Kaytshu Whakaurrau

Main, Poultry, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Chani broke their losing streak – and Liam, a fence – snatching a much needed reward of fishing gear. Sadly said gear included a clue to the hidden immunity idol, which Eve stupidly shared with the entire tribe before ultimately grabbing it for herself. And insighting idol envy amongst her fellow castaways. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw poor Dylan continued to be left right out, though thankfully for him, Chani went back to losing and returned to tribal where Franky and Eve’s idol war resulted in Franky’s blindside.

Back at camp Chani went through the usual motions of being dejected following the loss of a member, none more so than Renee who felt bad about how kind she was on the way out the door. Oh, and she felt super concerned about the boys club ruling the tribe. Thankfully Dave was also disappointed by the outcome, so there just might be hope for her yet. Things were looking up slightly the next day as Liam, Renee, Eve and Dave joined together to brush their teeth using charcoal. Renee then continued to boost spirits, cooking up a delicious snack out of the rice.

Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw Dylan acknowledged that despite living the Survivor dream so far, he is under no delusion that he will go when they go to tribal. To confirm this, Adam ran us through the many faces of Dylan and really highlighted the fact that they aren’t friends. In turn Dylan confirmed that he has noticed that Adam hates him and I’ve just realised that they need to make out and cut the sexual tension. On camera, preferably. In any event, he has Kaysha on his side … though sadly not Lisa and fellow outcast Tara, as they’re less concerned about taking out the ‘jocks’ and more concerned about joining Josh and the zaddies to throw the challenge and finally get some freedom from the gloom.

Matty arrived for this week’s reward challenge where Sassy Dylan – as predicted by Adam – arrived to shade Chani for being sexist before Matt shared that they’d be competing in a muddy sumo challenge for drinking chocolate and biccies, aka smoko. Which TBH, I would love in the 40C heat. Josh – zaddy – made quick work of JT, as did Renee over Tess and Arun over Dylan. Out of nowhere Adam destroyed Dave, followed by Kaysha annihilating Eve before Liam and Matt battled it out and made me wish this challenge had more skin because it was glorious. Before my mind could wander too far, Josh beat Dave, Tess dominated Eve, Arun took one back over Matt, Liam beat Dylan, Kaysha beat Renee, Adam destroyed JT, Liam beat Dylan again and Kaysha bested Renee again before Josh secured victory for Khangkhaw against all odds over Arun.

The victorious Khangkhaw returned to camp and made quick work of the biscuits with Brad and Matt practically creaming their shorts thinking about how good they were. Meanwhile over at Chani everyone was feeling sad about missing out on said biscuits, though vowed that winning immunity is what matters and they need fight. Particularly Renee who feels way down the bottom and doesn’t feel like she has anyone that she can trust.

The next day we joined Kaysha who ran us through the alliances of Khangkhaw which seems eerily like they may be losing immunity. While she was concerned about Brad and Josh’s bromance, it is Tess and Adam that concern her. Feeling like Matt is on the bottom of the five-person alliance, she pulled him aside to continue building their relationship in the hope that she was parlay that into an alliance. That party was put on hold when Brad returned to camp to announce this week’s draw for a visit to The Outpost. Despite insinuating that Kaysha was rigging the draw, Josh pulled the short straw from Khangkhaw while JT did rig it for Arun to go for Chani.

The boys arrived at The Outpost to discover that this week’s visit didn’t come with a challenge and instead issued them a dilemma. They would each select one person from their tribe to not to attend the immunity challenge which in turn, would make them immune should their tribe lose. Josh and Arun then started talking with Arun making quick work of finding out what was going on at Khangkhaw and trying to form an alliance with Josh for down the track. Going one step further, Josh they identified everyone he wants to boot on Khangkhaw, while Arun stayed mum and tried to throw him off the scent. With the excitement out of the way, Josh suggested they both sit themselves out of the challenge with Josh following through and taking himself out, while Arun decided to stick with strength and sit Eve out.

Arun returned to camp and proceeded to share the dilemma with the rest of Chani, throwing Josh under the bus for taking himself out and telling Eve that she would be left out of the challenge … and would be immune should they lose. While Renee felt even worse about her place, Arun reiterated that Josh seemed not to care whether they win or lose and he felt they were going to throw it. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw Josh shared that he was resting himself, filling his alliance with glee and making Kaysha realise just how little she meant to the rest of the tribe.

Everyone but Eve and Josh arrived for this week’s elaborate immunity challenge where the tribes were required to run an obstacle course while tethered together to grab balls. Once they had collected all their balls, they were to then use said balls and the chains from their legs to form bolas which they would use to toss at a ladder for victory. Chani got out to a huge lead, though it kind of seemed like Tess wasn’t hiding the fact she was throwing it, so it isn’t much of a surprise. Khangkhaw caught up at the first obstacle where they focused on hindering Chani’s progress. Sadly it was all for nought as they escaped the obstacle and managed to collect all the balls from the second obstacle before Khangkhaw arrived allowing Arun to snag his three bolas before Brad even had a chance to start tossing. Handing Chani their first victory.

Tess was feeling responsible for the loss, which she was, though her mild sadness didn’t fool Kaysha who was livid that she threw the challenge. While she desperately wanted her gone, she knew she didn’t have the numbers so was just hopeful she could flush her potential idol. Adam and Tess caught up to run the numbers with Tess starting to freak out while Adam tried to calm her down and assure her that worst case, they will play the idol to protect her. Meanwhile Dylan tried to do anything to survive just another day, approaching Josh to save him on account of being a superfan which truly is the worst thing you could try and sell. Brad joined Tess and Adam to lock in their vote for Dylan, while Kaysha and Dylan were hoping to convince everyone that he has an idol to force them to split the vote and muster up enough votes to take out Adam. Kaysha joined Matt, Brad and Tara to float the idea of a contingency plan in case Dylan plays his imaginary idol, slowly working them around to targeting Adam which they all appeared to agree with despite saying they couldn’t trust her. While Kaysha went to comfort Dylan, Brad took the plan to Lisa and then assured her that it wouldn’t happen and to still vote Dylan. Which works for her because she is an icon and getting rid of him bring some calm to camp which will allow her to continue laying low.

At tribal council Matt acknowledged their shock to finally arrive at tribal while Lisa said she’d rather not be ticking this off her Survivor bucket list. Dylan was quick to verbalise the fact that he is royally screwed and went in on the tribe for pretending they have been playing the game since day one. Adam mentioned he felt the tribe had one bad egg, whilst not actually saying it was Dylan whom he was sitting next to. This lead to an iconic moment, where Dylan turned to share everything he hated about Adam followed by Adam telling Dylan just why he hated him. In my head, they then made out and it was angry and sensual. Instead Adam shared that Dylan has been trying to get rid Tara, Tess and/or Brad, everyone, since day one. Adam then called him a snake, which Matty Chis shared that that is kind of the point. Adam quickly pointed out that he needs to be smarter about it, thats all and that he is playing the game too.

Lisa joined the fray saying she felt it was just 18 years of super-fandoming exploding in ten days and it may be too much for Dylan to overcome. Kaysha jumped in and broke down about how Dylan was being attacked before acknowledging that she too was feeling nervous. Sadly said nerves were well placed as the tight-five or whatever they’re calling themselves turned on her and sent her from the game as the fourth boot, much to the shock and horror of Dylan.

I was still struggling to comprehend what I was watching via the little camera feed Matt patches me from tribal when she arrived at Loser Lodge. I mean, sure, I should be used to losing one of the strong women based on the way things are going this season … but damn, that was a blindside yo. I continued talking like this for a good hour or so before I realised that Kaysha too was struggling to comprehend what just happened. While she was upset to lose the game, she is such a sweetheart that she couldn’t hold it against any of her tribemates. Though she definitely wanted Dylan to prevail in the battle, somehow. In any event, we were both so sad that we needed something hella comforting which led to us smashing a couple of bowls of Kaytshu Whakaurrau.

 

 

Rich creamy curry heaped over fresh, crispy katsu chicken and served on a bed of the fluffiest rice possible. What is there not to love? That, my friends, is comfort food.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kaytshu Whakaurrau
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2-3 chicken breasts
½ cup flour
salt and pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tbsp milk
olive oil spray
vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
500g chicken thighs, roughly diced
2 carrots, cut into rounds
1 potato, finely diced
¼ cup flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp ketchup
1 cup long grain rice
pickled daikon, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Beat the chicken breasts using the back of a frying pan until they’re roughly 1cm thick. Combine the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper in one bowl, the breadcrumbs in another and the egg and milk in a third. Coat the chicken in the flour, dusting off any excess before coating it in the egg wash, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Spray the chicken with a generous amount of olive oil spray and transfer to the oven for twenty minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Remove from oven and keep warm while you work on the rest of the components.

Place a good lug of oil in a pot over medium heat and sweat the onion, garlic and ginger for about five minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the chicken thighs and cook, stirring, until just starting to brown before adding the carrots and potatoes and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Add the flour, curry powder, garam masala and cayenne with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to come together. Stir through the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

Prepare the rice as per packet instructions.

When the curry is starting to come together, stir through the honey, tamari and ketchup and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from the heat and stay warm.

To serve, place a generous dollop of rice in a bowl. Slice the katsu into diagonal strips and place on top of the rice before topping with the curry. Serve with pickled daikon and devour, greedily.

 

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Ozzy Bucco Lusth

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

Previously on Survivor – or a minute ago on screen – the tribes merged resulting in Cirie stealthily saving her friend Michaela and the tribe booting the sweetest free-agent, non-consenting angel Hali to become the Queen of Ponderosa … for the second time in her two season career.

The next morning Maku Maku reconvened to discuss the last tribal, where Michaela tried to hide her emotions. Cirie then pulled her aside to reiterate the fact that she saved her and Michaela reiterated that she would always have her back. Seriously, these two are the latest Game Changers couple goals. Could you imagine if Sandra was still here to form the holy trinity of sass?! Consider my shorts completely creamed.

Zeke, Aubry and Cirie then went for a walk to further discuss tribal and talking about how best to take out the opposing alliance, lead by the mob-boss that is Sierra and her puppet Brad. Aubry, bless, then explained that she felt like she was in the middle of said mob-war … but was gladly willing to be the niece to her black, Italian aunt Cirie.

Continuing in the post-merger madness, Zeke and Andrea connected to discuss the best move for them to make next, which somehow lead to Zeke deciding it was in his best interests to get rid of his closest allies Cirie and Andrea, rather than his rivals Sierra and Brad. Sadly this proves why back-to-back seasons can be a curse, considering how doing that exact thing last season with Chris, lead to his downfall. Ugh, anyway …

Concerned about my reaffirmed love affair with Cirie, Probst arrived for the first post-merge reward challenge where they were split into teams to win an extremely erotic spa day, if Probst’s breathy descriptions are anything to go by.

Given that the challenge involved a large swimming portion, victory was a foregone conclusion for Ozzy – despite the best attempts at failure from Tai and Andrea – who got to enjoy the sensual stay with the failures, Debbie, Troyzan and Zeke.

Back at camp, Cirie took me the closest I’ve been to despair since her final words in Micronesia, talking about how she felt like a failure losing the challenge and likened it to not being able to provide for her family. This set off Sierra … and almost allowed her to win me over. Close but no cigar, yet.

Meanwhile on reward, Tai continued in the tradition of Kaôh Rōng contingent, got naked and streaked around his eating tribemates … repeatedly. Dead set, mad dog – just pause to imagine the Kaôh Rōng wrap party with he and Debbie. Glorious.

Zeke, not wanting to just allow Jeff to make it nice for them, pulled Debbie and Tai aside to talk about booting Brad and Sierra … or Cirie. Proving that she actually is pretty good at the game – despite the multiple careers, twerking and mooning – Debbie didn’t buy anything he was selling and vowed to do what was best for her, not him.

Clearly worried about my reaction to Tai’s nude scene, Probst returned for the second individual immunity challenge – a Survivor classic / one of Ozzy’s best – where they all have to hold on tight to a big, thick pole. Aka er’ry weekend, amirite.

Cirie, Brad, Aubry, Debbie, Zeke, Sierra, Troyzan and Sarah quickly slid all the way down the hard pole, leaving the rest of the tribe to battle it out to snatch Ozzy’s crown. Despite looking as relaxed as Parvati in Heroes vs. Villains, Michaela opted out of the challenge before Andrea threw herself from the top of the pole leaving us with a challenge between the kings of pole, Tai and Ozzy.

For the first time in the history of the challenge, Ozzy fell off giving Tai the victory … and proved once and for all that nobody handles themselves around a pole better than a gay man.

Back at camp, Ozzy was showing off his war wounds before Zeke got to work dismantling his own game and approached Sierra to get rid of Andrea, which she did not trust … at all. Sierra then pulled Cirie aside to drop the Zeke intel, which Cirie took back to Ozzy, Andrea and Sarah.

Debbie and Sierra then relaxed in the hammocks to talk getting rid of Zeke – with a cheeky decoy of Aubry – before Debbie crushed my second Game Changers couple-spiration and suggested booting Ozzy instead, due to his challenge ability.

She then went person-to-person to tell everyone that they were blindsiding Ozzy that night …  surprisingly though, she didn’t tell Ozzy.

After talking about being the post-merge swing vote on again, Sarah arrived at tribal to liken the situation to them all being single people who were just waiting to hook up, arousing the hell out of Tai and Debbie.

Ozzy then low-key threatened the tribe that booting him would mean that they would starve without him, Aubry outlined how much harder this season is … despite the fact no one has almost died this season, compared to the three that almost died in Kaôh Rōng.

Zeke then spoke in a confusing circle about how he needed to convince people that they would beat him at the end, to convince them to keep him in the game, which Tai obviously found to make sense.

Debs reiterated her work in the Air Force auxiliary and how she was confused, before Cirie cryptically spoke about sticking with who she trusts … which obviously lead to voting. Andrea was well pissed at Zeke, Cirie continued Sandra’s tradition from earlier this season and threw a random vote … before Debs flopped out her extra vote AND became the first person in Survivor history to correctly play it, cementing Ozzy’s boot.

Crushing his ex-nemesis kween Cirie in the process.

Now I am about to let you in on a massive, massive secret – that is also a little bit confusing –  so buckle up. I’ve known Ozzy for my entire life … because he is my father and I was actually conceived on a beach that was home to kween Cirie. Yep, my birth name was actually Benjamin Kimmel Lusth – I changed my last name to Judd when marrying Ashley – and I am one of the Ozlets from Micronesia.

That, or I met him during the filming of the Playboy TV’s Foursome (you can Google them yourself because they are way NSFW, even for me) … I genuinely don’t know what timeline is what anymore, thanks to my sloppy adherence to the laws of time travel. Either way, I’ve always called Ozzy daddy.

While he was bummed to once again miss out on the title of Sole Survivor, he completely understood that it was in everyone’s best interests given his reputation. Like me though, he was most heartbroken to see how his boot broke poor Cirie’s heart.

While Hali and Ozzy were busy having a Ponderosa hair off, I headed to the kitchen and got my naked chef on – he explained that Ashley Judd is my cousin and we met on the set of Foursome – to whip him up a Ozzy Bucco Lusth.

 

 

Given that he is my daddy and not my father, I was eager to show Ozzy all of my meat, dripping in sauce and wine and being oh-so appetising.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ozzy Bucco Lusth
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 veal osso bucco, obvi with bone
good lug of olive oil
2 carrots, diced
3 celery sticks, diced
2 onions, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup plain flour
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 ½ cups white wine
1 cups beef stock
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large dutch oven medium heat and brown each side for a minute or two. Reduce heat to low and add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes.

Sprinkle the flour into the pan with a good whack of salt and pepper, tomato paste and bay leaves, stir to coat and cook for a minute or two.

Slowly pour in the wine, stock and tomatoes, stir to combine and cover and cook for three-four hours, or until the meat is falling away from the bone.

Once it is done, serve immediately as a stew or with some mashed potato.

 

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Pumpkim Basinger Soup

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Side, Snack, Soup, Vegetarian

While I like to let the lesser celebrity categories shine, I know why you drop by for Oscar Gold and that is my extreme proximity to the A-list.

And there is no one more A-list than my dear gal-pal and past Best Supporting Actress Winner, Kim Basinger.

I first met Kim through her ex-husband – and my ex/oft-lover Alec – but her kind heart and sassy nature won me over and I actually grew closer to her during their split. Thus leaking the pig-daughter tapes.

Kim and I haven’t been able to catch-up lately what with her doing the publicity rounds for Fifty Shades of I-Won’t-Show-My-Peen-and-This-Is-A-Waste-of-Your-Time, so it was such a treat to sit down and chat about the most important categories – Best Supporting and Best Actress.

Given the fact that I have a temper similar to Al’s, Kim was a bit scared to engage in any major disputes so we both landed on Viola for Supporting, despite the fact that she agreed that the previously insufferable Nicky Kid turned in such a beautiful performance that echoed her life and made you love her that it should be her taking out the crown over V’s always consistent scenery chewing.

Also … surely Mish Wills needs an overdue win sometime soon. And the post first scene was damn perfection.

She also agreed that Emma Stone was a lock because she is my friend and was cast in the musical whilst starring in Cabaret – which I saw and critiqued her in – bringing her luck. Though that being said, Isabelle Huppert is the most likely to upset any of the favourites on the night.

So yeah, discussions were robust meaning we needed something hearty that also hugged your soul like my Pumpkim Basinger Soup.

 

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Earthy, spiced and warm, this is pumpkin soup isn’t what you’d get in a can. In a good way, obvi.

All the veggies are baked first giving a depth of flavour and sweetness that is perfectly cut through by a whack of herbs and a smack of chilli. Dis good, dis real good, ok?

Enjoy!

 

pumpkim-basinger-soup-2

 

Pumpkim Basinger Soup
Serves: 100 people aka all the Baldwins … or maybe just 12 people?

Ingredients
1.5kg butternut pumpkin, cut into 3cm dice
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 carrots, diced
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 potatoes, roughly chopped
4 pieces celery, roughly chopped
olive oil
1 tbsp dried chilli
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp maple syrup, optional
bunch of sage
1L chicken stock
1 cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place all the veggies – and realistically you could use anything you had in the fridge, capsicum is a great addition to be honest – on a lined baking sheet (or two), drizzle with olive oil and chilli, season and bake until golden and tender. About half an hour.

Once the veg are ready, transfer to a large pot, drizzle with maple syrup, add the sage leaves and fry over medium heat for a minute, reduce to low pour in the stock and simmer, stirring sporadically, for about fifteen minutes to half an hour, or until all the veggies are tender and your kitchen is smelling amazing.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for five-ten minutes and blitz thoroughly yet carefully with a stick blender until smooth and glorious. Return to low heat, stir through the cream and coook until heated through.

Serve – immediately if you like to risk burning all the skin in your mouth – and top with a drizzle of cream and some chopped sage, if you are patient enough, and devour.

 

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Roast Melinda Duck

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Main, Poultry

How do I top my 300th milestone recipe? With the true star of The O.C. – I feel like I’ve said that most days … but I mean it this time – my dear friend Melinda Clarke.

Yes, I love them all dearly – well, maybe not always Tate – but every great show needs a villain you love to hate and Julie Cooper-Nichol wouldn’t have been able to pack the same punch without the stunning performance of my bestie.

I first met Mindy through her dad John when I was working as a writer on Days of our Life – which I got through Vytas and Aras’ pops via time travel. Side note: I was the one that came up with such wonderful storylines as Eileen Davidson playing seventeen roles, the Salem Stalker and the classic Marlena is possessed by the devil.

Anywho – I quickly befriended the broader Clarke family and knew that Mindy was destined for big things, making it my life’s work to see her become the star I knew she could be.

I haven’t seen much of her this year, so it was so nice to be able to have her over for an extended visit as we whipped up a Roast Melinda Duck.

 

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I had never roasted a duck before and obviously was terrified by the entire process, so I stuck with a tried and true Jamie Oliver recipe with a few minor tweaks.

Thankfully Jamie knows his way around a bird, because this duck turned out festively fragrant, spicy and most importantly, wet & juicy.

Enjoy!

 

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Roast Melinda Duck
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tsp nutmeg, grated
1 orange, zested and halved
1 tbsp maple syrup
a whole duck, necks and giblets reserved and roughly chopped
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 red onions, peeled and quartered
a few stalks celery, trimmed and chopped into chunks
3 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into chunks
½ stick cinnamon
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
freshly ground sea salt & black pepper

Method
Place the leaves from a couple of sprigs of rosemary in a mortar and pestle and mash together with the nutmeg, orange zest, a generous pinch of sea salt and some maple syrup. Rub mixture over the duck, cover and place in the fridge to baste for a few hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Stuff the duck’s cavity with the orange, some rosemary and the garlic. Line a baking tray with the onion, celery and carrot and toss with some olive oil, the ginger and cinnamon. Place the duck on top, drizzle with some oil and place in the oven for an hour.

Transfer the duck to a new pan – reserving the charred veggies and fat for tomorrow’s gravy – and return the duck to the oven for a further hour, or until golden and glorious.

Remove from the pan, transfer to a plate, cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Devour … with some gravy and potatoes, so maybe hold off two days until you make it?

 

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Braised Briskarmack

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Main

At the risk of sounding like the whore of Chrismukkah, my dear friend Chris and I started off as lovers – he put the Chris in my mukkah, if you will – which makes me extremely thankful, a little surprised and at the same time disappointed, that none of the cast fought over me on set.

Our love quickly blossomed when he guested on my dear friend Amy Sedaris’ classic Stranger’s with Candy but after a few torrid months we realised we were better off as friends and parted ways.

A few years later and fresh out of rehab, I wanted to show him how much I had grown and how mature I now was and pushed for him to be welcomed to The O.C.

Bitch.

Despite being the first to leave the series, Chris’ career went from strength to strength co-starring in the hit Amanda Bynes film Love Wrecked, the TV movie Beauty & the Briefcase, an episode of Desperate Housewives and more recently, a starring role in Nashville.

Which is actually good.

Given his commitments to the latter, Chris and I haven’t been able to spend much time together lately. It was such a treat to reconnect and get the inside scoop on what will become of Rayna and her hair … and celebrate the more -mukkah side of Chrismukkah with my Braised Briskarmack.

 

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To be honest, I have no idea if this meal comes close to being kosher … but I assume if you’re celebrating a hybrid holiday, you probably aren’t too staunch on eating kosher. I did avoid cooking the delicate brisket and sweet, creamy mushrooms together though.

That counts for something, right? RIGHT?

Oy – enjoy!

 

braised-briskarmack-2

 

Braised Briskarmack
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
10 cloves garlic
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1.5kg beef brisket
a couple each of celery stalks, onions and carrots, roughly chopped\
2 cups red wine
800g canned chopped tomatoes
small handful of parsley
small bunch of thyme, a few sprigs reserved for the mushrooms
500g button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup beef stock
3 tbsp horseradish cream
½ cup sour cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place half the garlic and all the rosemary in a mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and crush until a paste forms. Transfer to a bowl, combine with a generous lug of oil and rub over both sides of the brisket.

Heat a lug of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and sear either side of the meat for a few minutes. Chuck in the veggies, wine, canned tomatoes and herbs and stir gently to combine.

Place the lid on firmly and transfer to the oven, baking for about 4 hours. Check every hour or so to ensure there is enough liquid and to keep the meat covered – which I rarely would support. Once the meat is tender, transfer it to a board and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

While it is resting, get to work on the mushrooms by heating a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Reduce to low and add the remaining garlic – which you will have minced but I forgot to tell you – mushrooms and the leaves from the extra thyme sprigs and cook for about five minutes, or until browned and soft. Add the stock, turn the heat up to medium-high and simmer for about ten minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened. Add the horseradish, sour cream and cooking liquid and cook, stirring, for five minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste.

Slice the brisket into diagonal slices and serve with some latkes, topped with the mushrooms.

 

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Scottch Carrotterson

Oy with the turkeys already!, Side, Vegetarian

Like how ASP gave the Gilmore girls my passionate love of caffeinated beverages, she bequeathed Luke my lovably cantankerous spirit.

I remember sitting in casting with her and having her beg me to take on the role, thinking there was no one else who could possibly do the role I inspired justice … but I knew of a man, my dear friend – obviously – Scott Patterson. I introduced her, they bonded over a passion for headwear and the Luke you know and love was born.

I had met and befriended Scotty when he guested on an episode of Seinfeld, but it wasn’t until his appearance on Will & Grace that we truly became the best of friends while having dranks with Megsy. Bros even.

It has been a while since I’ve been able to catching up with Scott, given how busy I am with this little anthropological endeavour, travelling the globe providing support to reality TV cast-offs and – unsuccessfully – managing HRC’s campaign, so it was such a treat to be able to hang with my dear friend and celebrate his return to the diner.

Given our rugged nature – we both love flannel – I needed something festively appropriate that still packed a punch, which conveniently is the best way to describe my Scottch Carrottersons.

 

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Like Scott, these babies are the perfect accompaniment to any Thanksgiving and / or Friday night dinner … and / or Gilmore. Earthy, sweet and altogether sweet they, quite simply, fill you with joy.

Enjoy!

 

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Scottch Carrotterson
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
80g butter
6-8 large carrots, peeled and sliced into discs
½ cup scotch, or other whiskey … but Scott would be offended
½ cup muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste.

Method
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over high heat. When it is starting to foam, reduce heat to medium low and add the carrots. Cook stirring for a couple of minutes.

Add the scotch to the pan and cook stirring for a minute before melting in the sugar and cooking for about five minutes or so.

Season generously and cook until the glaze has thickened to your liking.

Serve / devour.

 

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Chicken Cacciatori Amos

Main, Poultry

It was such a treat to have Tori drop by – I forgot how deep a connection we share and how robust the conversation is between us.

I first connect with Tori in the mid/late 70s while (I was) turning tricks in the cubicle of a Maryland gay bar.  Torz was working at the club as a singer – under the watchful eye of her father who sadly had no interest in my advances – and was drawn to my creative albeit debauched spirit.

While most Pastors would advise against their children befriending vagrant, attempted hookers Mr. A knew that I was a good guy deep down and supported what has become a four decade friendship.

Obviously there was a period of estrangement, after I lashed out at her for not properly thanking me for helping her rework her breakthrough album Little Earthquakes but thankfully we were able to work through the ish pretty quickly and I continued to be her closest confidante.

I hadn’t seen Torz since getting kicked out of her orchestra concert at the Opera House in 2014 – apparently the skin flute isn’t an instrument that establishment likes you to play to an audience – so I was paranoid she may have been annoyed at me.

Thankfully she wasn’t and we quickly got down to catching up and working on music for her next album. I mean, I am her muse after all, so she couldn’t pass up that opportunity.

But anyway, you know that one of the main reasons she travelled over those 1000 Oceans was to try the flavor sensation that is my Chicken Cacciatori Amos. Which obviously is her favourite meal.

 

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The catch to a good cacc is all in the simmer. Like me in a feud, you want the chicken to sit and stew in its rage until it either boils over in a mess/tabloids dream or softens up and falls off the bone. The meat obviously, you know I wouldn’t fall off.

Enjoy!

 

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Chicken Cacciatori Amos
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 kg chicken drumsticks and thighs (with bones in … you know I love that)
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
150g pancetta, diced
125g button mushrooms, sliced
100ml white wine
2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes
150ml chicken stock
⅓ cup kalamata olives, pitted
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Method
Dust chicken with flour, heat a lug of oil in a casserole dish – le creuset, obviously – on high and fry the chicken for a couple of minutes each side, in batches. Remove and set aside.

Reduce the heat and sweat the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and pancetta until soft, sweet and the pancetta rendered – a couple of minutes should suffice. Return chicken to the pan and add the mushrooms and wine. Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer for a couple of minutes, or until the wine has almost evaporated.

Add bay leaves, rosemary, tomatoes and a tin full of water, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through. Stir through the olives and devour with a shit tonne of mash.

 

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