Gaten Ratarisoni

Main, Pasta, Stranger Feasts

You want to know the scariest thing about our Halloween spooktacular, Stranger Feasts? The joy and kindness of the Stranger crew – like Shan and Mil before them – makes me want to be a happier, kinder person.

I mean, it make me feel so violently sick I want to vomit up slugs like Will in the season 1 cliffhanger!

Anyway, my dear friend Gaten Matarazzo is arguably the most infectious happy person you could ever be around, so I knew he was the best person to help me honour premiere day. Plus, he is one of my oldest friends in the cast.

We first met in 2011 when he was starring in the Broadway production of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I was working as a consultant on the show after lying about my involvement in the film – my mum went to school with Sarah Chadwick, so it wasn’t hard to fabricate the work history – and dare I say it, was integral in its success.

And its abrupt closure.

Given that, I felt bad and vowed to help further Gaten’s career. Not that he needed any help landing the role of Dustin, given his killer audition. But once again, I’d love to take full responsibility for his success.

Gats arrived almost bouncing, full of excitement and energy for the wider community – which he didn’t like me referring to as plebs – to see season 2. I’ve already binged the entire season, of course – which I can’t prove, lest I were to spoil things – and wholeheartedly share his excitement for the cracking to get the attention it deserves. Though maybe that was the big bowl of Gaten Ratarisoni talking … because again, that sounds nice.

 

 

Spicy, rich and dotted with ghastly (looking) halloween delights, this rat infested risoni is the perfect comfort food as you buckle in for the return of Stranger Things.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gaten Ratarisoni
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
600g spicy Italian sausages, skins removed and shaped into baby rat-sized
balls (aka, pinch one end)
250g mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced into a bat shape
1 tbsp chilli flakes
⅓ cup pitted black olives, sliced into ghoulish eye balls
⅓ cup sundried tomatoes, left whole to resemble bloody brains
500g risoni
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
250ml cinzano rosso
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup mozzarella

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the sausage rats to brown for five minutes or so. Add the mushrooms and chilli, and cook for a further couple of minutes before adding the olives, sundried tomatoes and risoni. Give a good stir to coat before adding the tin tomatoes, paste and cinzano, cooking for a couple of minutes.

Add the chicken stock – yes it seems out of place, but beef is too rich for this – reduce heat to low, stir through the spinach and simmer for about ten minutes, or until the liquid has absorbed and the the risoni cooked through.

Remove from the heat, stir through the mozzarella and serve immediately, with the stringy mozzarella creating a mess of cobwebs as you serve. Which I am aware, mine didn’t … I was waiting for a new couch for the show.

In any event, devour.

 

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Gnocchi Gilbert

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Pasta, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Jericho had the shits after his beloved Luke was booted from the game. Thankfully Locky was still public enemy number one … until he won his third immunity, leading to a battle between Ziggy, Tara and Locky, and Pete, Michelle and Jericho. Well, until the threat of rocks came into it and she flipped to guarantee her safety, sending Ziggy from the game in sixth place.

The tribe returned to camp where Tara quickly defended herself for flipping on Ziggy, rightly pointing out it saved her from getting Jessica Lewis-ed. Locky however was well pissed, given the fact everyone openly spoke about wanting him out at tribal, his closest ally Tara included. The next day he was still smarting, ignoring the rest of the tribe while they sat by the camp. Knowing that he is screwed if he doesn’t work through his issues, Locky spoke to Tara in the shelter about their issues, accused her of yelling at him while yelling at her and then dropped the L bomb to clear the air instantly.

While the love story was unfolding, Peter, Jericho and Michelle tried to come up with a plan B for if Locky wins his fourth immunity in a row. This in turn gave Locky enough time to fashion his own plan B, taking Anneliese’s idol message and rag, showing it to Tara to convince her that he has an idol and letting her spread it like wildfire to save him. Tara and Michelle bought it hook, line and sinker, but the boys weren’t buying it. Once again, Jericho proving himself smarter than I give him credit for.

Breaking things up, Jericho spoke about a traumatic experience from his childhood when he almost drowned while trying to surf, solidifying his rapidly expanding winner’s edit. Hell, it was so damn emotional I even welled up and rooted for him. Proving why I love Locky – other than his buns – he offered to go out swimming in the deep water with Jericho so he would feel safe and get to experience something he always wanted to. Fuck me dead – I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING. Can they go to the final two and one of them propose Boston Rob style?

As heartwarming as the moment was, him winning over Jericho and pulling at Tara’s heartstrings painted an even bigger target on his back, motivating them even more to pip him at the post at the next immunity challenge. Right on cue JLP returned for a combined reward and immunity challenge where they each had to line up dominoes on a suspended bar to ring a gong … without knocking them over. The reward? Well my friends, that is for a car – and picnic – meaning whoever wins immunity tonight is now out of the running for the win. Actually, does the car curse count on Australian Survivor?

In any event, Peter got out to an early lead though sadly was just short. Jericho thought he had it, missing by one block. Locky gave it a crack, missing after a couple. Then Tara failed, allowing Michelle and Locky to battle it out with the former taking it out by a couple of seconds. Fuck I hope the car curse isn’t applicable here. She was then given the chance to take the car for a spin and the obligatory picnic with two of her closest friends, taking Jericho and Tara. While Locky was pissed to miss out on immunity and a car, Pete was pissed about the picnic and spoke to me on the deepest of levels.

Michelle and her crew arrived at the beach to enjoy their picnic feast and before the basket was even opened, Jericho proposed them forming a final three alliance. While they all jumped on the idea, talk turned to Locky with his post-challenge reaction convincing Tara that he was idol-less, while Michelle was still unconvinced. Meanwhile back at camp things were decidedly awkward with Locky and Pete trying to make clunky chit-chat before Pete cut the crap and tried to get Locky to prove he had an idol.

Locky gave arguably the best deflection possible – we want you to question whether I have it so my vote can dictate the entire tribal – before the others returned and her started working on Jericho to flip and get rid of goat Pete to earn the respect of the jury. Jericho then rejoined Pete, Michelle and Tara while they debated whether Locky has an idol, while Locky hid in the bushes to make them think he was trying to find his idol. This somehow convinced Michelle that he has the idol as she followed him down the beach to plot about getting rid of Peter making me wonder, can he actually pull this off?

At tribal Michelle was quick to gloat about her immunity and car combo before JLP started to rub salt in Locky’s wounds. Pete quickly went in for Locky before Michelle started to defend him, before he and Locky started to bicker with Locky providing some much needed sass. Tara joined the fray to challenge the use of the term goat, explaining that sheep makes far more sense. After that brief interlude, Pete and Locky continued their fighting with Pete fighting hard, although not brave enough to say that Locky will vote for me anyway, so pile your votes on Locky and if he does have an idol, I’m out.

Tragically, albeit by no means surprisingly, Locky didn’t play his non-existent idol and found himself voted out of the game – despite Winchelle flipping – in fifth place. As heartbroken as I was to see my dreamboat go, I’m truly shocked that he managed to make it as far as he did so tried to keep myself grateful as we caught up in the jury villa.

Now I know you’d assume that I don’t actually know Locky, given how lecherously I speak about him each episode, but we’ve actually been the dearest of friends for years after he taught me to swim on an adventure trip, which I paid forward with Steph Rice via time travel. (Fun fact, me constantly suggesting nudie runs are why Locky was so comfortable getting nude in episode 2). How did I repay his kindness though? By whipping up a big bowl of my Gnocchi Gilbert, obviously.

 

 

I don’t know about you, but whenever I think about Locky, I think of white, pillowy mounds you just can’t wait to bury your face in. Add some spicy, salted meat and you’re living my dreams. I’m going, away, for a minute … enjoy!

 

 

Gnocchi Gilbert
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1.5 kg floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into a generous dice (larger pieces, less water absorbed)
large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
⅓ cup grated parmesan, plus extra to garnish despite how ugly it looks when not shaved
350g plain flour, plus extra to dust
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g speck, diced
1 tsp chilli flakes
800g diced tomatoes
2 cups baby spinach

Method
With that, place the potatoes in a pan of cold water – this is important – bring to the boil and cook until just tender. Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring, for a minute or two to ensure they are dry husks aka without moisture.

Allow to cool. Say it with me and remind me if you ever hear me mention gnocchi, allow to cool completely.

Pass through a ricer or mash aggressively until smooth and your rage sorted. Add a pinch of nutmeg, eggs, a pinch of salt and flour and gently bring together with your hands. Emphasis on gentle, the dough is like shortcrust pastry – you want to work it only as much as you need to.

Once it has come together, dust the bench and your hands with flour and take about a quarter of the dough, roll into a 1.5cm thick log. Slice into 2cm lengths, use the back of a fork to roll the gnocchi to give you the imprint – press the fork down into the length and pull towards you – and place on a floured baking sheet to rest. Repeat the process until all done and allow to rest for an hour or so.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a pot over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until softened. Add the speck and cook for a few minutes, or until crisp and fragrant. Add the chilli flakes and tomatoes, and reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.

Cook the gnocchi in batches until they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and repeat until they’re done.

The sauce should be ready to go, so add the spinach and cook for a minutes or so, or until wilted. Remove from the heat, toss – don’t you love tossing for Locky – through the gnocchi, cover in parmesan and devour, greedily.

Three cheers for Locky and his nudity!

 

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Toadette in a Blacklock Hole

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017)

Previously on Australian Survivor, Henry, Ziggy and Anneliese all whipped out their idols and formed a four way alliance … with Ziggy on the outs, given her awkward way of sharing the news. Over at Asaga, Sarah stood as our only hope to get rid of Luke, pulling in Pete and getting her ducks in a row. Sadly, the row was unnecessary with new Samatau losing immunity and heading to tribal council where Michelle eviscerated Ben. It was glorious and brutal all at once.

We opened up at Asaga where Sarah was getting over being underestimated, though knew that it was a necessary evil to make it further. That being said, she has decided that now is the time to make a move and Luke should be the next to go. She cornered Pete, who was obviously on board given the fact he has a sum total of zero allies on new Asaga. She then approached her target Luke and his minion Jericho to talk about keeping Pete to get information on Samatau, which is a great way of hedging her bets. While Luke was nervous about the idea, he didn’t actually realise what she was trying to do … so she is safe. For now.

Over at Samatau, Henry was still smarting over losing his goat Ben at the last tribal council. Given her killer performance at tribal, Henry approached Locky to talk about getting rid of – realistically – the most dangerous player left in the game.

JLP wanted to get all up in the episode gig while surprising Asaga with Ben’s boot at the previous tribal council. The reward for an Italian feast involved the tribes being blindfolded while a caller talks them through a maze, help them club some sacks out of watermelons and launching the aforementioned sacks into a basket. Luke and Locky were the callers, with the latter being far more successful as Sarah ended up in a safer version of no-man’s land. Despite a slow start, Ziggy secured the first sandbag for Samatau, allowing Henry to almost catch up to Jericho, securing Samatau second while he got Asaga’s first. While Luke somehow managed to keep Asaga going, Samatau secured all five before Tara secured Asaga’s fourth. It came down to a battle of Locky and Luke, with the (jerk) latter catching up at two bags a piece. Thankfully it was neck and neck for a minute before King Locky took out the victory for Samatau.

JoJo surprised Samatau with the chance to select someone from Asaga to join their reward. Given the fact they assume he is royally fucked, they took Pete before Jonathan surprised them with the chance to take a second person. They then decided to play it strategically, giving him the chance to pick the person most likely to keep him in the same giving Sarah some food, and pissing of Luke-ser in the process.

The victorious Samatau arrived at reward where Michelle was thrilled to smash a wine, aye – is Amiee back in the game? – and the tribe giddily wooed like white girls. Henry pulled Sarah aside to lay out plans, telling her that he, Locky and Anneliese want to go to the end with her before they both agreed to get rid of Luke. Sadly, Sarah wants to keep Jericho safe though … but you win some, you lose some?

Back at Asaga, Luke continued to butcher the English language while complaining about Sarah for refusing the reward she had no say in attending. He then pulled in Odette and Tara to boot Sarah at the next tribal council, deciding Jericho can vote Pete to avoid upsetting him about getting rid of Sarah. Which seems unnecessary and highly likely to blow-up in his face. Thankfully.

Pete and Sarah returned to camp extremely bloated while Luke and Tara yelled nonsensically at them. Neither of them gave anything off while struggling to digest the food, making Luke act more skittish than usual, leading to Tara warning Sarah and Pete than he is targeting them and they need to play it smart.

Meanwhile at Samatau, the well fed tribe were relaxing before Michelle decided to get to work painting a new target on someone’s back to evade the boot at the next tribal council. She then approached literally everyone to tell them that Henry had handed off an idol clue to Jericho a few episodes back. A clue that leads to the place where Henry found his. This of course didn’t come as a shock to Locky, who then added serious actor to his Survivor filmography (which currently just features erotic sand writhing).

Jon-Jon decided to reappear for the immunity challenge where Ziggy gave a very gloaty response about the Italian feast, leaving Sarah and Pete to – again – talk down the food. The challenge involved a modern maypole, releasing planks to build stairs and puzzle pieces. Samatau got out to a huge lead thanks to the seamless teamwork of Anneliese and Henry, and Locky’s bouncing pecs. Anneliese and Henry continued to work well on arguable the most difficult slash coolest challenge in any Survivor, while Sarah tried to make sense of Jericho chaos while being berated – quite rightly – by Odette. After dropping the final pieces a couple of times, Henry thankfully secured immunity for Samatau and a front row seat at Asaga’s tribal council that night.

Asaga returned to camp where Sarah and Luke battled it out to secure the minority. While Luke was counting on the Cirie Fields memorial 3-2-1 vote – potentially isolating Jericho in the process, while Sarah and Pete were hoping to get Tara and Odette to join them in getting the airtime sponge. Sarah was fairly confident she had the former two on board, so approached Odette to join them who was absolutely shocking at pretending she didn’t know Luke was targeting Sarah.

Tara then started to get antsy, approaching Jericho about how stressed she was to be voting out Sarah at tribal. He obviously flipped out about this, thinking the plan is Peter. He then approached Luke for the truth – with Luke now lying to Tara’s face – before talking to Sarah. Given the fact he wants airtime, Luke soon followed Sarah and Jericho to the shore to clear the air or intimidate Sarah into submission. Thankfully queen Sarah stood her ground and called out Luke’s shit and vowed to stick with Pete, making it hella awkward as they wandered out to tribal.

Asaga entered stage right while Samatau giddily watched from the jury bench. JoJo was quick to bring up the feast, asking Luke how he felt. This elicited a huge reaction from Tara when he denied being pissed. After Sarah and Odette danced around the questions, Jericho slowly got to a point – or at least, I think he thinks he did – before Sarah admitted that she is on the chopping block and it was bedlam back at camp after immunity. Luke tried to get people – apparently – to turn the vote back on Pete, which Pete obviously disagreed with, countering he is the best chance to get in with Samatau. Jericho and Sarah then did some secret squirrel whispering, before Luke gave Sarah a chance to get in line with him leading to her standing up for herself and Tara calling out his bullshit.

They then fought back and forth before Jonathan announced that given the whole crew were in attendance, things would be going a bit differently tonight. He then gave an Asagan the opportunity to mutiny – despite them dying first – to Samatau, which Pete quickly jumped at seemingly screwing Sarah and Tara in the process.

Asaga returned from the tribal council shitfight where Odette decided they all just needs to hug it out before Luke said something incoherent, and everyone else realised how screwed they were after their show for Samatau. Luke continued to make bad decisions, picking fights with Tara who stood up for herself, put him in his place and made him look dodgy to his dear friend Jericho. Thankfully Sarah is feeling confident and I’m hoping it isn’t misplaced.

Meanwhile things were looking up at Samatau where Pete had a new lease on life and his renewed tribe were thrilled with all the drama they had just witnessed. Henry however wasn’t loving the return of Pete because he strengthens the rival alliance of Ziggy, Tessa and Jarrad. Remembering how dull they were – outside from screaming while voting out Anneliese – when in control, I tend to agree.

The next day things were looking extremely bleak at Asaga before Sarah tried to win a despondent Jericho back to her side. While the model has all the right things to say, it didn’t seem to be sinking in, making me think that Jericho is more aware than I’m giving him credit for. On the flipside, Luke decided that rather than talking to people, it was in his best interest to search for an idol despite the fact he knows Jericho was handed a fake one to the one that was hidden on his beach four weeks ago. After a brief, out of nowhere interlude from Odette talking about her killer gameplay, Sarah and Tara got to talking about how to save themselves from the next tribal council … which obviously meant they planned to throw Odette under the bus for being flaky.

Meanwhile over at Samatau, Pete got reacquainted with his old allies with he and Tessa deciding that Henry and Locky are the biggest threats and need to go ASAP. He then checked in with Jarrad, who agreed that Henry needs to go if they lose immunity though was scared about what that would mean for their relationship with Locky. Back over at Asaga, Sarah continued her reconciliation path by approaching Luke to bury the hatchet. She then floated the idea of getting rid of Odette and while Luke still doesn’t trust her, I’m hoping he trusts her enough to get her to the merge.

Jonathan finally returned to put the strategising to rest and lord over the next immunity challenge, where each tribe would have to hold themselves up with ropes on the side of two large A-frames over the water. Sounds simple, but it would be completely fucked. Surprisingly Locky was the first person out of the challenge, followed quickly by Luke and Henry. Sarah evened things up by going in for Asaga, soon followed by Tara and Michelle, leaving Jericho and Odette vs Pete and Ziggy. Odette was next to go in leaving Jericho to battle it out with Pete and Ziggy. Despite a small stumble from Ziggy, she managed to save herself before Pete fell in. After over two hours on the ropes, Jericho finally gave up handing immunity to Samatau and sending the divided tribe back at tribal council.

Asaga returned to camp to commence the pre-tribal scramble where everyone was complimentary about Jericho’s performance for a couple of minutes before getting down to work and locking in a vote for Odette. Despite agreeing it was best for all of them, Jericho decided that he no longer trusted Sarah and wanted to pull in Odette to join he and Luke to take out Sarah. While Sarah was still intending to get rid of Odette, she approached the latter to talk about joining her and Tara to get rid of Luke. Luke then got uneasy about what was happening before Odette mentioned that she would rather flip a coin to decide who to vote out, which should sound alarm bells for everyone.

The dwindling tribe arrived at tribal council where Jon-Jon was quick to throw some shade at their losing streak before checking in with Jericho who spoke in complete circles about whether they were getting along or not. Sarah was feeling nervous yet hopeful, perhaps realising she is the easy vote, Odette decided the easy vote was no longer a good idea. Tara and Sarah spoke about the importance of thinking about who you can work with at the merge, while Odette spoke about the importance of keeping a meatshield in the game, which appeared to make Luke nervous. Despite his look of terror, Jericho then agree with the importance of keeping a shield in the game … which Luke stepped in to confirm, was him.

After some more vague talk, Odette spoke about being confident that she would not be the next one voted out, which of course meant that she ended up becoming the twelfth – and final pre-merge – boot. While Odette is a dear friend of mine – having met at podiatry school, which I attended to work through a foot phobia – I was glad to see her go, if it meant my girl Sarah got to stay in the game until the merge.

Plus, I made her her favourite meal, my Toadette in a Blacklock Hole.

 

 

If there are two things that go together better than anything else, they are sausage slipped into a warm, soft, pillowy hole. While this baby could hardly be considered classy, it is completely delicious … and it is sausage, squeezed in a hole, topped with a sweet and salty condiment.

Fuck, I’m circling … the hole in which the sausage is shoved.

Just enjoy, ok!

 

 

Toadette in a Blacklock Hole
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp sunflower oil
sprig of fresh rosemary
8 thick sausages
½ cup plain flour
1 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
300ml milk
1 tsp seeded mustard

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Place the oil and rosemary in a roasting pan and bake for five to ten minutes, or until piping hot.

Remove the rosemary from the pan, gently add the sausages and return to the oven for five minutes.

Combine the flour, chilli flakes and salt and pepper in a bowl, and the eggs, milk and mustard in another. Slowly whisk the two together until you have a smooth batter.

Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and very gently – and I mean gently, the batter will spit – pour the batter around the sausages. Return to the oven and bake for a further twenty minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Serve immediately with some caramelised onions, and devour.

 

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Richard Hash

Breakfast

While I feel like we’re balls deep with Survivor, following the surprisingly choice Survivor NZ: Nicaragua – pronouncing every damn syllable, obvi – and being half-way through Australian Survivor 3.2, the granddaddy of reality TV – Probst’s Survivor is returning in just under four weeks with the premiere of Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.

Not to be confused with RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, which I can exclusively confirm will be subtitled Hennies v. Hunties v. Hallelus.

As with last season, I wanted to spend the lead-up reconnecting with my dear friends slash past Survivor victors. And as such, I knew I had to kick this season’s celebrations off with a date with my ex-lover, dear friend and all around OG Richard Hatch.

In what is almost reality TV history now, Richard Hatch is attributed with being the person to establish the strategic (slash invent the) game of Survivor. Despite people thinking otherwise, there were others tinkering with strategy in Borneo, though Rich was the most successful and charismatic, so is remembered solo. Plus, he won over a delightfully homophobic Rudy with his nudity to boot, making him a true icon.

Just a less bone-inducing one than Locky #neverforget

After dominating Borneo, Rich returned for only his tragic second appearance, surviving far longer than Jenna Lewis wanted winners to, before being bamboozled and blindsided.

While Rich has had a colourful history with the law, taxes and appropriateness, he has always been a loyal friend … despite being an ex-lover, and for that I’ll always be eternally grateful. So much so, when he drops buy to lust over the new cast slash lock in our winner tips, he will always have a fresh Richard Hash waiting for him.

 

 

Spicy, fresh and hearty, a hash is a perfect winter breakfast to celebrate being the first Sole Survivor, clear the blues of being bamboozled and or a prison-hooch induced hangover.

Enjoy!

 

 

Richard Hash
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 chorizos, sliced into discs
3 cooked potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
1 tbsp chilli flakes
150g feta, crumbled
4 eggs
small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. When nice and soft, add the chorizo and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the potatoes and chilli flakes and cook for a further five minutes, or until the chorizo oil has been absorbed by the potatoes.

Crumble feta over the top, crack the eggs over and transfer to the oven to bake for five-ten minutes, or until the white has just set.

Gently fry the onion and garlic in a little oil in an ovenproof pan until the onion is soft. Add the chorizo and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and a good whack of salt and pepper, before devouring.

 

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Puff Daddy Pizza

Main, Pizza, Side, Snack

Sometimes you just need to party and get wild with your gang, to feel like yourself again. You know?

While we’ve been feuding since my egregious snubbing from the Bad Boy Records 20th Anniversary Tour, we both realised that life is more enjoyable with the other in it and he kindly agreed to reconnect.

As you can imagine, as co-founders of Bad Boy Entertainment, Puff and I have been involved in our fair share of scandals – the nightclub shooting probs being our most famous … despite the fact you legally cannot prove I was there or involved – but we truly never meant no harm, just partying hard like young guys a wont to do.

Despite announcing that he was planning to quit the music biz to focus on his acting career and the fact that was my idea for him, I was hoping that our reconnection would be enough to force him out of retirement to remake I’ll Be Missing You with me.

Which he obviously was hella keen for.

That being said, I did have to work overtime to convince him to change his mind with me, so I had to whip up one of my favourite shortcut meals. Enter my Puff Daddy Pizza.

 

 

I first flirted with puff pastry pizzas – and calzones – while a poor uni student slash up-and-coming-rapper, and to be honest, they are oft better than their pillowy or crip doughed equivalents. Flakey, light and most importantly simple, these babies are the perfect mid week meal or work lunch … for the working rapper.

Enjoy!

 

 

Puff Daddy Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 italian sausages
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp mixed dried Italian herbs, chef’s choice
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, shredded
¼ cup chargrilled capsicum, shredded
¼ cup black olives, sliced
¼ cup chargrilled artichokes
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
200g feta cheese
mozzarella cheese, just to add some stringiness … not so much necessary

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and remove the sausages from their casings, frying them into small meatballs for a couple of minutes.

Place each sheet of puff pastry on a lined baking sheet and smear each with tomato paste and dried herbs. Sprinkle over the cooked sausage, chargrilled vegetables, feta, chilli and a little mozzarella, to taste.

Place in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the pastry is puffed and glorious. Devour.

 

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Chicken Sades

Main, Poultry, Side, Snack

I feel like I say this often, but words honestly cannot do justice to how kind, sweet and divine my girl Sade is. It’s kind of weird that I appreciate kindness in others, when I value ruining the careers of any celebs that cross me. I truly should be studied.

But enough about me, Sade and I have been dear friends for decades and I am the reason the smooth operator made the switch from a fashion career to music.

Obviously it was me that suggested Sade, Stuart and the Pauls deflect from Pride and start up a rival band in the ‘80s. I was the inspiration behind the songs – including but not limited to, obvi – You’re Love is King, Smooth Operator (changed from masturbater for “mass” appeal, apparently), Sweetest Taboo and No Ordinary Love. It was also me that successfully campaigned for her to become a Commander of the Order of the British Empire earlier this year.

Given that last fact, Sade had come over to thank me for always championing her career and ensuring she gets the recognition she so greatly deserves. Can you believe it? A doll. The woman is an absolute doll.

It was such a treat to kick back and catch-up over expensive champagne, imported Iranian caviar and a big old batch of my Chicken Sades (… as a booze chaser).

 

 

A little bit spicy, a dash of sweetness and packed full of nuts, the satay works perfectly with the tender chicken leaving a party in your mouth, to which everyone is invited. That sounds wrong … or like the sweetest taboo TBH.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Sades
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken breasts, cut into strips or dice … I don’t mind. You do you, boo
peanut oil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp tamarind paste
¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
1 can coconut milk

Method
Thread the chicken onto metal skewers and allow to rest, covered in the fridge, for about half an hour.

While they are chilling, heat a small lug of peanut oil in a small frying pan and fry the garlic, shallots and chilli for a few minutes or until the kitchen is fragrant. Add the sugar, soy sauce, tamarind and peanut butter, and stir to combine. Add the coconut milk and cook until thickened.

Remove the skewers and cook the chicken your preferred method brushing with satay sauce as you go, I went baked because they were too long for my griddle and I’m morally against BBQs. I mean, sure, the satay sauce went a bit crunchy … but it tasted delicious.

Plus, you serve it with any leftover sauce … before devouring.

 

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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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Hannah Gough Gee

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, a majority alliance developed over at Hermosa leaving the olds on the out. Luckily for them, their tribe were able to take out immunity thanks to the performance of Sala and Tony. Over at Mogotón, Shay continued to own the tribe throwing Tom and Tony under the bus before flipping on her alliance with the latter, sending him to join Hannah at redemption island after she destroyed Dee last week.

We opened up with Tony as he reconnected with Hannah and speculated, rightly, that Shay had turned on him. Playing into the producers’ hands, he then angrily vowed revenge on her and anyone else that booted him.

Back at Mogotón Shay rallied the troops with a prayer before Sala broke off to talk about his regret with the last vote, while on the flipside Tom was thrilled that he saved himself and made it his goal to form an alliance. You gotta start somewhere, I guess?

The next day Izzy briefly forgot the name of the show as she led the tribe in some cheeky yoga, much to the excitement of Tom who based on the music from his last confessional I was expecting to be a villain and not the zen yoga fan.

Meanwhile over at Hermosa, Georgia had a shit eating grin … which we found out is actually charcoal, which she was taught would clean her teeth. From the grandson of a dentist, thank you for your dedication to oral hygiene babes. Down by the ocean Barb and Nate were feeling uneasy about being on the literal outs with the tribe, before assuring us that this lioness is simply stalking her prey. Is that a new queen rising?

Georgia and Mike later prepped for an island adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, tying each other up, being flirty and making the rest of their tribe mates super wary of their behaviour. Nate saw this as an opportunity and approached Shannon about needing to break them, and their third wheel Lee – up. Oh and Jak, who may or not be their fourth, but not in a clingy way, I guess.

We then briefly saw Mogotón take a leaf out of my book – or stole my damn premise – and decided to do some comfort eating with their episode one haul/theft.

Back with Hermosa, Mike and Lee went for a walk to discuss how they out rank the other tribe, person for person. By the fire, Jak and Nate then speculated who was voted out from the other tribe and gave a thinly veiled rundown of how their games were going, Nate saying Tony shouldn’t be discounted and Jak saying they need to retain their young, strong competitors. Sure I’m paraphrasing, but that is totally what they were doing.

Being far more cas(ual) about needing my attention than Probst, Matt finally arrived for the reward challenge, a survivor classic where the tribes are tethered together, carrying weights and chasing each other in the shore. Mogotón got out an extremely early lead thanks to Barb’s repeated falls before the women of Mogotón all decided to bail on the challenge, leaving those still competing to carry 20kgs each. Jak then dropped out for Hermosa, which allowed them to catch-up and snatch victory.

Again … securing coffee, tea, sugar and a tarp.

Hermosa returned to camp and quickly got to work incorporating the tarp into their shelter / feeling sorry for their rivals (Lee) and/or wishing it would rain to rub salt in their wounds (Mike).

A pity party was getting underway over at Mogotón where Avi spoke about feeling disappointed in himself, while Sala felt like he let the team down. Tom and Izzy then went for a walk to discuss who they and Avi would work their way out of the minority and talk shit about Shay, who is clearly controlling the tribe. Tom then encouraged Izzy to try and connect with Lou, to flip her to their side … though he doesn’t appear to be very confident.

Back at Hermosa, Barb pulled Shannon aside to find out what was happening and where she should, in an attempt to win her to her side. After quickly realising that Mike was making deals with everyone, Shannon found herself in the strong position of the being the swing vote … despite being the only person Mike appears to not have a deal with.

But not to be outdone at Mogotón, emphasis on but, we got some nude action, as Sala opted to channel Max and Shirin channeling Richard Hatch by drip drying from his swim in the nude. They then went and whipped up some snails for lunch, which as an instant boner killer. As was the censor bar though, I guess.

We returned to a fully clothed Hermosa, where Mike complained about Barb not trying to scramble to Shannon … who was in fact the person Barb has been scrambling with. Despite the fact their rivals were then alerted to their strategy sesh, Barb and Nate continued to plot a way in, uninterrupted. Finally Mike joined them and asked Nate how he was feeling and who he wanted to align with, which Nate was not buying as genuine.

Later on Jak decided to steal from Shane Powers’ repertoire and fashion a rock phone, to lull everyone into a false sense of security and underestimate him. Having evidently worked, Barb and Nate approached Jak to see if he could figure out the game and point out who they all, but particularly Barb and Nate, should vote for. Proving that he isn’t actually a complete moron, Jak took the information straight back to Lee and Tom, solidifying their alliance in the process.

We finally checked in again with Hannah and Tony on redemption island, where Tony had evidently changed his cranky pants and was feeling focused. Hannah then ate an ant and was feeling confident. Seriously, she is a mad dog.

The tribes then had to select two people to go watch the duel, with Tony’s friends Sala and Lou selected for Mogotón and Shannon and Georgia in attendance from Hermosa. The prank monkeys slash stars of the duel were brought in where Tony proved that he was still in fact wearing his cranky pants before asking Sala and Lou if they had voted for him. Given that neither of them did, it kinda fell flat, but bless him, did he continue to rant.

Eventually Lou started to cry about Tony being voted out and thankfully helped calm his farm, which makes sense given she is a farmer. Hannah spoke about her shock at seeing Tony before continuing to feed copious amounts of information to Shannon and Georgia.

Finally we got to the money shot, where Hannah and Tony had to throw large heavy balls at suspended tiles. Clearly bored by the action, Georgia worked over time to get the tea of who the mysterious flipper on Mogotón was … which Lou readily gave up without a fight.

Despite barely chipping his first tile – which counted – Tony got out to a lead that my sweet angel Hannah was never able to come back from, exiting the game as the second boot.

While she was gutted to be out of the game without even having the chance to prove herself, my dear friend Hannah – we both met on the plus-sized model circuit – was thrilled to see me and reconnect over some comforting Hannah Gough Gee.

 

 

Hot and spicy, these babies are the perfect excuse to get some pork on your fork. Fuck, that is an Australian reference. What do kiwis say about pork? Somebody help me!

Or just whip some up. They good, they real good.

Enjoy!

 

 

Hannah Gough Gee
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g pork mince
6 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp honey
30 round wonton wrappers

Method
Combine everything but the wrappers – which is obvious, I know … but JIC – in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Place the wonton wrappers on a clean surface, keeping covered with a just damp cloth to avoid them drying out. Working one at a time, place about a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each wrapper.

Brush the edges with a bit of water and close the dough to form a half moon shape, crinkling the edge together for dramatic effect. Place on a lined tray and repeat the process until done.

When you’re ready to cook, place a large pan/pot filled without about an inch of water over high heat and bring to the boil. While heating, line a steamer (bamboo or metal) with baking paper. When the water is ready, place the steamer in the pot and fill with about 8-10 dumplings, depending on the size of the steamer. Cover with a lid and steam for about 8 minutes or until cooked through. Again, repeat the process until done.

Serve with sriracha, soy, hoisin or sweet chilli and eat through the pain of losing our queen so early.

 

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