Baked Camemburt Bacharach

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

I can’t believe that we’re already up to the second day of this year’s famed Grammy Gold celebration, Goldenade. No sooner had I returned the delorean to the garage after visiting Whits did my boy Burt Bacharach start knocking on my door. And after the pain of seeing my dearly departed Whit, what my world needed now (aka then) was love, sweet love.

Burt and I known each other for years and years after meeting in – and I think this is a record for this patch of cyberspace –  the nursery of the hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Not to be confused with the hospital in Ebbing, Missouri. It’s near these billboards that inspired a movie … but anyway.

We’ve known each other from birth and after legal emancipating myself from my parents – they didn’t let me have ice cream one night – I moved to New York with the Bacharachs and as repayment, became Burt’s manager.

As I’m sure you would agree, he got quite a good deal.

Since I really like to put my guests through their paces AND the fact I stopped caring about Jazz again as soon as La La Land finished, I decided to run the odds for R&B with Burty. Cause when you think Burt, you think R&B. Anyway, we think this category will fall to a combination of Childish Gambino, Kehlani and Bruno Mars. Kehlani will take Best R&B Performance, Childish Gambino will take Best Traditional R&B Performance, R&B Song and Urban Contemporary Album, while Bruno Mars will take out Best R&B Album.

While there wasn’t much discussion or arguing about who the winners would be, we both felt extremely smug and like we worked hard … so I headed off to whip us up a Baked Camemburt Bacharach.

 

 

Deliciously goopy and with a punch of garlic and a whack of herbs, this little number is the perfect snack when you want to impress your guests whilst putting in the least amount of effort possible. I mean, stab, stuff, bake … and that is it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Baked Camemburt Bacharach
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
200g camembert in a wooden box
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
a sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp honey
1 ciabatta, thinly sliced and toasted

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the camembert from the box and packaging. Line the box with some foil and a small piece of baking paper before returning it to the wooden box.

Cut a few slits over the top of the camembert and stuff with sliced garlic, thyme and rosemary. Drizzle with honey, scrunch the foil to close and place in the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until it is puffed and gooey.

Remove from the oven, open the foil and serve immediately … to devour with the toasted ciabatta.

 

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Basil Gnudi Dench

Main

Dame Judi ‘J-dawg’ Dench is an absolute, deadset legend of a person and is, quite frankly, the best gambling partner a young chap could ask for.

After working through her rage of being egged in the late 60s, Jude worked on fulfilling her My Fair Laddy fantasy by turning me into an upstanding citizen who wore pants that covered his arse. Sadly my powers were too strong for her and we went through a reverse of the tale, where I systematically worked through making Jude as debaucherous, raucous and offensive as possible.

That is where her love of black-market gambling first came about.

While some may argue that the awards season are an excuse for famous people to either turn up to receive trophies from aging journalists and critics that want a good photo-op or for them to masturbate about their gripping performances, Judes and I are firmly of the belief that aside from being more important than Nobel prizes etc. they are a fantastic betting opportunity.

Yes, we will always be team Cate, Kate and Fassy – for obvious (NSFW) reasons, with the last one – we have to follow the money during awards season and spent most of our catch-up discussing the pros and cons of each nominee and whose bookie had the better odds.

Obviously we needed serious sustenance for such a consequential discussion, enter stage left my Basil Gnudi Dench.

 

basil-gnudi-dench-1

 

Gnudi is gnocchi’s easier to make cousin, being that you don’t have to bother with mashing any potatoes … because let’s be honest, you never leave the potatoes to cool long enough and end up with third degree burns when rolling them. Or is that just me?

Either way, they were perfect for our catch-up as nothing says illegal gambling quite like a delicate dish with fresh basil, tangy lemon and creamy cheese.

Enjoy!

 

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Basil Gnudi Dench
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 large bunches of basil, leaves picked
250g ricotta
125g grated parmesan
2 large eggs, plus 1 eggstra yolk
100g plain flour, plus a little extra
Semolina, for dusting
15g butter
1 lemon
2 tsp chilli flakes
30g grated pecorino, to serve

Method
Heat a pan over a low heat and add a splash of water with two-thirds of the basil leaves and heat until wilted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, squeezing out any excess water.

Chuck the leaves in a blender with about a quarter of the ricotta and blitz to a purée. Empty into a large bowl and combine with the remaining ricotta, parmesan and eggs, and whisk vigorously, until light and fluffy.

Fold the flour into the ricotta mixture using a large, metal spoon until it is soft and moist. If it is too wet (nothing suss), add a bit more flour and relax. Trust your judgement.

Meanwhile, spread a layer of semolina over a baking tray and fill a piping bag with a 1.5cm opening with the ricotta mixture. Pipe long strips of the gnudi the length of the tray, leaving about a centimetre in between.

Dust the strips with a thick layer of semolina, cut them into 2–3cm pieces, making sure they are well coated in the flour. Cover the tray with cling film and pop it in the fridge for a few hours or ideally overnight, but who ever remembers to do that?

To cook your gnudi, remove the tray from the fridge and let it to come up to room temperature.

While nature is heating things up again, melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and the reserved basil leaves. Cook for 1–2 minutes, until the butter starts to foam and the leaves have crisped up. Finely grate in the zest of the lemon, add the chilli flakes and season well. Remove from the heat to rest.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil over a medium heat and gently place the gnudi into the pan. When they float to the surface, they’re cooked.

Drain the gnudi and gently toss in the chilli lemon basil butter. Divide between bowls and serve with grated pecorino with lemon halves on the side to squeeze over.

 

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Notes on a scandalous friendship

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Awards season is now in full swing, with Giuliana desperately combing her scripts to avoid racially offensive jokes and Brad Goreski commandeering all loafers in the Southern Cali area while Gary attempts to make him witty. As such, it is well and truly time for me to start connecting with some of my fellow lauded friends.

FYI, I win an Academy Award in 2036.

The Baftas are this weekend, so I thought it best to make a quick jaunt across the pond and catch up with my dear friend, Academy Award winner and survivor of co-starring with Gwyneth, Dame Judi Dench.

I first met Judes in the late 60s where I suffered my first crushing rebuke at playing a highly sexualised version of the Emcee, in the original West End production of Cabaret. While I am sure constantly being pummeled by eggs when entering or exiting the theatre wasn’t fun, Judi was a good sport and took me under her wing and tried to teach me to tone down my sexuality.

While it clearly didn’t work, we’ve remained close for the last half century and are the first to be there for each other whenever there is a milestone to celebrate or an awards season to gossip about.

What is worthy of a Dame while we run the odds of the upcoming Academy Awards?

Picture source: Anthony Harvey / Getty Images.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.