that Andy being so keen to be in the presence of her mum is part of what made her nervous about him. Tragically though, while she was vibing on Mark, Alex and Jordie, she was unsure how to feel about Khanh, which is essentially my dream alliance. Particularly as Briana got in her ear talking about how threatening he is.

While that makes me nervous, given the fact that Chrissy is out for Briana’s blood after the way she treated her at the last tribal council, I am hopeful Chrissy will get her revenge before I lose my love Khanh.

Briana meanwhile was living her best life, loving her in-game bestie Shayelle and thinking she is a boss. We learnt a bit more about her, which essentially was that she rollerskates, wears rainbow stripes and is fun. Which is all you need to know – I mean, after the last two years, I’ll take an eternal optimist to bring up my mood! Thankfully, she is self-aware to know her performance at tribal council could be a problem for her game so approached Chrissy in the water to apologise to her and clear the air. And while I thought it was going to be a good thing, her apology was essentially, the game has started and as such, Chrissy was even more annoyed by how intense she is.

The tribes joined Jonathan by a river where poor Kate was heartbroken to see her big brother Andy had indeed been voted out and ugh, watching her hold back tears was heartbreaking. Until she shaded the Water tribe, pointing out he is weirdly good at both puzzles and throwing things and as such, they just made it easier for her tribe to win challenges. Speaking of which, today’s would see people from each tribe racing to climb out of a large, net cube before jumping off and grabbing a flag to secure a point. First to four winning fishing gear and comfort items.

Once again, Sandra refused to sit out of the challenge with Sam taking her place on the sit out bench as Croc and Jesse faced off against her husband Mark and Khanh. And damn, Khanh was a beast as he battled Jesse, climbed out and scored the first point for Water. Kate and Sophie then fought off Nina and Briana and damn, was it a fight as they all scraped and yanked at each other before Nina broke free and snatched another point for the Water tribe. Leading to Sandra apologising to Kate for her daughter’s behaviour.

We then had Mark introduce Khanh to Sam as his boyfriend and just like that, my basement is flooded. I mean, Mark and Sam are so relaxed and fun this year, and I’m living for it!

Up next were Shay and Chrissy fighting Sandra and Amy, with Shay single handedly fighting everyone off and taking out another point for Water. That meant KJ and Khanh faced off against David and Michelle for victory, where David literally tried to rip off Khanh’s shorts who nearly gave full Sugar, before pulling up his pants and securing the win for his tribe. Given this is Blood V Water, Jonathan gave them the opportunity to share their spoils with the other tribe with Water quickly opting to give their loved ones some comfort items while they hung on to the fishing gear.

Back at camp the Water tribe were thrilled by how well they performed in the reward challenge. Well, for a split second before Briana held on to the tackle box with a vice grip to hunt for an idol clue in front of all of the tribe. While she thought she was super smooth and bubbly about it, she was well and truly putting everyone off side as Khanh complained about her intensity. And vowed to keep how at risk she is from her so she continues to annoy the tribe until they boot her from the game.

Meanwhile the Blood tribe were grateful to have been given their comfort items, none more so than Kate who was still heartbroken to have lost Andy. As she walked off to clear her mind, Michelle joined her to make sure she was ok. As they wandered chatting and looking for firewood, Kate spotted Ben, Sophie, Amy, Jordan and Sam plotting by the well, suggesting that if Andy is cutthroat, it is likely Kate is too and as such, they need to keep an eye on her. We then learnt more about Sam who promised us that she has learnt from the mistakes from her first game, vowing to be less anxious and more observant. Oh and she and Mark just want to get to the merge so they can reunite and run the game to the end like Rob and Amber before them.

Back with the rest of the tribe, Croc was asking Sandra about whether there is a point in the game where everyone just loses their mind, with her wisely explaining how everyone gets paranoid at different times and you just need to be agile. Sadly for Croc though, while he was learning from the great, Sam and Sophie are already suggesting he can’t get to the merge and as such, he won’t last long enough to find out more.

The tribes reconvened with Jonathan for the immunity challenge where they would have to drag three barrels over hurdles before grabbing three more barrels, which they thenhad to navigate through a path and up to the top of a platform before rolling them down to knock vases off a series of poles. After Sophie took her place on the bench – Sandra wisely choosing to keep performing in the challenges – both tribes made their way to the second trio of barrels neck and neck. While Water had the slightest of leads, Croc’s leadership, and honestly brute strength, was enough to see them close the gap. Wait, no, Water pulled away again and then knocked over their first vase before Blood even joined the fray. Eventually Blood started rolling too, quickly tying things up as both tribes knocked off their second vases in quick succession. Before Jesse calmly knocked off Blood’s third and secured immunity for the tribe.

Back at camp Briana was ready to cause a little bit of chaos in the hope of saving her game, while Chrissy shared that she is feeling like a hot mess. She admitted to KJ and Mark that she is feeling very nervous, with Mark emphatically telling her not to worry. Chrissy then caught up with Mel, Jordie and Josh to lock in the vote for Briana, knowing that she has been playing too hard too fast and as such they need to take her out. Chrissy assured them that she watched Briana like a hawk yesterday but reminded them that somebody needs to watch her today to make sure she doesn’t find an idol and ruin any plans.

Oh and Chrissy shared she is aligned with KJ, Mark, Mel, Jordie, Josh and Khanh and ugh, why is Nina not included in this majority?!

Speaking of Nina, Briana pulled her and Alex aside to float going after Chrissy which they obviously agreed to. As Briana went person to person to woo them to her side, she got absolutely nothing and as such, grew more and more paranoid. She and Shayelle then went hunting for the idol, leading to the rest of the tribe sending out a search party, arriving just in time to see Shay unhook a hidden immunity idol from the top of a tree. As Briana ran to her to celebrate the moment and I assume, her safety.

While King Khanh threatened to steal it before making the real boss move of picking it up from the ground and handing it to Shay, reminding her it is hers and hers only. In front of everyone. After Briana went back to camp, Khanh and Nina got into Shayelle’s ear and told her that Briana was totally planning to steal the idol from her which is why he jumped in to give it to her. Sadly, the drama only made Shayelle more confused about tribal council given she will clearly either be sending her ally Briana home or instead Chrissy, who brings good vibes to the tribe.

At tribal council Alex opened up about how shocked he was to survive his first tribal council, though he shared how grateful he was, given he feels much better. Josh spoke about how that speaks to their desire for a cohesive tribe rather than tossing him aside at the first sign of injury, which immediately made Briana talk about how much she loves everyone. Though she did admit that she is closest to Shay. As Briana spoke about hoping the tribe valued her, Chrissy said that everyone should be expecting their name to come up and as such, she is nervous. Jordie said that everyone is performing in challenges, so like Josh, his vote would be based on keeping the tribe harmonious. 

Chrissy suggested she would have received more votes at the last tribal council if she didn’t find the idol. Mark suggested that this tribal council would be pretty logical and not problematic while Briana assured her allies that she trusts everyone she spoke with (like Andy last tribal, uh oh). Chrissy agreed she could trust her people though wasn’t exactly sure she trusts the plan. Briana then started whispering to Shay to vote for Chrissy before Khanh spoke about being close to a few people, which made Briana more and more nervous. Despite being confident earlier, Briana started to spiral before trying to pull it together. And then immediately threatened the tribe that she was ready to do something crazy.

With that, the tribe voted and nothing crazy happened as the tribe banded together to boot Briana from the game. Well except for Mark who threw a vote on Chrissy, ideally to paint a target on Shay though I feel he is way too nice and was just covering bases in case an idol was played.

But I’ve digressed. Like Andy yesterday, seeing Briana arrive in Loser Lodge was quite triggering because I see a lot of myself in her. I’m a little bit too much and when backed into a corner, try too hard to win people back despite it being the last thing people want. While Bri was disappointed to be out of the game, she was already hopeful to come back, learn from her mistakes and take out the win – which honestly, is the kind of energy the world needs right now. As such, I served up a big bowl of Birriana Goodchild and vowed to send all the good vibes for her second go.

Don’t let the looks fool you! While birria may appear to be a boring old stew, it is actually a feisty bowl of flavour and goodness. Which like Bri, is just what the world needs more off.

Enjoy!

Birriana Goodchild
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
5 dried guajillo chillies
4 dried ancho chillies
4 dried chiles de arbol
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
400g tinned crushed tomatoes
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
1.2kg beef chuck, cut into a large dice
salt and pepper, to taste
1 onion, diced
1L beef stock
2 sprigs thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon cloves

Method
Place the chillies in a bowl and top with freshly boiled water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes before removing the stems and seeds. Combine the soft chillies with the apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin and 3 cups of the chilli water in a blender and blitz until smooth. Leave aside.

Preheat the oven to 150ºC.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, season the chunks of beef and sear a few pieces at a time, until browned and caramelised on the outside. Remove to rest on a plate and repeat the process until done.

Return the beef back to the pot and top with the chilli mixture, onion, stock, bay leaves, thyme, cinnamon and cloves. Stir and bring to the boil before covering and popping in the oven to cook for about 3 hours, or until juicy and tender.

Remove from the oven and remove the visible bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves – or play it fast and loose like me and eat around the cloves. Serve immediately and devour, glad to have played the game.


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Lamb Sharnk Coombes Pies

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, Pie, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Final Three arrived at the final immunity challenge, ready to face a no doubt brutal and traumatic bout of endurance to win their way to the final tribal council. Though not before their loved ones were wheeled out to make us all cry. While it was sweet to see everyone soften at the sight of their families, reminded of what they are playing for, Moana wins best family thanks to the iconic one-two punch of Queen Vinnie who is pure joy and love personified and her sweet wife Isabella. Tragically though, Moana was the first to fall out of the challenge and after David eventually took out the final victory, she was sent to become the final juror of the season.

The final two awoke on Day 50, shocked to have made it all the way to the end while Dave was still feeling guilty about having to blindside his friend Mo. Despite it not really being a blindside since she was one of two options. In any event, David reiterated how much he wants to win before listing his entire resume and hot damn, this is going to be a complete and utter blow-out, isn’t it? I mean, I forgot about the fire from scratch thing it was that long ago.

As they settled in for their final breakfast and mimosas – treat yo’ ‘self – by the shore, Sharn told us how big of a mistake Dave made by taking her to the end, given she is the first and only player in Australian Survivor to make it to 100 days in the game. Which yeah, it is super impressive. She spoke about how hard the first loss was on her and she assured us that she had a fire in her belly and was not going to lose again. And oh Sharn, I am starting to feel bad about you losing again.

At tribal council Sharn kicked things off with her opening statement, reminding them that she is the only person to have played 100 days in the game and the only one in their season that has never had their torch snuffed. She said that after the winners were booted first, she knew that runner-ups would be targeted soon after and as such, she kept things quiet. She highlighted that she played both sides all season, told them that not going to rocks was a huge move and her plan as the puppet-master was to ride the Golden God before turning him into her golden ticket. And well, it all just felt a little bit too staged no?

David followed that up with a super sweet, relatable speech, fanning over the jury and charming the shit out of everyone. He admitted to being the mole, he told them how he found his idols – playing Phoebe in the process – blindsided Locky out of a necessity, voted Harry out because he wanted more days played than him before switching tacts and apologising for voting out Tarzan because he loves him, but loves his family more.  Oh and then he welled up talking about how much of a beast Brooke was and how much he loved Mo. Hell, is Sharn going to vote for him too?

Things turned over to the jury, with Locky asking Dave why his desire for a big game disappeared at the merge and he started to hide in a big alliance. Dave explained that being the Golden God got him to tenth last time, and as such he had to pull his head in if he wanted to make it to the end. Shonee then savaged Sharn by asking why she would bother voting for Sharn this time, when she didn’t the last time she was in this situation. Sharn spoke about how well she played this time and built up the alliance that dominated the merge, but didn’t really add anything else. A.K. spoke about the fact Sharn talked him out of going to rocks, and suggested that she can pick rocks for a chance to win his vote. Or leave it up to her game alone and damn, Sharn, the fact Zach laughed should tell you everything about the lack of votes coming your way.

After what felt like an eternity, Sharn opted to back herself and her game and as such, lost another vote.

Brooke decided to add some messiness to the proceedings, asking Dave why Sharn doesn’t deserve to win. Ignoring the question, he spoke about how he was the idol whisperer of the season before circling to the point, I think, by saying his relationships are what brought him to the end. Harry dragged Sharn for constantly pretending to be in alliances with people and pretending she was going to flip and while she tried to highlight it as good gameplay, Brooke reminded her that she burnt a lot of people in the process and as such, she was too focused on going to the end, rather than winning.

Oh and then Tarzan reminded Sharn that she told him to vote Mo in the near-rock tribal and while she tried to pretend that she was testing Tarzan’s loyalty, he thankfully pushed and said it wasn’t a test because if he did, Moana would have gone. This pissed off Moana who joined Tarzan in dragging her and while Sharn tried to dance around it and said it turned out to be her biggest move, Mo pointed out it was actually just her doing nothing. Harry then told her to keep telling herself that – slay – before Moana pointed out that Dave voting her out proved him to be weak, given he preached non-stop of competing against the best. She then asked the boldest question, asking whether he felt she played the bigger game. David expertly praised her and her game, apologising for ruining her dreams, reminding her that taking her to the end weakened his chances and ultimately they are playing for the title of SOLE survivor.

Dave then listed why everyone played killer games, praising them for their moves which is the exact reason why he made sure they all ended up on the jury. I mean, hot damn – that is a Todd Herzog level tribal council performance!

With that speech sealing the deal, the jury voted and then because of COVID-19, we awkwardly got to experience the single weirdest winner reveal of all time – potentially until Winners at War, I guess – as Andrew G was wheeled out to talk to Jonathan who was trapped in the US because of travel restrictions, before he tallied re-written votes in the US … which ultimately crowned David the winner of the game. Much to poor Sharn and her family’s bitter disappointment via satellite from their lounge room.

Tragically poor Sharn’s biggest fears came to a reality and while once again she came second, she does hold a tonne of records which prove her to be one of our best players. Despite how messy her second game may have been as her fears started to play on her mind. As such, I am so glad I was able to be on hand to once again provide her culinary comfort with a hearty batch of Lamb Sharnk Coombes Pies!

Now lamb shanks and I have a complicated past. I mean, despite what you may think, I’m not a fan of sucking meat off a bone (well, in the kitchen). But in pie form? Sign me up! Earthy, rich and encased in a gorgeously buttery pastry, there is no better may to eat your feelings.

Enjoy!

Lamb Sharnk Coombes Pies
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 lamb shanks
2 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, finely sliced
4 celery stalks, finely sliced
2 onions, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 ½ cup red wine
1 ½ cup beef stock
6 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
2 bay leaves
2-4 sheets shortcrust pastry
1 egg, beaten lightly
2 sheets butter puff pastry

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss through the shanks to coat. Heat a good lug of the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and add the shanks, cooking for five minutes or until nice and caramelised on the outside. Transfer to a plate to rest.

Add the remaining oil to the dutch onion and saute the carrot, celery, onion and garlic for five minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the tomato paste and cook for a further minute. Repeat the process with the wine, followed by the stock before adding the thyme, bay leaves and shanks to the pan, covering and popping in the oven to cook for 2 ½-3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bone.

Once cooked, remove from the oven – leaving it on – and carefully remove the meat from the bone and roughly chop into largish chunks. Return the meat to the pan, remove the bay leaves and cook over medium heat until the sauce has reduced. 

To assemble, line 8 individual pie dishes with a square of shortcrust pastry to fit the mould. Line each and fill with some baking weights. Pop them on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to cook for ten minutes, or until the pastry is starting to cook. Remove from the oven and remove the baking paper and weight combo.

Fill each dish with some of the shank mixture and brush around the rim of each dish with some egg, followed by closing with the puff pastry and cutting a little slit into the top. Brush the pie tops with more egg and transfer to the oven to bake for about half an hour, or until golden and puffed.

Then devour.


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Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles awaiting my dear Sarah Ayles to eat while I rant about Andy surviving.

Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Jonathan threw a spanner in all of the works, forcing everyone to drop their buffs – sadly not John’s speedos, though – and switched up the tribes. The three Champion women lucked out and stayed strong together in a Champ majority on the new Contenders tribe, while David and Luke were royally screwed as the only OG Champs remaining on the Champions tribe. Oh and Daisy and Shaun’s alliance was also split up, though that only became relevant after the new Champions continued in the tradition and lost immunity. You see Shaun had told Andy about his idol, who then spread the information to the rest of the Contenders on the Champions tribe, with Daisy overhearing and deciding that he is no longer to be trusted. With that, she approached  John and Baden to flip to David and Luke with her and blindside Sam – who never got a freaking confessional – which they did, leaving the OG Champs alive for another episode with an idol in each of their pockets.

We opened up with at the new Contenders tribe where Abbey, Ross and Pia were still lamenting the downgrade of facilities from what they were useful at Camp Champ. While the girls struggled in the squalor, sweet angel Ross tried to find the bright side and honestly he is too pure for this world. I just get the goofiest grin whenever he is on screen and I hope he knows how much I appreciate him.The tribe sat around bonding and downing coconuts, while Janine was thrilled to have the majority on her new tribe. Though was struggling big time when it came to remembering Casey’s name. Or was it Cassie. Talk then legit turned to eating Harry, despite his fake child at home. Pia’s serving suggestion was to turn him into a kebab. Harry then vowed that he will be taking control of the tribe and was thrilled that Luke or David likely went home at last night’s tribal.

Speaking of the new Champions tribe, Andy – who looks more like Sonic the Hedgehog than the original movie version that they’re currently fixing – was still shell-shocked by the blindside while David was thrilled to have found his way into the new majority so quickly, thanks to Daisy’s vendetta against Sam. Desperate Andy approached David to pretend that he was trying to protect David at the last tribal and honestly, the desperation reeks of insincerity and I need him out ASAP. And if that performance keeps up, I think I’ll get my wish. Sarah too was seething after the previous vote, so approached Hannah to float the idea of wooing Baden back to their side to get rid of Daisy in a revenge plot which sadly seems shortsighted given the Contenders early domination. Shortsighted but good TV.

Jonathan summoned the tribes to a rolling river where the Contenders were shocked to find Sam was booted the night before, none more so than Harry who had just felt confident enough to get arrogant. But back to the challenge where someone from each tribe who swim against the flowing river, with the last person staying in the marked zone winning a point for the tribe. First to three winning a Survivor cafe experience, so everyone was as thrilled as I was given swimming calls for speedos. Once again Luke and Matt faced off against each other, with Matt making quick work of Luke. Again. Leading to even more arrogance from Matt. Ross and Baden went next and despite starting strong, poor Baden wasn’t a chance against the surfing champ. Janine got out strong against Andy, until the current washed her away and Andy – urgh – got the Champions on the board. Abbey and Daisy proved an interesting match up, with both women working hard as Daisy drifted into Abbey’s lane and Abbey almost wiped Daisy off the course before ultimately, Daisy won the point and tied things up. The final match-up between Hannah and Casey was far less interesting, as Hannah washed right out of the field giving Casey the point and handing victory to the new Contenders.

The Contenders arrived at their cafe reward where Shaun was thrilled to finally take out a reward, Casey got her first confessional and Matt was struggling to understand why he wasn’t miserable. While everyone was frothing over the food, King Ross smashed four coffees and quickly started to lose his mind before having a power spew and coming back for seconds. Harry meanwhile wasn’t so thrilled and couldn’t move past the fact that Sam was voted out, while Abbey and Janine quickly got all of the information out of Harry and Casey, finding out Sam and Daisy didn’t get along, meaning Harry likely won’t work with Daisy or her ally Shaun. While Harry desperately tried to make in rounds with the former Champs, he didn’t look to be having much luck and felt on the outs with his new closest ally Casey. The latter however had other plans, leaving him for dead and buddying up to Janine, Pia and Abbey to try and save herself while Harry wandered around until he found the damn idol.

And while it is exciting for him, I just want to know what happened to his eye and if it is what happened to Benji’s last year as it looks angry.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where two people from each tribe would be placed in chambers while their remaining tribemates would race over balance beams to collect buckets of water from the ocean to fill up the other tribe’s chambers. Given poor Sarah can’t catch a break, she was submerged in one of the Champion chambers with Hannan in the other while Casey and Pia were the potential drowning victims for the Contenders. It is pretty hard to tell who is leading at any given moment, so let’s focus on the fact Hannah seems super fun and entertaining and I hate that she is the last person remaining without a confessional. Pia was the first to be completely submerged, followed closely by Hannah while the two desperately tried to keep their noses above water before Hannah and Pia dropped out one after the other, leaving Casey and Sarah to battle it out. Tragically Sarah fought valiantly however it wasn’t enough as the Contenders kept a steady flow of water going into her bath forcing her to bow out, handing victory to the Contenders.

Back at camp the Champions assured each other that they did all that they could at the challenge before Andy tried to find a way to live to see another day. He then approached David as, to quote him, David is smart for a model and he himself is scary smart, so he thinks they will make good allies. Sadly for Andy, David could see through all of his lies though given he holds the power, he doesn’t really mind. Yet. He rallied his allies and suggested they get rid of Sarah, given she isn’t as agile as Hannah with everyone jumping on the plan quickly. Andy left the group and approached Sarah to see what she was thinking, with Sarah suggesting going to the top of the totem pole and get rid of Daisy. Andy then ran back to the shelter, lay next to Daisy and told her what Sarah and Hannah were planning, filling the icon with rage.

Sarah then wandered over to Baden and Luke at the well, telling them that Andy threw her under the bus before David and Hannah joined them. Sarah asked David what his plans were, with him admitting that he was going to vote her out … though would happily turn on Andy instead. David then said Andy was playing so badly he was planting landmines, forgetting where they were and then blowing himself off all up the beach and I LIVE. Daisy and Sarah then caught up with Daisy suggesting that she would be willing to get rid of Andy instead. The only certainty as they headed off to tribal council, is that once again David and Luke are safe and their two idols will remain in the pockets for another episode.

At tribal council Andy tried to downplay how shocked he was by Sam’s blindside before Jonathan congratulated David on surviving the insurmountable odds. David downplayed the OG tribes, reminding everyone it is a new game and they are one unit. Sarah admitted that the lines were well and truly blurred, while Daisy reminded them it is eat or be eaten. Hannah admitted it is too hard to trust anyone in a long term way, while Sarah alluded to Andy continuing to play the middle and Luke blurted out that there was some madness back at camp. Andy tried to be coy about the situation, where he shoved his hole leg in his mouth which everyone was aware of, before Sarah verbalised that she is the one that walked up on Andy’s dick move with the Sonic impersonator getting more and more nervous. Wait, no, cocky, as his fuck-up is only an issue for Sarah. John told everyone to pull their heads in, Andy spoke about the importance of trust – much to John’s disgust – while Sarah sounded defeated, warning them to all keep one eye open.

With that the tribe voted and despite me crossing everything in my body, praying to a wide range of deities and promising not to cuss anyone out tomorrow for asking stupid questions, it was my dear Sarah who was booted from the game as low-rent Sonic sped to smug another day.

Once again, I was a giant ball of rage as Sarah entered Loser Lodge and fearing that I was on the brim of freaking out, she took me in her arms and told me to breath through the pain. She assured me she was proud of the game she played, and glad to prove herself and while I fought back tears thinking of all the ways the game has tried to bring up memories of the tsunami for her and the fake that yet another woman was booted over a smug, beige male, I realised that all we needed – Sarah, I and the world at large – was a big comforting Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles to dull the pain.

 

Sarah Ayles joyfully eating Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles while I rant about Andy surviving.

 

Thankfully this rich casserole is glorious enough to wipe away some of the pain of seeing this icon leave the game. Earthy lamb, the tang of ale and the sharpness of some gruyere work together in perfect harmony to honour the ultimate survivor of this season who deserved so much better. #Justice4Sarah

Enjoy!

 

Sarah Ayles joyfully eating Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles while I rant about Andy surviving.

 

Lamb Cassarahole & Ayles
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1.5kg lamb shoulder, diced
2 tbsp flour
200g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp tomato paste
345ml bottle ale
2 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 baguette, sliced
100g gruyere cheese, grated
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, to serve

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onion, garlic, celery and carrot for five minutes, or until your kitchen is hella fragranced. Add the lamb and cook for a further five minutes or so before adding the flour and cooking off for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms, mustard, tomato paste, ale, stock, bay leaves, muscovado sugar, Worcestershire Sauce, and a good whack of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Once the casserole is thick and gloopy, top with the baguette and all of the cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the cheese is golden and glorious.

Sprinkle with parsley, serve and devour.

 


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Chickwendy Empanadiaz

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, two became three but the OG Manu’s still couldn’t seem to catch a break, with Wendy isolated with only her chickens for comfort, while the rest were shipped off to a new island and promptly continued their losing streak. When all hope appeared lost, David managed to snatch a come from behind immunity win, sending NuManu back to tribal council. And while it appeared Big Wendy was down for the count, Victoria pulled off an epic blindside by sending Queen Aubry to the Island of Extinction with an extra vote and idol in her pocket. And quickly ascended the throne to become Queen Victoria.

Or Queen Vicky, I can’t decide.

On the Island of Extinction Aubry was feeling the pain of following in JT’s footsteps, by being blindsided with some many advantages in his pocket. Despite being broken, she was hopeful as the only way is up for her, and she is going to wait around and get back when she can.

Before we could learn anything else, Jeff returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would leap over tables, release some sandbags and then throw them at a target until flags are released. Given it is for coffee and snacks, I would literally destroy everyone if I was on that island. Surprisingly all three tribes were neck and neck by the time it came to tossing the sandbags, though hold Wardog’s beer, because he cannot throw and Lesu are back in last. Obviously Joe snagged Kama first place, while Gavin just snatched victory for Manu despite a late push from Lauren.

Back at Kama the tribe continued their vacation courtesy of Joe with Julie really struggling to comprehend what it would mean to lose. She then praised him for being so damn amazing, though reiterated to us that she has zero interest in working with him and is just blowing smoke up his arse. Speaking of Joe, he was breaking down about Aubry being voted out, knowing that the returnees are public enemy number one and he feels super alone. Unlike at home, where fan favourite, game changer SDT is waiting for him. Joe caught up with Julia and pointed out that he isn’t the only threat and that all the strong people will need to band together if they want to have any hope of staying around. Particularly since their winning streak has no doubt pissed people off.

Speaking of which, Lesu were lamenting their loss and wishing that they could be Joe for just one minute. While David was keen to go try and kind food, Lauren and Wardog opted to sit around and complain about being starving and over their shitty camp. If only they could muster enough energy to help him get the massive clam that is on the shore! Instead of helping, Wardog pulled Kelley and David aside to talk about getting rid of Lauren, which made the returnees nervous given he just won’t pick a lane. The only glorious thing to come out of it, is the fact that Kelley and David are now aligned.

Back on the Edge of Extinction, Chris discovered a basket with five maps full of holes. Reem requested everyone stay calm which Keith agreed to however it is Keith, so who knows. After folding the maps, the tribes wandered up the hill before Rick figured out that the reward was back on the beach and that they’ve wasted their time. Despite his location was wrong, Reem discovered the reward in the beach … only for Keith to snatch it from under her, earning him the chance to penalising someone in the upcoming returnee challenge. Pray circle (jerk) for Chris. Particularly after he pointed out that Reem gave the reward away, setting her off on a tirade against him which may get physical. All I know is, I feel sorry for Rick, Chris and Aubry.

Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to climb a ladder, manoeuvre a bag through a frame, open said bag, release a ball and open a gate. Then solve a puzzle, obvi. Oh and only one tribe would secure immunity, and the other two forced to attend tribal together and get rid of a single player. I have Malcolm PTSD. No surprises Kama snatched an early lead however they all eventually caught up at the puzzle. Despite David thinking he was close to victory, Joe proved adept at puzzles too and solved it just in the knick of time, handing Kama immunity and sending the other tribe to tribal council.

Back at Manu Eric was feeling the loss hard, concerned about the potential for a tied vote and no doubt, concerned Wendy will flip back to her original tribe. Victoria rallied the troops and told them to stick together, while Wendy suggested they don’t target David since he doesn’t have any allies and as such, they should go for Lauren, Kelley or Wentworth. Eric then changed his no rock stance, and told everyone to stick together and threaten to go the rocks, since returnees aren’t likely to waste their shot. Eric and Gavin then went for a chat, reconfirming their relationship and locking in the rocks option. Sadly for them, Victoria is less inclined to go to rocks for these bozos as she is a Queen and wants to win. But thankfully for her, no one appears to have figured that out yet.

Meanwhile over at Lesu Kelley was confident that the other tribe would stick four strong and while targeting the big guys is the best idea, Victoria could be the safest move given they won’t expect it. Wardog had other ideas however, saying that they should vote Wendy because in the event of a time, the others will likely flip on her given they haven’t been together that long. While this is the only correct move for the tribe – outside of pulling Wendy over to their side – Kelley was annoyed that Wardog continues to ignore everyone else and push forward with his ideas. David suggested that he should tell Wendy to vote for someone and hope that it doesn’t go to rocks, while Lauren was confident that they will vote for her and as such she was worried. Even though being the person locked in the tie is literally best case for rocks, which the tribe were keen on.

Wardog went to relax by the beach and questioned going to rocks for Lauren, who is clearly breaking down and as such, went hunting for an idol. The other three figured it out and grew more frustrated with him, deciding they needed to find the idol first. Which Wentworth did, while right next to Wardog. Kelley ran back and filled in Lauren, while Wardog continued to climb trees desperate for the idol. Lauren too wanted to share some intel, sharing that she won’t go to rocks for Wardog and will flip if it comes to it.

The tribes arrived at tribal council and both admitted that they all planned to stick with their tribe, Wardog reiterated that he is ready to battle for his group while Eric admitted that neither knows the others dynamics and as such, it is going to be unpredictable. Kelley offered Manu loyalty were they to flip, which Gavin too offered. Wendy shared that she feels trapped in the middle, with David talking about his love for Wendy while Eric mentioned that Wendy told them otherwise. Kelley started whispering to Wardog while David reminded everyone that he has no qualms going to rocks, which Victoria thought was bullshit. Wendy whispered to David that if he flipped, he’ll be safe, Wardog whispered to David, Gavin whispered to Eric and David asked Wendy to go aside for a little chat. With that the tribes voted and despite all the whispers, the votes rolled in four a piece for Lauren and Wendy. With that the whispering started again, this time with Eric joining Lesu while Kelley and Lauren spoke to Victoria and Gavin to come up with a plan, while poor Wendy sat alone in the middle. Before being booted unanimously.

While she was upbeat upon discovering the Edge of Extinction sign and discovering that she would get a meal to accompany her boat ride, her mood soon deflated.

“This is delicious Ben, what are we eating?”

“Well Big Wendy, I wasn’t sure what to make you originally however I found three chickens wandering the island and was hit with a brain wave.”

You could pinpoint the exact moment her heart broke, and while I kind of feel bad that her rescue was only temporary, when it tastes as good as my Chickwendy Empanadiaz, she can’t really hold a grudge. Right?

 

 

In my defense, since Annelie got cage-fight induced amnesia, I have been unable to make another empanada, but when I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to make some tweaks and move past my fears. And oh how glad I am that I did, smokey, sweet and packing a hell of a punch, they’re the kind of thing you can’t stop eating. Ever.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chickwendy Empanadiaz
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1kg chicken thighs, diced
2 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
1 green capsicum, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
4 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and chicken, and cook for a further five minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves, capsicum, tomato pastes, paprikas, oregano and cayenne, with a good whack of salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour, or until the sauce is thickened. Leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cut each piece of pastry into 9 equal squares.  Place 1 tbsp of filling in each and scrunch the egse to form little half moon pockets. Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with the egg and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and crisp.

Devour immediately, in honour of those poor, briefly freed chickens I cooked.

Don’t tell Sia.

 

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Shane Goulash

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Main, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 23 Aussies and 1 three-time American loser were marooned in the lush jungles of Fiji for the non-biblical battle between top dogs and underdogs. Despite getting out to a strong start in the opening challenge, the Contenders were first to suffer a loss with Matt giving an extremely patronising speech at tribal leading to him becoming the first boot. He was followed out of the game by self-appointed King Russell Hantz, Damien, Steve K, Jenna – yep, doing this – Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan and Heath.

In honour of the Spicys, two became one and the tribes merged, leading to the downfalls of Lydia, Robbie, Sam, Mat, Benji, Steve, Fenella, Monika, Shonee and Brian before Shane defeated Sharn the prosecutor in front of the jury.

Despite being fairly low down the totem pole early in the season, Shane managed to find her way into the main alliance and make it to the merge where she truly flourished, while not being able to be fucked with. From finding idols, to dominating around camp, spying for allies, fostering critical bonds, orchestrating pivotal blindsides and being a damn boss, Shane managed to defy expectations for the older female archetype and played, arguably, the showiest game of our three victors.

And prove that Shane Gould will always be a champion. Obvi one that is never to be fucked with.

The only fear I have about Shane’s victory, is that we’re going to have to suffer through Dawn Fraser next season and let’s be honest, Dawn is no Shane. And I don’t want to fuck(ing deal) with Dawn Fraser.

After giving a rousing toast as she left the island, I raised her arm in triumph and congratulated her with a big, hearty, piping-bloody-hot and victorious Shane Goulash. Huzzah for Shane Gould, iconic, Queen of Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders.

 

 

Packing a powerful paprika punch, this goulash is the perfect thing to renew your energy after 50 days starving on an island. Rich hunks of beef melt in your mouth, while the spicy sauce is like a warm hug. Throw in some mash, and you’re in heaven like Shonella smashing margs or Benji doing whatever he does to a plate of nachos.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shane Goulash
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg chuck steak, cut into large cubes
3 onions, quartered
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 of each red, yellow and green capsicums, cored, seeded and cut into chunks
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
400g canned diced tomatoes
1L beef stock

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a large dutch oven and season the beef with a whack of salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pan in a couple of batches and cook until sealed. Remove from the pan, reduce heat to low and cook the onions for ten minutes or so, or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and sweat for a minute.

Bring the heat back to medium and return the beef to the pan with any leaky juices with the three paprikas and the three capsicums and cook for a minute or so. Add the paste and bay leaves, stirring until well combined. Add the tomatoes and stock, stir and bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat, chuck the lid on the dutch oven and transfer to the oven to cook for 2.5-3 hours, or until tender and your house smells like it is not to be fucked with. Like Shane Gould.

Serve with a shit tonne of Gabriel Mash, sour cream and chives. Then devour, like the ultimate champ that you are.

 

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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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