Jonathan LaPagliatelle

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Pasta, Vegetarian

He’s baaaaaa-aaaaack! This time next week we’ll have witnessed scruffy Oz-Probst – and my dear friend – Jonathan LaPaglia snuff his first torch of the season. And I will have screamed for smelling salts as the euphoria/orgasm rendered me unconscious.

Yes – that is the long winded way of saying Australian Survivor is back and I couldn’t be happier to announce that once again JoJo requested my presence in Samoa to act as his houseboy / culinary comfort chef for the castaways.

I’ve known Jo for years, after a chance meeting at the University of Adelaide where I was skulking about the med school trying to meet a future doctor to take as my husband. While he had zero interest in pursuing a relationship due to our similar appearance (read: killer guns), we became friends against all odds and I was quickly taken into the LaPaglia family.

While there was a period of ugliness after Anthony refused to get Josie Alibrandi gender-flipped – and that time I tried to torch his car when I was overlooked for the hosting role – we remain the closest of friends and I was thrilled to spend two months together in Samoa, catching-up, feasting in front of the contestants … and I assume doing weights.

To celebrate the impending return of Australian Survivor, I flew Jojo over to discuss how we felt the season went – really good … unless the editors really drop the ball / can’t be paid by Channel 10 – over a big fat bowl of my Jonathan LaPagliatelle.

 

 

I’ve long held the belief that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – I actually coined the phrase, NBD – and this is the first dish I ever made him to win him over. Warm, fresh, creamy and tasty, it is the second most fun I’ve had getting sauce over a man’s face.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jonathan LaPagliatelle
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
bunch of shallots, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
200g button mushrooms, sliced
5 sprigs of thyme leaves
250g chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
500g tagliatelle
250g mascarpone
200g baby spinach, washed and drained
100g parmesan, grated

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook off the shallots and garlic until the island love nest – or kitchen – is aromatic. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for a further ten minutes, or until the mushrooms are lightly browned.

Add the stock and bring to the boil, before reducing the heat and simmering for fifteen minutes. Season and keep warm while you cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

When the pasta is al dente, add the mascarpone and spinach to the the mushroom mix and stir until combined and the spinach wilted. Stir through the pasta and half the parmesan, before serving, generously drowned in the excess parmesan.

Devour immediately with your big strong, LaPagli-esque arms and think of how they’d hold you tight in winter. Or something.

 

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Chicken Meatball & Orzzy Pearson

Main, Pasta, Poultry, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor NZ, poor Izzy was blindsided from her tribe before besting Tony in a duel and sending him out of the game. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, Survivor NZ had its very first medevac with Lou pulled from the game with an infection.

While the tribe only thought it may be a temporary situation, they met with Hermosa and Matt for the immunity challenge where he confirmed her evacuation … and that they would be dropping their buffs and switching tribes. Which is where I opted to leave you last, ok?

Given that there were 11 players left in the game, Matt decided to drop a further bombshell with five people going to each tribe and the poor person who pulls a black buff is sent to keep Izzy company until the next tribal.

Jak, Mike, Shay, Lee and Tom all landing on new Mogoton leaving Sala, Barb, Avi, Nate, and Georgia on Hermosa with poor Queen Shannon sent to redemption island. While it sucks to miss out on tribal politics for a couple of days, it does give her immunity at the next tribal which is a win.

With that Matt got to work tasking them with their first immunity challenge as new tribes, the Sierra Dawn-Thomas memorial barrel racing challenge. Mogoton got out to an early lead, leaving Hermosa to struggle bridging the gaps and be chastised by Barb. Let’s be honest, there was zero tension in this challenge with Hermosa failing in an epic fashion and going to tribal council.

Knowing that she is potentially fucked – having kept Barb and Nate at arms length for the duration of the game – Georgia was feeling extremely anxious. Sala on the other hand, was feeling comfortable … though concerned that pride could be leading to his fall. Thankfully Nate pulled Sala aside and was quick to commit to working together to get rid of Georgia and break up the terribly named, tight five. Not one to be left out of the action, Barb quickly got to work on Avi … while Georgia got to work fetching firewood and trying to be useful.

Meanwhile over at new Mogoton, Lee, Jak and Mike were excited to see the shit tonne of food they had left giving the slim pickings over at Hermosa. Tom was also feeling great, having gone from tribe zero to hero, while poor Shay went the other way. The boys then bro’d out trying to fish, with Jak continuing to try his hand at people funny … which he still isn’t, further proving how screwed Shay truly is. Oh and to eradicate any doubt, Mike, Jak and Lee pulled Tom aside to form an alliance and throw the next challenge to get rid of Shay. Shay then cut her foot which is what sent Lou out of the game, just to rub salt in the wounds.

No matter how you look at it, Shay fucked, yo.

Back at Hermosa, Nate and Barb were loving themselves and their impending revenge sick. Georgia however had different plans, pulling Avi aside to try and make some sort of valuable plea … relying solely on her superior challenge strength to Barb. Avi shared this with Sala, both quickly realising that her persuasiveness is also dangerous. Georgia then tried to talk Nate into turning on Barb – given the fact she is stronger in challenges – or the ring-ins, given how likeable they are. Wanting to add a bit of intrigue to tribal, Avi and Georgia then sat by the water and tried to give her the pep-talk that she may just make the merge yet.

New Hermosa arrived at tribal where Georgia spoke about how anxious she was, while Barb was extremely happy to have been saved from old Hermosa who were planning to throw the last challenge to get rid of her. Sala then announced that the 2-5 split in old Hermosa was extremely obvious, leading to Georgia making a bold play to save herself at tribal, promising Barb and Nate that she’d stick with them and Shannon come the merge if they join her in getting rid of Avi and Nate. Sadly for her, it fell on deaf ears with Georgia sent to battle Izzy on redemption island.

Back at camp, Barb and Nate were thrilled to have commenced dismantling the tight five with Sala and Avi no doubt just happy to see someone from Hermosa sent out of the game. They then discussed who they would sway come merge time, plotting to throw the next immunity challenge and get Shannon out of the game, pulling Tom and Shay back to their side and knocking off the remaining members of the tight five, one by one.

Meanwhile on redemption, Georgia and Shannon were feeling anxious while poor Izzy looked like she was missing Tony’s constant chatter giving how boring their complaining appeared to be.

The next day Barb and Nate were still on cloud nine from their new situation before Shannon arrived and dampened their moods. Though for us, it was amazing giving that Shannon is one of the most likeable people in the game. Sala quickly got to work needling for information, with Shannon doing the right thing and throwing Mike straight under the bus, saying she never wanted to be a part of the five, that she was on the bottom and confirmed all of Nate and Barb’s fears, hoping that spilling the beans would win them over.

Over at new Mogoton, Lee’s hair was still looking glorious with Tom also starting to get island hot. That is all I really took from the whole scene. Oh and Shay had a nap and Jak is still not funny in the slightest. Throwing Avi and Sala’s plans into disarray, Tom tried to win over Jak or Mike to see if they were better options to his OG tribemates … though thankfully he was smart enough to be wary of them and their tight alliance with Lee.

Back at Hermosa, Nate and Sala went for a walk to talk about Shannon, with the former once again reminding us that he is a cop and that Shannon was trouble … when she walked in, something something, goat noise, goat noise. Trouble trouble trouble.

Matt assembled the new tribes together for their first reward, dropping the bomb of Georgia’s exit on Mogoton, kicking off Mike episode of sulking. Did you know he was aligned with Georgia? Anyway, the reward challenge was announced as a hero challenge requiring only one person from each tribe to compete, running out to a buoy in the ocean, grab sandbags and flip then into a net. Avi and Lee nominated themselves as the aforementioned heroes, though sadly weren’t mine given the fact the challenge wasn’t naked.

Lee got out in front, though was quickly overtaken by Avi. Despite a fairly miraculous comeback, my boy Lee couldn’t pull it out with Avi securing the reward – of hammocks, mats, pillows and choccies – for Hermosa while Lee was still in the drink. After the victory, Tom was pleased for Avi to finally experience a win … though realised the mistake and mentioned that it was ok for the rewards.

Avi was feeling pretty pleased with himself as the tribe returned to camp and got to work Brad Culpepper-ing the place with their new home furnishings. On the flipside, they weren’t that thrilled about their choccie melting. You could say it had turned into a drink, while the boys were battling in the drink. The tribe then discussed Tom’s comments, concerned that maybe he wasn’t as firm a number as they were hoping moving forward.

Meanwhile back at Mogoton, Lee was looking like a total babe while talking about how heartbroken he was to lose the reward for his tribe. Mike, obviously, was still pissed that they had dared to boot Georgia and vowed to get revenge. The next day the boys then tried to share their constipation to stop the rain, while Shay was thankful that she is married giving that they are so awful that she would have lost all faith in men. Jak then approached Tom about getting rid of Shay, if they were to lose the next immunity challenge … and continue in the horrific vagicide of this pre-merge.

Over at Hermosa, Shannon continued to search for a way in, pulling Sala aside to form a bond and hopefully see that grow into some sort of alliance, knowing that scrambling would only spook her tribemates further. She then discussed gender stereotypes while washing the dishes in the ocean with Barb, who was far more concerned about her return than the others … given the fact they were aligned early in the season. Though you know Barb is totally going to come around because Shannon is bae.

Oh and Nate was sad that Shannon hadn’t bothered to approach him. He then pulled her aside which scared the shit out of Shannon, given that he does have the ability to see through the bullshit. Given that they both have a good understanding of the game, they both realised that aligning is probably quite beneficial for both of them.

And then Shannon read the clue for the redemption island invite in a South African accent. She is seriously the best.

Meanwhile over at redemption island, Georgia was fired up for the duel and to stay in the game while Izzy was kind flaséda about the entire situation. The tribes rolled in to fill out the peanut gallery, where Georgia spoke of her heartache from being voted out while Izzy was just calm and casual. To be honest, I’m loving her too.

The duel was the iconic Amanda Kimmel memorial dish-stacking challenge, giving both girls a pretty decent shot. Despite the struggling for most of the duel – and getting the peanut gallery talking about said struggles – she was able to steady her shaking plates as Izzy dropped out of nowhere … just ahead of Georgia’s plates.

Poor Izzy was heartbroken to exit the game – and to be honest, so was I – though her mood quickly turned when she saw her dear friend waiting to comfort her in Loser Lodge (while Tony incessantly talked at us while we caught up). That or she was just hella excited to see a big bowl of my Chicken Meatball & Orzzy Pearson.

 

 

Pasta is quite possibly the most comforting meal and I’ve grown to be quite obsessed with orzo. While this dish is pretty damn simple, the classic combination or lemon and chilli work perfectly with to cut through the creamy pasta and add a delicious zing to the chicken.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Meatball & Orzzy Pearson
Serves: 4

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
150g grated parmesan
small handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 egg
½ cup breadcrumbs
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2L chicken stock
500g orzo
2 cups baby spinach
200g frozen peas
1 tbsp chilli flakes
juice and zest of a lemon
30g butter

Method
Combine the mince, half the parmesan, ½ the parsley, egg, bread, thyme and a good whack of salt and pepper. Roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet, cover with cling and chill in the fridge for an hour.

Once you’ve firmed up your balls, heat the stock in a pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the balls one at a time and simmer for five minutes or so. Add the orzo and cook, stirring, until tender. Add the peas, spinach, lemon zest, chilli and the remaining parmesan, parsley, stirring well to combine.

Add the butter and lemon juice, stir to combine and serve covered in more parmesan. Nothing says comfort like cheese, right?

 

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Saramen Lacina

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

Previously on Survivor, Ciera exited first – not able to throw the target on to her mother, followed by Tony, Caleb, a screwed but-not-in-the-way-I-want-to-screw-him Malcolm, J.T., Queen Sandra, and a desperate Varner. Hali was once again Queen of the jury, quickly followed by Ozzy, Debbie, Zeke, Sierra, Andrea, Michaela, an eliminated by default Cirie, Aubry and Tai, leaving Troyzan and Brad to round out the final three with my girl Sarah Lacina crowned our newest Survivor.

From the very beginning, Sarah knew that she needed to change up her game if she wanted to have a chance … giving us close to 6000 separate quotes about Officer Sarah playing like a criminal. But hey, when it works, you can’t really mock her!

While Sarah was also lucky to avoid most of the pre-merge tribal councils, if they did attend she was well enough positioned that she likely would have survived all the carnage.

When some members of the jury weren’t thrilled with the way she made personal connections only to turn on people, I started to fear she was about to get the Dawn Mehan treatment. Thankfully the new jury format allowed for people to jump in and defend her, and also allowed her more time to address these issues and help win people back to her side.

Despite the heartbreak of not being able to celebrate Sandra’s third win (yet), I was super excited that my dear friend Sarah had learnt from her mistakes was able to convert that into victory. While our friendship started in a questionable manner – she arrested me during one of my wild phases – she took me under her win and tried to do the opposite of her game changers game, turning me from criminal to cop.

Sadly for her, my prior arrests nipped that in the bud … but we always stayed friends and try and catch-up as often as we can for a Saramen Lacina.

 

 

Hot, spicy, sweet and fresh – ramen is always a delicious option. Throw in barbecue pork belly and you can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!

 

 

Saramen Lacina
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
600g pork belly, skin removed (by that … 600g sans skin)
⅓ cup char siu sauce
peanut oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp Sriracha
200g ramen noodles
4 eggs
2 baby bok choy, quartered lengthways
100g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 long red chilli, thinly sliced

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Brush the pork with half the char siu sauce and place in the oven for half an hour. Reduce heat to 120°C and bake for a further twenty minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest, brushing with the remaining char siu sauce.

While the pork is resting, heat a lug of peanut oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the shallots, garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes, or until super, duper fragrant.

(It is now that you should also bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over high heat).

Back to the fragrant pan, slowly add the stock, tamari, fish sauce, Sriracha and 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, add the noodles, bok choy and mushrooms, and simmer for about five minutes.

With the ramen simmering, the saucepan should be boiling, at which point you should add the eggs and cook for four minutes, or until soft boiled. Peel the eggs.

Then, slice the pork into 1cm thick pieces.

Transfer the ramen to a bowl, top with pork and an egg sliced on top. Probs avoid drizzling Sriracha over the top if you’re wanting to photograph it … but otherwise, that’s the only addition I’d suggest … before devouring your victory meal!

 

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Aubry Bracco Vin

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

Previously on Survivor, advantagemageddon occurred meaning five of the six people were immune, eliminating kween Cirie by default.

She better be the first – and only – five time player.

Not wanting to remind us of another painful Cirie exit, Probst returned for the second immunity of the night – the classic dropping balls, balancing them on your hard rods and guiding them through tight holes. Aubry and Troyzan struggled dearly while Brad and Sarah took an early lead. Sarah choked at the last minute of the first run, giving Brad a clear outright lead … from which no one else could catch-up, giving him his fourth individual immunity of the season.

With Brad immune, Aubry was particularly scared given he has zero interest in ever working with her. Confirming her fears, Brad felt victory was in sight and quickly locked in the Aubry vote with Troyzan and Brad.

Aubry tried to work over Tai and Sarah, knowing that Brad was dragging Troyzan to the end as a goat no matter what. Sarah pulled Tai aside to see whether she could trust him again, trepidatiously asking what they should do … with even Tai locking in the vote against Aubry.

Tai then joined Brad in the hammock, where Brad continued to bully him saying that he had no choice and had to vote with him no matter what for the rest of the game. This spooked Tai, who returned to Sarah and confirmed that they should get of Brad’s right hand Troyzan.

We returned to tribal to be reminded that Cirie was eliminated by default, breaking hearts globally.

Probst got his man-boner out to gush over Brad’s immunity run, with Troyzan hopefully he could snag a win the next time. As expected, Aubry wasn’t feeling confident … but boy did she try to convince Sarah and Tai to boot Troyzan and free up another seat at the final tribal. Sarah tellingly said that Aubry’s pitch was great, if that is what is best for all of them. Everyone but Troyzan was feeling concerned about who they could beat in the final, which is crazy since he is the least likely to win. Sadly Aubry’s pitch fell on deaf ears – or at least ones that didn’t have interests that align with hers – as she found herself booted from the game in fifth place.

Hey – at least she actually got votes before getting her torch snuffed, I guess?

As you know, Aubs and I attended Brown with Summer Roberts, and the three off us have been the best of friends ever since. Thankfully this post-boot catch-up was less heartbreaking than our last, given that she was robbed the last time and this one I’m surprised she stayed as long as she did with as large (and as recent) a target as she did.

I’m even more thankful that Aubs is so easily pleased by any food on offer – coleslaw, anyone – because it means that she completely goes nuts on our dates, particularly if it means she gets Aubry Braccos Vin.

 

 

Straight up, there is bacon, chicken, mushroom and red wine – do you need me to say anything more?

Yes? Go fuck yourself. Sorry, that’s aggressive. But kinda deserved.

No? Exactly – enjoy.

 

 

Aubry Bracco Vin
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
250g smoked streaky bacon, roughly diced
olive oil
2kg chicken breasts, cut into a large dice
¼ cup Cognac
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
6 onions, sliced
3 tbsp flour
2 cups Côtes du Rhône ( … or any red wine, though how good are all those accents?)
2 cups chicken stock
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
400g mushrooms, quartered

Method
Start by heating a lug of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, add the bacon and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken and cook for a further ten minutes, or until sealed on the outside. Add the Cognac, let it bubble up and stir for a few minutes. You could light the cognac and let it burn off the alcohol, but I’m scared of fire and would totally lose the final four tie-breaker.

Add a good whack of salt and pepper, the bay leaf, thyme and onions, stir and cook for a further fifteen minutes. Sprinkle in the flour while stirring and cook for a minute or so before adding the wine, stock, garlic and tomato paste to the pan. Bring pot to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about half an hour, stirring as you see fit.

Add the mushrooms, stir and cook for a further fifteen minutes, or until soft and glorious.

Remove from the heat and serve immediately on a bed of mashed potatoes, or with thick chunks of crusty bread.

 

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Andrea Gumboehlke

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

Previously on Survivor, Officer Sarah shared information of her vote steal advantage with kween Cirie, winning her and I over. Wanting in on the action Sierra then shared information about the legacy advantage with Sarah, which backfired as Sarah targeted her to get a hold of the advantage – successfully blindsiding Sierra and securing the advantage for herself over Sierra’s closest ally Brad.

Maku Maku returned to camp where Aubry, Andrea, Cirie and Michaela were shocked about why Sarah pretended to be shocked about Sierra getting the boot. This made Andrea nervous and immediately want to target her, on the flipside Cirie was keen to keep her on side and take her to the end as a goat.

The next day Sarah then explained how the legacy advantage worked, none the wiser that we already know about said advantage from Jessica and my wet-dream Kengel last season. Her reenactment of her shocked face was on point though, before gloating about her total of two advantages. Which she plans to use to get rid of Andrea ASAP.

Given that it is a double boot, Probst jumped straight into the action for the first immunity challenge of the episode – the classic house of cards challenge … though this time it was on a balancing table.

Aubry got out to an early lead after finally joining the season, casually chatting about her boyfriend (the insufferable) Cochran. Michaela and Andrea caught up, before quickly dropping out. Brad dropped his stack, as did Cirie and Sarah, while Aubry continued to dominate with a slow and steady wins the race mentality. Michaela and Troyzan caught up, then dropped … seriously this is boring commentary, no? Despite needing to take cards off to get enough height, Aubry took out the challenge – and almost Probst with that hug – breaking the time record by over ten minutes.

The tribe returned to camp, mystified by Aubry’s mad skillz and probably wondering why she was allowed to enter the game on day 33. Cirie and her mob got together to lock in the vote against Brad. Proving to still be as tone deaf as always, Michaela went to find Brad and direct him to stop looking for an idol and to instead go fishing.

Yeah he took it as a threat and it was, but Monica would totally go fish for everyone as she is such a nice, neat lady.

Andrea tried to get Aubry and Cirie to turn on Sarah as the biggest threat over the boys, which backfired as Cirie went to Sarah and floated the idea of getting rid of Andrea instead of Brad.

With that little bit of confusion, we arrived at tribal where Aubry spoke about the ‘we’ being a bit more solid these days, to which Sarah agreed that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. On the flipside, Troyzan argued that given he has zero options (or chance at winning) – sorry Kass, he took your Spencer-appointed title – if anyone flipped to him, they’d have the most loyal ally ever. Forever, BFFs.

While Aubry agreed, she noted that with eight people left there is still a lot that could happen. Cirie and Andrea spoke about the lack of pre-tribal scrambling … which I assumed was just cut because of the double boot. Brad agreed that he didn’t scramble with Andrea, figuring that since he’s voted against her twice now, she wouldn’t be interested. Sarah then started her jury speech a few tribals too early and reiterated that when she was a juror, she rewarded gameplay and would like the jury to reward her for voting all of them out. Which Aubry countered with the fact you need to make an emotional connection, which is what she lacked in Kaoh Rong and lost her the game.

As they went to vote, Brad gave a last ditch plea for the majority to think about the fact that one of them will go out fifth, inevitably regretting not taking out their alliance earlier. Whether it was Brad’s work or not, Cirie, Sarah and Michaela all flipped to the minority to take out Andrea … blindsiding Aubry and earning Cirie and playful tickle on the way out the door.

Say what you will, girl sure can handle a blindside with grace and a smile.

Given that both Dre Dre and i are beloved members of the media, it is obvious that we’d be the dearest of friends. And so I knew that despite loving the chance to be slaughtered by kween Cirie, she would be sad and in desperate need of a Andrea Gumboehlke.

 

 

Hot and spicy, yet creamy and smooth – this baby has everything you need to be a successful Survivor contestant slash friend.

Enjoy!

While it is obvious … who will join me next?

 

 

Andrea Gumboehlke
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1kg boneless chicken thighs
vegetable oil
500g smoked chorizo, cut into thick coins
⅓ cup plain flour
2 onions, diced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 green capsicum, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4-6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup okra, thickly sliced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp filé powder

Method
Combine 1 tablespoon of salt with the pepper, paprika and cayenne and toss through the thighs, until coated.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven and add the chicken and chorizo, stirring to brown the edges but don’t worry about being too pedantic. Transfer the browned meat to a plate to rest and bring the liquid to the boil.

Add the flour and whisk until it is chocolate coloured, 15 minutes should do. Reduce the heat to low and add the onions, before cooking for ten minutes. Add the shallots, celery, capsicum and garlic, and cook for a further ten minutes.

Whisk in the broth, add the bay leaves, thyme and reserved meat and bring to the boil. When going nuts, reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

Stir in the okra, Worcestershire, hot sauce and filé powder, and cook for a further hour. Remove from the heat, season to taste … and then devour with steamed rice and plenty more hot sauce.

 

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Jeffrey Tamburito

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Snack

I know what you’re thinking – what the fuck are you doing back for Cinco de Cuatro when today is Cinco de Mayo, you fool? A) that is super aggressive, let’s keep it pleasant and b) I simply can not have a Mexican food celebration honouring Arrested Development without the Bluth patriarch himself, Jeffrey Tambor.

I mean sure, I’ve totally dissed and dismissed my boy – well Lucille’s boy, both of them – Tony Hale … but we caught up last year and he is ok with it. He wanted to give his onscreen family, particularly his sibs Will, Porsh and Jase, a chance to be featured on this historical record of my celebrity friendships.

Anyway, back to Jeff – we’ve been friends for decades after meeting through my dear, dear, dearly departed friend Larry Sanders. I was completely taken by his talent in Lazza’s show and when he came in to audition for Arrested Development, I knew he just had to play George and Oscar.

After it was tragically axed prior to him snagging an Emmy, I made it my personal mission to snag him the gold. When I started developing a little show for Amazon called Transparent, I suggested he audition and help support the T of my community.

At first he thought I asked him to audition for season five of Community in an attempt to keep it on the t-eev, and while he agreed, he was even more excited to find out it was Transparent and his casting would help boost visibility for a less privileged part of my actual community. Now I know that it is fucked up to have a cisgender man playing a trans woman, but Jeffrey knows that and is working hard to make it up to the trans community by advocating that he be the last.

Given that season four should be released in the next few months, I was far less political in our discussions and instead focused on getting myself some spoilers / convincing him to find me a nice juicy role in the inevitable season five. Obviously that required me to sweeten him up, which in turn obviously meant I had to serve up a big old Jeffrey Tamburito.

 

 

There is no better way to honour the legitimate holiday that is Cinco de Mayo than a big, fat, spicy burrito. Hot, fresh and altogether soothing, is there anything more you need me to say to get some pork on your fork?

Enjoy!

 

 

Jeffrey Tamburito
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1kg pork shoulder
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions, quartered
5 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
a few sprigs of oregano
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
200g chipotles chillis in adobo sauce, blitzed to a pulp
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1L chicken stock
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
4 shallots, finely sliced
1 red capsicum, diced
400g can of kidney beans, drained
juice and zest of lime
1 onion, diced
small handful of coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
3 cups rice, rinsed thoroughly
6 cups water
12 large tortillas
Guacamole, grated cheese, lettuce, sour cream, sriracha and any other beloved accompaniments, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a dutch oven, season the pork and seal on both sides until golden. Remove from the pan, add the carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, oregano 2 tsps of the cumin and the smoked paprika and toss around with the meat for a minute or two, or until fragrant. Add the chillis, tinned tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover and transfer to the oven and cook for three-four hours, or until the meat is falling apart.

While the meat is cooking, combine the tomatoes in a bowl with the shallots, capsicum, kidney beans, lime juice and a lug of olive oil. Stir well, season and refrigerate until needed.

Then get the rice ready by heating yet another lug of olive oil in a large pan and frying the onion for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the coriander, the remaining cumin and turmeric and cook for a further minute before stirring through the rice. Cover with water, give a good whack of seasoning and cook, uncovered, over low heat for about twenty minutes.

Once everything is done, remove the meat from the oven and shred meat between two forks like a basic white girl says she is for a wedding and return to the pan on the stove top. Crank the heat up and simmer in the sauce for ten minutes or so, or until thickened and delicious.

To serve, heat a tortilla is a dry frying pan. Transfer to a bench, layer with your desired salad, the bean salsa, condiments and cheese and finally the pulled pork. Fold the tortilla over to enclose, seal the ends and roll to create a fat cylinder. Wrap in foil and transfer to the aforementioned frying pan to cook for a minute or so either side.

Before, obviously, devouring.

 

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Portia de’arrozi

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

I feel like such a terrible person – don’t worry, I know I’m not – I caught up with Ellen over two and a half years ago and as we were saying our farewells, we spoke about how I need to have a date with my dear friend Portia. Two and a half years ago!

Oh well – better late than never, I guess?

Anyway, I’d barely finished dialling the number before Porsh answered and excitedly screamed into the phone, “yes, yes, yes, yes, YES! I’d love to come visit and be featured on your anthropological record of your celebrity friends … to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro.”

Lucky it wasn’t a surprise, otherwise I’d have to take Jess and Will out of my inner circle!

As you can probably tell, it has been a couple of years since I have seen my dear Porsh and I’m so thankful that we finally got it together to put the time aside. Annelie and I have known Por for years – Annelie having co-starred with her in Ally McBeal as the dancing baby, and I co-starred with her as Elle Macpherson’s body double in the Kate Fischer/Tziporah Malkah headliner, Sirens.

Given that she was just killed off on the hit show I pretend to watch, Scandal, P was hella relaxed, having caught up on her sleep and feeling excited for the next step in her career. After swapping a few stories, catching each other up on our families – Ellen misses me desperately, obvs – we sat down for a bowl of spicy, Cinco de Cuatro appropriate Portia de’arrozi.

 

 

Hot and fresh, this little bowl of goodness is the perfect accompaniment to any meal … or long overdue date with a dear gal-pal.

Enjoy!

 

 

Portia de’arrozi
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
⅓ cup olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 jalapenos, thinly sliced
2 cups long grain brown rice, rinsed thoroughly
2 cups chicken stock
400g tin crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
small handful coriander, roughly chopped
juice of a lime

Method
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic until nice and fragrant. Add the jalapenos and  cook for a further five minutes.

Reduce the heat to low, add the rice and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the stock and tomatoes, crank the heat and bring to the boil.

Again reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about fifteen minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed. Season generously with salt and pepper, stir through the coriander and lime juice … and devour.

 

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Pumpkim Basinger Soup

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

pumpkim-basinger-soup-1

 

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

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

Enjoy!

 

pumpkim-basinger-soup-2

 

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

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

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

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

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

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

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

 

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Piper Perapoutine

A decade of saying so, Gravy, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack

While Loz got me thinking about the beauty of Because I Said So – it is like a La La Land before its time … in that they were both snubbed by the SAGs for best ensemble cast – it was Ads that sealed the deal last week as we spoke fondly of our dear friend Piper Perabo.

I met Pipes on the set of Coyote Ugly where I was performing as Adam’s stand-in and body double. I’m not sure if it was beauty, our mutual hate for LeAnn Rimes – she stole my sixth husband and Pipes had my back – or the fact that love scenes are hella awkward and you’ve got to have a good rapport, but we instantly formed a friendship and I helped jettison her into the stratosphere of fame.

I haven’t been able to catch Pipes lately given her starring role in the underrated, sudsy gem Notorious, but thankfully its likely axing freed up her schedule and allowed her to drop by for a celebratory date.

But seriously, go through Pipes credits and see how many underrated classics she has been in – get this woman another damn hit.

Pipes and I quickly got to work gossiping about LeAnn and Tyra – we got yelled at like Tiffany on set – plotted ways to reboot the Cheaper by the Dozen franchise, bitched about the Don’s worse than even anticipated first week and toasted her classic 2007 film … over a big bowl of comforting Piper Perapoutine.

 

piper-perapoutine-1

 

Yes – poutine would be classified a comfort food, given the generously gooey curds, velvety gravy and, well, potato (when isn’t it comforting?), and this date is meant to be a celebration.

But when your modern classic is rated 5% on Rotten Tomatoes, you sometimes need a little comfort to get you in the mood.

Enjoy!

 

piper-perapoutine-2

 

Piper Perapoutine
Serves: 2 sad friends.

Ingredients
500g washed potatoes, russet work best but I’m not a dictator … like Trump
a good lug of olive oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
a very generous handful of cheese curds (or baby bocconcini in a pinch like I had to, but make no mistake it is not the same)

Method
Preheat oven and two baking sheets to 220C and cut the potatoes into thick batons. When the oven has come to temperature, remove the baking sheets, line them, separate the potatoes across them, coat with a good lug of olive oil and return to the oven. Immediately reduce heat to 180C and bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

While the fries are baking, melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in stock until combined and smooth – remove it from the heat should avoid lumps, but just in case ok?

Return to the heat and bring to the boil, reduce heat low and simmer until thickened. You may need more stock to get it to the consistency you like, so go nuts and stop whenever it gets to your preference. Season generously and remove from the heat.

By this point your chips should be done, so remove from the oven, lightly salt and transfer to a plate. Top with the curds and drown in gravy – because comfort, duh – and devour.

 

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