Steak Diana Piessana

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball, Pie

In the melancholy of honouring such a dear, recently departed friend, I didn’t even notice that we’re now past the halfway point of this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, Gold Basketball. While Quentin and Nat were more joyous occasions, seeing Kobe yesterday was so bittersweet, that I needed to see my lovely writing pal, Diana Ossana.

While I didn’t meet Di until filming of Brokeback Mountain – when I was a part of Michelle’s entourage – we became truly close, as she valued my experiences as a gay farmer to shape production.

Thankfully she never found out about the fact I lied about being a gay farmer and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

Di has been busy writing her latest movie with Larry, so we haven’t been able to catch-up as much as we would like. It was such a joy to finally see her in the flesh again, share a hug and run the screenwriting odds for this year’s Oscars.

Like me, Di doesn’t believe anything will beat Parasite for Best Original Screenplay. Well, unless he wins Best Director, in which case I think Quen will get it for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. As far as Adapted Screenplay goes, my heart desperately wants to call it for Greta Gerwig for the best adaptation of Little Women of all time (at the risk of sounding like Kanye). However Di’s logic for backing Taika Waititi is solid, given Jojo Rabbit is coming off a killer run in the key precursors.

With that settled, we took a seat together, toasted our ongoing successes and put all our good energy into a Greta win – despite how much I love Taika too – and demolished a big serve of Steak Diana Piessana.

 

 

Like the great Oscar winning meal of Steak Diane Keaton, this baby is so damn comforting. Hearty chunks of beef, the sweet mix of shallots and brandy and a kick of parsley freshness work together to make a beautiful gravy. That is only improved by the inclusion of mash and pastry.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steak Diana Piessana
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
500g beef, diced
3 shallots, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup brandy
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
¼ cup cream
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
500g potatoes, diced
500g pumpkin, diced
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, whisked

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place a large pot of salted water with potatoes and pumpkin over high heat and bring to the boil, once rolicking, reduce to a low and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until tender. Mash as you normally would and leave covered while you cook the rest.

Combine the butter and olive oil in a dutch oven and place over medium heat. Add the beef, shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add the brandy, stirring as you go to avoid large lumps forming. Follow that with the stock, dijon and Worcestershire, and cook, stirring, for a further half an hour, or until the sauce has thickened.

Remove from the heat and stir through the cream and parsley.

Transfer the meat and gravy to a pie dish, top with the mash and top with the pastry. Brush with the whisked egg, cut a slit into the top and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Leave to rest for five minutes, before devouring. Greedily.

 

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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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Michello Williams Shots

Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Dessert, Drink

After spending time with Josh, Katie, Mezza-B, JVDB and Kerr, we’ve come, just like that, to the end of my Dawson’s Creek 20th Anniversary road. Though I guess, really, I should call it a creek, no? Given said anniversary of the premiere falls today and we’re balls deep in awards season, I knew that Mich was the perfect person to act as the jewel in our crown.

Plus – Michelle Williams is a damn saint and is hella iconic, so she is most deserving. I mean, her statement post-Wahlbergate and shout out to Anthony Rapp was perfection.

While I only met Michelle on the Dawson’s set, we quickly became the best of friends and have been each other’s emotional support ever since (even if her close bond with Busy sometimes gets in the way). Fun fact: as Jake and I were engaged at the time of Matilda’s christening and I’m her secret third godparent).

Her career has truly gone from strength to strength since leaving the Creek, raking in a Golden Globe and a quartet of Oscar nominations (… that really should bump up to five after her powerhouse performance, during two different filmings, in All The Money in the World). She kinda is like the millennial version of Meryl, TBH.

Of course she laughed off my lavish praise when we set down to celebrate her role as Queen Jen Lindley and her ongoing success, but deep down I know she appreciated me toasting her with a tray of Michello Williams Shots.

 

 

Since we are both – yes, BOTH – hella classy, I didn’t want my jello shots to be a technicolour monstrosity that burnt from your esophagus right to your soul. So instead of that, I went with a dignified sparkling, berry and chambord combination which truly gives you life. Consider this the Oscar version compared to the usual Golden Globe-esque jello shot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Michello Williams Shots
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
750ml bottle of sparkling, I went with Prosecco because Sonja Morgan is my low-key role-model
6 leaves Gelatine
¼ cup raw caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 shot chambord
½ cup blueberries or raspberries, rinsed and drained

Method
Cut the gelatine into the top of a double boiler, cover with the sparkling and leave to sit for fifteen minutes, or until hella soft. Fill the bottom of the double boiler with water and simmer over a medium heat until the gelatin has completely melted. Whisk in the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour the remaining sparkling into a bowl with the chambord and add the gelatin-sparkling mixture through a sieve.

Chuck a couple of berries in each shot glass – this could honestly fill 18-24. So just set any remaining liquid in a jelly mould or even a bowl – fill with jelly and transfer to the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

Once set, grab then out and devour, greedily.

 

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Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVI: Gold Interrupted

I am almost overwhelmed when it comes to talking about my beautiful, breathtaking and languid friendship with the gorgeous Ang Lee. He has brought me so much joy over the years – adapting books I love, casting men I love and having them flash their buns, which I love.

Ang Lee is both a pimp for my love of celluloid flesh and a saint, which is a stunning combination.

I first connected with the celebrated director while attending the Provincial Tainan First Senior High School where his father, our principal, made him act as my mentor to curb my shameful, wayward behaviour.

Ang was such a kind, gentle soul and I desperately wanted to avoid disappointing him, however me being me, I rubbed off on him and he failed his final exams and couldn’t progress to being a professor. Thankfully it led him to eventually being a director so, in a roundabout way, I am responsible for his lush films and lauded career.

You’re welcome.

We lost contact after his mandatory military service however reconnected through Em Thomp – my closest boozing bud – while he was making Sense and Sensibility and I became his most trusted advisor, leading to Bana buns in Hulk and Brokeback Mountain.

While it was very hard to be overlooked for the role of Ennis opposite J-Gyll, Ang was kind enough to introduce us on set – he hired me as the resident flannel expert – and we enjoyed a torrid love affair that I ran to the paps about, thus starting all of the Jake gay rumours.

No one was better to discuss this year’s Best Director crop than the two-time winner, so I whipped up my Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts to fuel our moving discussion about the possibility of our dear friend George Miller finally getting recognised for his work after such a majestically eclectic filmography.

Dark horse pick goes to Adam McKay. I mean, he was robbed for the Anchorman movies.

 

ang-leek-asparagus-tarts-1

 

While asparagus pee is both a blessing (I’m special) and a curse (it is rank), these tarts are well worth it. The sweetness of the leek with the sharp goat’s cheese and earthy asparagus create a delicate little tart that packs as much of a punch as one of Ang’s films.

Enjoy!

 

ang-leek-asparagus-tarts-2

 

Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts
Makes: 18.

Ingredients
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
2 leeks, finely sliced
1 bunch asparagus
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
300ml cream
150g goat’s cheese

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Melt butter over low heat and saute the leeks until soft, and place into a large mixing bowl.

Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut into 5cm pieces and fry for two minutes on high heat in the same pan, until bright and just cooked. Add asparagus to the leeks and allow to cool.

Once cooled, add in the eggs and cream, season and stir to combine.

Place the puff pastry on a clean surface and cut both into a 3×3 grid, so that each sheet make nine squares. Roughly press each square of pastry into a muffin tin, to create a rustic looking case – I am too lazy to worry about it looking “nice,” as is Ang.

Pour the vegetable/custard mixture even amongst the 18 cases and crumble the goats cheese on top.

Whack in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until set and golden. Remove from the oven and rest for about 20 minutes before inhaling.

Devour in a poignant fashion.

 

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