Chilli con Tarane Pittza

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Pizza, Snack, TV Recap

After sending Peter out of the game to become the final juror, our final two awoke on the final day shocked and excited to have made it to the end and potentially hours away from being a hell of a lot richer. They then arrived at treemail to discover the final two breakfast, rather than cookies or lollies.

As they cooked the feast, Jericho shared his childhood growing up poor in the Philippines and spoke about being underestimated the entire game. He then outlined his entire game, using Luke as a meatshield, using the cookies to build alliances and avoided receiving votes until day 52. On the flipside, Tara spoke about her journey being voted out of Samatau – and saved by a twist – and somehow surviving her way through 21 tribal councils. They then packed up the camp and got quite emotional to be leaving the place they’ve called home for eight weeks … before heading off to the final tribal council.

Jonathan gave Jericho and Tara a quick rundown of how final tribal council plays out before they delivered their open statements. Tara spoke about how terrified she was by her competitors on day one and she knew that her social game was the only thing that could save her. She outlined how she spoke to everyone to keep her options open while riding her shield Locky, before slaying him and not taking the easy vote at the final four. Jericho then congratulated everyone on their gameplay before telling everyone he wasn’t as lovable as they assumed, with his usual eloquence. He then referred to his cookies as a shield before I started having horrific Amanda Kimmel final tribal bombing flashbacks.

Queen Michelle kicked off the festivities by congratulating the final two on sitting there – savage – before asking them to each point out their biggest move in the game. Tara singled out the Locky vote as her greatest achievement, orchestrating the boot while allowing her enough time to prove she could survive without him. Jericho’s big move was the cookie alliance. Amanda, can you hear me?

Anneliese was next, giving Jericho the chance to defend himself for riding Luke’s coattails. Once again, he gave a delightful metaphor about riding Luke like Santa in a sleigh, meaning he was whipping Luke to get him to do what he needs. She point blank told Tara that Jericho was currently above her in her mind, and questioned why she chose to save Jericho at the final four. Once again Tara clearly explained that she felt Jericho deserved to be in the finals … and knew that she needed someone strong in the challenges to battle Pete and carry her to final tribal.

Locky – still clothed – then congratulated Tara on getting him out of the game before asking Jericho if their swim in the deep water was truly personal, or just a game. Jericho told him it was his highlight of his time, and Locky deemed it enough. Ziggy then asked each of them to explain why the other deserved to win the game, which highlighted nothing more than the fact both of them aren’t very good at explaining their games but damn can they talk up their pal.

King of the Jury Jarrad arrived to talk smack about his whiny underlings before asking Jericho where his game went wrong, if he loses tonight. Thankfully he said that booting Tessa from the jury was what scares him the most. Finally adding some interest to the affair, Jarrad warned Jericho that like the merge vote, Jarrad would be underlining his vote to send a message to him. May the odds be ever in your favour, mwahahahaha.

Sarah then got involved, telling Jericho he played a skittish, confusing game before reminding Jericho that he let her, as a cat, drown. She then pointed out that he constantly contradicts himself, and asked him to explain himself better. Which he did not. Next up was Luke as the clouds opened up, dumping rain on everyone as he went in to bat for his friend. Kinda. Saying Jericho kinda deserves credit for some of their moves.

Peter arrives, terrifying Tara, before asking her the gentle question of what she did while still hiding under Locky’s wing. Sadly she outlined getting rid of AK, which happened after she was voted out of her tribe. Peter then asked Jericho to give him three words

Henry then fired up and rolled out his crazy eyes before announcing that he wasn’t a yoga instructor. He then asked Tara when she started playing the game, which she stupidly said was day 49. This pissed Henry off, so he cut her off and succinctly outlined her gameplay for the jury. He then tore into Jericho for his wishy-washy decision making, and booting Tessa from the jury despite the fact she said she wouldn’t vote for Tara … and then took Tara to the end. Jericho then seemed to get some fire, and defended his game and spoke about being proud of having Henry’s blood on his hands.

One by one the jury went out to vote before Jonathan dropped the bomb that unlike last year he wouldn’t be reading the votes on the island, instead taking them back to read in Australia VIA BOAT TO SYDNEY HARBOUR. YAS BISH, YAAAAAASSSSSS.

After some brief chit-chat, JLP got down to the business of crowning our winner. The votes rolled in for Jericho, followed by a second Jericho and a trio of Tara’s before a trio of Jericho’s handed him the win and the title of sole survivor. While Tara couldn’t convince the jury she deserved the title, she did play an extremely strong, flexible game and more than earned her place as the runner-up and a big fat, congratulatory Chilli con Tarane Pittza.

 

 

I have such warm memories of being fascinated by the kitsch ‘90s-ness of a Mexican Pizza. I mean, sure, spicy mince, bean and capsicum are delicious. But pile on some sour cream, guacamole and stab it with chips and you’ve got a hilarious pizza party.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chilli con Tarane Pittza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
passata and italian herbs, for the aforementioned bases
½ batch Chilli Con Kim Carnes
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 avocado, mashed
corn chips, hot sauce and sour cream, to serve

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

Then prepare the Chilli as per Kimmy’s instructions – remember when she started it all? Such an innocent time.

Smear the dough with the passata and italian herbs, heap on chilli, splay with capsicums and cover with cheese. Bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Dollop the mashed avocado in the centre, spear with some corn chips and serve with some hot sauce and sour cream.

Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton

Burgers, Main, Side, Snack

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton
Serves: 4.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce

Main, Pasta, Snack

I was balls deep in this year’s Emmy Gold celebrations – after successful dates with Reets, Jackie-Boy and Chevs – when I was struck with a horrid feeling while driving away from Chevs’ … I’ve never documented a time-travel enabled date with the undisputed queen of television, Ms Lucille ma’ fuckin’ Ball.

Yes guys – how this kind of thing still comes as a shock to you, I will never know – I was a dear friend of Lucille Ball. I mean, probably even her best friend. The bestest.

I first met Lucille in the 30s while co-starring in the play Hey Diddle Diddle – where I was fired for diddling the director. While I was surrounded by scandal, Luce stood by my side and when the play was shut down after a week in DC, I escorted her to film the Too Many Girls which co-starred a friend of mine, Des.

Again, yes – of course it was me that introduced Lucy and Desi.

Anyway, given I wanted to see Luce at her best, I set the delorean for the ‘50s so we could catch up while they filmed a ep of I Love Lucy. It was such a joy to see them in a happy, successful time and it filled me with unending joy.

As this is the second date where I can’t reference the year, on account of the butterfly effect, I was left to run the odds all on my lonesome in the DeLorean. As she is the queen of comedy, I got to thinking about the female comedy awards. While I feel Pamela Adlon would prove an amazing person to end Jules’ streak, I can’t see anyone pipping her this year. Obviously Kate McKinnon is taking out supporting again, if only for her rendition of Hallelujah which made me cry for an hour.

Given that Luce was also the head of a production company – hallelu, desilu – I figured she’d be cool with me exploring the behind the cam odds. Donald Glover will win directing for a comedy, Jonathan Nolan (or the Duffer to hedge my bets) for drama, Don Roy King for SNL for Variety and Jean-Marc Vallée for Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special.

Seriously – it was an action packed date, which called for an extremely special Judd family favourite – after Luce cooked it for us in the ‘70s – my Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce.

 

 

Moist, zingy and entirely sweet, these babies are the perfect thing to pop in your mouth while filling a hole … or catching up with a departed friend and running the odds in a defunct car.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 onion, grated
⅓ cup quick-cook oats
1 egg, lightly whisked
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tbs each of olive oil and butter
40g French onion soup mix
1 ½ cup beer
1 tbs brown sugar
1 pinch ground nutmeg
¼ cup sour cream
500g spiral pasta

Method
Combine the mince, onion, oats, egg and allspice in a bowl and scrunch to combine. Shape into walnut sized balls and allow to chill in the fridge for half an hour.

When raring to go, get a large pot of salted water on to boil and heat the oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Lightly fry the chilled balls in the hot, frothy liquid for a couple of minutes on each side, or until browned and glossy. Sprinkle with the soup mix and pour over the beer, stirring once the froth has subsided. Add the brown sugar, nutmeg and cook, stirring, for a further half an hour.

In that time, cook the pasta to packet instructions, drain and return to the pan with a small knob of butter. When the pasta is done and the balls cooked through, add the sour cream to the balls and stir to combine.

Serve the saucy, wet balls on a bed of buttered pasta … and devour.

 

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Eggs Benedict Burgan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Eggs Benedict Burgan
Serves: 2.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Meatzza Doherty

Main, Pizza, Snack

Where do I start with my dear friend Pete Doherty. I mean, despite all the ups and downs – the latter of which there were many during the noughties – we’ve always had a solid friendship and he was been the greatest support a guy could hope for.

I don’t know if it had anything to do with the fact that we met whilst working as grave fillers at Willesden Cemetery in the late ‘90s – let’s be honest, it may have been the ‘00s, I wasn’t the most reliable narrator at the time – or not, but we’ve always tried not to sweat the small stuff with each other and have made the most out of every day.

Sadly though making the most out of every day back then involved a lot of coke, in addition to his blossoming music career.

Since we both recently got clean, I don’t want to dwell on coke years – plus, it will make the musical of our lives more exciting for you – but it goes without saying that I was his muse and was instrumental in the success of Babyshambles and the Libertines.

After leaving rehab in 2015, we made the difficult decision to keep our distance from one another to avoid falling into the temptations of our old habits. I would be lying if I said that I haven’t wanted to hang out with Pete every day of the past 18 months, so I’m glad that we both feel well enough to catch-up and prepare to tell our story, one step at a time like we are Sharon Needles as Caitlyn Jenner.

As soon as I heard footsteps in the hall, I ran to the door, flung it open and threw myself into his arms, saying everything I couldn’t during the course of our absence. Despite having our break, it felt like only yesterday that we’d last caught up, laughing and joking, and sharing what we’ve been up to.

While he was a little bit reticent about the musical at first, my Meatzza Doherty made quick work of winning him over.

 

 

No I don’t make it a habit of talking smack about my dear friend Saint Nigella Lawson, but I felt just one meatzza was nowhere near enough. While I couldn’t convince him that a Meatlovers Meatzza is a good idea, he was definitely sold on my chargrilled veggie version. But really, how couldn’t you be – artichoke, olives, capsicum, (non-grilled) mushrooms and feta … on a big-arse patty of meat. Could you ask for anything more?

The answer is no, FYI. I know you’ll enjoy it!

 

 

Meatzza Doherty
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
3 tbsp breadcrumbs
3 tbsp basil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
4-6 chargrilled artichokes, quartered
⅓ cup olives, pitted and halved
⅓ cup chargrilled capsicum, sliced
200g mushrooms, sliced
150g feta, crushed

Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Combine the mince, parmesan, breadcrumbs, basil, garlic, egg and salt and pepper in a bowl, and scrunch to combine. Press the mix into a lined pizza tray.

Next, combine the tin tomatoes and oregano and smear over the bloody patty. After that, throw all the veggies over the top, followed by the feta and throw into the oven for half an hour, or until cooked and golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes, before serving / devouring.

 

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Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos

Main, Party Food, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

While Ang is an icon of the stage – well, everywhere TBH – Alan’s performance as the M.C. is in a league of its own, Lena perfectly carried Yitzhak to the Broadway stage and Harves is a Broadway legend, none of them hold a candle to my dear friend Audra McDonald.

I mean, not only as she won the most performance awards at six, she is the only person to take out all four performing categories. You can not argue that when it comes to the Tonys, Audra is the queen – she is essentially the Meryl of Broadway.

When I decided to finally include the Tonys in our slate of highly regarded awards show coverage, I just knew that I had to have Auds by my side to add to the gravitas of my predictions. Yes, add to the gravitas.

Given how busy she has been with Beauty and the Beast and returning to Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, I haven’t been able to catch Audra in the last few years so she was thrilled to take a week off sick to fly over and celebrate with her dear friend from Juilliard.

Fun fact: she actually pushed me to apply to Juilliard with her after seeing my star-making turn in the hit, three-performance, high school production of How the West was Warped, where I played the sexy-twin Sheriff. I was amazing, she was sold and together we vowed to take the world by storm.

Since we’ve essentially exhausted all of the acting categories, I instead got her to conduct a thorough audit of all my previous predictions (before taking them to my bookie). Thankfully she agreed with 93.6 percent of my tips, so we could focus solely on reconnecting over Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos.

 

 

It really is no secret that I have a passionate and undying love for all Mexican food – and Tex-Mex – but there is something particularly special about a carne asada taco. The zing of the mojo keeps the meat light and fresh, allowing the guac, lime, lettuce, cheese and salsa to do their thing and make it sing better than Audra.

Don’t worry, she completely agrees – enjoy!

 

 

Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
3 limes, juiced and zested
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
750g flank steak
12 corn tortillas
shredded iceberg lettuce
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cups grated cheese
Salsa Struthers
2 avocados, mashed
sour cream, to serve
lime wedges, to serve

Method
Combine the garlic, jalapeno, coriander, limes, champagne vinegar, olive oil and a good whack of salt and pepper in a large shallow dish. Add the steaks, toss to coat, cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate.

Preheat a griddle over high heat. Once piping, reduce heat to medium, brush with some oil and cook the steaks for a few minutes each side, flipping once. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes. After it has rested, transfer to a chopping board and thinly slice against the grain.

To serve, heat the tortillas in a skillet for about 30 second each side and layer with salad, salsa, onion, guac, sour cream, cheese and steak. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Harvey Fiersteamed Buns

Main, Party Food, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

As we move into the second half of our inaugural Tony Gold celebrations, I knew I had to go with some even bigger Tony Awards legends and there is no one more legendary when it comes to the multi-hatted Harvey Fierstein.

I honestly don’t even know where to start about my dear friend Harvey Fierstein, the man can do just about anyoneanything and truly is a Broadway legend. I mean, he’s won Tony’s for acting and Best Play and for writing the books of musical, there aren’t many of my friends that can say they’ve achieved more. Which is a huge part of why we’re friends, as I assume you suspected.

I first met Harve’s through my dear friend Andy Warhol – I was one of his muses – when he came in to audition for his play Pork. While I was ropeable that Andy didn’t hand me the part, I begrudgingly knew that Harves was the better man for the job and instead of tearing him down, hitched my wagon to his for inevitable fame and fortune.

Fun fact: he wrote the roles of Alan and David in the Torch Song Trilogy in honour of our love affair and my childish attitude, respectively.

Given the fact that he can do pretty much anything on Broadway, I decided to wrote the best book of a musical and best production odds, so buckle in. For the book, it seems to be a two horse race between Dear Evan Hansen and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, the edge I give to the former and Harves gives to the latter. For the plays, we agreed on Six Degrees and of Separation and A Doll’s House, Part 2 taking the gold, with the musical gongs going to Hello, Dolly – never bet against Bette – and Dear Evan Hansen, despite Come from Away taking out the Drama Desk.

Given the conversation was robust, I couldn’t go past whipping up our old favourite post-coital meal, Harvey Fiersteamed Bun.

 

 

There is a lot I could say about Harve and my passion for a tempting, hot bun but these are far and away the best ones we want to have in our mouths to devour. I mean, steamed buns are amazing – they even ended my feud with the artist formerly known as Cumberbitch – but have you ever had a mexican themed one? Because they’re amazing. A light, fluffy cornbread enclosing a piping hot chilli and gooey cheese? Sign me the hell up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Harvey Fiersteamed Buns
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1-2 cups of Chilli con Kim Carnes
7g active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup plain flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup cornstarch, talk about corny
¼ cup raw caster sugar
¼ cup canola oil
2 ½ tsp baking powder
grated cheese

Method
Start out by whipping up the Chilli con Kim Carnes, remove the two cups required and cook a little bit further to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while you carry on, not necessarily calmly, with the dough.

Combine the yeast and warm water in the large bowl of a stand mixer before adding the flour, cornmeal and cornstarch, stirring with the dough hook to kinda combine / avoid a kitchen resembling an anthrax scare. Place the dough hook in the mixer and mix on the lowest setting. Slowly add the sugar and oil and continue mixing until a smooth ball forms. Remove, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for a couple of hours.

As its had a chance to prove itself, add the baking powder and return to the mixer on low for a couple of minutes. At this point it may be looking a bit dry since the cornmeal acts like a sponge, so add a couple of tablespoons to keep it smooth and soft … but not sticky. Nice and simple instructions, no? Once the dough is smooth, cover with the damp cloth again and allow to prove for half an hour.

While the dough is proving, cut out 12, 10-15cm squares of baking paper. Once the dough has proven itself again, punch it back and divide into 12 equal balls. Press each into a 15cm wide disc and place on a piece of baking paper. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of each disc with a pinch of cheese before pulling the edges in to enclose like a bun.

Once the buns are prepared, bring a pot of water to water with a steamer over the top. Once the water is going off like a frog in a sock, add 3-4 buns and steam for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed, fluffy and gorgeous. Repeat the process until they are done.

Once you’re ready, serve with any combination of chilli sauce, sour cream or guacamole and devour.

 

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Georgia Burgerson

Bread, Burgers, Main, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor NZ, the tribes were switched up with Tom getting a new lease on life at Mogoton with Jak, Mike and Lee joining he and Shay, where the latter was clearly on the outs. Over at Hermosa, Barb and Nate were also saved from their impending doom landing with Georgia, Avi and Sala, with Shannon sent to redemption island to wait to join the tribe that lost the next immunity challenge. After an epic fail at the immunity challenge, new Hermosa banded together to give Nate and Barb their revenge, sending Gerogia to redemption island where she barely beat Izzy in the last duel.

On redemption Georgia was struggling after a night of torrential rain put out her fire. While she planned to quickly get one up and running, she struggled forever to make fire before lamenting the fact that she was away from her allies, who I assume could actually get a fire going.

Back at Hermosa, Shannon continued to feel uneasy about her place in the tribe, given her history with Barb and Nate. Not wanting to stay on the bottom, she identified that Sala was key to her survival and desperately tried to form a connection with him by washing dishes by the shore. Proving how smart she is, she appealed to Sala’s sense of right and kindness … which seems to have won the big softie over. Swoon town, Sala – swoon.

Meanwhile at Mogoton, Tom wasn’t thrilled about the storm that was rolling in before taking a note out of the drag race book and threw some epic shade at Shay’s lack of work ethic. She lay around and sat on the beach while the boys worked around camp and went fishing. I mean, the boys were driving me mental but her complete disinterest in trying  is making them seem likeable.

Continuing in the theme of taking from other reality TV shows, Avi and Shannon got to work making his clothing work in the hope of impressing Tim Gunn … I assume. All I took away from the segment was that Shannon and Avi are quickly becoming quite tight and they’re concerned about the next immunity challenge.

Back at Mogoton, Tom and Jak were bonding and trying to become the second coming of rice and beans … which given they are trying to be the Queen, Sandy D-T and Courtney Yates, I am back to hating them. I mean, they will never, ever be at their level. Distracting from my rage, they discovered treemail inviting them to a word puzzle immunity challenge … which they are planning to throw to get rid of Shay.

With that, Matt arrived to lorde over the immunity challenge which looks like it is a lot more than just a puzzle, knocking Hermosa’s confidence given how fit Mogoton are. If only they knew they were planning to throw it anyway! The challenge involved the classic Survivor element of throwing buckets of water between tribe members, before filling a bucket attached to a see saw to release a key … to unlock the pieces to the word puzzle. Despite the boys planning to throw the challenge anyway, Shay could not get it together giving Hermosa a huge lead. Then Barb and Shannon happened, struggling with the puzzle to the point where Jak and Michael would have easily caught up had they not been so obviously trying to throw the challenge.

Matt then called the immunity idol old mate when giving it to a very emotional Shannon, which is probably the most amazing thing to have happened ever.

Hermosa were feeling triumphant back at camp, with Shannon gleefully sunbaking and singing, while Sala and Nate discussed how obvious it was that Mogoton threw the challenge. Meanwhile over at Mogoton, the boys pretended to be disappointed by the loss while Shay was confident her chances of survival were slim to none. She then made the questionable move of playing cards, rather than getting to work … wait, hang on a minute – she is trying to stay in the game, talking to Jak and Tom about getting rid of Mike instead.

Shay’s pitch actually makes a lot of sense, and would guarantee breaking up the pair of Georgia and Mike. But then we run the risk of losing scenes of Mike spraying so much insect repellent on his naked torso he looks like he is oiling up for a body building challenge. Jak and Tom approached Mike to explain to him that Tom would be writing down Mike’s name, to avoid Shay going off on them at the next duel … which made Mike nervous, given that means Jak could change his mind at the last minute and easily get rid of Mike before the merge.

At tribal, Matt was quick to let the boys know that he knew what they were up to, despite not going the Probst route and openly calling it out. Jak tried to be cute, Mike started to get anxious, while Shay had accepted the fact that she is definitely on the bottom. Talk turned to redemption, with Mike confident that Georgia would return to the game … despite being seconds away from losing the previous duel. Before they went to vote, Shay gave one final push to stay which sadly fell on deaf ears, as the tribe sent her to redemption – faux-shocking Tom – to be beaten by Georgia if Mike is psychic.

The boys returned from tribal council where Jak says something stupid and immediately kills the boner I had thinking about the sausage fest. Not seeming to notice my pain, Tom quickly congratulated himself on a fake vote well played as the boys got cocky – again, not in a good way – about dominating the remainder of the game. What is it about best laid – seriously, me and the sex puns – plans?

Shay arrived at redemption where Georgia was shocked to see her, assuming her girl Shannon was destined to be the next boot. They chatted, Georgia was bubbly and Shay vowed revenge if and when she returns to the game. I wonder what is happening at the sausage fest …

The next day, things were tragically not post-coital at Mogoton where the boys passed the time with some busy work. Despite Lee’s best efforts to spice things up with some rope play, nobody seemed to be keen on 50 Shades of Survivor and we were stuck to wonder why the gods hadn’t taken Jak instead of Lou.

Meanwhile over at Hermosa, the tribe were sitting around for morning coffee when Sala returned with an invite to the next duel … where they speculated a merge was a comin’. While they were excited by the prospect, Avi was concerned about where Tom would fit in with his plans given the bro-town over at Mogoton. Not wanting to leave anything to fate, Shannon hounded Avi to ensure that he would be able to woo him.

The peanut gallery arrived at redemption island where Matt was quick to partly confirm their suspicions, announcing that in addition to the losing person being eliminated for good, the victor would be returning to the game … stopping just short of confirming the merge.

The duel was the classic card stacking challenge – which Aubry dominated on Game Changers – meaning it could literally be anyone’s game. And reminded me on the epic finish to season 5 of House of Cards … but I digress.

Shay got out to a strong start where Georgia was shaky and second guessing herself. Then I realised that Shay has used 90 percent of her tiles on the bottom two floors, allowing Georgia to overtake Shay half a metre from the top … before her tower tumbled to the ground at the last minute, allowing Shay to jenga out enough tiles to take out the duel and return to the game … sending my girl Georgia out of the game for good.

Despite being extremely frustrated and disappointed, my fellow dance star – I’m kind of feeling like her and Alexis’ boot were fated to air during my Tony Gold celebrations – quickly perked up when she spotted me whipping up a big old Georgia Burgerson.

 

 

Yes – this is just a copycat of a Quarter Pounder but like everything else in the world, it is so much tastier when it is homemade. I mean, you know the buns are fresher and you know what is in the meat … and let’s be honest, it is so much better being able to eat it in the comfort of your own home (or Loser Lodge) with or without comfort pants.

Enjoy!

 

 

Georgia Burgerson
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper
4 sesame seed buns, halved
ketchup
mustard
½ an onion, diced and placed in iced water for five minutes, and drained
2 dill pickles, sliced
8 slices high melt cheese

Method
Squeeze out as much liquid from the mince as possible before placing it in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine with your hands, and divide into four equal patties. Place on a plate lined in cling, cover and place in the fridge for about half an hour.

While the patties are on ice, prep everything else in the burgers.

Once you’re good to go, place a large griddle over medium heat and toast the open halves of the buns for a minute, or until golden. After the buns are done, the griddle should be nice and hot, so lightly brush some oil over the pan and add the patties, flattening down with a spatula. Cook for a few minutes, flip, and cook for a further couple of minutes.

To assemble, spread ketchup and mustard – to taste – on the top half of the bun, add onions and sliced pickled. On the bottom, place a slice of cheese, the patty and the second slice of cheese. Bring the buns together and devour, immediately.

 

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Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie

Main, Pie, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

So that cat is well and truly out of the bag, with Brad, Sarah and Troyzan outlasting the rest and landing themselves in the final three. The new and improved jury segment lead to some robust debated between Brad and Sarah, with Troyzan relegated to the role of ignored finalist / zero vote second runner-up.

While Sarah played the clearly superior game, Brad did a great job learning from the mistakes of his first game via following the mantra – what would that neat lady Monica do. Turns out, he took it too literally and followed in her footsteps to finish in second.

I mean, sure, the last few days on the island he started to choke and clearly needed a damn snickers, you can’t fault the way he controlled the early game with Sierra and upcycled everything they could salvage from the marooning to ensure their island digs were as stylish and comfortable as any and all five star accommodations.

As you know, Annelie and I have been firm friends with the Culpeppers since Brad’s time in the NFL. After what happened during One World, I knew how critical it was to our renewed friendships to avoid selling stories to the tabloids during this run.

Brad was disappointed to not take out the title when he arrived at Ponderosa but his mood quickly changed when he discovered that I was whipping him up a hearty and comforting Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie to dull the pain slash cure his hanger.

 

 

You really should know by now, that I have a passionate love for pies. Sweet, savoury, fruity and filled with cream – if you can make, I will love it. But obviously, this one is extra delicious given the aggressive kick of pepper elevating the smooth meaty gravy.

Meaty gravy – what delightful imagery.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1kg beef mince
2 onions, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
kosher salt, to taste
¼ cup flour
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp cracked black pepper
salt to taste
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the beef and cook until browned while breaking up with the spoon. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt and cook for about five minutes. Reduce heat to low, add the flour and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Stir through the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce and pepper, and simmer for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Once the filling is reduced and glorious, transfer to a pie or baking dish. Cover with puff pastry, crimp the edges to seal, prick a couple of steam holes and brush with the beaten egg.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Serve immediately and devour.

 

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