Tostavo Santaolalla

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Street Food

Ok, ok – I know it feels like I’m stuck on a musical binge at the moment, after kicking off Call Me By Your Gold with Em and Reese on account of musicals, but Gustavo Santaolalla is an icon in his own right and I couldn’t go past with catching up with my dear friend to celebrate this year’s Oscars.

While I only met Gus close to fifteen years ago through my love Ang, our bond quickly grew as I inspired his exquisite score in Brokeback Mountain and made sure it captured the love and unbridled passion I held for Heath and Jake. And Mish.

Given it won him his first Oscar, I assume you agree that I am a gloriously stunning muse.

Gus being the delightful, sweet man that he is was totally shocked, humbled and honoured to get an invite to my annual Oscar Gold celebration. Even more so, as he got to help me lock in my bets for his sound brethren.

For Sound Editing, Gus believes I shouldn’t look past First Man, however I think A Quiet Place is a safe bet. For Sound Mixing, I am going with my boy Rami’s Bohemian Rhapsody while he thinks First Man will take that also. Given First Man didn’t even get a nom for Original Score, Gus is going with Isle of Dogs however I think If Beale Street Could Talk has it on lock. As does Gaga for Best Song which should just be given out straight away as it is the safest bet of the night.

That being said, Black Panther is the only nom that could act as a spoiler. Though it won’t.

TBH it was a pretty easy bunch of noms to discuss, but that didn’t stop us from getting down to sharing a platter of Tastavo Santaolalla. You know, to give us back our energy.

 

 

Hot and spicy, fresh and crunchy, tostadas are one of my favourite Mexican dishes. I mean, it is essentially a giant chip piled with a meaty-salady dip. When I put it that way, you find it pretty irresistible, no?

Enjoy!

 

 

Tostavo Santaolalla
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 red onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
500g beef mince
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp turmeric
400g refried beans
8 corn tostadas
cheddar cheese, sour cream, lettuce, hot sauce and coriander, to garnish

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft, sweet and fragrant. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until the mince is browned. Stir through the tomato paste and spices, and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile heat the beans in a small saucepan.

To assemble, smear the tostadas with the beans, top with the mince mixture and literally any combination of cheese, sour cream, lettuce, hot sauce and coriander that you desire.

Devour.

 

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Juicy Lucy Liu

Burgers, Main, Street Food

It is not often I will cop to being wrong, but I am so glad that I’ve finally been able to swallow my pride and admit that despite not being my genre, Elementary appears to be a decent show and didn’t die within episodes of airing. And I shouldn’t have scoffed at my dear Lucy for taking the role.

Oh and I am sorry for refusing to talk to her until the show is axed and she admits I was right. Because I wasn’t.

Thankfully Lucy has always known that I can be a volatile person – she did meet me when guesting on Bev Hills, after all – so she took my apology at face value and we quickly caught up on everything we’ve been doing the last almost-decade.

While she isn’t as hopeful that I’ll be able to coax our girl Drew, Cameron D and Destiny to reform for a third Charlie’s Angels movie – I did get a third Sister Act to happen though, even if it won’t be a damn sequel – it was nice to spitball ideas and be in each other’s company.

Given outlining the entire plot of a sure-to-be-Oscar-winning film is tiring and time consuming, I knew that we would need a special combination of comfort and heartiness. As such, we gladly tucked in to a good, ol’ fashioned Jucy Lucy Liu to toast our hopeful success.

 

 

While there is a battle between where the Juicy – or jucy – Lucy originated, I like to think it was invented by whichever Tom served it up on Vanderpump Rules a few weeks back. Whoever did create this beauty however, I salute you. Meat injected with hot, hot cheese in the middle of a dripping bun? Sign. Me. UP.

Enjoy!

 

 

Juicy Lucy Liu
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper, to taste
2 slices American cheese, cut into quarters
vegetable oil
2 pickles, sliced
2 Kirsten Bunst
Ketchup, mustard and Shayonnaise Swain, to serve

Method
Combine the mince, Worcestershire and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and a great whack of pepper. Once it is well a truly and cohesive mound, divide into four and press into patties.

Take two of said patties and stack a slice’s worth of cheese quarters in the centre and top with the remaining patties. Press the edges to firmly enclose and leave to rest at room temperature for ten minutes.

Heat a good lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and once scorching, add the patties and cook for five minutes. Flip and cook for a further five, before removing from the heat.

To serve, split and toast the buns. Slather one side with mayo and mustard, and the other with ketchup. Place gherkins on the base,  top with the filled patty and close.

Devour, weary of the molten cheese that could burst out and destroy your face, lips or mouth at any moment.

 

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Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles

Hashbrown: The End, Main

After kicking off my celebration of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Hashbrown: The End –  catching up with Carol and Dylan, I realised that I needed to circle back to the point and celebrate the titular Kimmy. Aka my dear friend Ellie Kemper.

While I haven’t known Ellie as long as some of the other cast members – I met her in 2011 while visiting Melissa on the set of Bridesmaids – we quickly bonded over our passion for writing and became the best of friends.

Despite being a close personal friend of Tina, I shockingly didn’t organise the casting. It was such a delight to pick up the phone from Tina who was giddy to have found her Kimmy, only to discover it was my dearest friend.

I haven’t seen Ellie since the last Emmys – where I refused to believe the news that Kimmy’s end was nigh – so it was wonderful to spend some time together and absorb the fact that this delightful, quirky show is ending and the world will never be the same.

And our hearts will become a blackened void.

Though I guess that’s where my Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles come into play.

 

 

Chargrilled eggplant topped with a juicy, braised rissole, covered in tomato sauce and cheese? You can’t go wrong, even for the staunchest of anti-eggplanters – the veggie only, obvs – like me.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles
Serves: 6-8, depending on the size of your eggplant.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
1kg beef mince
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
1 tbsp basil, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups passata
½ cup – or more, obvi – mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the slices of eggplant on a lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, flipping once. Remove and drain on some kitchen towel.

Reduce oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince, oregano, basil, garlic and parmesan in a bowl and shape into 16 rissoles.

Place the eggplant slices in the bottom of a baking dish and top each with a rissole. Pour over the passata and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the cheese is golden and the rissoles cooked through.

Serve immediately with a big heaping of Gabriel Mash or on their own. Or with salad. I don’t mind, the most important thing is you devour.

 

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Gabby McOzzi

Burgers, Main, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor at tribal council Gabby and Christian voted out a David – Carl, the tribe has spoken – shocking Nick, Davie and Angelina. Eight are left, who will be voted out tonight. But seriously, that was it. I mean, word. For. Word. Soooo, maybe we’re in for a big episode today?

Back at camp Nick was quick to congratulate them for their move, while Gabby immediately got defensive and told them to stop underestimating her. Though in her defense, Nick was truly pissed and confronted Christian about how stupid the move was and how they all burnt their advantages to save him and gain the advantage. Now Nick wants him gone. Or he is dead to him like anyone to Abi-Maria.

The next day Probst arrived for the reward challenge early in the episode where he quickly made them all cry. Yep it is time for the loved ones visit! Davie’s mum is adorable and I love her, Alison’s mum is adorable, Kara’s brother has an amazing head of hair, Nick’s dad is a (really tall) sweetheart, Gabby’s mum is super hot and super delightful, Angelina’s mum was super cute and didn’t beg for a thing – nor bring a jacket but she did hear how Angelina sacrificed for the tribe’s rice – Mike’s boyfriend is, wait for it, adorable albeit awks and Christian ‘s girlfriend is amazing and I ship them. Hard. And I live for her skirt.

To get to spend time with said loved ones, the tribe would be split into pairs and race under an obstacle, dig for keys, release balls and land said balls on a perch. Mike and Davie lead Angelina and Nick, Alison and Kara, and Christian and Gabby to the first obstacle. They were first to snatch their keys, followed by Angelina and Nick, Christian and Gabby while Alison and Kara struggled to find them. Despite a slow start Angelina and Nick were first to release their balls, though struggled to get their balls out of their sack, leaving Alison and Kara and Mike and Davie to catch up and start shoot. TBH it isn’t the most exciting thing to write about so while Davie was first to land a ball, Nick and Angelina both followed soon after handing them victory and the Dawn Meehan memorial BBQ barge. As is oft the case they were given the chance to take two people with them, with Nick fulfilling a promise to Davie and taking him with them as Angelina selected Mike. Christian encouraged his girlfriend to watch movies on the pane and I love that.

The victors caught up their loved ones on the status of the game before talk quickly turned to a final four alliance, with everyone jumping on board at lightning speed. Davie however was weary given the fact the other three grew close on Jabeni, so questioned whether it is truly the best choice for him. Meanwhile back on the shore Christian was explaining why he wasn’t gushing about his girlfriend – he didn’t want to embarass her – before Gabby had the realisation that he has been comforting her like his girlfriend the entire game and as such, she needs to get rid of him ASAP. Which Kara and Alison were obvi keen for.

My loved one Jiffy Pop returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribe would be required to hold a rod to balance a ball above their head with the last person to knock theirs off – which leads to a Mouse Trap-esque dropped bucket of water pratfall – snatching immunity. Almost immediately Mike’s rod got too high eliminating him from the challenge, followed closely by an angry Gabby. Everyone else made it to the second position, however Alison soon joined them on the sit-out bench, followed by Angelina, The remaining four were tasked with a third position, quickly leading to Nick dropping out followed by Christian leaving Davie and Kara to battle it out for immunity. Until a fly did the former in, handing Kara immunity. Which fun fact, has not been won by the same person this season.

Gabby and Christian went for a walk to talk strategy when they returned to camp, however Gabby was totally still planning on taking him out. She then went to work drumming up support around camp, floating the idea with Nick and Davie. While Nick was into turning on their former closest ally, Davie stayed silent which seems telling. Nick filled Angelina and Mike in on the plan, with them talking about the fact he has an idol. As such, they decided to throw some votes on Gabby as an insurance policy. Davie was scared about losing Christian as he is a good shield for him, and so he pulled Christian aside and filled him in on the tribe’s plan and told him to play his idol. Knowing that Nick could help save him, Christian approached his former ally to try and do some damage control, in the hope it will deflect the vote off him and back on to Alison.

At tribal council Probst brought up Carl’s blindside with Nick admitted to being pissed at Christian for flipping, though did technically give him all the credit for the move. The boys then spoke about sorting out their problems as they’re besties and damn I hope it is actually true. Gabby spoke about being more confident in her games, Alison took back some credit for Carl’s blindside and pointed out that that made her a threat. Which let’s be honest, is an interesting play. Angelina spoke about the varying levels of threatdom and the need to get rid of people you can’t see a path to the end with, which Nick and Mike agreed with. With that the tribe voted, Christian wisely played his idol before the votes tied between Alison and Gabby before two votes sent Gabby from the game.

 

 

So between Bi, Carl and now Gabby, should burgs’ be added to the list of cursed recipes?! I guess we won’t know until next season. Wait, no, Chris, CeCe, Kass, Kimmi, Tess, Adam and OMG, I killed Malcolm and Chrissy! And handed Ben the win with a pseudo burger?

While I apologise for kicking off the darkest timeline, when burgs taste this good it really does dull the pain. Right Gab? And now burgers will join pizzas on Ghost Island II.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gabby McOzzi
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
4 Kirsten Bunst, halved
mustard, to taste
ketchup, to taste
4 slices American Cheese
8 slices beetroot
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and shredded
1 onion, finely diced, refreshed in iced water and drained

Method
Drain as much blood from the mince and scrunch in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and form into 4 even patties.

Heat a large skillet over high heat, reducing to low when scorching. Lightly toast the halved buns before cooking the patties for a couple of minutes. Flip the patties and cook for a further minute.

To assemble, smear the top half of the bun with ketchup and the bottom half with mustard. Place onion in the ketchup on the top and place a patty on the bottom bun, topping with cheese. Pile with beetroot, tomato, lettuce and close the burg.

Devour.

 

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Carl Meatballdreaux Sub

Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Elizabeth continued to add to her harem of hunks as Dan was idol nullified from the game, I assume to feed her grapes and fan her with palm fronds with John. Which is totally what I dreamed of last night, with me excelling in the role of Liz. Obvi. Anyway – the Davids were firmly in control, Angelina worked to ingratiate herself with them by throwing Alison, Kara and Alec under the bus. Tragically for the latter, he dropped out of the immunity challenge after a hard-fought battle with Christian, leading to the tribe joining together to take the biggest physical threat out of the game.

And hot damn is Liz lucky!

Back at camp Davie thanked the Goliaths for joining them in taking out Alec, given it levels the playing field. Only it didn’t, since the Davids have finally taken control. Poor Alison broke down about Alec’s departure, sad that she was fighting harder for him to stay with Christian pulling her aside and comforting her and damn I love him. I mean, I get why people are struggling to turn on him since he is an absolute sweetheart.

Just like that my boy Jeff appeared for the latest reward challenge where they’d be split into two teams to swim out to a ladder which they would ascend and then jump into the water to release buoys … which they would use to throw into baskets. It was for fried chicken on a speedboat, so you know I’d be all in. Poor Christian wasn’t selected for a team, leaving him time to look for an advantage on the sit-out bench while Mike, yes Mike, got him, Carl, Davie and Kara out to an early lead. Despite closing the gap slightly – and Nick giving us a glimpse of his buoys – the orange team maintained a slight lead, starting to shoot their baskets before the others arrived at the dock. Nick scored the first basket for the purple team, however the orange team finally got their eye in, scoring goal after goal and snatching victory for Carl’s first reward.

The victors jumped on their speedboat, downing beers leading to the drunkest performance on Survivor since Big Tom as he sat on Kara’s lap and promised that they were good. He shared that Alison is the next best target as it would only upset Gabby. They arrived at their feast on an abandoned island with Davie joining Carl in tipsy-dom, excitedly talking about how proud he was to prove himself as an athlete. Carl continued to run his mouth as Mike and Kara continued to play him and talk about his plans, giving Kara enough power to hopefully make a move. Meanwhile back at camp Gabby was kicking off the move against Carl, approaching Christian to make a move and reclaim their games as Carl looks to be in control. And that won’t win them the game. Gabby pulled in Alison, who was thrilled to jump on board and given she suggested they asked Kara and Mike to join them, I smell a blindside.

After sobering up upon his return to camp, Carl pulled his alliance together to lock in his vote for Alison. Angelina shared that she had essentially replaced Gabby’s place within David alliance, leaving her on the outs. Carl locked Angelina in as the decoy boot for Gabby before pulling Mike in to join in the Alison. Which seems likely to be a big mistake. Huge! Carl then beckoned Christian to lock in his vote, pissing off yet another person and solidifying Christian’s plan to get rid of him. Christian and Mike shared their Carl stories, before running the numbers and realising that they are more than ready to get rid of Carl. Wait, no, Mike is admitting to be playing the middle. AND IS THIS GOING TO BACKFIRE? I can’t stop overthinking things.

The next morning Gabby and Christian got together to watch the sunset and discuss the fact that she has been completely pushed out of the David alliance. This obviously – and fairly – annoyed the hell out of Gabby, who vowed to turn on them and take control. Meanwhile the rest of the tribe discovered that their rice was near empty with Angelina, bless, naively suggesting that they should negotiate with Jeff for more. Which she should know will not end well. Particularly since her Tracey Flick mentality was annoying the shit out of Mike.

At the immunity challenge the tribe would be required to race over an obstacle, spin on a pole and traverse a balance beam collect while collecting puzzle pieces along the way, which they would use to solve a word puzzle. But before that, Angelina continued with her plan to put her Yale education to use bartering with Jeff to get more rice. She essentially listed everything around the camp, which Jeff shadily called a low ball offer before saying all it will take is one person giving up their shot at immunity for additional rice, with Angelina – obviously – sitting out to add to her resume. Anyway the challenge was fairly neck and neck, with everyone working on the puzzle at the same time. Carl was the first to come up with a word – perceptions – which was wrong but triggered Alison and Davie, leaving them to battle it out for immunity. With the latter snagging immunity.

Angelina was proud of her negotiations when they discovered the rice back at camp. While everyone praised her, she tried to play humble as they cooked up some rice and prepared to lock in their plans. Carl continued to rub people the wrong way, locking in his plan with anyone and everyone. Meanwhile knowing she is on the block, Alison and Kara joined together to figure out how to lock in Mike. With Mike playing the middle and proving his acting chops, buying him enough time to decide whether Alison being a threat was more painful than Carl’s overconfidence. Sadly for him Christian recognised his acting prowess and debated whether he could trust Mike at tribal. Christian joined Gabby and they locked in their vote, with Gabby vowing that tonight would be the tonight people started recognising her as a player.

At tribal council Elizabeth and her hunks arrived before Kara spoke about the ever changing lines and needing to show trust to earn trust. Nick spoke about scrambled eggs, Christian moved it to poaching and Angelina spoke about gladiators. Just to confirm, I’m not joking. Mike admitting to feeling more comfortable voting people out as the game went along, Alison felt nervous and Nick circled back to the eggs. Carl chimed in and came across super arrogant, annoying Gabby and TBH everyone. Probst congratulated Mike on being the last male Goliath standing, Angelina quoted Friday Night Lights and praised herself for getting the rice for everyone and Alison admitting to having a plan but being unsure whether she can trust said plan. With that the tribe voted and hot damn Mike swung to Gabby’s side, ending her feud with Carl and sending him to the jury.

I was completely expecting Carl to be irate to have found himself arriving at Ponderosa but he took his boot in his stride – maybe he was still tipsy from the reward, who knows? – and held me close, thrilled to see his best trucking friend. Fun fact: my time as a trucker inspired me to write the hit horror film Joy Ride starring Paul Walker, may he rest in peace. Anyway, we laughed, we cried, we lamented him letting the power go to his head … and then smashed a big fat Carl Meatballdreaux Sub.

 

 

I used to be a fiend for this Subway classic, until a tragic encounter at the one next to Studio 54. Alan and Em were starring in Cabaret and were desperate for me to swing by, however being so important and in demand I was in a rush and needed a bite, lest I faint on stage after Showgirls-ing someone out of their role. Anyway, the post-mix was running out of syrup and something whackadoodle was going on with the food.

But this one, I assure you, will sit right – striking the balance between saucy Italian meat and fresh capsi, like only Subway can muster. Well, Subway and me.

Enjoy!

 

 

Carl Meatballdreaux Sub
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves
800g canned crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
4 Hulk Hogies
8 slices Swiss cheese
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and shredded
1 green capsicum, sliced

Method
Combine the mince with a good whack of salt and pepper in a bowl and scrunch to combine.

Heat a good lug of oil in a dutch oven over low heat and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and herbs and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and grabbing golf ball-sized chunks, shape balls out of the mince and add to the pot until gone. Cover and leave to simmer for fifteen minutes, or until the balls are cooked through.

To serve, slice you hoagies and top with slices of cheese. Spoon in a couple of balls and a heap of sauce before topping with the tomato, lettuce, capsicum.

And devouring, messily.

 

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The Supremes Pizza

Main, Pizza, Street Food

Who knew lying about a chemical peel and wearing a veil like Samantha in Sex and the City would be the perfect cover for chloroforming your past self so your future self could catch-up with your friends, The Supremes?

It was so exciting to be back in the swinging ‘60s and to see Flo alive and doing what she does best – well second best to Di, if she is around – and to witness the making of magic.

While the girls had their fair share of drama back in the day – which I co-wrote for Broadway before being stricken from the Playbill – they were in a playful, happy mood and were thrilled to gossip and reminisce, despite only thinking we were talking about current events.

Because time travel, remember?

After laying down the vocals for Where did our love go I quickly hurried the girls up – knowing past me would be close to waking – and took them back to my apartment to whip them up a big, hearty The Supremes Pizza.

 

 

I feel like supreme get undeserved shade from people, given it isn’t overly fancy and features controversial pizza ingredient pineapple. Which I am here for, FYI. Sweet, salty and little bit salty, it reads just like my dating bio.

Enjoy!

 

 

The Supremes Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup passata
a small handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped
1 onion, sliced
100g pepperoni
4 rashers streaky bacon, roughly chopped and fried
1 red capsicum, sliced
250g beef mince, lightly browned
2 Italian sausages, fried and sliced
a small handful button mushrooms, sliced
½ cup chopped pineapple
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with passata and herbs. Toss the onion, pepperoni, bacon, capsicum, mince, sausage, mushrooms and pineapple on top, and sprinkle with cheese.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour.

 

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Eddie Calibrian Lasagne

Main, Pasta

Not only is Ed a stone cold fox but he also has the biggest heart of anyone I know, which I’m not even going to spin into a joke about Brandi/Leann/Scheana/Pipes (if Brandi is to be believed on Danny Pellegrino’s podcast … which is the most important podcast of our time) because we finally have made up!

He walked through customs, the crowd parted, a spotlight shone upon him and a choir of angels started making ethereal, jubilant sounds – THAT is how beautiful he looked. Or I was having a psychotic break. Or a stroke.

In any event, it was then that I realised why I was so cruel to him on the set of Third Watch. I was passionately, deeply, ardently, basement-floodingly in lust with him, and once rebuffed I couldn’t bare to be around the sweet man since the sweet man couldn’t be bare with me.

I fell into his strong, muscular arms and sobbed, begging for forgiveness for my years of cruelty, fueling the flames of his and Brandi’s divorce and trying to end him in the tabloids. Because he didn’t want to end me.

He knew. Of course he had known why I had been so cruel, and he told me that all was forgiven. Particularly since Rachel had been encouraging him to reach out to me – knowing of my lust-related rage blackouts – on the set of Take Two.

While we will never get the last decade back, last night filled me with hope that we’ve got enough friendship ahead of us that the bad times won’t even matter. Particularly if I make him a delicious Eddie Calibrian Lasagne next time I inevitably screw up!

 

 

A minimally edited version of Nigella’s recipe adapted from the Grillo sisters – why mess with perfection, you know? – this lasagne is so simple, yet so delicious. Ham, eggs and mozzarella are traded in for bechamel, giving it a rich, decadent flavour that is too hard to go past.

Enjoy!

 

 

Eddie Calibrian Lasagne
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
500g minced beef
½ cup red vermouth
1L tomato passata
1L water
salt and pepper, to taste
300g sliced ham
4 eggs, just hard boiled and peeled
300g mozzarella, grated
½ cup parmesan, grated
500g dried lasagne sheets

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onions for about five minutes, or until translucent and soft. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned. Add the vermouth and cook for a further minute, before stirring in the passata and water. Season and bring to a simmer for about ten minutes.

To assemble, place a couple of ladles of the meat sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and cover with a quarter of lasagne sheets. Top with a further couple of ladles of meat sauce before layering a third of the ham, sprinkle with a third of egg and then a third of the mozzarella. Top with another quarter of lasagne sheets and repeat the process until you’ve topped with the remaining lasagne. Top with the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with parmesan.

Tightly cover with foil, place on a baking sheet – if the dish is too full – and transfer to the over to bake for an hour. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further ten minutes, or until golden and the pasta is cooked through.

Leave to rest for twenty minutes before devouring, happily.

 

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Patty Melt Cusack

Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Austra … hang on. The weather is miserable, Shonella aren’t playing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in the background and Shane Gould isn’t around to not be fucked with. It’s original flavour Survivor, with less cursed objects – though I did line-up some pizzas this season, so maybe that one will continue – and hopefully more excitement and blindsides. Oh and no more final four fire challenge. But enough with dreaming, Probst is on a boat with 20 people who are split into two tribes that I assume were named by Roma Downey after years of wearing down Tom Arnold’s nemesis Mark Burnett; David and Goliath. This season a tribe of bosses will battle with ten underdogs, and hopefully we aren’t swept up in a religious fever dream like Sophie in South Pacific.

We met the first David, Christian who is a total nerd, Elizabeth who is the country icon who flipped the bird on the cast photo and Pat who is big, burly and looks to be a total sweetheart. Who knows not to trust a book by its cover. They’re up against the Goliaths who include publisher and CEO Natalie – who is an icon – and Angelina loves all that comes with being a Goliath.

Anyway the two tribes converged on a barge with Probst and the Goliaths quickly realised that the cards are definitely in their favour when they saw the Davids rolling in. Probst confirmed their suspicions, announcing that this year’s theme is a battle of the privileged versus the underdogs. The David tribe were thrilled to be the underdogs, knowing they are instantly the favoured tribe for a decent narrative. We met Nick, who grew up poor in the south and fought tooth and nail to achieve his dreams of being a lawyer – public defender now – and on Survivor. Swoon. Gabby too was feeling her underdog roots, knowing the Goliaths can only fall while they are destined to rise.

The Goliaths however were quick to try and deflect from being labelled a Goliath, except for pre wrestler John, who knows he is a boss … though just wants to find himself and downplay his intelligence. Swoon. Allison was the most vocal to oppose the label, saying she worked hard from her upper-middle class family to follow in her father’s footsteps. Probst, the shady bitch, asked to hear about Pat’s upbringing, with him talking about living paycheque to paycheque, without even the option of going to get an education. She was pretty cool to stick with the Goliath label after that.

Wanting to get the bad blood brewing like Taylor Swift keeping control on her squad, Probst got the Goliaths to pick two people from each tribe to compete in a reward challenge. With Enlightened creator Mike White selecting Lyrsa and Christian, who he deemed Big Bang Theory in a moment of corporate synergy that made CBS beam. Lyrsa knew she was selected because she is tiny, a little chunky and stands out, while Christian was cool to be labelled the weakest. They then selected Allison and John, who are huge and look strong. To even things up, Probst gave the weakest peeps – sorry, allegedly Christian – the chance to pick the route each pair took to get to a giant shelter making kit. Obviously Lyrsa and Christian got out to a huge lead, almost finishing the second stage before Allison and John finished the first. Being Goliaths however, they caught up at the puzzle leaving a bat … nope, Christian is a genius, solving the puzzle in five seconds and snatching the kit for the underdogs. While it was impressive, Christian admitted it really wasn’t a fair fight as he had written algorithms for solving slide puzzles at uni, which he tried to explain in great detail and completely lost me.

We followed the Goliaths back to their tribe where Mike was feeling completely out of place as he isn’t as buff as the rest of the tribe, and is a nerdy Hollywood type. Dan and Natalia immediately gravitated to him, knowing that he looked familiar before he shared that he was a two-time Amazing Race contestant and completely neglected to mention School of Rock and the greatest show of all time, Enlightened. Have I mentioned I love Enlightened? Dan continued to make friends, sharing that while he is a babe now he used to be bigger and he put on a tonne of weight while working as a cop, though worked hard to lose weight to join the SWAT team. Natalie applauded him on looking fine and hot damn, I already love her. Speaking of love Dan and Kara bonded over Supergirl and the fact he named his dog Kara. She swooned, as did I when I saw his lycra pants. He was smarter though, knowing it was dangerous and hoped to downplay their bond.

Meanwhile over at the Davids, Pat was quick to take charge of the tribe and got everyone to split up tasks and work together while he leads them in building the shelter. Everyone seemed to be extremely cohesive, trusting Pat’s knowledge, laying foundations and weaving fronds for shelter. Sadly he started getting a bit too strong, shouting at Christian, making awkward jokes and generally frustrating the hell out of his tribe. Which will haunt him, once it is done.

Alec was trying to bring a bit of light to the tribe, knowing how difficult it is to build a shelter with only a machete to help. Natalie however was bringing some doom and gloom, bossing Natalia and the rest of the tribe around whilst worrying about having nothing in common with her tribemates.

Back at the David tribe Elizabeth was worried Pat was going to die as he leaned out of a tree with the machete. Jessica and Bi started to bond while weaving the roof of the shelter, wanting to lie about being 19. She then floated an alliance which Bi was into, as was Carl. Not to be outdone, Elizabeth and Lyrsa got a quiet moment in the jungle and bonded over being super different and wanted to align, as nobody would expect it. And just like that, Natalie is dropped and Lyrsa is my number two to Elizabeth. Lastly Gabby and Christian bonded over being insecure nerds – their words – and hot damn, they are in the lead to be my third and fourth.

John and Mike got together by the tribe flag and bonded over their fame and I assume, all the different nicknames or characters they’ve played. Natalie continued to lose friends and alienate people, as Natalia complained to Dan and someone else – first episode, don’t judge – about her not doing anything and bossing people around. Not wanting to leave her alone as a target, Mike went searching for an idol and was super obvious which immediately made people paranoid. We then met Jeremy who looks delightful in his jocks, while the tribe spoke about Mike being sketchy. Natalie went out to find Mike and warn him to pull his head in, which he vowed to knowing that he was hunting for an idol because he wanted it and now he needs to find it because he needs it.

The next day the rain started to drive in as the Davids worked tirelessly to finish their shelter and find some sort of relief. Elizabeth spoke about how they are instantly at an advantage, because they have grown up with adversity and that makes them fight harder and care for others more than their rivals would. While everyone work, Nick disappeared to try and reserve his energy slash avoid it. He then sidled up to Christian and Elizabeth to form alliances and then come up with names for said alliances. Meanwhile back at camp, Pat put the finishing touches on the shelter much to the delight of Carl who was proud of his hard work. And pissed by Nick’s lack of.

The Goliaths however weren’t as lucky, with no shelter and freezing. Not to be deterred Allison and Angelina got together by the well where Angelina suggested they go find the idol before Mike does and even the historic gender spill of idol ownership. Sadly for them, Mike was still working hard which then made Jeremy and Alec – swoon x 2 – go searching, followed by John, Natalie and Dan, who shared that the idol is in his pants. Oh and no, he isn’t talking about his penis. He was out searching for the idol with Kara and Natalia, and found the idol earlier that day and he was storing it in his pants.

The Davids were less interested about idols, though maybe that had something to do with Davie finding a huge octopus which they will be able to smash ahead of the upcoming immunity challenge. Davie shared that people will likely underestimate him, given he is a total blerd and was proud of himself. Jessica then started to break down on day two, upset about how her mum was in a domestic violence situation and she feels like she has left her alone and she has been responsible for her her entire life. Bi too spoke about the fact she had been in a domestic violence situation and encouraged Jessica that she saved her mum’s life, and she should be proud. Later that night, Nick decided to share that he has troubles opening up with people and wasn’t brave enough to share the fact his mum died of an overdose a couple of years ago earning the support and trust of his tribe. That made him feel like he has had a relief and has truly bonded with his tribe, potentially negating the fact he did shit all at the challenge.

By day three the cyclone had well and truly hit and the sea swelled and the rain pelted on the tribes as they arrived at their first immunity challenge. Each tribe would sprint through an obstacle before someone would dig under a log and chop a rope to release a ladder, with the second place tribe penalised and forced to release their ladder by untying knots. Each tribe would then ascend a platform and use a pole vault to leap to another before completing a puzzle. Carl got out to a huge lead while John and Pat focused on wrestling in the obstacle. Carl and Alec worked on the log, Alec quickly getting under and releasing the Goliath ladder. Things only got worse for the Davids from there as the Goliaths started working on the puzzle before they even got to the pole vault. Allison led the tribe through the puzzle, before Christian desperately started to call instructions in the hope of catching up. The rain started to pour while Allison screamed instructions to her tribe, securing immunity just before the Davids. Who were all cohesive and supportive of each other and I love that.

Well except for Lyrsa, who was planning on voting out Nick before even leaving the challenge. Out of nowhere however, the tribe were back at the challenge beach as Pat was stretchered off the boat in extreme pain, unable to see. Dr Joe and the team swarmed around him as Gabby broke down, worried about Pat as all she heard was a giant crack when they hit a giant wave when they were on a boat back to camp. Probst arrived to figure out what happened, with medical worried about the extent of his injury. As it became evident that he would be medevaced from the game, Pat begged them to allow him to stay while sobbing whilst sucking down oxygen in pain.

As the helicopter flew in, his tribemates started to breakdown and worried about his injury. When given the ok, they all rushed around and told him how much love they had for him and how their hearts are with him. Jessica hoped that he was still grateful for the experience as they were grateful for him and dammit, now I’m crying. Throw in Gabby’s guilt about misjudging him at first and I’m sobbing. Probst checked in with the tribe, with Jessica saying she feels like they just keep getting kicked down. Clearly feeling sorry for them, Probst cancelled tribal council and told them a flint would await them back at camp.

It honestly was one of the most heartbreakingly cruel exits up their with Wanda and Jonathan, and just below Queen Kourtney Moon who was at least medevaced for an ingame incident. Even more cruel, knowing that Pat is the one that inspired this year’s theme, worked like a boss around camp and was someone that you’d really just want to succeed in life. Given I have a messiah complex, I obviously went into full nurse mode – paging future healer tribe member – and ushered him back to health within a couple of days, in no small part thanks to the sustenance provided by my Patty Melt Cusack.

 

 

Now I must confess – not anything about my loneliness, or its potential to kill me – that the idea of patty melt used to disgust me. I mean, why wouldn’t I just have a burger or a toastie? One night, I woke up in the middle of the night, slapped myself repeatedly over the head like Leo in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and realised how stupid I had been. A patty melt is perfection! Dripping cheese, a thick juicy patty and the addition of sweet, buttery onions? Swoon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Patty Melt Cusack
Serves: 2-4, broken-back-ed people.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
butter
2 onions, sliced
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 slices white bread
8 slices American Cheese

Method
Combine the beef, Worcestershire, sriracha and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Divide into four, shape into patties, cover with cling and place in the fridge to chill while you work on the onions.

Melt a small lug of butter in a small saucepan or medium heat until foamy and sweat the onions for ten minutes or so, or until soft and golden. Add the muscovado, balsamic and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further five minutes, after which they should be sticky and glorious.

Heat a skillet over low heat and when nice and piping, add the patties and cook for a couple of minutes each side until they are cooked through. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper, and wipe the skillet clean.

To assemble, place a slice of cheese on four slices of bread, top each with caramelised onions, followed by the patty, the remaining cheese and the last slices of bread.

Melt another knob of butter in the skillet and fry the sandies on each side for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, filled with boundless joy. Despite a major back injury.

 

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Marg Helgenberger Pizza

Burgers, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Main, Snack

While I ventured into the pass to explore the male comedy nominees, I returned to the present – or went Back to the Future, if you will – to celebrate the Emmys with the iconic Marg Helgenberger.

Funnily enough, I didn’t meet Marg until she already had an Emmy to her name … on the set of The Larry Sanders Show. Yep – I met Marg through Garry Shandling. Talk about a small world, no?

Anyway, we became the fastest of friends and I decided she needed to be a bigger star. While it took me a couple of years to get there, I snagged her CSI and Erin Brockovich in the space of a year and I don’t mean to gloat, but that is a pretty big deal.

Marg was thrilled to finally drop by for a visit – talk about making it! – and even more more excited when she learnt it was in honour of the Emmys.

We laughed, we caught up and most importantly, we got to discussing the female drama and limited series noms. We both agreed that Sandra Oh will likely take Best Actress in a Drama, despite it being Claire Foy’s last shot. Marg felt Regina King would take the Limited Series gong, while I of course was backed Laura Dern. In arguably one of the most competitive categories of the night, we agreed that Thandie Newton will snatch Best Supporting Actress just over Yvonne Strahovski. And last but certainly not least, Judith Light will take Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series.

I knew there was only one thing to serve that would sustain us for the long deliberations, and that was my delicious Marg Helgenberger Pizza.

 

 

While I assume you thought I was going to go with a burg, I like to zag instead of zig … and serve a good old culinary-gangbang. I mean, how do you go wrong by throwing all the gloriousness of a burger, on a pizza base. The answer is, you can’t.

Enjoy!

 

 

Marg Helgenberger Pizza
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 base using Zsa Zsa’s recipe
250g beef mince
tomato sauce or paste
Italian herbs, to taste
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
2 pickles, sliced
American mustard, to taste
grated cheese, to top

Method
Prepare base as per Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat oven to 180°C and cook the mince in a frying pan over medium heat, forming into small meatballs as you go.

Spread the base with tomato paste and sprinkle over Italian herbs. Layer with onion, tomato, pickles and the mince. Drizzle with American mustard and sprinkle generously with grated cheese.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Serve and devour immediately.

 

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Samosa Hinton

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes merge and they celebrated with an auction where Shane was the true winner getting to beg people to split food with her. Which as a grandma, she excelled at … even before we learnt along with Lydia not to fuck with Shane Gould. With the beast out of the way, the Champions appeared to be splintering, so when given the opportunity to snatch an advantage, Sharn took it with both hands giving her an advantage at the upcoming immunity challenge. Which she parlayed into a second win. Despite trying to sway the bottom of the alliance over to their side, Robbie and Benji once again came up short and poor Robbie was sent from the game and to the Jury Villa to become King of the Jury.

We returned to camp the next morning where Sharn loitered in the water while Mat wrote a message to his son Max’s birthday and hot damn, my ovaries exploded. Not to be outdone, it is also Steve’s birthday and Mat and Sharn helped him celebrate. He was touched and started to tear up by the time everyone served him a cake of potato and carrot and hot damn, I love zaddy Steve and his buff people’s alliance. My ability to relate with them or not, be damned!

Jonathan didn’t leave us waiting long, arriving for this week’s reward which is essentially flags but with coloured bottles. Before the challenge started, however, Benji spoke about having the sads and Sam said that Robbie raised some valid points, though he made them too late for anyone to do anything. Which is kinda a dangerous thing to say, no. Anyway, back to the challenge which is for a trip to the Survivor spa with wine and cheese, and if Mat and Steve don’t have a zaddy date this episode is straight up homophobic. Monika was first out, fucked up by a shoulder charge from Shane Gould. She was followed by Steve who gave up because he wanted someone that wanted it more to win – swoon – much to the delight of Shonee who would love a good shampoo.

They were joined on the loser bench by Shane, Shonee – who smashed Sharn in the process – before Sam and Benji tried to come up with strategies to take out Brian and Mat, sadly failing and eliminating Sharn instead. Sam was taken out by Brian, who was the next eliminated leaving Mat and Benji to battle it out. The final round complicated matters with the person having to grab the idol, snatch the bottle and run over the start line. Despite getting out in front, Mat let Benji grab the bottle and proceeded to tackle him leading to some beautiful homoerotic wrestling before Mat eventually snatched victory. As is always the case, Mat was given the chance to select one person to join him and out of nowhere selected Fenella for having a killer sense of humour. To further complicate matters, he was given one more spot at the spa, selecting Sharn and angering Sam who felt even more on the outs of his alliance.

We followed Mat and the girls to the spa where they were delighted to find hammocks, champagne, chocolate, cheese and a shower, while Fenella tried to figure out why Mat selected her. After scrubbing up, Mat admitted that he didn’t invite her for her sparkling personality and instead was hoping to pull her in to become the new majority alliance. Despite not wanting to pull in Shonee, Fenella kept bringing up her ride or die and agreed that the six of them should take control.

The victors returned to camp where they lined up the losers and handed out gifts of razors, tweezers, soaps and while it is obvious as hell, he got Steve some jocks and I will never bitch about that. Unlike Benji, who decided that he needs to go ASAP. Brian however wandered into the ocean to wash himself off with the soap and I really question myself sometimes, because even that was pretty hot. Even as they joked about him being grotty.

To make it even worse, we opened the next day with the tribe were ogling Brian’s weight loss and talking about him being a babe. While I wanted to explore my psyche and why I found the bathing scene hot, I was distracted as Benji got to work ingratiating himself with Mat to try and get close enough to take him out. He charmed him, Sharn and Steve, talking about having no allies left in the game before turning around and approaching Sam about potentially taking Mat out. Sam was obviously keen since he has been feeling on the bottom of his alliance, however he knew that a flip required Shonella’s support so approached them about joining him and Benji. The girls were keen, so he moved on to Monika about aligning with them … however she could see how panicked and stressed he was, and I’m not sure whether she is actually interested in joining with the paranoia.

JoJo returned for the latest immunity challenge, the Survivor classic – Last Gasp – where everyone would have to hang on to a grate on the surface of the water as the tide rolled in around them. The last person remaining calm enough to stay under water, wins. Given they were dangerously in the shallows – making escape more difficult – they started to get eaten by little fish, which TBH would be enough to do me in. Everyone was still in the challenge after 50 minutes as the water lapped at their mouths and panicked set in. Well, for everyone but Shane was zen as hell. Sam became the first person out of the challenge, followed by Shonee, Steve, Monika – despite taking on a tonne of water for ages – Sharn, Fenella and Benji, after an extreme battle with himself. After an hour and fifteen Brian opted out, leaving Shane and Mat to fight for immunity with their faces completely submerged before Shane surfaced out of nowhere and handed Mat immunity.

While everyone else was congratulating Mat, Benji and Sam were devastated as they returned to camp, since their dream target was now immune and they needed to find a different target. Sam threw out Steve’s name instead, given he is Mat’s – and mine – number one. Sam approached Mat to throw him off the scent and assure him that he is talking to the others to try and distract them, however Mat was hurt and felt that Sam betrayed their alliance and decided that he now needs to go as his conversations only benefitted himself. Mat rallied Sharn, Shane and Steve who were all in for taking out Sam due to his betrayal, before Mat pulled in Benji who was just happy that someone else’s name is being thrown around. This made Sam even more paranoid, as he returned to Mat to try and win his way back into the alliance. Sam told him that Benji told him – this sounds like a school fight – that Mat was targeting him, infuriating Mat and motivating the Champions mega alliance to reconsider taking out Benji.

At tribal council we saw a scrubbed up Robbie was babin’ albeit tragically clothed. Sam spoke about the fact it wasn’t really the right time to move last night and then admitted he is well and truly on the block tonight, and therefore he regretted it. Sam spoke about Mat targeting Lydia – despite it being Shane’s plan – and admitted he warned Lydia to try and keep things together, which Mat felt was a betrayal. The two went back and forth talking about loyalty and the power of words, and to be honest it seemed pretty painful. Sharn got in on the mum and dad talk action, asking how he could say he was sticking with his alliance when he just said it was fractured. While he defended it as a slip of the tongue, I just don’t know if anyone truly believes him anymore. Benji jumped in on the action, pointing out that the Contenders were still easy allies. Steve said he had heard his name thrown out this afternoon, as had Sam and Benji, before Benji continued to work this tribal council and say it was important that they trust in who they plan to vote with and regroup if and when needed.

Brian was confused, though looking for ways to build his resume, Shane was just being her usual baller self and Mat wasn’t sure whether he would stick with the devil he knows, or the one whispering new plans in his ear. With that, the tribe went off to vote and Benji felt safe enough not to play his idol, quite rightly, as Sam found himself joining Robbie on the jury. Given Sam is an absolute delight, he took his boot in his stride and was even cool that I used our entire catch-up flirting with Robbie. As a still-clinging-to-young alumni of UQ, I’ve known Sam forever and we’ve been besties for years, so I’m not really surprised he took his boot so well. Or me dumping him to pursue a classically hot guy I’m going to regret. Though since I kept him well fed with a big ol’ batch of Samosa Hintons, why would he even care about me?

 

 

Packing a lot of spice and a good whack of chilli, these babies are the ultimate comfort snack. I mean, spiced meat and crispy pastry – name a more iconic duo.

I’ll wait. And in the meantime, you can enjoy!

 

 

Samosa Hinton
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
500g beef mince
1 potato, washed and diced
1 carrot, grated
½ cup frozen peas, defrosted
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground ginger
1 ½ tsp garam masala
3  cups flour
1 tsp ground cumin
⅓ cup melted ghee
¾ cup warm water
vegetable oil, for brushin’

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onions and garlic for five minutes or so. Add the mince, and cook for a further couple of minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go. Add the potato, carrot, turmeric, coriander, chilli, ginger and garam masala, with a big whack of salt and pepper, and cook until the mince is done. Add the peas and cook for a couple of minutes, or until all of the liquid has absorbed. Remove from the heat and  allow to cool.

While the fillin’ is chillin’, combine the flour with a good pinch of salt and the cumin. Slowly add the ghee and water, kneading as you go to create a smooth, firmish-not-sticky dough. Cover and leave to rest for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 200C.

To assemble, split the dough into ten pieces and roll into discs. Cut each disc in half and shape into a cone. Pack with the filling and seal the ends with a dab of water to form a triangle. Place on a lined baking sheet and continue until the filling and dough are all gone.

Brush the samosas with vegetable oil and place in the oven to bake – because I’m scared of fryin’ – for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour with some Raita Mitchell or Joe Manngo Chutney.

 

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