Pumpkim Spradlinguine Carbonara

Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: One World

Given we’ve had a string of alpha-male dominated seasons, I decided that Liz Olson and Natalie need to dominate this season. And as such, I needed to pull out (one of) the most dominant winners Kim Spradlin to bring some good juju as we continued our countdown.

Say what you will about how awful and insufferable Colton made One World – and Kourtney’s broken arm didn’t help either – Kim had an absolute stranglehold on that game and is one of the best winners we have seen. Actually, her dominance probably didn’t help the excitement levels of the game … but I thoroughly enjoyed watching her string everyone along and dominate the game.

Sadly we haven’t had a return from Kim on account of her having multiple children since her killer game, but I am hopeful we will see her again for a legends season where she, Cirie and Sandra run the game.

Could you imagine?

Anyway like me, Kim has high hopes for the success of icons like Natalie, Elizabeth and Mike White who we can stan for creating Enlightened. Bonus points for thinking Gabby could go well, if only for her being a superfan.

With our David vs. Goliath chat out of the way, we caught up on what we’d been up to in the last couple of years, and while she rebuffed my offer to help tee up the legends alliance – though to be fair, she probs don’t need my help – she more than earned a big bowl of Pumpkim Spradlinguine Carbonara to celebrate the impending premiere.

 

 

Let’s quickly run through everything; pasta? Delicious. Pumpkin? Glorious. Cheese? YAS. Bacon? Hot damn. Put them together and I damn near cream my shorts. In layman’s terms, this dish is perfect.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkim Spradlinguine Carbonara
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
a good knob of unsalted butter
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 shallots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry vermouth
600g butternut pumpkin, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
½ cup pecorino, grated
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
500g linguine

Method
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and once foaming, add the bacon and cook for five minutes or so. Once crisp, add the shallots and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes or until fragant and soft. Add the vermouth and cook, bubbling, for five minutes or so.

In another pan, bring the pumpkin and stock to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is soft. Blitz with a stick blender until smooth and add to the bacon and shallot mixture. Stir through the cream, pecorino and nutmeg and stir until combined.

Cook linguine as per packet instructions. Drain, reserving ½ a cup of cooking liquid. Stir the pasta through the sauce and loosen with some pasta water if needed.

Serve, slathered with additional pecorino and then devour.

 

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Marg Helgenberger Pizza

Burgers, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Main, Snack

While I ventured into the pass to explore the male comedy nominees, I returned to the present – or went Back to the Future, if you will – to celebrate the Emmys with the iconic Marg Helgenberger.

Funnily enough, I didn’t meet Marg until she already had an Emmy to her name … on the set of The Larry Sanders Show. Yep – I met Marg through Garry Shandling. Talk about a small world, no?

Anyway, we became the fastest of friends and I decided she needed to be a bigger star. While it took me a couple of years to get there, I snagged her CSI and Erin Brockovich in the space of a year and I don’t mean to gloat, but that is a pretty big deal.

Marg was thrilled to finally drop by for a visit – talk about making it! – and even more more excited when she learnt it was in honour of the Emmys.

We laughed, we caught up and most importantly, we got to discussing the female drama and limited series noms. We both agreed that Sandra Oh will likely take Best Actress in a Drama, despite it being Claire Foy’s last shot. Marg felt Regina King would take the Limited Series gong, while I of course was backed Laura Dern. In arguably one of the most competitive categories of the night, we agreed that Thandie Newton will snatch Best Supporting Actress just over Yvonne Strahovski. And last but certainly not least, Judith Light will take Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series.

I knew there was only one thing to serve that would sustain us for the long deliberations, and that was my delicious Marg Helgenberger Pizza.

 

 

While I assume you thought I was going to go with a burg, I like to zag instead of zig … and serve a good old culinary-gangbang. I mean, how do you go wrong by throwing all the gloriousness of a burger, on a pizza base. The answer is, you can’t.

Enjoy!

 

 

Marg Helgenberger Pizza
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 base using Zsa Zsa’s recipe
250g beef mince
tomato sauce or paste
Italian herbs, to taste
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
2 pickles, sliced
American mustard, to taste
grated cheese, to top

Method
Prepare base as per Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat oven to 180°C and cook the mince in a frying pan over medium heat, forming into small meatballs as you go.

Spread the base with tomato paste and sprinkle over Italian herbs. Layer with onion, tomato, pickles and the mince. Drizzle with American mustard and sprinkle generously with grated cheese.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Serve and devour immediately.

 

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Greg Paneer

Cheese

I tell you, life feels as good as it gets when I’m spending time with my celebrity friends. None more so, than the delightful Greg Kinnear.

While I didn’t meet Greg until he was already an Emmy winner, he always credits me for the stratospheric launch of his career. And that love, support and praise, really speaks to me on a deep level. As such, my ego particularly likes spending time with him.

You see, I was part of Hellraiser Hunt’s entourage on the set of As Good As It Gets, and when I wasn’t busy trying to position myself as the King of the set, I was coaching Greg. He was lower on the totem pole, compared to Hells and Jack so I made it my mission to coach him on playing gay and get him into the A-list.

One Oscar nomination later and a string of hit movies including You’ve Got Mail opposite Megs (Megs, Megs, Megs) and I think you’ll agree I succeeded.

Given he is now an A-lister, out visits aren’t as often as we’d like but he always drops everything when I ask to catch-up.

Fresh off the set of House of Cards, I desperately tried to find out any tea but he told me that he was sworn to secrecy and he couldn’t even tell me. I mean, that is how deep our relationship is that I am the one person he wants to share his secrets with, even though I’m a terrible server like Sheree and always spill said tea.

Anyway, despite not getting any goss we did the usual, laugh, cry, love and then smashed a giant plate of my Greg Paneer for optimal joy.

 

 

Making cheese always seems like it is in the too hard basket, with all the acids, salts and cultures required. Thankfully, paneer is one of the most basic and still tastes oh so good. Soft and creamy, it is the perfect thing to fry up or say, chuck in a Jenneer Saagustin.

Enjoy!

 

 

Greg Paneer
Serves: 2 besties.

Ingredients
1L milk
pinch of kosher salt
2 tbsp lemon juice

Method
Line a sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth.

Combine the milk and salt in a large saucepan and slowly bring to a light boil, stirring semi-constantly to avoid burning on the bottom.

Remove from the heat and gently stir through the lemon juice until the curds and whey are seperated. Which should happen pretty instantaneously.

Pour the contents into the lined sieve and rinse under cold water. Grab the edges of the cheesecloth and twist into a ball to drain all the liquid and leave in the sieve to drain for a further five minutes.

Transfer to a large plate and place another on top layered with some cans to help it condense. Place in the fridge to chill for about an hour, or until solid.

Then slice and serve/fry, and then devour.

 

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Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

So Notorious. I was talking about So Notorious, the hit sitcom based on Tori Spelling’s life starring Tori Spelling and Loni as a heightened version of the divine Candy Spelling. Just in case the tease didn’t make it abundantly clear.

It was such a delight to reconnect with someone as dear as sweet Loni!

She ran through customs with a look of pure joy on her face and while at a distance I assumed it was someone trying to avoid an inspection on account of me needing new glasses, she eventually came into my line of site and jumped straight into my arms.

We both burst into tears, followed by fits of laughter at how emotional we were being and to be honest, I’m shocked our behaviour didn’t get us escorted out of the airport.

After we got home we got to work reminiscing and catching up. While she wasn’t convinced that So Notorious needed to come back and we need to take my ideas to Torz post haste, we still had a wonderful time. Which really just speaks to how deep our friendship runs.

Though I mean, when you share an ex-husband like Burt you’ve both got to admit you both have fantastic taste. Which was evidence by how much we both love a creamy Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson.

 

 

Earthy, spiced and dripping in glorious, gloopy cheese, these cannelloni pack a comforting punch. They’re the perfect meal for a cool spring night, while gabbing away with a dear friend over some cheap wine.

I mean, why pretend I drink anything better?

Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 tbsp butter, halved
2 leeks, thinly sliced
750g butternut pumpkin, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup dry vermouth
salt and pepper, to taste
10 sage leaves, roughly chopped, halved
pinch of nutmeg, grated
1 ½ cups ricotta
1 cup parmesan, grated
500g dried cannelloni tubes
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Melt half the butter in a large pot and cook the leek and pumpkin over medium heat for about ten minutes. Add the garlic, vermouth and a good whack of salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and cook for a further ten minutes or so, or until the liquid has all absorbed. Allow to cool slightly before transfering to a food processor with half the sage and the nutmeg, ricotta and parmesan and blitzing until smooth.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Meanwhile melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and once foamy, whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and cream and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes or until smooth and thick.

To assemble, pour half of the cream sauce into the base of a baking dish. Pipe the pumpkin mixture into the cannelloni tubes and lay on top of the creamy sauce. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with sage and walnuts. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Allow to rest for five minutes before serving and devouring.

 

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Duck Risottozryski

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

Previously on Australian Survivor, we witnessed the rise of the previously invisible who orchestrated a blindside of Tegan to break-up the power couple. Sadly for him, she wasn’t eliminated from the game and was instead sent to Exile Beach to await the next boot with them battling out to return to the game. Once again the Contenders lost the challenge, with Benji leading the charge to take out Tegan’s ally Heath and guarantee one of them leaves the game. Sadly for him, Heath played his idol negating all votes but his and sending Anita to Exile where she cleared the air with Tegan and was swiftly beaten at the challenge and sent from the game for good. Upon winning her way back into the game, Tegan was heartbroken to have kicked Anita out of the game though the departing Anita gave her a peptalk to get her revenge, and hot damn, I’d be terrified to have her back at camp if I were Benji.

The Contenders returned to camp where Tegan quickly got to work making everyone feel awkward as hell before letting them simmer in their guilt and getting water with Heath. Back at camp, Paige told the rest of the tribe they needed to own up to things and clear the air with Tegan if they wanted to last. They then all shared the stories that led to Tegan’s boot, with Benji’s lie outed without Tegan even needing to get her hands dirty. Though obvi, Benji wasn’t concerned. Meanwhile back at the well, Tegan filled Heath in on everything she learnt from Anita and told him that they both need to stop playing Mr & Mrs Nice Guy and go for the jugular.

Jonathan arrived on the scene for the immunity challenge where Tegan and Zach assured him that the Contenders hashed everything out and were ready to win, however given the fact we haven’t seen the Champions at all this episode, it isn’t looking likely. Anyway the challenge required sick people to run up a slippery slope to fill buckets full of holes with water and fill up a tube to release a box filled with a ball, which two people will use to complete a wall maze. As is oft the case, Mat got the Champions out to an early lead however Benji closed the gap and got the Contenders out in front. Well, until the Champions stripped down – damn boys and their speedos! Mat, Brian, Steve … swoon! – and overtook the Contenders, giving Jackie and Sam the lead for the maze. After narrowly missing the hole on their first attempt, the Contenders managed to catch up. Well until Zach and Robbie choked and Jackie and Sam secured victory for the Champions. Again.

As Tegan promised, she returned back to camp ready to out all of Benji’s lies and scorch the earth, so to speak until Fenella spoke up and outed the reason why she turned on Tegan. This set her off, saying he was a bullshitter and everyone needed to know who they were playing with. Benji then straight up lied to everyone, saying how he simply pointed out that they were a pair, then trying to say Heath planned to turn on the girls. This then lead to an epic moment where Heath and Tegan went full mum and dad mode, chastising him for lying and pointing out that the bromance are far more dangerous than their pair.

Benji then ran off to the shore to hide his tears by washing his face before pulling Zach aside to reaffirm they need to put enough doubt in their tribemates mind. While Paige didn’t buy his bullshit a second time, he was confident that he’d be able to convince Shonee and Fenella he never lied. While they looked to be all in with his story, they also seemed genuine when Tegan pulled them aside to clear the air and build their relationship back up. All was forgiven and they were ready to join Tegan in the next vote, though only if they vote out Zach instead of Benji since he is far more dislikable. While Tegan felt uncomfortable not taking Benji out, Shonee shared with us that she needed to keep her options open and felt Zach was more expendable to her game.

At tribal council Jonathan was quick to shade their string of losses and Tegan for previously being booted from the game. Tegan admitted that she had been floating through the game prior to her boot, and vowed to fight hard for the rest of the game. Jonathan asked Benji for his opinion, with him once again trying to dance around the truth with very much conviction. Tegan called him out for lying about her targeting the girls to get them to turn on her, saying that Anita told her that Robbie and Benji instigated it despite their denials. Shonee confirmed that it was all true, with Benji attempting to stutter out a defence before being schooled by Tegan like she is the Michelle to his Purple Ben.

Zach tried to jump in and defend Benji, saying Tegan lied and planned to take him out with her pointing out that she never actually spoke to him and he knew that she targeted him since he voted her out. Zach admitted that he was nervous about the upcoming vote, with Tegan pointing out that the boys strengths haven’t really been helping them and the girls are far stronger than he gives them credit for. Zach continued to shrink the target on Benji’s back, saying the girls were letting down the team much to the disgust of all the women on the tribe. You could see them completely shut down as he tried to dig himself out of the hole, with the girls all jumping in to talk why he is useless and failing the tribe and Robbie and Benji looking more and more defeated.

Which was well placed as Heath and the girls joined together … with the help of Benji and Robbie, to take out Zach, despite the fact that Benji completely had his game blown up by the Exile Beach twist. While Zach had been rehabbing his image over the last couple of episodes, he was letting his misogynistic flag fly when he walked into Loser Lodge. Thankfully like a leftie woman, I don’t tolerate white heterosexual male privilege, nor do I take kindly to fragile masculinity. As such, I went to town on him for all his shitty statements throughout his ten episodes on television and proceeding to roll him the tapes of real man Steve Willis, breaking down about his desire to be loved. Real men cry, bitch.

Anyway, I went on such a rage filled tangent that I made Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth II hurricane speech look like a children’s story … so then I whipped him up a delightfully salty Duck Risottozryski to apologise for going so hard when I know that every good show needs a good villain.

 

 

I love Duck Risotto. It is amazing – deliciously gamey, sweet, creamy and packing a punch, it is near perfection. And while some would say his statements about women made him less than deserving of such a beautiful dish, I made him promise to do better in the future.

To quote Melania Trump, when they go low, we go high. She said that, right?

Enjoy!

 

 

Duck Risottozryski
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 duck breasts, skin on
1L vegetable stock
1 onion, diced
3 garlic clove, minced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
⅔ cup white wine
500g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
a couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parmesan, grated
100g Goats Cheese, crumbled

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat until scorching. Add the duck breasts, skin down and cook for about five minutes, or until super crispy. Flip and cook for a further five minutes or so, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and leave to rest for five ten minutes before slicing into 5mm thick … slices. Keep warm.

Meanwhile place the stock in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and keep warm.

Finally heat another lug of oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes or so, or until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, or until well coated and starting to lose their colour at the end. Add the wine and stir until it is almost absorbed before adding the stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring until each additional has almost absorbed. This will take about fifteen minutes total.

While you’re cooking the rice, place the fatty duck pan back on the heat and cook the mushrooms until browned and glorious. Add the parsley, stir and remove from heat.

When the stock has all been used up, add the lemon juice and zest, thyme, mushrooms and parmesan, and a good whack of salt and pepper before stirring to combine. Crumble over the Goats Cheese and cooked duck, and serve immediately.

Then devour and wash the dishes like Zach would want. Well, if you’re a dislikable, leftie female.

 

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Jenneer Saagustin

Main, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders luck started to wear thin and try as they might, they couldn’t pull together a win in either challenge. Maybe in part because Lydia almost pulled Jenna’s ankle straight off her leg, but I digress. Heading back to tribal, the Contenders seemed split down gender lines with Paige trying to join the boys to get rid of Shonee, though they intended to target her and the girls and parents alliances  – aka the girls minus Paige and plus Heath – joining together to target Steve K. In the end, the boys and Paige were shocked to see their two different plans blow up and poor lil’ Steve sent from the game.

We opened up at the Champions where Moana and Mat were bonding over their football careers, and while sport chat normally makes me feel anxious, it was hella sweet to see them talking about their dreams like that. Sharn and the one true Steve then joined the fray and damn, wouldn’t this be a sweet final four? I can’t believe I’m rooting for the Champions.

The next day we checked in with the Contenders where everyone was quiet after Steve K’s blindside. The most shocked, however, was Paige who not only landed in the minority but she only received votes from the people that she thought trusted her. For some reason, she went back to the boys to see whether she could trust them again instead of going to the girls and parents alliance. Meanwhile Zach continued his descent into villaindom, bitching about Paige’s fears while Benji and his fluctuating accent continued to dwell in the background.

Meanwhile back at the Champions everyone was feeling the love for one another. Well, except for Lydia and Sharn who were sick of Brian never doing anything to help. Ever. Though they could see the silver lining, agreeing that it makes voting him out that much easier. Speaking of Brian, he defended his laziness saying that if everyone else wants to work they can and he doesn’t need to prove himself. While I agree with that, the fact he thinks ‘Brian Time’ is not painting a target on his back and killing his strategic game, shows he has no clue.

Oh and Jenna is still well injured and is really emotional, which is heartbreaking to watch.

Jonathan quickly made his return to the screen for the reward challenge though Paige quickly turned it into a tea spilling session, sharing that the vote was not unanimous, much to the disgust of her tribemates. Before she could lay all their secrets bare, Jonathan announced that the challenge would require the tribes to make their way down a course using three barrels and two planks without anyone touching the ground. Once at the end, two castaways would try and fish four balls to them and attaching them to a frame. Once he announced that it was for an Aussie pub lunch, everyone was overcome with joy and desperate to smash a pint. The Champions got out to an early lead thanks to the leadership and all around perfection of Steve, crossing the line before the Contenders were even half done. Brian and Jackie snagged their balls while the Contenders continued to flounder, crossing the line as the Champions attached their first ball. Jenna and Zach quickly secured their balls and closed the gap … before briefly overtaking, only to drop their balls and hand victory to the Champions once again. Much to Robbie’s chagrin.

The dejected Contenders tribe returned to camp with Anita trying to boost everyone’s morale. Meanwhile Zach, Benji and Robbie pulled Tegan aside to talk about how poorly Paige performed in the challenge. To prove their point, Zach went down on the beach and held Robbie and Benji on his shoulders – I squat double them *eyeroll* – in full view of Paige and the girls. While I would normally be all in for such messy, pettiness … he is just a dick now.

Washing the taste of jerk out of my mouth we headed over to the beach pub where Steve and the Champions were thrilled to be downing a pint and smashing a pie before Shane noticed a photo board celebrating why they are Champions. They then swapped stories about their achievements and it was all sweet as hell, I assume until it got to Jackie as she trolled them with a picture of her playing with her rubix cube. It was iconic, but then Shane spoke about her achievements at 15 and Mat about his autistic son and how he and his iconic wife Chloe started a charity to help other families get help. Once again, fuck me dead, I am crying.

The tribes reconvened for the immunity challenge where Robbie was desperate to get another win on the board and looked willing to kill to get it. Before getting to the challenge, Jonathan announced that the doctors were still concerned about Jenna’s ankle and she would be choppered out to undergo scans to make sure it wasn’t fractured. Thankfully though, it seemed to only be for the challenge and if cleared she will be able to return to the game. With those tears out of the way, each tribe would start on a large platform and one-by-one slide down and swim to platform before paddling a canoe out to a tower, retrieving three rings, returning to the top of the tower and landing the rings on a pole.

The Contenders got out to a slight lead on the slide portion, which continued to grow as Brian steered the Champions well of course with Steve as their only hope. Benji snagged all the Contenders rings before the Champions made their way to the tower. Then Steve happened, catching up and pedaling the boat at full speed backwards. Sadly they had to turn the boat around, giving the Contenders their lead back. And then some. The Champions snatched back the lead whilst hoisting themselves up the wall, until Brian struggled and allowed the Contenders to pull back in front. That is until they missed landing all of their rings. Mat landed the first ring for the Champions, followed closely by Jackie getting their second and while Zach managed to snatch one, it was all for nothing as Moana secured another immunity for the Champions.

Back at camp Zach didn’t care which female goes home, as he deems them all useless. Heath tried to give everyone a pep talk, saying that if Jenna returns they need to vote her out as they need to maintain their strength. While they all agreed to have a nice afternoon, Anita spread that Paige was sharing intell with the Champions at the challenge like wildfire, much to the rage of Queen Tegan and they tried to secure enough votes to take her out. Sadly that was interrupted by the return of Jenna who arrived on crutches and tearfully announced that she had been cleared to stay however was unable to do anything really, except for throwing, boosting morale and doing puzzles. While Heath continued to push to get rid of Jenna for the sake of the tribe, Tegan couldn’t bring herself to take out their ally and begged him to join them in getting rid of Paige instead.

At tribal council Jonathan asked for an update on Jenna’s health, leading to a heartbreaking monologue about how much she contributes to the tribe and how desperately she wanted to stay. Fenella praised her leadership and positivity as everyone nodded their heads in agreeance. JoJo got shady and questioned the boys about throwing their votes on their ally Paige. Paige tried to pretend it was all good between them and that they all trust each other. Anita started shaking her head, completely disagreeing that Paige can be trusted. Zach joined the fray talking about how great Jenna is, however she is useless to them at the moment and they need to take her out. Shonee and Tegan spoke about how much Jenna means to them and that trust is important to them. Heath wrapped things up talking about the fact they need to keep the tribe strong before they become extinct.

Jenna then jumped in and told everyone to trust their gut and follow their heart when it comes to the vote. She then told the girls that they need to remember how strong they all are, and not to let anyone push them around. Meanwhile Robbie and Benji started whispered about who else, if anyone, they could possibly vote for. With that, the tribe voted and one be one, the votes rolled in for Jenna and the poor, motivational icon found herself booted from the game she so desperately wanted to play.

While she was pretty upset when she arrived at Loser Lodge, she agreed that her tribe made the only decision they could. As hard as it may be to accept. We then cried for a bit about how sad we were to see her before settling in to smash a Jenneer Saagustin to cheer her up. Until it hit me …

 

 

Curry is the new Pizza Curse?! The curse was waiting out their on Ghost Island and since I – *spoiler alert* – didn’t make pizzas for anyone in this cast, its powers grew and transferred to curries. I mean, how else can you explain the back-to-back curry losses? You can’t.

Though … when they taste this good, how can you complain. Fresh paneer, creamy spiced spinach – YAS YAS YAS.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jenneer Saagustin
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
peanut oil
200g paneer, diced
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
2 tomatoes, diced
500g frozen spinach, defrosted
½ cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a good lug of peanut oil in a large pan over medium heat and fry the paneer on either side for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the heat and transfer to some paper towel to drain.

Add a little more oil to the pan and saute the onion, garlic and ginger for five minutes or so, or until softened. Stir in the garam masala, cumin, chilli and turmeric, and cook for a further minute or until your kitchen is so fragrant you can barely contain yourself. Add the tomatoes, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for about ten minutes.

Once the fragrant tomatoey goodness is starting to reduce, bring the heat back to medium and stir through the spinach. Cook for five minutes further before stirring through the cream and paneer, and cooking for an additional five minutes.

Serve immediately and devour with a tonne of rice, chapati, naans and/or papadums. Preferably and, not or.

 

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Rissole Hantz

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Survivor: Redemption Island, Survivor: Samoa, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, JLP introduced us to the 24 new castaways by way of the Locky Gilbert Memorial nude challenge where the tribes faced off against each other one at a time for supplies, though tragically remaining clothes. Over at the Contenders, poor Steve K was getting himself into trouble, searching through their loot and skittishly running around camp looking for idols. Much to Matt D’s chagrin. Meanwhile over at the Champions, the misplaced Russell found an idol in sub-twenty seconds while everyone else became friends. The first immunity challenge rolled around and poor Jenna found herself getting injured before Matt D struggled on the puzzle and led to the Contenders losing immunity. Despite Steve K being the obvious target, Matt D got super paranoid and spent the afternoon hunting for idols before completely reading his tribe for filth at tribal council before they sent him out of the game as the first boot.

Proving once again that The Secret is real, we opened up at the Contenders the next day with Benji, Zach, Steve and Robbie wanting to snatch my heart by providing an extended nude scene as they frollicked in the waves in their uncensored, homoerotic glory and just like that, Locky was usurped as my Australian Survivor crush and those four snatched my heart, while making up for the pain for the opening challenge. That is a quadruple I could ship.

Things were tragically more clothed at the Champions camp, with Steve sharpening a machete in his jocks the sexiest thing we got. But anyway, this isn’t just about the sexy tragically and I was trying to tone it down … but FOUR BUNS. I mean, swoon. Anyway, the champs were pulling together to finalise their camp and continue to get to know each other. Shane continued to work her way into my heart, going person to person making friends and being super cute. Even falling for Jackie’s lie that she is a rubix cube champ, rather than our best poker player and trying to better than Adam last year.

Back at the contenders the boys had tragically put their clothes back and the tribe got to work finalising their camp, now with fire. And unity following Matt’s departure. As much as everything was experiencing peace and love at camp, poor Tegan was starting to miss her babies and was feeling down. Thankfully Heath was also missing his young child and that is an alliance I can really get behind, particularly since Tegan was determined to take down the Champions one-by-one. Hopefully they pull in Jenna who is also determined to destroy the champs, and I am here for her.

Oh, wait, no – Brian and Mat just helped Damien out of the water and now I love them. The only person not feeling the love on the Champions tribe was Russell, with Lydia and Shane concerned about him running around and whispering to people. Not to be outdone, Russell was angry at his tribe, feeling like he is the easy one out and so instead called a camp meeting, announced that he had an idol and challenged them that the game was on. And while I love that it spooked the hell out of his fellow tribemates, I … just … wish he didn’t find a damn idol.

Distracting from the drama, JLP returned for the reward challenge where the Champions gloated about their plush digs and the Contenders sassed the shit out of them. Thankfully that was the perfect attitude leading to the Sumo at Sea challenge where two people face off and then they need to pummel each other until one falls off. As someone that has competed in the challenge before, Russell tried to coach Steve as he went to face off against Zach however once again Zach game up victorious. Paige quickly destroyed Monika and Jenna dominated sweet Queen Shane, before poor Anita faced off against Lydia, who smacked her straight into the drink. I mean water, this isn’t Survivor NZ. Robbie and Mat faced off again, with Mat’s fast feet once again coming up victorious. Jackie tied things up by smashing Shonee before Heath and Brian faced off again, with Heath tragically losing. Again. Sharn beat poor Tegran, Moana narrowly beat Fenella – what?! – before Steve K faced off against Russell. Despite my high hopes, Russell smashed Steve K and took victory for the champions, who elected for the comfort items – including tarp – over option B of fishing gear.

Back at the camp the Contenders were licking their wounds after another loss, with Robbie smarting to lose to Mat again while Zach was proud to be the #CommandoKiller. One thing they all agreed on is the fact that they hate the Champions and desperately want to beat them, so joined together, did a cheeky workout before Jenna continued to be the Contender Queen by leading them in a chant and vowing to snatch immunity.

Meanwhile over at the palatial Champions camp, they struggled to figure out where to put their hammock and other rich people problems. Even Russell was feeling like he should keep hope alive – spew – pulling Jackie aside to try and align with her and take control of the tribe. While Jackie believed that working together could be beneficial, I’m not convinced she was sold. Even when he swore on his non-existent wife’s life. He then ran to Mat, Steve W and Damien to try and make an alliance in his faux-wife’s name, and while they seemed to be more receptive to the idea … I still feel there is an epic flameout coming. Russell then spoke to Damien while the tribe slept – well except Moana who heard everything – about Jackie wanting Damien out and them needing to take over. Thankfully Moana straight up hates Hantz and ladies and gentlemen, we’ve found his Queen SDT of Australian Survivor and I am thrilled.

JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes were required to swim out to a an A-frame to release four buoys, climb up a huge platform and diving for four more buoys … before shooting said buoys from the top of the platform to goals on the surface below. Benji – sadly clothed – got the Contenders out to an early lead, functioning as a solid unit and snatching all their buoys before the Champions even released one. Tegan extended their lead making quick work of the first submerged buoy until zaddy Steve W and Lydia started to close the gap. Poor Shane however struggled to untie their last buoy, allowing the contenders to shoot – and miss – eight baskets before she returned to the platform. While Mat got the Champions out in front, Heath finally got his eye in and scored eight goals in quick succession and snatched victory for the Contenders.

Things descended into chaos back at camp as everyone split up into groups and tried to come up with a plan for tribal council, since their number one target has an idol. Queen Shane was still keen to vote out Russell in the hope he doesn’t play his idol, while Jackie rallied the troops to get a majority on Russell with Shane or Damien as the back-up. Lydia too was keen to take out Russell, while Russell ran around trying to paint a target on everyone’s back and make them so confused that they don’t know who to vote for. Russell spotted Jackie and Monika plotting together by the shore and quickly scurried over to spook them and turn the vote on Shane to preserve his idol.

As Russell’s ego continued to grow as he praise his masterful gameplay, Queen Moana stepped up to the plate and said she was sick of Russell and was desperate to get him out. While Mat was on Russell’s side and willing to take out Jackie, Moana tried to sway him before going to Lydia, Monika and Sharn to form an alliance against Russell as a back-up.

Russell arrived at tribal council wearing his immunity idol to intimidate his opponents, while Damien wondered why the hell he elected to once again starve and be cold. Mat was surprised about how quickly the game changed after losing immunity, Shane lamented about the pain of voting someone out before Russell sassed her told her that was part of the game. Russell then continued to gloat about his Survivor history and how this was the best camp he’s ever had, though the tribe were slow to play the game. Thankfully Sharn called him out and said that he told her they’re all terrible at the game, before Moana started heckling every single thing that came out of his mouth. Until he mentioned the fact he is definitely playing his idol and one of the others will be going out. Jackie, Damien and Sharn admitted to being scared about going home, with the latter reminding them that the disharmony started that morning and surprise, surprise, that lead to them losing the challenge.

While things started to look like Russell’s play worked, Moana was still pissed about his general attitude and started whispering to others that she still planned to take him out and tried to get them on her side. Russell once again confirmed that he would be playing his idol no matter what, before everyone went off to vote. Moana, with the best vote confessional since Wendell’s rap at Chris … telling Russell he lost three times and maybe he should review his games before trying again since he has never won. JLP gave him the chance to play his idol which, surprise surprise, he declined, before he was shocked to see that the tribe made up of majority of athletes were able to hold their nerve, pile their votes on him and BOO tie it between him and Jackie (with some on Shane and Damien for good measure). With them sitting out, everyone else went off to vote and YAAAAAS send him out of the game WITH AN IDOL AROUND HIS NECK!

Now given how bloody close I am with Queen SDT, I absolutely relished the opportunity to see Russ fresh off becoming the first boot from his tribe – particularly with an idol around his neck – and rub his face in it like Moana, Lydia Shane and Monika while voting him out. But … then it kind of lost some of its joy as he didn’t seem to be as bitter as I thought. So instead, we sat down to a fairly civil meal of Rissole Hantz … before I threw his new hat in the fire after he went to, I assume, cry himself to sleep.

 

 

I had a huge, aggressive plan for his meal saying that rissoles are basic and ugly, and while you can respect their purpose and sometimes they taste really freaking delicious – hey Ross! – they’re still a rissole and you’ll always be embarrassed for liking the ugly meat nugget.

But again, he was semi-pleasant and so I instead told him that the fact that they taste so damn good and melt in your mouth is a metaphor for the fact that even though he is hated, there is some good in him. I mean, at least he woke up the tribe, Pearl.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rissole Hantz
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup vintage cheddar, grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, for fryin’

Method
Combine everything but the olive oil – obvi – in a large bowl and scrunch with your hands until well combined. Shape into 8 inch-thick rissoles and place on a lined plated.

Heat a small lug of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and brush over the pan. Once scorching, cook a couple of rissoles for 3 to 4 minutes each side, or until cooked through.

Serve immediately with Gabriel Mash and peas, and be thankful that sometimes basic can be pretty decent.

Devour.

 

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Joy Beharsagna

Main, Pasta

It was actually my dear friend Joy that reached out to me about dropping by for this week’s date. She had noticed that I dropped off the face of the earth but the google alert featuring my name, rehab, prison and scandal hadn’t pinged, so she was extremely concerned about my welfare.

When I turned my phone back on after a ten minute digital detox, I discovered one to two frantic voice-to-texts that read, ‘Bern. Place chamomile me has been as chew grits kiss. Lava Jay’. After an hour abusing Siri, I deduced that it was Joy and decided to pick up the phone and see what was up.

Her concern for me was up, obvi, and that is why I love her.

I’ve known Joy for years after meeting on the set of Manhattan Murder Mystery in ‘92. I delivering Diane her daily filming steak when I literally bumped into her, in a rom-com fashion. We bantered about the accident, our acerbic wits instantly bonded us and we’ve been the best of friends ever since. To the point where I put her name forward as a potential co-host of The View when Babs refused to hire me in drag as Angela Merkin.

She and I spent the afternoon chatting, laughing and taking a little time to enjoy the view, before sitting down to smash a big old Joy Beharsagna … and watch Australian Survivor, obvi. Honestly, did you really think I was going to make anything else?

 

 

Obviously this is Queen Joy’s famous recipe with the name smooshed into hers. But when I’m making my triumphant comeback to cyberspace, why should I get creative when Joy has already created something of perfection. Sweet and spicy sausage, a whack of herbs and the majesty of ricotta – if you haven’t tried Joy’s lasagna, you’re not living.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Joy Beharsagna
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
375g fresh lasagna sheets … or Alan Pastarkin, if you dare
2 onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
750g Italian sausage, removed from skins
olive oil
800g crushed tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups passata
¼ cup oregano, roughly chopped
½ cup basil, roughly chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp pepper
500g ricotta cheese
1 ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
500g mozzarella cheese, grated
1 egg
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onion over low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before bringing the heat up to medium, adding the sausage and cooking, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 10 or so.

Once the meat is no longer pink, add the tomatoes, passata, paste oregano, basil, salt and pepper and cook for twenty minutes or so.

While the sauce is simmering, combine the ricotta, a cup of parmesan, mozzarella, egg, parsley and a good whack of salt and pepper.

To assemble, spread a third of the mixture in the bottom of a large baking dish. Layer a couple of sheets of pasta over the top and spread over half the cheese sauce. Top with another third of the meat, some pasta and a the remaining cheese sauce. Pour over the remaining sauce, top with some parmesan and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour or so, or until bubbly and crisp.

Devour. Preferably with Karlic Lagerbread.

 

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Hawaiiandell Holland Hot Dogs

Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

After thirty-nine days on the islands of Fiji, in the shadow of the mythical Ghost Island Wendell did what Gonzalez, Jacob, Morgan, Brendan, Stephanie, James, Bradley and his teeny mouth, Chris and his ego, Libby, Des, Jenna, zaddy Michael – oh yeah, we’re doing this – Chelsea, Kellyn, Sebastian, Donathan, Angela, Laurel and Domenick couldn’t, taking out the title of Sole Survivor.

In no small part, I would argue, by giving Laurel Erik’s immunity necklace and reversing the biggest curse in survivor history.

But I digress. Wendell played a solid game from day one, quickly forming alliances and bonds, building a pimped out shelter, rocking challenges and his jocks.

As an aside – could you imagine a season featuring Brad Culpepper and Wendell with Wen building the best shelter ever made full of cool island furniture, while Brad decorates it with upcycled leftovers from maroonings and challenges? Swoon.

Despite Domenick playing the showy part of the duo, Wendell held my heart from day one and I couldn’t be happier than to see him win. Particularly since it finished the season with a glorious serve of Hawaiiandell Holland Hot Dogs.

 

 

While I generally consider hot dogs a shame food and don’t like to admit smashing them like I’m in an eating competition, these are freaking delicious. Salty bacon, sweet onions, tart pineapple and a big fat sausage … where was I?

Enjoy! Oh – and congrats Wendell!

 

 

Hawaiiandell Holland Hot Dogs
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
8 Kirsten Bunst, hot dog shaped obvi
8 skinless frankfurts
6 rashers bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
¼ cup diced pineapple
tomato ketchup
BBQ sauce
American mustard
grated cheese

Method
Bring a pot of water to the boil over high heat. Once furiously boiling, add the frankfurts and cook until they float to the surface.

Slice the buns, douse in your favourite condiments, add some cheese, top with a sausage and wrap your lips around it … to devour, sickos.

 

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