Porchetthan Zohndsiwch

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Africa, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Natalie continued to grow her portfolio of Fire Tokens despite being the first boot, finding the second advantage – to leave tribal before the votes are cast, thus making the person immune – and selling it to her ally Jeremy. Making her the richest person in the game and one step closer to an advantage in the return challenge. In desperate need of a challenge advantage was Sele, who once again were destroyed at the immunity challenge and sending them back to tribal council. After Danni grew nervous about her place in the old school alliance, she started to scramble and run her mouth, outing the aforementioned alliance in the process. Her paranoia only grew at tribal council, leading to the tribe banding together to oust her from the game and put her out of her misery.

We returned to Sele the next morning where Boston Rob was pranking Adam awake, I assume missing having his kids around and bonding with one of the youngest on the tribe. Adam shared that despite Danni’s unanimous vote thanks to Rob and his fellow old schoolers Ethan and Parvati turning on her, the tribe is still very much split between the oldies and the new school players. Though Adam knows that Boston Rob likes to feel like he is in control of the game, and as such, he needs to change things up and play a bit more like Adam. Adam and his ego caught up with Denise to discuss potentially taking a shot at one of the big guns. Aka Parvati. While Denise was nervous about upsetting her two closest allies, she was feeling mildly confident given she was willed Danni’s fire token and Adam returned the other half of her idol to her, giving her control of a complete one.

With the plan casually outlined, Adam went to Michele and Ben to float the idea of targeting the iconic Parvati. Ben was keen to start working against Rob, while Michele was open to taking out Parvati given she is cutthroat and will strike soon enough. And she was confident that while he will be butthurt, he has no other options and as such, will need to come around. Next on his list, Adam approached Ethan to float the idea of getting rid of Parvati and while he knew it was a risky move, he knew he had to loop him in to keep him on side. Apparently. Ethan however was ropeable, given Parvati is his number one and he vowed to never turn on her.

Meanwhile over at Dakal Sandra was mixing up her game by filling the provider role. As she put it, this is her fifth time out there and is her farewell tour – please be a lie – so she may as well catch some fish to keep people onside. Off she went to cast a net in the shallows during low tide and while they lay in wait, Tyson shared how odd it was to be on the outs in his tribe. As such, he decided to try and turn the tribe against Sandra as an easy vote. He approached Yul and Sophie, and while Yul agreed that Sandra stirring the pot all the time was dangerous to his game, he changed his tune the next day when Sandra caught a baby shark in the shallows proving that she can be a provider and keeps life positive around camp. With that Yul pulled Sandra aside to let her know that Tyson was gunning for her, pissing her off and vowing to get rid of him first.

At the Edge of Extinction Danni was also trying to become the provider, spear fishing in the shallows and trying to remind herself that she isn’t out yet. The ladies were interrupted from their fishing by treemail, directing them towards a tree on the top of the hill featuring a locked box with a sign that told them that they already have all the information that they need. Amber scurried back to camp to search for things with numbers written on them to test the locks. While it was a logical theory, she proved incorrect which gave Natalie enough time to realise that the combination was a series of shells on the string attached to treemail. After tossing away one of the other clues and ruining the second, Natalie bolted back to the bo, unlocked it and discovered directions to a vote steal advantage which she could sell to someone for a fire token. She weighed up the options, knowing that she had to pick someone that would be willing to take a risk to ensure her third fire token, which would make her the richest person in the game.

We returned to Dakal where Tyson and Tony were still discussing the shark while Sarah discovered a note in her bag, which told her that the steal a vote would be hidden in the torch of someone on the other tribe. And she would need to go grab it tonight, under the cover of darkness. While she was nervous about everything that could go wrong, she knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so handed over her fire token and enlisted Tony to help cover for her. That night Tony grabbed ashes to smear over her face and when it didn’t work, they spat in it to make it stick and honestly, these two are like watching kids play. And I think I love it. Meanwhile at Sele Ethan was putting another log on the fire as Sarah approached. Luckily for her he went straight back to sleep while she crawled around camp in the pitch black before she finally found the torches on the side of camp. She nervously stood up and while she was snapping twigs and making an almighty racquet, she found the advantage and made it out of camp unnoticed.

Jeffrey arrived for this week’s immunity challenge where they would have to leap across ramp walls, dig up a ladder, use the ladder to grab a rope, toss said rope up to a platform, scale it and then, wait for it, solve a puzzle. Oh and the winning tribe would also get some chicken kebabs for good measure. As is becoming habit Dakal got out to an early lead, whipping through the physical part of the challenge and giving Sophie and Sarah a huge lead on the puzzle. Sadly for them, it was the famed tree puzzle which meant the lead was quickly eaten up, giving Rob and Michele hope. The two tribes went back and forth with the lead until they both came down to two pieces each after Sarah and Sophie knocked out two pieces while trying to put the last in. Rob and Michele tried to slot in the final piece before they could recover but the girls kept their cool, popped them back in and claimed immunity yet again. Begging the question, is Denise still cursed?

Back at camp Sele sat around the camp in silence, too scared to be the first one to make a move and potentially make themselves a target. Sick of waiting, Jeremy broke the stand off and walked away, leading to Ben and Denise quickly following him out of camp. Ben quickly locked in the plan to get rid of Parvati, given she is the most dangerous player in the game. Ben then filled Adam in on Adam’s own plan before Adam pulled Rob aside to see if he would be willing to flip on Parvati. Adam was hoping that the truth would keep him safe with Rob and while Rob seemed open to the idea, he immediately took the information to Michele and Jeremy and told them that Adam told him about the Parvati plot. While they tried to pretend it wasn’t the case, Rob steamrolled through their denials to get them to lock in a plan for Adam. Rob then got Parvati on board while Michele and Jermey quickly tried to come up with a plan B.

Michele thought that breaking up the trio was the most pressing situation, she was annoyed that Adam had spilt the plan and as such, considered getting rid of him instead. Michele decided that voting out Parvati was now too risky and would upset Rob and as such, getting rid of Ethan may be the smartest move. She approached Denise and Ben to catch them up before sharing that whatever happens at tribal council tonight will be because she and Jeremy wanted that to happen. Oh and that she totally deserved her win and haters need to back off.

At tribal council Ben spoke about the stand off after the challenge, which Jeremy added was because they thought they were cohesive after the Danni vote and the loss proved that they weren’t. Ethan agreed that it is hard to be united and as such, people are looking out for themselves and the people that they are working with. Adam spoke about the fact that the overlap of alliances makes it hard for any vote to be neat, and that someone else will always be annoyed. Michele likened it to dating, highlighting the importance of trusting your gut and going with what feels right.

Rob agreed that trust is important, though inherently nobody should trust anyone. Parvati pointed out that she is one of the targets tonight and while people are talking about options, she has none, given she came in as one of the most respected winners and few people want to work with her. Adam agreed that reputations make it harder for people like Parvati, or Rob, who straight up has a statue dedicated to him on another island. Rob was annoyed that Adam was reminding everyone that Rob and Parvati are on the Mount Rushmore of Survivor, while Ben tried to pretend he never had allies on Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, despite being aligned until he blew it up. Denise admitted that there was bedlam after tribal council and everyone was going to everyone to find a plan that they were open to. Ethan spoek about the fact that he is trying to play things one day at a time as he doesn’t want to plan ahead if he can’t even get there.

With that the tribe voted and while I am thrilled that Parvati saved herself yet again, it came at the cost of Zaddy Ethan and that breaks my heart. In. To. A. Million. PIECES. I mean, I loved the look of confusion on Adam’s face when Ethan rather than Parvati was voted out but I would happy have not had that hilarity for just one more day of Ethan in the main game.

Like with Danni before him, Ethan found me behind the fire token exchange table, following the sound of my Kim Kardashian ugly cry. He picked me up as my legs trembled beneath me and pulled me in for a hug. With one arm holding me steady and the other warmly holding my head to his chest, he let me sob for eternity. And while it didn’t matter to him how long we hugged, only wanting me to be ok, the Extinction boat driver continuously coughed and tapped his watch to try and break it up. As such, the producer pulled him away as I screamed and reached for him, only managing to slip an Porchetthan Zohndsiwch in his bag.

 

 

Gloriously salty pork, nutty, creamy cheese and the zingy punch of mustard and rocket work perfectly to fill you with joy, even when you are at your lowest. Plus, there is crackling and crackling solves all problems.

Enjoy!

 

 

Porchetthan Zohndsiwch
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 ciabatta, cut into sandwich sized lengths and split in half
2 tbsp dijon mustard
4 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices of porchetta
1 cup rocket

Method
I know assembling a sandwich hardly counts as a recipe, however I have lived a life this week – RIP Phoebe, Flick and now Zaddy Ethan – so I needed something simple enough to throw together through tears.

Soooo, to assemble, smear the bread with the mustard, layer a couple of slices of cheese on the base, top with piping hot pork on top and the rocket.

Close, devour and return to the game like the precious angel you are Ethan!

 

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Danni Po’Boytwright

Main, Survivor, Survivor: Guatemala, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor nothing apparently happened and honestly, if this trend continues, I am going to be ropeable. While the network was too lazy to give the iconic season two hour episodes and therefore don’t have time, I love to reminisce. I mean, watching 20 former victors arrive on a remote island – countless falling on their faces as they exited the dingy – before Jeffrey threw them straight into an immunity challenge, where the new former Dakal tribe received immunity, meaning Sandra, Amber, Sarah, Sophie, Kim, Tony, Tyson, Yul, Nick and Wendell were saved from the Tina Wesson, first to worst special. Meanwhile at Sele, Denise found a new, less sexy – but still packing – Malcolm, in the form of Adam, though they sadly got lost in the jungle and immediately became the targets. Luckily Adam is better than people give him credit for and rallied the old school alliance of Rob, Parvati – swoon – Ethan and Danni to his side to get rid of Natalie and weaken Jeremy.

Then the second immunity challenge happened and despite a massive lead for Dakal, Jeremy slayed the final portion and secured immunity. This made Dakal descend into chaos, with the Game Changers all aligning, the poker group of Kim, Tyson and Amber – by proxy – on the outs and the wet-dream power alliance of Yul and Sophie pulling in Nick and Wendell to take control of the tribe. Ultimately pulling in the Game Changers to get rid of Amber, again, to weaken a male. Much to the disgust of Sandra.

We opened by checking in on Natalie and her new BFF Amber on the Edge of Extinction where Amber was still trying to come to terms with her boot, though was grateful for a second chance and was using her four children at home and her husband over at Sele as motivation to keep going and to push to find ways that she can help Rob’s Cause.

Speaking of Rob, he awoke at Sele to discover a bequeathed Fire Token and immediately panicked that it meant that Amber had been voted out. He then shared how hard it was for both of them to leave the kids once again and as such, he worried about how she would cope with all the time to think the edge provides. Rob found Parvati by the shore and immediately shared his fears with her while Parvati hopefully suggested that maybe it was Sandra. They then speculated about all the different friends that could have possibly passed their token to him, but you could tell deep down that he knew his wife was gone. And if Sandra had something to do with it, he would be out for revenge.

Meanwhile Denise and Ben were chatting and collecting wood, with the latter hoping to improve his game by building social bonds. As a semi-expert, Ben decided to coach Denise in finding hidden immunity idols with it quickly paying off as Denise snatched it. Sadly for her it was a best friend’s idol, requiring Denise to give the other half away with it only working when combined. Surprisingly Ben didn’t pressure her to give him the half, instead suggesting that she pass it off to someone to build trust. Helpfully suggesting Adam, somehow unaware that the two were fast becoming a tight duo. With Ben’s blessing, Denise found Adam on the beach and told him what had happened and while they were both annoyed that Ben was aware of its existence, glad that they could use it together. With that Denise suggested that they gift it to Parvati to get an in with the icon, while Adam quickly talked her out of it and around to giving it to him instead.

Over at Dakal Yul was using his long, hard piece of wood to collect fruit for the tribe, while Kim acted as his cheerleader, just desperate to find a friend. Speaking of Kim, she was struggling with being on the outs after dominating her first season and decided to go find an idol. Despite knowing that hunting isolates her and makes her more of a target, the risk was worth it as she really didn’t have any other options. After learning that it was a crummy best friend’s idol, Tony and Nick appeared from behind a tree, with her pretending to be grabbing firewood. While she knew that she had been caught, she assumed they didn’t think she had found it. Having a good feeling about Sophie, she approached her to gift her the other half idol, much to Sophie’s confusion given they aren’t aligned and Sophie is keen to take her out using the intel.

Back at the Edge of Extinction, Amber and Natalie discovered a note for yet another advantage. Natalie played dumb about the whole token jam, bartering any advantages to earn enough to by rewards or advantages for them. For some reason, the duo opted to hunt for the advantage together, meandering around the island until Amber decided it was a trigger to find something that may appear tomorrow. Annoyed at expending all the energy, Natalie felt guilty and went to get water for them both. It was there that she discovered an advantage in the well. Said advantage would set the person back one token, and give them the opportunity to exit tribal council before the votes were cast, meaning they were immune, but also missed out on having their say. Like the Pia and Luke majesty in Champions vs. Contenders II. Over at Sele we learnt that Jeremy was the lucky person to be get the advantage offer, with him readily handing over his token.

We returned to Dakal where Tony was hard at work on his fake job of construction to keep himself occupied so he doesn’t do anything stupid. Instead of injecting that energy in improving camp, he used his time to make a ladder so that they could climb up to collect fruit. The tribe took the 20-foot ladder into the jungle to test it out, while Tyson marveled at the fact he isn’t dead and Sophie was concerned that he was actually going to test it and die. Tony being Tony, he then actually climbed the idol and honestly, I am still shocked that he isn’t dead.

While everyone was worried about his mental well being, the move did soften them towards him and everyone was laughing and happy. Sarah noticed that this is exactly how he was in Cagayan and was glad that people were falling for him, hopeful that him making more friends would hide from their friendship of more than six years. The duo finally took a moment to go for a walk and quickly suggested that they reignite their Cops’R’Us alliance and while they all looked happy, Sarah did not that last time they aligned, He took her out and as such, she is going in with her eyes wide open.

Jeffrey finally arrived for the combined reward and immunity challenge and after Rob stopped fuming about losing his wife, Jeff explained that they would race out with a cart to collect three years on the top of towers, then use said keys to release three chests. They would then load them on the cart, dis-assemble it, pass it through an obstacle, reassemble it and wheel the cart to the end and solve a puzzle with the pieces inside. The reward was for the Survivor spice kit and honestly, I am shocked that Michele didn’t have PTSD from the Koah Rong spice challenge genocide.

Dakal got out to an early lead with Sele nipping at their heels. It turns out however that Tyson is more adept at wielding a long, hard pole and extended their lead ever so slightly. Dakal continued to work well together, putting their cart back together ahead of Sele, getting their pieces to Sandra and Sophie with a decent lead over Sele, leaving Rob and Denise to nervously wait. Sandra and Sophie had finished their first segment of the puzzle as Denise and Rob finally joined the fray, with Tony encouraging his tribe to cheer for their girls to make their rivals more anxious. Which is equal parts petty, hilarious and amazing. Rob and Denise took a break to sort their pieces on the table, while Sandra and Sophie whipped through the puzzle, winning the challenge for their tribe with a huge lead, sending Sele back to tribal council.

Making me think, was Rob too concerned about Amber to think? If so, I ship them so hard.

Back at camp Parvati was nervous about being outnumbered by the new school winners on the tribe, while Rob was heartbroken to have choked in the challenge. Ethan pointed out that Rob was crap in the challenge, while Rob countered that he too was shit. Rob wasn’t overly concerned about heading to tribal council however, as he built a strong relationship with his fellow old school winners and as such, they got together to try and find a target. Unfortunately, the alliance was plotting without one of their members, Danni, which made her super nervous. And irritated with Parvati, got to work schmoozing the tribe to try and save herself. Danni and Ethan caught up with Ben and Danni sadly let slip the existence of the old school alliance, immediately terrifying Ben as the newest winner on his tribe.

With that Ben took the information to Adam and Jeremy, with Ethan tagging along and pretending not to be a part of any of the drama, to turn the tide on the old schoolers. Meanwhile Danni approached Rob and explained that she was feeling left out, so checked in with him to see whether he would be willing to take out his number one ally, Parvati. While they promised to go with the plan and stick together, Rob considered it her second and final strike, and instead got to work turning the vote on her. This made Adam happy, seeing the oldies fighting against themselves and while he would rather get rid of Parvati, he was happy to bide his time until it was right and get rid of Parvati. Ethan told Parvati about Danni targeting her, before the trio joined together to lock in the Danni vote and see whether they trust Ben enough to go through with it. Meanwhile Adam filled Michele and Jeremy in on the plan, before offering up the chance to take out Parvati instead. And being on the bottom of the tribe, the duo obviously didn’t care, as long as it wasn’t them.

At tribal council Adam struggled to stick his torch in a hole, and oh my god, is he playing the bumbling fool perfectly? With the slapstick out of the way, Rob spoke about the importance of making both real and fake relationships, which Ethan agreed was hard to figure out. Michele admitted to struggling to read people this season and that old school and new school doesn’t impact. Parvati disagreed and said that playing decades ago made it difficult for some people to keep up, given they never had to contend with certain elements and as such, are pretty much newbies in this era.

Danni agreed and said that her previous game was all about loyalty, which is what she was trying to do this season. This got a nice chuckle from Parvati who shared that Danni originally had targeted Rob, who then became her ally in the old school alliance. This got a reaction from Ben, who shared Danni’s earlier faux pas with the tribe and said that as much as they want to deny it, there clearly was an old school, new school thing occurring in the tribe. He then spoke about the rising paranoia in the tribe, blaming the oldies for causing it in the tribe. This led to the trio berating him for calling them out, when everyone is.

Rob, Jeremy, Parvati and Ethan started whispering, before Rob called on everyone to empty out their bag to prove that they don’t have the idol. Denise skillfully hid her idol in her hand as everyone emptied their bag, and Adam called Rob out for strong arming the tribe into showing their possessions. Adam spoke about the more important aspect of the game being about forming relationships at this point, with Parvati agreeing that the vote was solely coming down to relationships.

With that the tribe voted, nobody played a hidden immunity idol and Queen Danni was ironically voted from the game for running her mouth, despite winning her season and hiding her plans from even the producers. On the way out the door, a dejected Danni bequeathed her Fire Token to Denise.

Unlike most of my other Edge of Extinction catch-ups, I didn’t jump out and spook the hell out of Danni. While I had planned to, I was ugly crying like Dawson Leery and was not being quiet about it, and as such, Danni found me hiding under the bequeathment table and asked what the hell I was doing down there. I spluttered through snot bubbles as I explained how happy I was to finally have a Guatemala OG return to the game and seeing her running her mouth out of the game so soon, was too much to handle. Particularly since she won by keeping her mouth shut in confessionals, so production couldn’t spoil her plans.

I continued to cry as she tried to perk me up, vowing to return to the game and slay it. And as such, told me I better have another recipe lined up to follow the delicious Danni Po’Boytwright we shared as she headed to the girl’s club known as Edge of Extinction.

 

 

Spicy and meaty, this baby is one of my favourite ways to enjoy meat in my buns. While it may appear simple, this po’boy makes up for its simplicity by being jam packed with flavour. Garlicky, creamy, spicy and sweet, this sando is a complete journey for your mouth, which is just what you need.

Enjoy!

 

 

Danni Po’Boytwright
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp ground chilli
1kg beef chuck roast
2 cups beef stock
4 Hulk Hogies
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
8-12 slices provolone cheese
iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, sliced
4 dill pickles, sliced
1 tbsp hot sauce

Method
Combine a good lug of olive oil with the garlic, salt, pepper and chilli in a large, shallow dish and add the beef chuck. Rub with the marinade, cover and place in the fridge for an hour or so.

Heat another lug of oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Once scorching, reduce heat to medium and seal the roast on either side for a couple of minutes, allowing the outside to caramelise. Once it has started sticking to the base, add the beef stock and bring to the boil. Once rolicking, reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or so, or until the meat is falling apart and the liquid is all but gone. You may need to add more stock to the pan throughout cooking.

Remove the meat from the pot to rest for five minutes before using two forks to shred the beef like you would pulled pork. Return the beef to the pan to absorb all the juices and keep warm while you prep the sandwich.

Preheat oven to 180C.

To assemble, split the buns in half and heap with a generous smear of mayonnaise. Generously top with the meat, followed by a few slices of cheese. Pop them on a lined baking sheet and cook for five minutes or so, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, top with lettuce, tomato, pickles and a generous spritz of hot sauce.

Then devour.

 

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Hawaijohn Eastoegiana

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the All Stars were playing the game hard, with David and Mat forming a cross-alliance alliance, protecting themselves … until a tribe swap split them up. After the swap, Shonee and Zach returned from exile – oh, they were sent to exile – and rejoined the tribes, where Shonee commenced an epic revenge arc. Almost saving Lydia, Jonathan announced that instead of tribal immunity, both tribes would be going to tribal council and instead, one person from each tribe would win immunity. Sadly for Lydia, her individual challenge record grew to 0 from 2, as Jacqui and Brooke snagged them for each tribe. After the challenge, Vakama continued Shonee’s revenge agenda, and planned to axe the skier, while on Mokuta, David was desperate to blindside Nick. Sadly for him, his ally Phoebe had no interest in losing her season mate. Oh and Moana wanted to weaken David by getting rid of Phoebe. At tribal council they were shocked to learn that while both tribes will be voting someone out, the duo would then compete in a fire challenge, with the winner living to see another day. Each tribe then voted out Lydia and Phoebe before Pheebs absolutely destroyed Lydia, sending her from the game for good. After losing another individual challenge.

The next day things were looking pretty peachy at Vakama, as John showed his bum off to the tribe as he found a gloriously popable pimple. While he seemed to have everything, zaddy John – oh how I’d love to pop his pimples – was feeling all alone, after losing his allies back to back. With that, he tried to make friends, bonding with Mat over the fact they’re both apparently the sweetest, ocker men in the world. Proving more adept at the game than I assumed, John also knew that Mat was also in danger and as such, they really need to stick together.

Meanwhile Flick, Harry and Mat were talking about how interesting slash dramatic the previous tribal council was, with Mat just grateful that Phoebe was able to slay Lydia for him. Once again. That being said, he was still feeling left, right out, given he is well on the bottom of the swapped tribe. Which John literally just told us. Reminding us that Locky is a far better player than anyone gives him credit for, Locky pulled Mat aside to feed him a little bit of information and make him feel like he can trust him. And while it is smart gameplay, Mat could see right through it and as such, was desperate to take him out. And fuck with his mind. HARD. Inspired, Mat pulled John aside to see whether he’d be interested in working together. John’s one stipulation was to keep Harry safe before Mat assured him that Harry is far from being his concern, instead wanting to rally the numbers to take out Locky and break up the power alliance of he and Brooke.

We ventured over to Mokuta where Jacqui and Nick were trying to get a Coles endorsement, as she cooked the rice and joked around. Not feeling in the laughing mood, Phoebe was pissed to have been voted out last, though extremely thankful to have a second chance and show EXACTLY what a bottom can do. As such, she got to work working the tribe, pulling David aside to explain why she looped Nick in on his potential blindside, in the hopes that they can work together again. She assured him that she only wants to do what is best for the two of them and while Dave wanted to be bitterly angry at her, he felt like he needed her to survive, and as such, was well and truly stuck with her. Knowing that Phoebe and Nick were tight, and that Moana had fed him the incorrect information ahead of the last tribal council, Dave was feeling all alone and for the first time in two seasons, felt nervous.

Moana too was reeling from the previous tribal council, annoyed that her perfectly executed blindside was blown up by and twist. And Phoebe’s killer fire skills ruined it for her. That being said though, she planned to use their vulnerability to her advantage and secure Dave’s allegiance. He and Moana then caught up by the shore, with Moana letting him know that Phoebe actively wants him out before the merge and while he may feel betrayed, she did it to protective. She then gave one of the single best pitches in all of Survivor, pointing out how her changes and messing with the votes protected her and, and … am I in love with Moana again?

Wanting in on the action Jonathan arrived for the reward, which turned out to be a tribal version of the survivor auction where each tribe would get $2000 to spend, but the prizes would all be individual, with maximum bids capped at $500. The first item was a mystery scroll and while the bidding started off calmly, Phoebe jumped up to $500, completely screwing her tribe. AND I LOVE. And her tribe, totally hated. She then learnt that she had won the Shane Gould reward, where she and a person of her choosing from the other tribe would get to snack on everything won by everyone else. She selected AK and honestly it was so pure … until Mat started throwing shade at her choice to annoy the tribe. Next up Harry spent $160 on avo toast, Mat spent $340 on a Flintstones-sized steak and mash, Nick was gifted a message from home for $340 as he has a newborn at home – and Flick didn’t want him to feel like it was gifted – and obvs, I am crying.

After some intense bidding on a covered item, John snagged a margarita pizza for $300 – and booooo, Brooke hates pizza – John then caused some drama, trying to drive up the price of a Mexican parma and beer before Lee bought it for $460, converting another to the glory of the Mexican parma. Meanwhile at the feast seats, Phoebe started spilling all the deets to AK before Jonathan pulled out some burritos and margies, which Locky bought for $240, sadly not sharing the margs with Shon. And just like that, the auction was over and while Phoebe was overwhelmed with joy, Moana was ropeable and ready to vote her out. Again.

Back at camp a well fed AK was mocking everyone for their empty, starving stomachs while John seethed about losing a Mexican parma once again. And not saying fuck it to his target and buying it anyway. But sadly, he was trying to play smart and as such, needed to keep a low profile so that he and Mat could make their move. Meanwhile AK took the intel he received whilst dining with Phoebe, with the group confirming that under no circumstance, can they let Mat make it to merge. Just as Mat walked up to join the conversation.

Meanwhile over at Mokuta, Sharn was quick to highlight Phoebe by asking about her feast before she wisely declined the tribe’s lunch rice. Sadly that small gesture meant nothing to her tribe, as Moana continued to see the opportunity to get her out and solidify her alliance with Dave. She then did an ASMR confessional that lasted threeeeeeeee miiiiiiiinnnnnuuuuuutttteeees. While she was fulfilling fetishes, Dave and Sharn went out hunting for an idol, to make sure Phoebe doesn’t snag it, with the Golden God finally joining the fray this season, and triumphantly securing his idol. Much to his cum face’s delight.

My love Jonathan returned to our screens for the latest immunity challenge where each tribe would try and hold a disc between two pairs of feet, with a bucket of water tethered to the top. Drop them too low and the water drops, eliminating the pair from the challenge with the last ones standing winning for their tribe. Out of nowhere, Mat and Flick were the first to drop from the challenge for Vakama, followed by Locky and Harry, leaving AK, John, Brooke and Shonee to try and keep them all safe. After twenty-something minutes, Jacqui and Sharn became the first Mokuta team to drop before AK and John dropped, leaving Flick and Shonee – the weakest – to keep everyone safe. After 50 minutes, Tarzan couldn’t hold out any longer, dropping for Mokuta, leaving Zach, David, Moana and Phoebe to win for their tribe. They were quickly followed by Moana and Phoebe, leaving Shonee and Brooke to battle David and Zach. Remember when Shonee was considered the weakest? Fuckin’ lol. Sadly for them, I jinxed their powers, with Brooke pulling them down after two hours, handing immunity to Mokuta yet again.

Back at camp, Vakama settled into their usual rhythm of scrambling ahead of tribal council. Locky was thrilled to be returning since his alliance were working closely with Shonee and Harry, and as such, can finally slay Mat. Locky and AK caught up to lock in a split vote between Mat and John, making the former paranoid enough to flush his idol and send John from the game so they can get rid of Mat net. Knowing that he is screwed, Mat pulled John aside to figure out who to pull across with them to take control. Mat pulled Harry and Shonee across to try and take control, with the icon and Harry assuring him that they are well and truly on board to take control. Being deadlocked in four, Mat identified Flick as the one at the bottom of the other group and got to work convincing her to come across.

With that, Mat and Harry pulled Flick aside to see how she was feeling with Flick reminding them that all she cares about is loyalty. Mat used that to his advantage, telling her that Locky and Brooke warned him not to trust her, and that her safest bet was aligning with them. Well and truly shitting herself, Flick was open to the idea and oh my god, how had she not had a confessional when she may be screwing over Brooke. AGAIN. Meanwhile Harry and Shonee excused themselves to debate the pros and cons of voting out Mat, John and Locky, while Shonee admitted that she simply can’t think because she is too full from her back-to-back revenge.

At tribal council AK admitted to happily decimating the OG Mokuta tribe, while Shonee agreed that she was happy to team up with them as they are well and truly dead to her. And she has no other options. Harry spoke about a hierarchy, despite the harmony which Brooke vehemently denied. John gave a sly chuckle before admitting that he has no idea, given he is playing the left, right out. AK denied the hierarchy, playing up the fact they all agreed on the next steps. John continued to go in like a freaking icon, pointing out that Locky and Brooke are in love and also in control and as such, everyone else is playing for third and fourth.

Mat spoke about the importance of building trust, Harry said that playing easy may be right for a certain amount of time, but eventually people will be ready to make a move and make it happen. John continued to stir the pot, taunting Flick for being on the bottom of the alliance , which made my fellow GC legend well and truly nervous about her place in the game. Though hopeful that her trust is not misplaced. Harry then gave advice that the best way to stay out of the firing line is to shoot first, which Mat reminded everyone is only correct if you don’t miss. He then pulled out his hidden immunity idol and taunted the couple before the tribe headed out to vote. Surprisingly Mat actually played his idol, saving himself from a tied vote with John, and sending my former nude zaddy from the game.

Oh sweet zaddy John. While I was thrilled to once again take him in … my arms, and provide him with all the love and comfort in the world, the lingering thought in the back of my mind was the fact he didn’t align with Shonee. And as such, he deserves it. Plus, his nude scene quota was way lower, so I was willing to see him go. Though maybe that has something to do with the fact watching him walk away floods my basement?

After a brief few hours berating him for picking the wrong allies, I apologies for not being sensitive, offered to make it up to him and got around whipping him up a commiseration meal. And because I am nothing if not petty, I opted to continue to deny him another Mexican parma, and instead gave him another glorious version, the Hawaijohn Eastoegiana.

 

 

Now I know the way to Zaddy John’s heart is through the Mexican parma, but I wanted to offer him something familiar, with just enough interest to keep things spicy. In the hope it keeps our passion fresh. Perfectly cooked schnitty, dripping in fresh, hot marinara – lucky Winners at War filmed close by – and topped with salty prosciutto and the sweetest of sweet pineapple, you’ve got a near perfect meal. Plus, you know pineapple keeps us tasting our best

Enjoy!

 

 

Hawaijohn Eastoegiana
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 large, skinless chicken breasts, halved through the middle
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
1 cup Amber Marinara Sauce
8 slices prosciutto
8 pineapple rings
125g ball mozzarella, sliced

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Beat eggs in a large(ish) bowl. In a second bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parmesan, and chuck the flour, or you know place it gently, in a third bowl. As you can imagine, I like it more rough when John is around.

Place the halved chicken breasts between cling film sheets and bash out with a rolling pin until they are about 1cm thick (don’t worry too much about this…mine generally end up looking pretty ugly anyway). Dip the fillet in flour, followed by the egg, then the breadcrumb/polenta/parmesan mix. Place in the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Remove chicken from the oven. Drizzle a thin layer of marinara sauce over the chicken, cover with a couple of slices of prosciutto and top with the pineapple. Drizzle a little more sauce before covering in mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted and golden.

Serve with fries. Copious amounts of fries. All over John’s beautiful body, as you mourn the loss of nude scenes.

 

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Chocolate and Peanatalie Andersecake

Baking, Cake, Survivor, Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water, Survivor: Winners at War, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Let’s not even play the cutesie game of acknowledging the previous two seasons of Survivor, because honestly, they ended up with a controversial victor and some real world ugliness dominating the end game. And this is the ultimate battle – Winners at War – and even the inclusion of Edge of Extinction can’t take away from the epic grandeur that is about to unfold before our very eyes. Speaking of unfolded, to begin the season we opened up with the original marooning, followed in quick succession by the current batch of contestants and their victorious maroonings and honestly, if the site of Ethan in Africa spliced with the zaddy riding the Fijian waves in a speed boat doesn’t flood your basement and make you want to cry because you’re so overwhelmed, you’re a terrible person.

I mean, it is fucking Ethan! Fun fact: he is the first person that made me feel ok to embrace my curls. Even funner fact: I now realise that that was me thinking he was hot and wanting to look like him.

But anyway, the ten men sped through the Fijian waters with Tony acknowledging his huge target, though looking around at his fellow victors, he himself was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the season, and his fellow competitors. Meanwhile in another part of the ocean, ten female winners were cruising on their own boat, with Parvati talking about being out of the loop for ten years while building her family, though she was ready to come back and destroy her competition. And honestly, I already have goosebumps. Ethan shared that he is just happy that he lived long enough to play Survivor again after beating cancer. Amber was thrilled to be back and hoped to win again, and more importantly looked forward to beating her husband again.

The men were the first to arrive on the tiny island in the middle of a reef where Probst was waiting to greet them. The women soon followed, with Sandra shocked to see Rob was also there playing against his wife, given she just spent 36 days on the Island of the Idols with her and never once thought to mention that he was playing again. As a newer winner, Wendell was overwhelmed to be facing off against legends, 13 years on Yul knows that the game has changed and Probst acknowledged how much the world has changed since Amber first played 20 years ago and hot damn, I am old. And hot damn, this is amazing.

Probst unveiled a bottle of champagne to toast everyone and 20 years of Survivor before shocking Natalie by splitting everyone into tribes and assuring them that the season is not men versus women. She started on the Sele tribe with Rob, Ethan, Parvati, Ben, Michele, Danni, Denise, her bestie Jeremy and Adam, while Tony, Wendell, Amber, Kim, Sophie, Nick, Sarah, Yul, Sandra and Tyson formed Dakal. Probst announced that this season would feature a currency called Fire Tokens. Each person would start with one and would need to will it to someone else when they are voted out to the Edge of Extinction. Vom. Adding to the excitement, he then said that this season would be a little bit different, in that the victor wouldn’t win $1 million, bu $2 million, to the joy of literally everyone.

Oh and then he surprised everyone by announcing that they would be kicking the season off with a challenge in the water, which isn’t a great idea after booze, but whatever. In pairs, they would race out to collect a ring and then drag the ring towards a coloured pole for their tribe. First to be touching the ring and their pole – my dream night, really – would score a point, with first to securing a flint, rice … AND immunity. Filling Denise with dread, given she has never missed a tribal council in her Survivor career.

First up were Tyson and Yul for Dakal facing off against Jeremy and Ethan for Dakal. Tyson quickly snatched the ring and headed to his pole while Jeremy and Ethan desperately tried to drag him away. Yul joined the fray however and quickly dragged them to their pole, scoring the first point for Dakal. The second round featured Natalie and Parvati versus Kim and Sarah, with Kim pulling hair and Natalie beasting her way against the current as Parvati desperately reach for the pole. Until Kim and Sarah overpowered them and scored the second point for Dakal. Rob and Ben faced off against Wendell and Tony, with the former duo proving too strong and scoring the first point for Sele. The next round featured Denise and Natalie facing off against Amber and Sarah, with Natalie and Amber clawing over the ring, while Sarah and Denise tousled in the water. Eventually the women came together and Mrs Mariano proved that managing four kids builds strength, dragging Natalie and Denise with Sarah to score the third point for Dakal and immunity.

Meaning Queen Sandra escapes being the first boot. Yas yas yas.

After being told that tribal council won’t be until day two, a dejected Sele headed off while a much more relieved Dakal arrived at their island. The tribe hugged and introduced themselves before Nick found a Fire Token menu, explaining what they can buy and how the currency works. And Nick was confident that mastering the currency will prove key to victory in the season. And given he is from a new season, he is used to it to his advantage. Please don’t tell me that is a winner’s quote.

The tribe quickly got to work building their shelter, with Wendell hoping to take a step back so that he isn’t stuck building again like his first season, rather than building relationships and hunting for idols. Meanwhile Sarah and Amber were catching up by the well, with Sarah expressing how shocked she was to see the All Stars’ victor given she and Rob have four kids sitting at home. Talk quickly turned to their kids and the women shared that they each made calendars for their kids to cross off every day until they are home. Tyson stumbled upon the scene and shared that he made a daisy chain for them to rip off a ring each day and hot damn, that is the sweetest. He then spoke about how much winning Survivor meant to him, because now he is able to spend more time with his kids and as such, coming out again is a huge deal. Back at camp Wendell called Sandra the queen, filling her with nerves as she knows that title puts the biggest target on her back. She spoke about her history with Tony and Sarah and how they all voted each other out, but my gut tells me this is all for show and they plan to stick together.

We checked in with Sele where they got to work building a shelter, while getting to know each other and slowly trying to figure out who to vote out the next day. Parvati and Jeremy bonded over their babies at home, with Parvati acknowledging how differently she will play the game as a married parent. Parvati continued to use kids to bond, chatting with Rob about his kids before Rob joined Ethan to check he was doing ok. Ethan shared how scary life after cancer can be, and as such, he is hoping returning to the game will take him back to the younger guy that was carefree and won the game. Denise and Adam went wandering to find the well and continued Denise’s terrible luck in Survivor, by getting lost. While they used the time to align, the rest of the tribe noticed that they had been gone for a ridiculously long time and as such, painted a target squarely on their backs.

We returned to Dakal where Tony was chatting to Yul, Nick and Wendell about playing a calmer game than before, knowing that it will only put a target on his back and see him get booted early again, like Game Changers. Speaking of big targets, Amber was feeling nervous about the pace of the game. While everyone was chatting and building the shelter, she wasn’t sure whether she should be out hunting for idols to save herself from the looming fear of she and her husband teaming up. On another part of the island Yul was casually asking Sophie to align and after assuring her that he didn’t view it casually, Yul spoke about the importance of the lesser connected people joining together to counter the larger poker alliance of Kim, Rob, Jeremy and Tyson, with Natalie and Amber roped in by association. Sophie and her nerd shield noticed themselves in the middle with Wendell and Nick, with Tyson, Kim and Amber closely aligned and the gritty Game Changers of Sarah, Tony and Sandra clearly aligned.

Speaking of alliances, over at Sele Rob approached Parvati about working together this season, rather than targeting each other like in Heroes vs. Villains. Knowing that they have the biggest targets on the island, and given Rob has few options, Parvati was all in and they quickly found people to join their old school crew. Speaking off old school, Danni and Ethan were chatting to Adam and Ben about everyone’s out of game connections, with Danni pointing out that Rob is clearly the most connected and as such, needs to go. Sadly for her, Ben went for a walk with Jeremy and Rob and told the latter that his name had been thrown out. In a matter of seconds Rob got the fact Danni was the one throwing his name out from Ben and as such approached Danni to hear it from her. Somehow the iconic Danni used it to her advantage, telling him the truth leading to Rob, Parvati, Danni and Ethan joining together to take on the newbies.

The next day Adam awoke terrified about tribal council as the rest of the tribe woke up and started to scramble. Danni and Denise caught up, Jeremy and Michele were plotting, Ben and Ethan chatted while the latter’s head spun about the speed of the game. Natalie and Jeremy, whom she avenged in San Juan del Sur, caught up by the shore, with Natalie suggesting that Adam should be voted out given he and Denise disappeared on day one. They took the idea to Ben, Ethan and Rob who all seemed open to the idea. Once again Ben took the information straight back to the person that was being targeted, filling Adam with even more nerves. Adam then suggested that Natalie and Jeremy were the most dangerous pair on the tribe and they should maybe focus on Rob and Amber too. Adam then got to work rallying the troops to split up Jeremy and Natalie, roping in Denise, Ethan and the old schoolers, with Rob and Parvati agreeing that it makes sense to split up the pairs ASAP.

Parvati joined Jeremy, Natalie, Danni and Ben to try and get someone to lock in a name, with everyone too scared to be the one to throw out a name. While Danni suggested Adam, everyone was too nervous to lock something in which made Parvati nervous that she is missing something and it is her. She then joined Rob by the shore and icons were in hysterics about the fact that they are sitting pretty and nobody seems to be targeting two of the biggest icons of the game. And the fact the rest of the tribe are heading out for tribal without any plans.

At tribal council Ethan spoke about how differently the pace of the game is from All Stars, which in itself was a step up from Africa. Rob agreed that the game is so different from Marquesas. Talk soon turned to the fact that Denise and Adam disappeared on day one, with Denise reiterating that they got lost before acknowledging that that doesn’t matter because perceptions are everything. Adam then jumped in to remind everyone that being nervous about people that met the day before is absurd given there is a married couple in the game and people that have been friends for decades. Probst asked Natalie whether she was nervous to follow in Nadiya’s footsteps and become the first boot, with her talking about using any excuse to vote someone out first. Parvati said that nobody should feel comfortable, but for some reason most people do. This made Jeremy nervous, though he was hopeful that tribal would show who he can trust. Ben and Michele meanwhile were just sitting there anxiously, overwhelmed by everything. Ethan admitted to being nervous, while Natalie agreed that being all winners put more pressure on them than ever before.

With that the tribe headed out to vote and it proved that Probst was prophetic as my love Natalie found herself following in Nadiya’s footsteps and becoming the first boot. Before he had even finished counting the votes, Natalie had her hair in the bun and was ready to fight, getting her torch snuffed, bequeathing her Fire Token to Jeremy – obviously – and jumping on a boat to head to the Edge of Extinction.

Sike, you know I stopped her before she jumped on the boat and pulled her into a bear hug. Well ever she stopped hitting me and screaming because I scared the shit out of each other. We collapsed in a heap laughing at how terrified she was before I casually suggested that maybe she and Nadiya just aren’t meant to compete in All Stars seasons. Obviously she objected and told me to stop saying silly things, because she is coming back with a vengeance and is going to slay the merge. Well, as soon as she is done fuelling up on her Chocolate and Peanatalie Andersecake.

 

 

This little Nigella number is quite possibly the best cake of all time, I knew it would be perfect for one of my favourite single-season winner’s arc. Revenge, redemption and bold play, calls for a punch of sticky peanut butter and the velvety smooth chocolate topping. Get thee to a kitchen now and praise the Queen. Well Queens – Natalie and Nigella.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate and Peanatalie Andersecake
Serves: 1 lonely twinnie, sitting on an island waiting for Godot, Telstra and/or company.

Ingredients
200g digestive biscuits
50g salted peanuts
100g dark chocolate chips
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
500g cream cheese
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
200g raw caster sugar
1 ½ cups sour cream
250g smooth peanut butter
100g milk chocolate chips
30g muscovado brown sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Chuck the digestives, peanuts, dark chocolate chips and butter in a food processor and blitz until a moist crumb forms and it is clumping together. Transfer to a springform tin and press into the bottom and half-way up the sides. Place the base in the fridge to chill while you get started on the filling.

In a clean food processor – aka, sorry you had to clean mid-bake – place the cream cheese, egg and yolks, caster sugar, half a cup of sour cream and the peanut butter and blitz until it forms a cohesive, creamy, caramelly colour. Pour oven the base, marveling as the beauty as it flows in.

Get a kettle boiling and a baking dish that will fit the cake tin out. Wrap the base and side of the springform with a double layer of clingfilm, followed by a double layer of foil to create a protective, waterproof barrier.

Once the kettle has boiled, place the cake in the baking dish and pour water into the dish so that it comes half-way up the side of the tin. Carefully transfer the waterbath and cake into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is set and dry.

Remove from the oven and combine the remaining sour cream, milk chocolate and muscovado sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, whisking, until smooth and combined. Pour over the cake and return to the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes, or until set.

Allow to cool completely before transferring to the fridge to set overnight. Then, devouring immediately.

 

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Michelle Ragougan

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the All Stars were immediately thrown into some brutal challenges, the first of which featured a clue to a hidden immunity idol hidden at tribal council. And while Henry was lucky to grab it unnoticed, it was only valid for three tribal councils. When his tribe won the next two immunity challenges, he handed it off to Mat to cause some chaos at tribal council. Mat and the leader of his rival alliance, David decided to come together to help protect each other, and for David, to get revenge on one of his allies. Brooke then found an idol hidden at camp, completely throwing their plans into chaos. Until they gave an Oscar winning turn at tribal council and Mat correctly played him idol on Jacqui, before David begged Brooke to play hers on him and poor Daisy was gobsmacked to be booted from the game third.

In time to do exit press for her first season.

We checked in with Vakama the next day where the excitement of the previous tribal council was a thing of the past, and instead, Jacqui was showing off her killer physique. I mean, she looks like what Teresa Gudice wishes she looked like in a bodybuilding comp. Back at the shelter Mat was still processing his emotions from the epic tribal council, still shocked that the plan worked and that David didn’t backstab them. On the flipside the wounded majority alliance were feeling super nervous, unsure how Mat found out the votes would pile up on Jacqui and as such, speculated that there is a rat in their midst. Locky approached Mat to see if he could get any intel from him about the mole and while Mat dutifully told him that it was an educated guess, Locky did not buy it.

Speaking of the mole, David was on cloud nine – flushing both the idols, solidifying his secret alliance with Mat and getting his revenge on Daisy. Which I’m not really sure was needed, but since it was spectacular, I will let it slide. That being said, David was nervous and knew that he needed to keep his story straight and make sure nobody compares stories and realises he is a mole.

Meanwhile over at Mokuta Nick was busy knighting Lee for his spaghetti arms, while Henry was quietly sulking the corner since he is left right out on the bottom of the tribe. He regrouped and decided to approach Nick, bonding by the water well and hoping to form an alliance. Sadly for Henry, Nick learnt from his first season and was happy to sit quietly and wait for the chance to strike and as such, cannot align with Henry. Though obviously he pledged his loyalty to Henry and planned to ice him ASAP.

My love Jonathan graced us with his presence for the reward challenge where one at a time, someone from each tribe would face off on either side of a chest and try to push it and therefore their rival, off the edge of a dock. With the winning tribe getting some piping hot fish and chips. Oh, but before that AK threw Henry straight under the bus and announced that Mat played an idol at the previous tribal council THAT WAS GIVEN TO HIM BY HENRY AT THE LAST IMMUNITY CHALLENGE. I mean, I didn’t love him in Season 2, but AK is a deadset messy legend and I live. Henry was first to face off against Mat, allowing plenty of time for people to make jokes about them being idol buddies. Despite looking like an easy win for Mat, Henry stood his ground and clawed back the lead … until Mat overpowered him and sent him into the water.

Next round Jacqui chose to avenge Zach’s shitty views, however was sadly pushed straight into the water. But damn I love her. Lydia was up next, with AK challenging as Locky reminded him that Lydia is strong as shit. Direct quote. Despite being strong as shit and putting up a hell of a fight, AK dominated and scored another point for Vakama. Net up were Tarzan and Harry and hot damn, Tarzan is a beast and I live, easily winning the point. Though sadly not giving Harry a kiss like the last challenge. Just some hella sass on his way to winning the reward for his tribe.

The victorious Vakama were thrilled about the prospect of smashing their fish and chips, until they discovered they had actually won fishing gear and some potatoes, oil and salt to make chips once they catch the fish. With everyone trying to pretend they weren’t bitterly disappointed, they used the time to hunt for a clue or idol amongst their spoils to make the win moderately worth it. Mat then flipped the crate and found the idol hidden inside it in front of the entire tribe, leaving the majority furious and Mat, well, he was left smiling with a big, shit-eating grin.

As the majority went fishing to calm their nerves, Mat pulled Moana aside to let her know about his secret alliance with and growing trust in Dave. Finally finding her missing spark, Moana was thrilled about the turn of events and was happy to make a deal with the devil if it gets her further. And keeps Mat and David as the biggest threats. I mean, does Moana need a nemesis like Russell to keep her fire burning? Whatever it is, I love her again.

Later that night Dave was feeling nervous about his growing alliance with Mat, so slinked away into the night to make a fake hidden immunity idol. Well eventually, after hours and hours trying to cut a gem off their tackle box. Side note: aren’t all tackle (boxes) a gem?

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge which required the tribes to hold barrels over tiles with a rope, with people allowed to step out of the challenge and hand their barrel over BUT as soon as a single tile breaks, the tribe loses. Meanwhile the iconic Shonee sat out of the challenge, directly on top of an immunity idol clue and please don’t let her follow Michaela’s lead and miss it. David and Lee had a Zoolander approved model off in the first five minutes before Michelle dropped out of the challenge and handed her barrel off to Zach. After half an hour Zach passed a barrel off to Henry, by way of Lydia, while Sharn struggled to hold on. Out of nowhere Phoebe passed her barrel off to Locky before Lee took over Sharn’s barrel. After more than an hour and 15 minutes, and some desperate back and forths, Zaddy John dropped one of his two barrels and handed victory to Vakama. And Shonee exited her seat without noticing the idol clue.

Back at camp Michelle was feeling nervous about being the first one to drop out of the challenge, particularly since her tribe was made up of three-four professional athletes, depending on where you stand with washed-up Gladiators. Lee pulled Michelle aside, with her reminding him that she is on the bottom and as such will vote for anyone other than her. She echoed that sentiment to Sharn, John and Zach. Though she could tell that nobody was actually interested in saving her. Meanwhile Abbey was using the loss as motivation to keep the tribe strong, dejectedly tell everyone that they need to start winning challenges – after just coming off a winning streak – and get rid of Michelle. Not to be outdone, Lydia too was rallying the troops to get rid of the weakest.

Thankfully Henry knows that brute strength is not how you win Survivor and as such, decided that Sharn is the smarter vote given how persuasive she can be. Unless in front of a Survivor jury against Shane, obvi. Henry pulled Zach aside, with the latter quickly agreeing to getting rid of Sharn instead. He then approached a receptive John and Michelle, before making his way to Nick. Who was not thrilled by the turn of events, and as such, wanted to flip the vote on Henry. For trying to flip the vote on Sharn. With that Nick approached his little rascals, with both Harry and Shonee keen to change things up and get rid of the threat. Nick approached Lydia, Abbey and Lee to try and get them to see sense and get rid of the very sketchy Henry. However, sadly, that made Abbey nervous about Nick being shifty. Though not enough to get rid of him, since he is still stronger than Michelle.

At tribal council John struggled to stick his torch in the slot – I have one ready for him, though – before talking about their loss at the challenge and how people dropping out impacted them. Zach was surprisingly diplomatic before Michelle went all in, reminding everyone that after Lee bombed the first challenge they agreed that losing a challenge wouldn’t be punished in a boot. Sharn agreed that challenges will always cater to different types, before Michelle commenced pleading to the athlete mentality and quoting football. Lydia agreed that they do need a good mix of skills, though didn’t seem to convince Queen Michelle who reminded everyone that loyalty is just as important. Particularly if a tribe swap is imminent. John and Henry agreed loyalty and numbers are critical to making it further, before Abbey agreed it is important but, yeah nah, she cares more about strength.

Which obviously annoyed Michelle.

Nick joined the fray to remind everyone of the importance of forming a cohesive, harmonious group. Shocking nobody, Zach was focused on strength before Harry countered that his vote is solely based on forming solid alliances, while Shonee was just glad to finally be asked a question at tribal council. Michelle again reminded everyone the importance of trust before Henry gave her the kiss of death, saying he is confident that the votes are going to go his way. With that, the tribe voted and tragically, Queen Michelle was felled.

I knew that we would lose one eventually, but I am so heartbroken to see one of our Fourth Place Robbed Goddesses exit the game. Though I guess at least Mish kept things semi-consistent by becoming the fourth boot. Which is the only positive thing I could come up with as I sobbed into her arms as she entered Loser Lodge.

Remember when Michelle completely destroyed Ben at tribal council in Season 2?


That is how I choose to remember Michelle. Not as the woman that was felled by the strength first mentality which comes from the brutal challenges of Australian Survivor. Lucky my Nigella inspired Michelle Ragougan is hella comforting, because I truly needed it.

 

 

Sweet, salty and covered in a silky melting of cheese, the ragu is the perfect hearty little meal to whip up when you’re down. Add in a little bit of chilli to Nigella’s classic, and you’ve got perfection. No offence Nige.

Enjoy!

 

 

Michelle Ragougan
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
200g pancetta, diced
500g lamb mince
⅓ cup marsala
salt and pepper, to taste
400g can chopped tomatoes
100g green lentils
200ml beef stock. You could use chicken, but the bird and land combo makes me anxious. Like the thought of Flick and Shonee carrying the Fourth Place Robbed Goddess flag alone
125g red leicester cheese, grated

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the pancetta and cook for a further five minutes before adding the lamb mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned.

Crank the heat to high and add the marsala and a good whack of pepper – and salt, if ya like it salty – stir while it bubbles like crazy before adding the tomatoes, lentils and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour, or until the sauce has thickened up.

Serve immediately, cover in a generous heap of cheese and devour. Knowing that eating you feelings is the only appropriate way to work through your pain.

 

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Breked McKenziti

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball, Pasta

After spending the start of Oscar Gold hang with current nominee Quentin Tarantino, icon Nat Port, the inspiration for this year’s name – Gold Basketball – Kobe Bryant and the stunning screenwriter Di, I thought I should celebrate some of my favourite Anzac victors. And there is no victorious Kiwi that I love more than Bret McKenzie.

I first met Bret on the set – am I Dr freaking Zeuss? – of The Lord of the Rings, and we quickly bonded over our passion, and talent, for songwriting.

While our partnership fell through and he found success with Jemaine Clement instead, after a few years of mediation and a brief stint in prison for me, we put aside our differences and once again became friends.

In no small part to my dear Amy Adams, who wanted us to be friends again.

After blowing straight across the ditch into his arms in Wellington, I quickly begged him to use whatever sway he has to convince Jacinda to adopt our entire country and call us West Zealand. While he responded with a wry chuckle, I held his head like Gordon Ramsey calling someone an idiot sandwich, looked him dead in the eye and begged him to save us.

He calmly walked me over to his couch, sat me down and talked me through the shame I was experiencing not having Jacinda as Prime Minister before gently reminding me that we have a job to do. And that job is to run the damn odds.

So run the damn odds we did!

For Sound Mixing and Editing we both agree that 1917 is most likely to take it, since they both seem to favour war movies. Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ford v Ferrari snatch one or both away from the teams.

For Original Score Hildur Guðnadóttir should pretty much clear a space for her little man because she is a lock for Joker. And lastly, in Bret’s former category, Elts and Bernie have it in the bag for Rocketman and I am so happy that I can actually be happy for him.

With that out of the way we caught each other up on our lives and spitballed ideas for the next Muppets reboot before sitting down to a big, warm Breked McKenziti.

 

 

Cheesy and gloopy, yet all together comforting and spicy. A baked ziti is one of the most glorious things. Add in some buffalo chicken, and you’ve got perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Breked McKenziti
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g ziti, cooked to packet instructions
3 tbsp butter
500g chicken mince
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
250g cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
2 tbsp Michelle Branch Dressing
¼ cups chives, roughly chopped
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 160° and cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

Meanwhile place a dutch oven over medium heat and melt the butter until foamy. Add the chicken mince and garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes, breaking up the back of the wooden spoon as you go. Add the flour and cook for a further minute, still stirring, until it is a sticky, gloopy mess.

Remove from the heat and stir in the milk until the sauce comes together. Return to the heat and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add the cream cheese, hot sauce and ranch dressing and stir until coming together. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes, or until thick.

Add the chives, cooked ziti and cheddar. Stir and transfer to a large baking dish. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and goopy.

Serve immediately and devour. Victoriously.

 

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Kobe Beefant Sliders

Burgers, Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball, Snack, Tapas

As you could probably guess based on the name of this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, Gold Basketball, I had planned to honour my dear friend, the Academy Award winning basketball legend Kobe Bryant before he tragically passed away in the accident.

While I did jump in the time machine to go back and see him one last time, I opted to go to the day after his Oscar win and as such, didn’t get his help to run the odds. As such, I did them solo as I backed out the Delorean.

For Best Live Action Short, I think The Neighbors’ Window has it in the bag, despite overwhelming support for Brotherhood. Animated Feature will go to Klaus, despite Toy Story 4 being so beautiful. And as for his mother category, I predict Hair Love and that the vote tally won’t even be close. Not that you will ever know that.

It was hard to see him so soon after the accident, but it was wonderful to be taken back to him in that moment of pure, triumphant joy and be able to hug him one last time. A share an enormous platter of Kobe Beefant Sliders.

 

 

These little babies are so simple, yet so perfect. Prime beef patties, sticky caramelised onions and a herbalicious aioli fit for the king of basketball.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kobe Beefant Sliders
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
500g kobe beef, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup Coolaoili
¼ cup fresh tarragon, finely chopped
10 Briocher Bunsbergs in slider form, sliced
American cheese slices, cut to size (optional)

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions over low heat for ten minutes, or until soft and sweet.

Meanwhile combine the mince in a large bowl, season well and scrunch to combine. Form into 10 evenly sized patties.

Heat another lug of oil in a large skillet and fry the patties for a couple of minutes each side, or until cooked through.

While the patties are cooking, mix the tarragon through the aioli until well combined.

To assemble, split the buns, smear with aioli, add the patty, cheese – if you’re using it, which you should – followed by the onion and some more aioli.

Close, devour and honour your dear friend.

 

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Shancken & Mangould Filo

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, there were two seasons that aired on rival networks that sucked and were swiftly axed. Then, years later, Channel 10 swooped in, powered by the rippling guns of Jonathan Lapaglia and Australian Survivor was reborn, at first coy and filled with mateship, the snakes took control and four epic seasons later, 24 of the best are pack for another shot at the crown.

Well 20ish of the best, some fallen angels – who transcend the title of best – and my nemesis Zach, who’s only redeeming feature was a skinny dip. Though it will never compare to Locky and John’s nude scenes, which live forever in my heart.

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. And a little bit distracted. And short of breath.

Deep in the Fijian jungle we see a group of people exiting a swamp led by Daisy while Nick, AK and their snake posse emerged from the grass like the raptor scene of The Lost World. We then finally got some Shon-tent as the fourth place robbed goddesses and Brooke climbed through mangroves like they were searching for Ziggy’s super idol. Tarzan was joined by a duo of runner-ups, in the form of Sharn and Lee. The latter of whom hates me enough to block me on social media. Oh and then the challenge beasts emerged, featuring my nude zaddies, Lydia and Abbey. And oh how I look forward to Lydia’s second blindside.

Speaking of which, the iconic Shane was joined by Jericho and oh how I love Shane. And Jericho’s penchant for butchering a turn of phrase.

Oh and then David, Henry, Mat and Phoebe got to stand on the Fijian equivalent of Pride Rock and damn this is camp. AND I LIVE FOR IT.

Eventually the 24 castaways joined together to meet Jonathan at the shore, with Shonee and Michelle becoming the fastest of friends. And Lydia crapping her dacks at the sight of Shane. After welcoming the crew to their second go around, Tarzan shared it was an honour to play opposite Shane Gould while Lydia tried to play coy about her simmering rage at the aforementioned Olympic hero. David was surprisingly short on words, sharing that he is simply here for revenge. With the brief chit chat out of the way Jonathan separated everyone into their tribes, with Vakama consisting of Daisy, Locky, Mat, David, Flick, Tarzan, Brooke, Moana, Jacqui, Jericho, Phoebe and AK, while the Mokuta tribe featured Shane, Harry, Henry, Lee, Slaychelle, John, Shonee, Sharn, Abbey, Lydia, Nick and Zach.

Not wasting any time, Jonathan explained that they would be competing in their first reward challenge, where they would be required to push a heavy sled through a course, collect firewood, build a massive bonfire and burn through a rope … in exchange for a fully built shelter, complete with flint. Which is the biggest advantage possible on day one. Mokuta got out to an early lead, no doubt thanks to the dream team of Shane and Shonee, and a little bit of help from Zaddy John. Until they were too good at loading up their sled, making it too hard to push and allowing Vakama to close the gap. Mokuta got a second wind however, getting them to the end first, starting working on the fire while Vakama continued to narrow the gap.

With Vakama happy with their bonfire, Henry walked out to collect a torch, light it, found a clue and shoved it in his pants. And just like that, I love Henry again and am moister than an oyster. As he walked back to his tribe he passed Mat and told him where to find a clue, in the hopes that he could make a friend on the other tribe. Meanwhile both tribes continued to build their structures, waiting for the right moment to light their photo. Ultimately Vakama were the first to light their fire, while Mokuta stood firm and waited to build their structure taller. Which proved to be the smart move, as their fire continued to grow and burnt through the rope, handing them palatial digs, while Vakama was desperately on its way to get more firewood.

The game truly kicked off as Mokuta arrived at their swanky home, with Queen Shonee thrilled to have started off with some legit luck. Her fellow Queen Michelle was thrilled by their surroundings and the kumbuya nature of the tribe. And Nick was focused on the fact that everyone is completely built. Speaking of which, John was quick to get down to his speedos and once again, he is my favourite. And hell, my King. Speaking of my Zaddy squad, Henry went for a wander to find out that his clue was for a hidden immunity idol, which he could conveniently snatch from tribal council behind where everyone leaves their torches. However it sadly only was good for the first three tribals, meaning he shouldn’t have pointed the clue out to Mat.

Speaking of Mat, he and the Vakama tribe arrived at their far less palatial digs and got to work turning it into something liveable. Which honestly seems like a ridiculously hard task. OG nude zaddy Locky was quick to take charge, advising everyone to go get bamboo, bring it back and they will try to pull something together. Splitting up to work, David quickly started to make friends, charming his way through the tribe while Tarzan sat back and displayed a surprisingly astute read of where everyone and their egos stood. Fully aware that David’s charm is something he is already falling for.

We returned to Mokuta where Shane was talking John through everyone’s swimming ability, with the zaddy asking the Queen for some lessons and honestly I ship the hell out of the two of them. We then learnt that she is a doctor in chimp studies which led to arguably the greatest 30 seconds of TV highlighting her tribemates acting like primates. Not to be outdone, Shane put that study into practice, apologising to Lydia and charming Shonee – who straight up calls her babes – and Henry. After teeing up a secret alliance with Henry, she went wandering for idols which made Harry feel extremely nervous. As he complained to Zach. Vom.

Over at Vakama AK was trying to bond with David, coining himself the Silver Prince before the duo mocked the other tribe for being so low rent. David continued to charm the tribe, going person to person winning them over and finding that despite painting such a huge target on his back last season, everyone wants to work with him. Before we had the chance to see if any alliances eventuated, Mat interrupted proceedings to read his clue and while he played hard on his first season, I just don’t see him being bold enough to snatch an idol in front of everyone.

That night Mokuta were still loving their palatial digs, sitting around their fire pit while Vakama sat in the cold, dark, windy shore and hot damn, I just saw Moana for the first time. Has she been here this entire time? The next day things weren’t looking much better as the freezing, exhausted castaways stood around as Locky desperately rubbed his stick for fire.

My love Jonathan returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes had to race over a set of A-frames and barge through a series of sticks. They then need to carry people down the course on rods before smashing boxes a stone wall to release five balls which they must use to shoot some hoops, with the first to finish snatching immunity. Once again Mokuta got out to an early lead, though Vakama kept close on their heels. In no small part because Mat climbed Locky like the damn sexy tree that he is. Locky then used himself like a battering ram – and you know what I want him to batter – crushing through the second obstacles and handing the lead to Vakama. Well until Mokuta snatched it back on the poles. The lead went back and forth until Vakama found their rhythm and extended their lead, giving David and AK a two person advantage at shooting hoops. Which they needed as AK struggled to shoot. Eventually Mokuta closed the gap, though sadly it was as AK found his eye, shooting basket after basket and snatching the first immunity for Vakama.

Back at camp the Mokuta tribe were well and truly dejected, though quickly tried to pretend they played hard and couldn’t have done any better. Well except for Queen Michelle who didn’t care about getting better in challenges, she just wanted to survive until the next challenge. Before the icon could make her move, we checked in with Lydia who confirmed that she has well and truly held a grudge against Shane since her blindside and as such, plans to get her revenge tonight. As such, she approached Harry and learnt that he too had some issues with Shane. And hopefully could use that to pull together the numbers to blindside her on her behalf.

While Harry respected Shane’s sneaky game, he sadly saw it as a threat rather than an opportunity to be mentored by a freaking Olympic champion. Sneaky or not. While Shane was off openly hunt for idols, Harry tried to deflect his own massive target and instead pull everyone in one by one to vote out everyone’s favourite potty mouthed grandmother. Abbey was in, as were Nick and Shonee, and Henry and Michelle. Well until Shane stumbled upon them and interrupted the planning. While the group dispersed and returned to camp, Henry and Michelle asked who Shane was targeting with the icon straight up pointing to Harry who was IN THE CONVERSATION, TWO STEPS AHEAD. Fucking icon.

This wooed Henry and Michelle, who got to work to flip the numbers on Harry and save our Queen. Henry approached Zach and Nick to see if they would be keen to join them, with Nick wisely cautioning him that it is way too soon to be sticking their necks out and to just follow the numbers for the first vote. Back at camp Lydia was trying to charm Shonee into joining the numbers to get rid of Harry before Nick interrupted and caught them up on the potential change in plans. Which really pissed off Lydia, who couldn’t bear the thought of Shane lasting one more day.

At tribal council Michelle spoke about the polar opposites of day one and two in the game, with the first spent smugly enjoying their palatial digs while day two was about fights tooth and nail to find friends. Lydia tried to play it calm, while obviously telling everyone to stick to the plan like our version of Keith Nale. Shane immediately took issue with the idea of going with the simple plan, saying the game is more complex and they are all better than getting rid of a former winner for that simple reason. Nick preached the virtues of taking a backseat, earning Jonathan’s wrath for changing his tune between seasons. Henry joined the fray admitting that letting somebody do the dirty work is always a great option, while Harry tried to again sell the vote as an easy one.

Jonathan asked Lydia straight up whether she was out for revenge tonight, giving one of the least convincing assurances that she and Shane had kissed and made up. While Shane pretended that she believed they had healed their wounds, her reminder that it is a new game and everyone has a clean slate says that she is nervous. We finally heard from Sharn, who casually tried to protect the woman that bested her before Henry turned the talk to idols while looking over his shoulder at the one in the tree. Harry tried to call out Shane for looking for an idol, though the icon was unashamed about the fact she is desperate for any form of protection. Lydia tried to return the focus to loyalty and sticking to the plan before Jonathan sent them all off to vote.

Shocking absolutely nobody, Lydia went with the revenge vote and led the tribe to get rid of Shane, the woman that destroyed her while she failed to win immunity at the merge. While I started to shake with rage, Shane held her head high and exited with class … before throwing some shade, playing dumb about not knowing what to do when it comes to getting your torch snuffed.

Oh and I should mention that Henry successfully snatched the hidden immunity idol without anyone but Jonathan noticing.

I was sobbing uncontrollably by the time Shane arrived at Loser Lodge and like Quentin before her, she scooped me up in her arms and told me that everything was going to be ok.

“Ben, don’t fuck with me. I am ok, you are ok, the season will be ok – Shonee is still there, and Lydia will soon be bested once again. Just by a different icon. Be thankful that I am following in the footsteps of the great Tina Wesson – first to worst, and if I get the chance to play again, I promise you that I will be the fourth place robbed goddess.”

And with that near soliloquy – as I languished between awake and blinded by pain – I came to, perked up and got to work whipping up a triumphant Shancken & Mangould Filo. First boot placing, be damned!

 

 

While goulash felt like the right way to honour her victory, I felt this little number was the perfect mix of spicy and sweet like the queen, icon, legend that is Shane Gould. The flaky pastry melts away leaving you with a punch of chilli that glides over our taste buds on a oozy, creamy boat of cheese.

Like Shane, it is perfection. 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Shancken & Mangould Filo
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts, sliced in half and beaten into 1cm thick steaks
1 cup cream cheese
2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and diced pieces
¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
16 sheets filo pastry
¼ cup melted butter

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C.

Lay the flattened breasts out and lay a slice of cream cheese in the middle. Add a couple of pieces of mango on top and drizzle with a bit of sweet chilli. Season with salt and pepper and fold the breast over to enclose the filling, like a big, meaty cigar.

To assemble, place two filo sheets on a clean surface and place a piece of chicken in the centre of one end. Roll the pastry over to cover, fold in each end and then wrap the rest of the sheet up. Repeat the process until you have eight parcels.

Brush with butter and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden and crisp. Oh and cooked through.

 

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Alan Carrbonara alla Saliccia

Main, Pasta, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1

With Ru and Michelle venturing across the pond for a UK version of Drag Race – no doubt to find out if anyone can lip sync better than Charlie Hides – they’re packing me up and taking me over to the mother country. And reuniting me with my dear friend Alan Carr, who has found his way onto the judging panel.

I’ve known Al for years, after meeting on the Chorlton-cum-Hardy comedy circuit. While I found the name of the suburb to be nothing more than false advertising – except for this one time down the frog and toad at the rub-a-dub-dub, getting a rub-a-tug-tug – I was grateful to find a kindred spirit in the form of Alan. High energy and a little too much, Alan and I became the fastest of friends despite being so similar.

When Ru and Mish were looking to transplant the series, they personally tasked me with finding the right people to join them on the judges panel – after I turned them down – I knew that Al would be absolutely perfect for the role.

He was thrilled to drop by and help me celebrate the imminent arrival of the Brits and agreed that this season is going to be fire. Particularly with an icon like Divina de Campo in the cast. But I’m saying too much, so instead get thee to a kitchen and whip yourself up some Alan Carrbonara alla Saliccia.

 

 

This Jamie Oliver number is one of my favourite meals, despite Jamie’s blatant false advertising. I mean, when have you ever seen him naked? Thankfully this rich salty carb is packed full of so much sausage it makes me willing to forgive him.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Carrbonara alla Saliccia
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
320g dried linguine, cooked to packet instructions
olive oil
4 Italian sausages
200g pancetta, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
4 egg yolks
100ml double cream
½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated … plus extra to serve. Emphasis on extra.
1 lemon,  zested
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Get a pot of water on the boil and cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and squeeze small meatballs worth of sausage filling into the pan, and cook for five minutes or so. Add the pancetta and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until crisp.

Whisk the egg yolk, double cream, parmesan, lemon zest and parsley together in a jug.

When you’re ready to bring everything together, drain the pasta, reserving a cup’s worth of the glorious cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the eggy mixture. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and stir until well combined. Add the meatballs and pancetta and give another good stir.

Serve immediately with a generous mound of parmesan on top. And devour.

 

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Stuffed Shelly Long Bake

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Pasta

After spending the last few days catching up with the current shining stars of television – hey there current nominee Christina Applegate, and rising stars Riz and Tatiana! – I decided Emmy Gold: Golden Family needed some gravitas in the form of some TV royalty. So I picked up the phone and invited myself over to celebrate Shelley ma’ fuckin’ Long.

While yes, she is still working hard with killer runs on Modern Family and less recently – and my favourite – playing Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch movies, her Emmy winning turn as Diane in Cheers is truly the stuff of TV legend.

I mean, her and zaddy Ted Danson’s will-they-won’t-they romance is enough to flood my basement even now.

Obviously Shell was honoured to finally get the call up to appear on this patch of cyberspace and introduce herself to a new audience. While our relationship started out quite rocky thanks to the meddling ways of the morally corrupt Kelsey Grammer, Rhea Perlman – the saint that she is – was able to sit us down, make us see sense and finally end our feud in 1987 before Shelley departed Cheers.

Did I mention I was a featured barfly in Cheers? Because I was.

Anyway, given she starred in one of the most iconic comedies of all time, I got her to help me run the odds for Outstanding Comedy Series, hoping that this category provides a well-deserved surprise slash great return on gambling investment. While Veep, Barry, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Fleabag are generating the most chatter to take out the win, this is the category that I could honestly make a case for every nominee taking it out. Russian Doll was bold and moving, The Good Place is the greatest exploration of morality ever committed to screen and Schitt’s Creek is a remarkable show filled with hope and joy.

While my heart wants Schit’s Creek to take it out and Shelley thinks The Good Place deserves it, I think it will go to Fleabag. But given Schitt’s has the worst odds, am betting it all on them for a good return on investment. While Shelley tried to suggest I go for a safer bet, I didn’t listen and drowned out her wise words by smashing a big Stuffed Shelly Long Bake.

 

 

There is nothing better than pasta … except kitsch foods, so using that logic, this baby is the holy grail. Large shell pasta bake full of rich, creamy spinach and cheese floating through a sea of spicy tomato sauce like the SS Noms? Sign me up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stuffed Shelly Long Bake
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
300g jumbo pasta shells, cooked per packet instructions
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
250g spinach, roughly chopped
500g ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, lightly whisked
a small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups marinara sauce
1 tbsp chilli flakes

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the spinach, remove from heat and cook, stirring for a minute or so, or until the residual heat has wilted the spinach. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

Once the onion, garlic and spinach are pretty much tepid, add the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil and a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

To assemble, pour marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and stir through the chilli flakes. Stuff each shell with the cheese mixture and place randomly in the baking dish. Repeat the process until the pasta and/or cheese is all used up.

Dot with any remaining cheese mixture, sprinkle with a little extra parmesan and transfer to the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Or until gloopy and glorious.

Leave to rest for five minutes before serving and devouring. Triumphantly like an icon.

 

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