Wai Chimichangas

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Poultry, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 18 icons fell by the wayside and only six remained in the game. As one of only two Brawns left in the game, Dani continued her reward streak by winning the ultimate spa reward, where she finally convinced Hayley to flip on George. Before any further discussions could take place, they ventured to the immunity challenge where Wai came from behind and upset everyone to win immunity. And by upset, absolutely delighted as she screamed and cried from the shock of it all like a pure icon. We learnt that Hayley and Wai continued to play the middle, debating between the two remaining pairs to join with to get to the top four. Flick meanwhile found an idol, giving an edge to the Brawns so she held on to it before she and Dani discovered Hayley was not in fact with them and as such, Dani was booted from the game.

The next day Wai and Flick were counting down the sleeps left in the outback while the girls spoke about how cold it is getting overnight. Talk turned to the champagne reward with Flick admitting that she couldn’t shut up in the hot tub, giddy from the excitement, champagne or both. Meanwhile Hayley shared with us that she stuck with the Brains at the last tribal council because Dani and Flick said that they would never vote for Cara, Wai and George at the final tribal and since the former duo have the most friends on the jury, getting rid of them was her priority. Hayley and George caught up and reaffirmed their loyalty to each other, agreeing that like Dani, Flick needs to go otherwise she destroys them all at final tribal.

Speaking of Flick, she was feeling super lonely being the last Brawn standing though given she has a hidden immunity idol, she is at least guaranteed final four. Which is a problem for the Brains, given they are committed to voting her out and no other option. So, someone is about to get burnt.

While Flick knew that she was safe for one night, she realised that she had to plan longer term and as such, pulled Wai aside. Immediately the duo agreed that going to the final three with Hayley makes the most sense for both of their games, given no one can beat the unbreakable Cara and George duo. Wai and Cara caught up while hunting for supplies, with the former admitting that she doesn’t want to play by the rules anymore and wants to make the game her own. And well, part of that includes taking out George as the biggest threat while also calling him out for bordering on mean from time to time.

Next up in the personal recaps was George who was proud of his game, narrowly avoiding the boot week after week and making the biggest moves. He shared that his biggest priority is to make the right choice to get to the end and win, rather than make friends. As such, George caught up with Hayley and shared that his only shot at winning is against Hayley and as such, they need each other. Which is the only real pitch to keep her from flipping on him, so well done George.

My love Jonathan arrived for the final five immunity challenge where they would have to face off crawling across a pole to retrieve sandbags which they would use to knock off blocks, use said blocks to knock off a key and then the key to release a grappling hook. And what happens with the grappling hook, you ask? Well, they use that to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle.

Obviously Hayley and Flick got out to an early lead while poor Wai struggled to cross the log. As the other four started tossing their bags at the blocks, George opted to press pause and help Wai out so they could all continue on in the challenge together. Cara overtook the others and was first to start with the blocks, but was quickly joined by the rest of the tribe. Cara was first to make it to the grappling hook and jagged her puzzle pieces before anyone else joined her. As Cara worked through the puzzle, Hayley quickly won all of her pieces and joined her while the other three languished at the back of the pack. While Cara slowly pulled away, she discovered that one of her pieces was wrong as Hayley closed the gap, before George joined them. But it was all for nought as Hayley figured out the last piece and quickly secured another individual immunity win.

The tribe returned to camp with George thrilled by the outcome of the challenge, given they just needed Flick to not win. As such the Brains were comfortable with piling all the votes on Flick, with George taking it one step further and encouraging her to go find a hidden immunity idol, completely unaware that she already has one. As such, Flick got to work pretending to wander around camp looking for an idol so the Brains don’t get spooked and ruin her plan to get rid of George with her one vote.

Flick reflected on her journey throughout the season, glad that her social game has gotten her to this point. Particularly since she has had to fight against her grief for the last week. Sadly Flick was caught by George sitting quietly by the billabong and as such, deduced that she already found the idol and as such, he needed to switch things up. He quickly ran back to camp and found Cara, sharing his suspicions and suggesting that the two of them stack their votes on Wai instead to guarantee one of them isn’t idolled from the ground. Which is a great plan and shows his killer instincts for the game, but damn, don’t let me lose Wai.

While Cara was all on board with the plan, solely because of her trust in George, she was nervous about splitting the vote without looping Hayley in and thus potentially burning a bridge. After a brief back and forth, Cara put her foot down, very concerned about leaving Hayley out this close to the end and telling George she isn’t just going to blindly follow him and either way they go is risky.

Speaking of said risks, Flick pulled Hayley aside and pointed out that the alliance of four is barrelling towards a 2-2 tie and as such, one of the duos needs her to make it to the final three. Which is classic, logical survivor. But Hayley said that she was only on board if Wai was willing to flip. Which she obviously was, despite the fact George wasted time in the challenge to help her along.

At tribal council Hayley spoke about how grateful she is to be wearing the immunity necklace this close to the end. Wai meanwhile was grateful that George helped her in the immunity challenge, showing a side of him that not many people are seeing in the game. George put it down to just doing the right thing by his friends. As Flick spoke about being out of options, George started whispering to Cara about sticking with the safe vote and not splitting. George admitted that he told Flick that she wasn’t going to make it to Day 45 while Flick gloriously pretended to be down and out.

Jonathan asked Flick what happens when she is gone with Flick suggesting a girls alliance could form to oust George, otherwise they will split down the line of duos with the added complication of Hayley probably wanting to sit next to George at final tribal council. Hayley then suggested that maybe she has an idol and this is all a ploy before Wai admitted this would be a perfect time to leverage Flick however if you don’t pull it off correctly, you risk yourself going home. Hayley was nervous that this vote was make or break for each of them, while George just cautioned everyone to err on the side of caution.

With that, the tribe voted before Flick gagged them all by playing her idol and despite wanting to be the sole vote to finally get rid of George, he and Cara stuck with their plan and loaded two votes on poor Queen Wai who joyously exited the game.

Sweet Wai was an absolute delight as she arrived at the Jury Villa, equal parts disappointed to be out of the game and thrilled by how well she did despite being the obvious first boot. As soon as she saw me she let out the same squeal she did upon winning immunity, thrilled to be united with her dear friend. You see, Wai and I are part of the same literary circles and have been best friends for years and years. Which is why I knew that after 44 days in the bush, she would need a big plate of Wai Chimichangas to help recover.

I know I say this a lot, but I really love Mexican food. Even if my versions err more closely to the Tex Mex side of the equation. In any event, these spicy little numbers are near perfection – hot, rich, earthy and sweet, by the time you add some fresh avo and lime, you’ve got yourself a new favourite meal.

Enjoy!

Wai Chimichangas
Serves: 2 famished friends or 4 regular peeps.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushin’
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ cup tomato paste
½ cup chicken stock
400g tin diced tomatoes
4 cups shredded roast chicken
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup sour cream, plus more for serving
2 cups refried beans
8 flour tortillas
1 ½ cups Mexican cheese, grated
Lady Guagamole, to serve
small handful coriander leaves, to serve
lime wedges, to serve
hot sauce, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the onions for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and spices and cook for a further minute. Stir through the tomato paste before adding the tomatoes, stock and chicken. Season and bring to the boil before reducing to a low and simmering until most of the liquid is reduced. Then stir through the sour cream.

To assemble, place your tortillas on the bench and divide the refried beans between them, smearing in the middle to leave ‘clean’ space around the edges. Add some of the chicken mixture – about half a cup – before a sprinkle of cheese. Fold in the sides and roll like a burrito before transferring to a lined baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat the process until down.

Brush each chimichanga with some oil and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Serve immediately slathered with guac, sour cream, coriander, hot sauce and a squeeze of lime. Whatever you prefer.

Then, obvi, devour.


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Andrew Pucles Chips

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the top eight fought it out for a car, with Dani taking out the reward but unwittingly cursed her own game. At the immunity challenge Hayley took out her first victory over queen Flick, much to the delight of Hayley. Everyone was finally realising that Cara and George only cared about each other, with Emmett trying to rally everyone together to target them. Thankfully Queen Cara found a hidden immunity idol which they were able to use as leverage to try and woo Wai and Hayley back to their side to boot the conveniently vulnerable Emmett. Which is exactly what they did, continuing George and Cara’s epic streak of somehow evading certain doom.

The next morning the dwindling tribe slowly started their day with Wai and Andrew catching up about her flip, with Wai explaining that she is simply at the point of voting to make it to the next step rather than joining with anyone per se. Hayley joined them to explain the flip, with Andrew annoyed by the fact they rightly made a move to better their place in the tribe given the alliance he wanted them to join left them at the bottom. George obviously arrived on the scene to make it awkward enough for them to stop the conversation, leading to Andrew catching up with Dani and bitch about the fact Hayley continues to flip every few votes, rather than brainstorming ways for them to move forward.

Speaking of hustlers trying to make their way to the end, George and Cara took a moment to celebrate their status as the underdogs and the fact that they have an idol in their back pocket to help propel them to the final two.

The tribe joined Jonathan for the latest reward challenge where they would break into two teams to release poles from a frame, cross a balance beam, retrieve sandbags, cross a mud pit and then add sacks to the end of their poles and shoot the sandbags into the sacks. First team to land three securing a massive Italian feast. Oh and the person that doesn’t compete gets to bet on who they think will win and joins them if they are correct. Andrew, Hayley and George were facing off against Flick, Dani and Wai, with Cara backing the girls to take out victory and score the four of them some food.

While the girls got out to an early lead, Hayley and the boys quickly managed to close the gap. Well, until George crossed the balance beam in a positively glacial pace and the girls pulled away again. Wai struggled over the mudpit, giving the other team the slightest of leads as they got to shooting their baskets. Sadly for them, Dani quickly got her eye in, landing two baskets before Andrew landed his first. Eventually Andrew closed the gap, leaving the teams desperately fighting for victory before Dani landed her final basket and sealed victory for the team.

And Cara.

Dani, Flick, Wai and a very lucky Cara arrived at their massive feast, delighted by the overwhelming smell of garlic. The girls toasted their success, with Dani quickly suggesting that they push for an all female final five and while Cara and Wai agreed that they want to see a girl win, me thinks they aren’t at the point of turning on George yet. Wai admitted that she has been playing it day by day and really only decided to get rid of Emmett on the way to tribal council. Dani told Wai that George had told them that Hayley and Wai were going to vote out the Brawns next, which Wai immediately denied. 

Dani then pushed for Cara to stop playing George’s game and instead make a move to get to the end. This fired Cara up who said that they are both making decisions and she is trying to temper the chaos that he loves. Though she did admit that she would turn on him, but only when it was at the point that she didn’t immediately become the next to go home. And given he is the only one that hasn’t lied to her, she needs to build trust with others before that will ever happen.

The next day George decided to dress up for the latest immunity challenge, while Cara, Hayley and George caught up by the fire. Cara admitted that she was confident with their trio, but was worried Wai would quickly flip on them should something spook her and as such, George needs to be quiet and listen to Wai when she floats plans and start relying on Hayley to help get the information to her. Wai joined them and explained that she would like to see Flick be the next one booted from the game, given she is protective of Andrew. Cara pointed out that that makes her and George vulnerable the further they move along the game, but didn’t push her point and wisely left Wai to talk through her logic.

Meanwhile Flick and Andrew were catching up about the Italian reward, with Flick explaining that she and Dani pushed to see whether anyone would be interested in getting rid of George. Flick explained that while Wai would easily flip, there is no way that Cara will follow along with any of them. Andrew reiterated that he doesn’t want to play for the others and the only way to break up George and Cara is to win immunity challenges and force their hands.

The tribe caught up with my love Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each hold a platform for themselves to stand on using a rope and ring above their heads. Last one standing taking out immunity, obvi. Bucking tradition, George didn’t drop within the first seconds of the challenge, instead Cara dropped after a few minutes with Wai just behind. After a long battle, George and Dani were the next to drop, leaving Hayley, Andrew and Flick to once again battle it out for immunity. After 90 minutes, Jonathan made the trio go down to holding the ring with only one hand which quickly took out Flick before Andrew dropped out of nowhere, handing Hayley her second victory in a row.

Back at camp Andrew regretted his choice to go down to his left hand rather than his right before saltily suggesting the majority should instead be tending the fire rather than him and Dani. Speaking of the minority, they caught up to try and figure out who the majority would target with each of them listing compelling reasons why it would be them. As such, they locked in their votes for George and as such, Dani decided to try and flip Wai to help their cause.

Meanwhile George wanted to take out Andrew however was more concerned about doing something that would cause Wai to flip given he worried that would spell his doom. As such, he caught up with Hayley, Cara and Wai, talking about how Andrew just flipped out at him, suggesting that Wai is the most dangerous person and as such, needs to go. Surprisingly, Wai bought all of it and all of a sudden was less protective of Andrew, instead ready to join the others to vote him out.

The foursome split up, with Dani hunting for an idol before catching up with Wai and checking whether there is any point talking to her with Wai admitting that she is always open to talk, but she will also always be frank. Dani implored her to play her own game before they split up, with Wai admitting that she could ultimately go with either side, however going with George keeps a bigger target around.

Speaking of Geroge, he was eavesdropping on the minority trio and discovered that they haven’t had any success in finding the idol and as such, they’re good to go. Wai finally admitted to us that she doesn’t buy that Andrew was going to turn on her. As George praised Hayley for becoming the Queen of the tribe, Wai quietly looked on and really started to think voting out George would be best for her game. But TBH, she seemed like she was flip-flopping back and forth every few minutes.

At tribal council the tribe were surprised by a table with four urns sitting next to them which JLP explained would provide one of them safety once they are voted out. The catch being, they need to select the correct urn otherwise they’re booted for good. Hayley admitted that it is always nerve wracking to see someone come back after they were booted. Cara agreed that getting a second chance helps put a fire in your belly before George said that at this point in the game, you should just keep voting people out until it sticks. Dani opted to tell the majority alliance that they each need to start thinking about their individual games, unaware that sticking as a four for now – until say, top five – is the best option for all of them.

Andrew spoke about his nerves at the vote ahead, while Flick sold herself as a number that the majority alliance can use if and when it’s needed. Andrew played up George’s penchant for doing what is best for himself, though George admitted that even if he is the last man standing, there is no way he is a physical threat. Dani shadily said that once it is just him and the girls, they can come together and take him out then. George spoke about always feeling nervous, with everyone agreeing that only Hayley should actually feel ok. Wai shared that this tribal council doesn’t feel simple and easy for her and as such, anything could happen.

With that the tribe voted and George found himself becoming the last man standing as not only was Andrew booted but he also selected one of the unlucky urns and as such, officially exited the game and joined the jury. Given Andrew has been pretty even tempered throughout the entire game, despite being irritated by George, he took his boot in stride, with a big beaming smile.

Even when I smuggly made fire with a flint to prove that I am the ultimate survivalist, threatening to come for his gig. Given we’ve been friends for years – influencers and Youtubers go hand in hand, you know – he quickly told me I wouldn’t last a night in the wilderness without a bed or shower (so true) and as such, I should head into the kitchen and make us some Andrew Pucles Chips to smash while we catch up.

So, you know, I did.

Tangy and salty, crisp on the outside while gooey on the inside, these delights are oh so moreish. Though I do caution you, you will need a drink because these fried coins of perfection will make you thirsty. I recommended pairing with an icy IPA.

Enjoy!

Andrew Pucles Chips
Serves: 2 best mates.

Ingredients
vegetable oil, for frying
½ cup flour
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups dill pickles, sliced into coins and well drained

Method
These babies are pretty easy to make, so you can do everything all at once.

Start by heating 2 inches of oil in a pot over medium-high heat until it is about 180C.

Combine the flour, buttermilk, paprika, chilli, oregano and cayenne in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper until smooth.

Pop half the pickles in the batter and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the hot oil one at a time and fry until golden and crisp. About a minute either side. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat the process until all cooked.

Season with salt and serve with some Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie. Then, you know, devour.


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Franks’n Beans

Breakfast, Main

Oh my – where do I start with my dear sweet Frances Bean?! As you know, I am a dear friend of her parents Kurt and Courtney and as such, have always taken a protective older brother role in her life.

Oh and FYI, I am her third godparent with Michael Stipe and Drew Barrymore for my exemplary morals, though that never seems to make the news, does it?

I always tried to look out for Frances growing up, as I have long known – thanks to LVP, no less – that the crown is heavy and as the Princess of a grunge empire, her crown was pretty heavy and I always wanted her to know that I had her back and support her unconditionally.

To the point where I followed her to Bard College to make sure she was ok slash see if I could ride her coattails. Shockingly, I had a rare moment of self reflection and realised that riding coattails was exploitative, so I left school and let her soar.

And soar she did..

It was such a delight to see her again, give her and hug and reiterate to her how proud I am in the awkward way your mum does. Thankfully she didn’t think it was too weird and we spent the afternoon catching up and laughing about our past … over a big vat of Franks’n Beans.

 

 

Sticky and sweet, earthy and a little bit spicy, this little baby was our go to meal at college. Like a combination of a childhood hug and nostalgia, it is everything you could want while reminiscing about the good old days.

Enjoy!

 

Franks’n Beans
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
6 rashers streaky smoked bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 green capsicum, diced
1 tbsp chilli powder
⅓ cup ketchup
⅔ cup bbq sauce
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
4 cups vegetable stock
800g canned navy beans, you could try dried but TBH it is too hard
salt and pepper, to taste
6 skinless hot dogs, thickly sliced

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and cook the bacon, onion and garlic for about five minutes, or until fragrant and glorious. Add the capsicum and chilli, and cook for a further minute.

Stir through the ketchup, barbecue sauce, muscovado sugar, dijon, worcestershire, stock and beans with a good whack of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered and semi-stirring, for about an hour, or until the liquid is thick and glorious.

Add the hot dogs and cook for a further five minutes before serving generously on fresh toast.

And devouring.

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Pastrami Malek

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Main

Today’s former Emmy winner slash friend dropping by to celebrate The Gold Wing is very special to me. Not to take away from my dear friends Garry, Marg or Ava obviously, but Rami Malek is such a lovely delight and we met through this year’s hopefully dominant force of nature Amy Sherman-Palladino.

I was hanging around on the Gilmore Girls set, desperately hoping to get that triplet storyline off the ground with Alexis when Amy asked me to show a supporting player around the lot. I lay eyes on Rami and immediately said yes, hoping to make him my husband.

While I didn’t succeed in wooing him outside of a brief, tender kiss under the gazebo, we did become friends and given he is just the sweetest, I vowed to make him a star. This in turn led to me contacting Mickey Rooney and getting him a role in the Night at the Museum franchise, and well, then he became a big, big fucking star.

Given he has been hella busy with Mr. Robot and winning Emmys over the last couple of years, we haven’t spent as much time together as we’d usually like to, so it was wonderful to just hang together and run the Drama and Limited Series acting categories together. As a former champ, he can’t go past my friend Matthew Rhys for The Americans for Best Actor in a Drama while I am still hoping Milo Ventimiglia can pull it off for This Is Us Making You Cry. Nobody is beating Darren Criss for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. As a dear friend, I hope Peter Dinklage takes Supporting Actor for Game of Thrones, though the category is kinda wide open. And Supporting Actor in a Limited Series should go to Brandon Victor Dixon for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert though a Finn Wittrock win for American Crime Story wouldn’t surprise me.

As seems to be the case with these odds fests, we were desperately hungry after we were done and thankfully I had a big ol’ hunk of Pastrami Malek waiting to sustain us. Because you know meat alway sustains me.

 

 

Another suggestion from Fame Hungry superfan Glenn DeLaCreme – beats ramen, no? – I was terrified to try making my own pastrami. But I persevered by combining a string of recipes I found online because I love my adoring fans, and I’m glad I did. Salty, spicy and sweet, this is the second best piece of meat you can put in your mouth.

The best being bacon, sickos. Obvi. Enjoy!

 

 

Pastrami Malek
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
1kg corned beef or beef brisket
2 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
2 tbsp smoked paprika, ground
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
The night before you plan on tackling this, rinse the corned beef under cold water for a couple of minutes before placing in a large bowl of cold water. Cover, transfer to the fridge and leave to desalinate overnight. You can use brisket, however the pink curing salt is meant to be toxic, so I was too scared to home-cure.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, and rinse the corned beef once again. Generously rub the spices into the meat and place on a plate to come to temperature for a couple of hours.

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Transfer the meat to a rack on a baking dish, cover tightly with foil and bake for a couple of hours.

Once done, remove the meat and allow to rest uncovered for fifteen minutes before slicing and devouring.

 

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Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry

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

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders got off to a rough start, with Jenna getting injured in the first challenge and Steve K’s paranoia rendering him a social pariah. That is until Matt killed his game at the first tribal and Steve K got his kit off with the zaddy club and won his way into my heart. Sadly for them and the future of glorious man nudity, a burgeoning all women alliance was forming at the Contenders and could strip me of my joy, one bun at a time. Despite nailing the reward challenges, the Champions struggled in immunity challenges, sending them to tribal back-to-back. With Russell out of the way as an easy target, Jackie and Damien tried to rally their troops with war hero and seeming delight Damien booted from the game.

We opened up at the Contenders camp where Shonee, Anita and Fenella were hunting for pawpaws, with Fenella continuing her relatability streak by complaining about the bush. Meanwhile out on the shore Steve K and Robbie were having a clothed bonding session doing some tai chi and/or martial arts. Me know sports, no? Steve shared that he is the ultimate puppet master of his tribe, working on making connections with the bro alliance to save himself before making a crab trap with Zach. Hot damn, I love Stev … wait, no, playing too hard. He spent his time bonding with Zach to broach the idea of taking out the women, despite being down in the numbers. Zach at least realised they were down in the numbers and needed to take them out if they were going to fight down gender lines.

Meanwhile over at the Champions Mat was lamenting their string of losses and having to vote out Damien. Thankfully it woke him up a bit, making him realise that he needed to play the game. This lead him to Moana, who was more than keen to align with him and further her budding kingdom. To solidify their alliance, she not only told him about her hidden immunity idol but asked him to hold onto it for her. Why do I have a feeling this isn’t going to end well for her?

Before my bad feelings could come to fruition, Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where one member from each tribe would cling to a long, hard pole for dear life – aka my life – while two people from the opposing tribe work to pull them off and drag them to their mat. Given it was for a vanity and toothbrushes, both tribes were all in. Off topic: how good is brushing your teeth? Heath and Brian were first on the pole, while Sam, Mat, Robbie and Zach worked to extract them. Robbie and Zach made quick work getting Brian off … the pole, dragging him towards the mat – and victory – while Mat and Sam had an on-off dance with Heath and the pole.

Next up Jackie and Paige tried to hold off Fenella, Jenna, Sharn and Moana. While Sharn and Moana got out to an early lead, Paige put up a hell of a fight, flailing about before they ultimately scored the point. Heath and Steve W jumped on the pole for round three, with Benji, Robbie, Brian and Mat working to rip them off. While both groups quickly got their men off, Steve W and Heath put up a hell of a fight before out of nowhere, Robbie got a second wind and dragged Steve W – and Benji, who was hugging him – over the mat for another point. Next up Shonee and Lydia jumped on the pole, with Shane – with an assist from Monika – dominating Shonee and tying things up.

Match point featured Jenna and Jackie on the pole, with Lydia, Moana, Paige and Fenella working to rip them off. While Lydia and Moana got out to an early lead, Jenna started screaming in pain while Lydia tried to drag her away. This saw the challenge stopped with the medic called in, telling her to sit out of the challenge and leaving them to reset. Given they reset with Paige and Lydia on the poles and Moana, Sharn, Anita and Fenella dragging, it was no surprise that the champions won their third reward in a row.

Back at the Contenders, everyone was concerned about Jenna’s injury given she is good in challenges and brings up morale. The medic advised her that she should leave the game to avoid doing any further ligament damage, making her think about home, her daughter and all the reasons while she can’t bring herself to quit and will keep on fighting.

Things were far sunnier at the Champions tribe where they were thoroughly enjoying brushing their teeth, ogling themselves in the mirror and in Brian’s case, making sure his brows haven’t challenged the Spice Girls and done an old two becomes one job. With everyone distracted, Moana, Sharn and Mat got together to solidify their alliance, making me concerned that she is becoming way too confident.

At the Contenders tribe the gender divide continued to widen, as the boys all bro-ed it up and Zach’s confidence started to rub Queen Shonee the wrong way. She vowed that the boys needed to go one after the other however was concerned about losing the strength, so instead of going for Zach planned to target Steve K. While they weren’t sure whether Paige would be with them, Shonee, Fenella and Anita were convinced that they’d be able to swing Heath and Jenna to the side to make up the numbers and take control of the game. Did I mention Shonee is a queen?

JoJo returned to lord over the immunity challenge where the tribes were required to chop through a rope to make their big balls drop before lugging said balls through some obstacle, stringing it back up over a pole and swinging it into targets. The Champions got out to an early lead, however the Contenders were able to overtake on the wall obstacle as Jackie struggled to pull herself over. Sadly for them the lead didn’t last long as the Contenders couldn’t undo a knot, allowing the Champions to snatch back the lead. When it came to lobbing the rope over the final pole, the Contenders managed to take their lead back with Heath and Steve K knocking out a target before even Mat got the rope over. Once again, the Champions caught up – thanks to Steve W coaching Mat through the rope – and snatched victory, with the Contenders struggling to knock out their final target.

Back at camp Zach congratulated everyone for working hard in the challenge, despite being thrilled he can take out one of the women. Speaking of whom, the girls were hanging out by the shore to lock in their vote for Steve K and while everyone said they were keen to get rid of him, Paige wanted to check in with the boys and see what they were thinking. Paige went for a chat with the boys and shared that she was actually aligned with Robbie, Zach, Benji, Heath, Jenna and Tegan. They all agreed that Shonee was the actual target, split up and the boys locked in their actual target as Paige. Confused Tegan, Jenna and Heath disappeared to discuss the pros and cons of taking out Steve K or Paige, with them appearing to favour the idea of taking out Steve K with the Fenella, Shonee and Anita trio. Over the afternoon Zach grew more confident in his numbers and their impending blindside – the biggest ever done, in Steve’s word *coughs* still waiting for Sue’s big move *coughs* – which TBH left me fairly certain that tribal is a formality and Steve K is tragically exiting tonight.

At tribal council Jonathan quickly addressed the gender divide on the tribe, which Fenella quickly tried to deny saying she would happily drink a beer with the boys. Benji and Jenna continued to deflect JoJo’s questioning, before Rob admitted that there is definitely a majority  within the tribe. Tegan played it coy, saying she hoped she was part of it and would be voting with who she spoke to, allaying both sides fears. Steve and Benji spoke about trust and joked about their male intuition, much to the disgust of the females on the tribe and me on the couch. Zach and Steve admitted there were feeling confident about how the vote would play out, while Heath, Tegan and Jenna’s smirks seemed like that was not the case. As predicted, the votes rolled in and Steve K and the nudist club were shocked to discover they had been planned and Steve K found himself out of the game as the fourth boot.

Given my passionate love of Uber Eats – nope, not a paid endorsement … but they easily could pay me –  I’ve become quite a dear friend of Steve K as he delivers my shame foods around to the backdoor – surprisingly not a euphemism – so no one can judge me/assume I am a professional eater. I oft worry about how hard he has to work, carrying kilos of brisket, burgers and fries to me on the hour, so I always make sure I tip him in gallons of delicious Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry.

 

 

Back when I was even more basic white boy – can you believe? – a very mild mango chicken curry was as far as me and my colon were willing to push Indian. Oh, how the times have changed! Thankfully this version has ever so slightly grown with me, adding a light kick of chilli to the sweet mango and tomato sauce leaving the tender chicken bathed in, well, glory.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 onions, two whole and one diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 red chillies
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander ground
1 tsp garam masala
¼ cup natural yogurt
500 g chicken thighs diced
olive oil
6 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
400g can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
270ml coconut cream
500g mango, pureed
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place the whole onions, half the garlic, the chillies, chilli powder, ground fennel, coriander and garam masala in a food processor and blitz until well combined. Add the natural yoghurt and blitz for a further minute. Transfer to a large bowl, stir through the diced chicken and transfer to the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

When the chicken is ready to go, heat a lug of oil in a large pan over high heat and cook the cardamom and cinnamon until nice and fragrant. Add the remaining onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft.

Reduce heat to medium and add the chicken and marinade and cook for about five minutes. Once your kitchen is hella fragrant, add the tomatoes, tomato paste and coconut cream and bring to a rollicking boil, before reducing to a simmer, adding the mango puree and cooking, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour by which time it should be thick and spicy.

Serve piping hot on a bed of rice and with a massive pile of naans and papadums for ease of devouring.

 

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Zinggy Burger

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Burgers, Main, Party Food, Poultry, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Tara finally realised that my dear Locky needs to go if she has any shot at the end. She then discovered some lollies to sweeten the deal with Ziggy to flip, joining literally everyone else to get rid of Locky. Sadly for them – and great for my hope he’ll give us buns again – he then won immunity, causing everyone to scramble leading to (self-proclaimed) King Luke to exit the game and give someone else some screentime.

Jericho was devastated when he returned to camp, though harking back to his first confessional vowed to bring chaos to the tribe. He then went in for Tara, telling Locky all of her plans to turn on him to get further. Locky felt it sounded true – because it is – so pulled Tara aside to clear the air. While she seemed to get herself out of the mess, Locky still seemed paranoid.

The next day Ziggy replaced Luke as the manic person that oft appears to be a junkie, as she reminded us that she and Tara are the lolly bandits. She then spoke about getting a hit and the fact it is constantly on her mind which makes me extremely concerned for her welfare. Are we getting a sugar crash medevac tonight?

Tara continued to try and do damage control at camp, while a sadly clothed Locky told us he was still feeling anxious about what Jericho said, despite believing Tara. He then told us all how he was dominating the game, and I didn’t love the look on him. To put his mind at ease, Locky and Ziggy caught up in the jungle, with Ziggy convinced that Tara wasn’t flipping on them … because, sugar rush? YAAAAAAAHHHHH.

Oh wait, sorry, sugar-junky Ziggy made me forget she was completely onboard with getting rid of Locky.

Given the fact Locky was still feeling uneasy, he tried to forge a connection with Jericho to break the alleged 3-3 split. For the second time this episode, Jericho appeared to be smarter than I gave him credit for, barely humouring Locky and throwing some epic shade in his confessionals. I mean, I don’t want to like him, but the sass is glorious.

Sensing defeat, Locky moved on to Michelle who proved that she is truly the biggest threat left in the game, because if she makes it to the end, she would Kristie the shit out of the questions. His attempt to woo her quickly became a fight, gaining the attention of Jericho and Pete with the latter deciding he needs to reconnect with Tara and pull her in to get rid of Locky or Ziggy. But let’s be honest, Locky is winning immunity again, right? Otherwise we are Alecia Holden-ing our way straight from immunity, to tribal council.

Putting me out of my misery JoJo returned for said immunity challenge which required everyone to keep their balls in the air … by keeping a single ball spinning within a circular track. As quickly as it started Michelle was out, followed by Tara as the rain arrived to give us some JLP wet T-shirt action. I mean, if he keeps this up, Locky is expendable. Oh Ziggy then dropped out, followed by Jericho leaving the hopes of the tribe weighing on Pete’s shoulders. Sadly for him, the weight became too much and Locky once again took out immunity and crushed the hopes and dreams of the tribe.

Side note: how good did JLP’s nips look while handing the necklace back to Locky?

Back at camp everyone was pissed, with Tara particularly concerned about his immunity run continuing and the fact she needs to fashion a plan B. Meanwhile Pete already had his plan B lined up, deciding that Ziggy needs to go as she is the second biggest threat left in the game. Tara was not sold on this, rationalising that Ziggy is the best person to end Locky’s immunity run. Tara took the Ziggy plan back to Ziggy and Locky to see what they should do, with Locky wanting to target Michelle and bully someone into flipping with them for fear of going to rocks.

Locky tried to work his magic on Jericho and Pete to spook them into flipping rather than playing rocks, with both of the boys hilariously preferring to go to rocks and put their game to chance rather than voting with Locky. Pete then pulled Tara aside to run through the competing plans, trying to sway Tara to their side to avoid rocks.

They arrived at tribal council where the tribe struggled to pretend to be happy about Locky’s hat trick. Jericho threw some light shade, Pete admitted he wanted Locky to lose so they could vote him out, Tara gave a better acting performance pretending she doesn’t want Locky out, Ziggy said she wished she had immunity before Michelle brought some excitement to the festivities. Channelling Ciera ‘she voted out her MOM’ Eastin, she then announced that the vote is currently deadlocked and that they will be voting for Ziggy. Pete then joined the fray, promising Tara that they will stick with her if she flips to their side to get rid of Ziggy. Locky and Ziggy tried their best to talk Tara back but Michelle and Pete went in hard, tag-teaming her – not in a good way – until she had a throbbing headache as she joined them in sending Ziggy to the jury … with an extra large side of shade.

I don’t want to say Steph Rice is a jinx, but it is hard to ignore the fact that she kicked off a hat trick of my catch-ups with my favourite female aquatic Olympians. It really should come as no shock that I worked for the AIS coaching the Australian water polo teams how to be extremely aggressive and rip off their rivals’ swimmers. While I far preferred working with the men’s team – for obvious reasons – I quickly bonded with Zigs and we became the fastest of friends.

While Zigs was disappointed when she arrived at the jury villa, she was thrilled to see me – one of her favourite people – waiting to give her a hug and huge platter of my Zinggy Burger.

 

 

Tragically this recipe arrived two episodes late to coincide with the popcorn chicken alliance as it is my blatant rip-off of KFC’s Zinger Burger, which totally ruin my plans to sell myself as a psychic. As I oft say when making Burgers or Pizza, there is nothing better than a homemade version – succulent chicken, a big kick of heat and a crunch that could burst an eardrum, these babies are perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Zinggy Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp mustard powder
salt and pepper, to taste
2 large chicken breasts, sliced in half
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp rice flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 cup corn flakes, crushed
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup vegetable oil
4 Kirsten Bunst
4 slices high-melt cheese
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 cup iceberg lettuce, sliced
Kent Nelsonion Rings, to serve

Method
Combine the Worcestershire, chilli and mustard powders and a good whack of salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss through the chicken, cover and place in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

When the chicken in almost done, combine the flour, cornstarch, rice flour, baking powder, egg and milk in a bowl. Combine the corn flakes, bread crumbs and teaspoon of salt in a second bowl.

Remove the chicken from the fridge, dip in the batter, followed by the coating and place on a plate. Cover and return to the fridge to chill for a hour.

Once that is done, heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once sizzling, add the chicken fillets and fry for about five minutes each side, flipping once, or until golden and crisp.

Split the buns, smear the mayo on the bottom, top with lettuce, followed by the fillets and topped with some cheese and a little extra mayo. Close the burger and devour, like an Olympic champion.

 

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Luke Toquinoa Bowl

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Poultry, Side, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the OG Asaga were the closest alliance in the game until Michelle was left out of the Tessa blindside causing tension between Michelle and Sarah. After a glorious reward of dirty bird, Locky continued his winning streak and took out his first individual immunity. Back at camp, Michelle continued to seethe at Sarah and rallied the tribe to send the strategic model to the jury.

Given Sarah’s boot was unanimous, we returned to camp the next day where the castaways were so delirious you could be forgiven for thinking Australian Idol was rebooted. Michelle was extremely happy to have taken out Sarah and reaffirmed her desire to win, promising us and I assume herself, that she has not lasted 45 days to stumble in the final ten. She then shared that she was in a tight pair with Pete – seriously, when did that happen – and they agreed to go to the end together, plotting to join with Jericho and Luke to take control. The boys, obviously, agreed instantly, without question.

Jericho and Luke then took a turn to the shore to confirm that they will join with Michelle and Pete, though completely believe that they will win out in the end. Locky, Ziggy and Tara however were not to be outdone, seeing that the other four were planning to work together they vowed to join together to try and get further. Sadly Locky’s assertive planning – which was the right idea – irked Tara and she realised that getting rid of Locky is probably in her best interests. Which would piss me off a lot more if he’d been nude since episode 2 (oh to be Mark in this picture!).

After a brief winner-esque scene from Luke about his life back at home and – ugh, obviously – being the king, Locky was feeling down at camp and tried to assure Tara and Ziggy that sticking together was their best chance. Tara then wandered down the beach to think and find allies to take out my babetown when she stumbled upon a moral dilemma, to take two quilts for the comfort of the tribe or a huge ass lolly stash for herself. She then suggested using them to pull people in and I think it has triggered my Jericho-the-cookie-monster six episode arc PTSD.

While on her sugar high, she stumbled upon the aforementioned cookie monster and Luke and got them onboard to take out Locky. She then approached Ziggy about aligning with her, Jericho and Luke to take out Locky, before showing her said lollies to try and secure her loyalty. Thankfully their lolly scene was far less insufferable than Jericho’s epic saga.

Tara then told us that the only thing she needs to worry about, is Locky winning immunity … which is apparently like saying bloody Mary in the mirror three times. Jonathan appeared as summoned for the immunity challenge which is essentially a more complex musical chairs slash memory hybrid where the tribe mates had to collect covered items, with one person eliminated each round until someone takes out immunity. Tara was first out, followed by Pete, Jericho, Ziggy and Michelle, leaving Locky and Luke to battle it out for immunity. JoJo changed it up, requiring the boys to each find five items in order. Locky got out to an early lead, securing two before Luke was on the board. Despite a valiant effort to catch up, Locky powered ahead and secured his second immunity, much to the chagrin of literally everyone.

Everyone was quick to congratulate Locky when they arrived back at camp, despite how furious they were. Tara decided on an as yet undecided Plan B, taking Ziggy into the jungle to figure it out. They decided that strength was needed to beat Locky in challenges, so kind of committed to getting rid of Michelle, I guess. Ziggy approached Luke to raise the idea, which he agreed to instantly, which is oft the way.

Tara and Luke approached Locky to get rid of Michelle, however he thought it was pointless to get rid of Michelle and instead they should get rid of Luke and make a big move in front of the jury. While Ziggy was quick to jump onboard with the plans, Tara wasn’t convinced as Locky went on his merry way to convince Pete to trust him. While that was happening? Oh, Tara went and told Luke their plans which lead Luke, Jericho and Michelle to get rid of Ziggy instead. Jericho then told Pete the Ziggy plan, leading him to discuss who is the better option – Luke or Ziggy – with Michelle.

At tribal council Ziggy announced that everyone was scrambling – which shouldn’t come as a shock except for the fact everyone pretends they don’t – before Pete mentioned that despite desperately wanting immunity, people winning multiple immunities is dangerous and they need to be taken out ASAP. This made Ziggy extremely nervous, though kind of seemed defeated. Michelle, Jericho and Luke all spoke extremely cryptically before Pete and Michelle started whispering about who they should target. While Pete wanted to take out Luke, it seemed like she wanted him to stay leaving me more confused than I was about Jericho’s driving talk … which was more confusing about yesterday’s kitten story. Obviously death was the end result, though.

The votes rolled in and despite her best efforts, Pete got his way and Luke was sent packing to my hot-and-cold embrace at the jury villa. While I have been kind of harsh about Luke – and then extremely supportive in the next breath – we are the dearest of friends, having met while I was working in the mines. I was obviously there to research for the lead role in my upcoming remake of the Coal Miner’s Daughter, so had little interest in doing any work. I noticed Luke’s mammoth work ethic, hitched myself to his wagons and survived as long as I could before they caught me out.

Given his kindness, I repaid him each night the only way I know how – well, one of only two ways I know how – by making him a big, fat Luke Toquinoa Bowl.

 

 

Don’t let the ugliness of my photos fool you – quinoa and I are not a dream team, ok – this meal is delicious. Spicy, fresh and packing a whole lot of heat, the quinoa and veggies almost cancel out the sour cream and dickloads of cheese. Almost.

Enjoy!

 

 

Luke Toquinoa Bowl
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 cup white quinoa
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
500g chicken breasts, diced
200g canned chipotle chillis in adobo sauce, blitzed
400g can crushed tomatoes
400g can black beans
1 cup corn kernels
avocados
1 lemon, juiced
2 shallots, finely sliced
6-12 tortillas, depending on the size of your bowl
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
sour cream, sriracha and coriander, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Rinse the quinoa under cold water until it runs clear. Transfer into a pan and add two cups of water and a generous pinch of salt. Place over medium heat and bring to the boil. Once rollicking like a night out with Lukey, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain off any excess liquid and fluff with a fork like you would cous cous.

While the quinoa is getting plump, chuck the sweet potato on a lined baking sheet with a lug of olive oil, the cumin, chilli, coriander seeds and a good whack of salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Place it in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

After that, heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and brown the chicken breast. Once almost cooked, add the chipotles, tomatoes, black beans and corn and simmer until completely cooked through.

Now for the last semi-difficult bits, mash the avocadoes with the lemon juice and shallots. Press the tortillas into Texan muffin tins or the serving bowls, brush with some olive oil and place under a hot grill for a couple of minutes to crisp.

To serve, put some quinoa in the bottom of the bowl – I mixed it in with the chipotle chicken because I was drunk cooking, thus it looking like a turd – top with some chicken, spiced sweet potato, guacamole, fresh tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, sriracha and coriander.

Then devour, smugly, knowing the quinoa makes it healthy. Right?

 

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