Chicken Daniel Francese

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

Unlike Mands, I didn’t meet Dan Franzese – or Dan Fran, as I prefer to call him – until we were on the set of Mean Girls. Given it was based on my life story, I had offered Tina support in coaching the three actors whose characters which were based on me; Regina, her mum – when Ames plays your future self, you know you’ve made it – and too gay to function Damian.

After five minutes in the trailer, I noticed that Dan didn’t need any help with the character, instilling Damian with humanity that my teenself couldn’t even fathom having. So instead, we hung-out. And by hung-out, we commenced a torrid affair.

While you will soon find out that out all-too-brief affair ended in a total disaster, we remained friends against all odds and I am so proud of the career that Dan Fran has gone on to have. Despite me vowing to ruin his career, even though I was in the wrong when our relationship ended. Hell, I even suggested him to Jonathan for a role in looking!

Damn – why am I admitting fault?

Given he is busy being a successful boss, we haven’t had the joy of spending as much time together as we would like. As soon as Dan Fran walked into my room, he lit the place up with his beautiful soul. Which off topic reminds me that I need to see Jesse McCartney ASAP.

Anyway … he lit up the room and TBH, that is to be expected when a big plate of Chicken Daniel Francese is awaiting you.

 

 

Lightly coated chicken for optimal crunch, combined with a punch of garlic and lemon works to create a mouthwatering delight. Add in the fresh hit of parsley – which I never thought I would say but it really makes it sing – and I just can’t stop.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Daniel Francese
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
flour, salt and pepper, to taste
4 chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
2 eggs, whisked
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 lemon, half sliced and the other half juiced
½ cup dry vermouth
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine a cup or two of flour in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. In a second bowl whisk the eggs with a couple of tablespoons of water.Flatten the chicken breasts with the back of a frying pan until they’re about 2cm thick.

Heat a good lug of oil in the base of a pan over medium heat. When scorching, dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg and transfer to the skillet to cook for about five minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the pan and leave to rest.

Add a knob of butter to the pan and cook the lemon slices and garlic for a minute or so. Add the vermouth, stock and lemon juice, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and leave to simmer for five minutes, stirring through the parsley towards the end. Return the chicken to the pan for a couple of minutes to heat through.

Serve chicken topped with a slice of lemon and drowned in sauce, for optimal devouring.

 

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

Pizzastarah Silverman

Main, Pasta

Let me start by getting the obvious out of the way first – while my dear friend Sarah Silverman wasn’t able to get me a role in Wreck-It Ralph 2, the rough cut she showed me is hilarious. Though I stand by the fact I should have been in the princesses scene as the queen.

But whatevs.

Thankfully I’ve been friends with Sez for such a long time, that I was able to look past the slight and join together for a nice date. I’m a damn saint, I tells you.

I first met Sare while skulking around 30 Rock trying to get Lorne Michaels to lift my life ban. She was finishing up her one-and-done run on the show while I was being escorted from the building, and Clive the kindly security guard threw me into her path. I call him kindly because that harsh toss from the door led me to my best friend, and for that I’ll always be grateful.

I took advantage of her post-SNL pain, and drove her to show them what a big mistake – HUGE – they had made, and in turn ride her coattails to fame, fortune and success.

While we had a brief period of vicious feuding after her edits on Fucking Matt Damon made me lose out on an Emmy – yeah, my version was pretty X rated – I moved past it because I knew my life is better with Sare Silv in it.

Who am I? That was so earnest and sweet.

Anyway – as I am wont to do, we laughed, we cried, we watched the movie, we watched the random swingers party happening in the rooftop pool in the building across the street and we smashed a deliciously confusing hybrid Pizzastarah Silverman.

 

 

What is better than pizza or pasta? Yes, you guessed it – a pasta made out of pizza ingredients! Ten points to Gryffindor! I mean, nothing can possibly give your pasta a pep in its step quite like pepperoni. Add in olives, mushies, parm and all the usual pizza suspects, and you’re in for a world of joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pizzastarah Silverman
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
a handful of mushrooms, sliced
½ cup black olives, sliced
½ cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
½ cup chargrilled capsicum, sliced
100g pepperoni, sliced
2 cooked Italian Sausage, sliced
400g can diced tomatoes
½ – 1 cup cream, to taste
2 cups baby spinach
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
500g pappardelle

Method
Start by getting a large pot of water boiling over high heat.

While the water is coming to a rollicking party, heat a lug of oil in a frying pan over medium heat Add the garlic and onion and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the chilli, mushrooms, olives, sundried tomatoes and chargrilled capsicum and cook for a further minute before stirring through the pepperoni and sausage.

Add the tomatoes and cream and bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes, reduce heat to low, add the spinach and a good whack of salt and pepper and leave to bubble, covered, while you cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

When the pasta is ready, add the parmesan to the creamy tomato sauce and stir well. Toss the pasta into the pan and stir until coated. Serve immediately, slathered in additional parmesan for optimal devouring.

 

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

I’m also f-*&ing Matt Damon

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I had an extremely hectic weekend, quickly dropping by the Berkshires – visiting Dorind, obvi – before getting an extremely patient and thorough lesson in how to play chess by my seven year old nephew. Obviously I was exhausted by the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, so I lay by the pool drinking Jimosas and watched movie trailers.

Don’t worry, I’m about to get to the point.

I was wondering how The Meg differed from Jaws III before I was distracted by the trailer for Wreck-It Ralph 2 and realised I had about twenty missed calls from Sarah Silverman over the past fortnight.

Thankfully she bought how busy I claimed to be and accepted my invite to drop by and catch-up later this week. What do I make for one of my dearest friends that happen to be a Disney princess?

Image source: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage.

 

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

Joy Beharsagna

Main, Pasta

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Joy Beharsagna
Serves: 4-6.

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

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

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

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

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

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

Devour. Preferably with Karlic Lagerbread.

 

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

You know what, so what, who cares

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Hello *coughs* is this thing on?

As you may have noticed, I’ve taken a little unplanned hiatus (which I totally plan to wipe from memory by posting the multitude of documented-yet-unposted catch-ups in the coming weeks, after which will make this post slash me look completely cray) but I needed a little time for self-care, in the spirit of vegan and shellfish lover Queen Sonja T Morgan.

Oh and for once, self-care isn’t referring to feverish masturbation.

To apologise, I’ll offer you this vague explanation which may or may not include a Type-A aortic dissection (not me), a cold, graduation (not me), moving house, rehab, the flu, aortic arch and valve replacement surgery (I feels for others ok, shut up), prison and not appearing on Australian Survivor (which given my love of Locky last year, is probs a good decision in the post me too world. Particularly for CBS, hey Les?).

So basically, I needed to take a break – or at the very least a nap – and to work through my stress and anxiety.

Lucky for you, I am back and while I didn’t give you a heads up about needing said break, in the words of this week’s iconic guest, you know what, so what, who cares? Yes, my dearest friend Joy Behar is dropping by to help me get my groove back. Which I will use as inspiration to go back in time to write How Stella Got Her Groove Back and snag me my first Oscar, but that is a story for another time.

Any guesses what I’m making Queen Behar?

Image source: The View / ABC.

 

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

Kraftherine O’Dinnara

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Main, Side, Snack

While Eug is the Schitt’s Creek cast member I have known the longest, my dear best friend Catherine O’Hara is the one I am closest to. And that isn’t meant to shade my relationships with the rest of the crew, but simply highlight how great a bond Cath and I share.

So obviously I met Cath when she joined the Second City troupe in Toronto, but our bond truly solidified when we worked together on the one-two punch that is Beetlejuice and Home Alone. You see, I was the stuntman for both Winona Ryder and Joe Pesci in the movies, and working together again gave Cath and I the opportunity to grow even closer on set.

That and the fact that I was so moved by her work on Home Alone, led to me dedicating my live to getting her the recognition she deserves. Aka an Oscar.

While my trips to rehab, multiple deportations and myriad of scandals have distracted me from that goal at times, we’ve always remained the best of friends and I was thrilled when Eug told me they were co-starring again in Schitt’s.

As expected, Cath was thrilled to drop by and celebrate the premiere with her bestie and to honour her greatest role yet as Queen Moira Rose. She was even thrilled to see a big vat of the delightfully Canadian meal, my famed Kraftherine O’Dinnara.

 

 

Does her name easily work with Kraft Dinner? No. Am I still unsure whether Kraft Dinner should be classed as a national dish of Canada (hey, Wikipedia says so … so it has to be – Canadians, please let me know if this is true in the comments)? Fuck no. Am I ashamed to admit how much I loved my copycat version? I’d sooner die!

So enjoy and feel no guilt, ok?

 

 

Kraftherine O’Dinnara
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g macaroni
⅓ cup butter, cut into chunks
3 tbsp flour
½ tsp mustard powder
pinch of paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups milk, to taste
1-2 cups grated vintage cheddar cheese
250g Kraft ‘cheese’ slices (aka American cheese), yes the plastic stuff (it’s fantastic)
6 hot dogs, cooked and sliced
tomato ketchup, to serve

Method
Cook macaroni per packet instructions.

Once you’ve drained the pasta, place the butter in the pot and melt over medium heat. Cook until foamy before adding in the flour, mustard powder, paprika and a good whack of salt and pepper. Cook stirring for a couple of minutes or until the roux has come together and the ‘flouriness’ has gone. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk.

Return the pot to the heat and slowly whisk through the cheese and the ‘cheese’ until melted, goopy and well combined. Stir through the cooked macaroni and hot dog pieces, and serve immediately. Then, obvi, devour slathered in ketchup to taste.

 

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

Pierogene Levy

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Main, Party Food, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, Vegetarian

Given I am close with the entire cast of Schitt’s Creek, it was extremely difficult to decide who to bestow the honour of kicking off my celebration honouring their return to the screen. But like my girl Hizza Clinton before me, I am known for making hard choices when I need to, so picked up the phone to call the delightful Eugene Levy first.

I mean, it is only fitting that I kicked off the party with Eugene as he is the person I have known the longest. Eug and I first met whilst a part of Second City, Toronto and by a part of, I was his stand in when blocking performances given our eerily similar appearances.

While we drifted apart when I was deported from Canada – and therefore unable to appear on SCTV – we reconnected again in the ‘90s through my dear friend Tars. I was part of her entourage on the set of American Pie to get closer to Chris Klein – it was the ‘90s – but I was so thrilled to see Eug again that I abandoned my lust for Chris, and instead focused on making up for the lost years of our friendship.

Despite being extremely busy with other publicity commitments, he was so excited to come down under and mark season four in culinary form with his dearest friend.

“Ben, you really need to come visit when we’re filming next season. I could see Alexis having a long-lost twin and you have the perfect nature to pull off the role!”

“Eug, my love, I don’t know. I’m super busy at the moment, but it truly makes a lot of sense.”

Now I can’t tell you how that conversation ended for upcoming contractual reasons – hell, I shouldn’t have even mentioned how it began – I can tell you that my v. Canadian Pierogene Levy were the perfect snack to toast season four … and beyond.

 

 

Like Eugene, these babies are the perfect comforting slash celebratory snack. Warm and fluffy, and packed full of carb-y, cheesy goodness, you need to get these in your belly ASAP.

Warm apple pie my arse (… which is another embarrassing story of mine for another time).

Enjoy!

 

 

Pierogene Levy
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1.5kg potato
6 shallots, roughly cut
200g ricotta cheese
100g cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
40 gow gee wrappers

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Peel and cut the potatoes quarters and place in a saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until just tender, about five-ten minutes depending on their size. Drain the potatoes, transfer to a lined baking tray with the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes, or until all the moisture is gone. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes.

When the aggressive heat from the potatoes has gone, mash them until their mostly smooth. Add the ricotta, cheddar, eggs and a good whack of salt and pepper, and mix until thoroughly combined.

To make the pierogis, place the gow gee wrappers on a clean, dry bench and place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre. Brush the edges with water and press the edges together, pleating as you go … to make them look as flash as a rat with gold teeth. Because, obvi.

When they’re all done, bring a large pot with about 1-inch of water to the boil and steam the pierogis for about ten minutes, give or take, or until they’re cooked through.

Devour, greedily, with sour cream or some hot sauce.

 

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

Rachel Bloom’in Onion

Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Party Food, Side, Snack

I thought it was only fair to kick off our first Golden Globe Gold, Goldhood, by making up for my shade thrown at The CW yesterday. While their shows aren’t as critically beloved as other networks, it is easily my favourite US network given my love of teen drama, rom-coms and superheroes.

I am basic and proud.

Anyway, the jewel in The CW’s critical crown is without a doubt Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and its creator-writer-producer-star and Golden Globe winner, my dear friend Rachel Bloom. I’ve known Rach for years and years, meeting through our mutual friend Ilana Glazer when she took over my room in Il and my flat in BK.

Now I don’t want to say that Rach became obsessed with me and I inspired the character of Josh Chan, but well, I did. I moved from Brooklyn to West Covina, for some unknown reason, got deep into bubble tea and she followed me. While I awkwardly set her straight on the fact I was not in fact straight – I was running a scam trying to marry a wealthy older woman in NYC when we met – we were able to remain friends, she returned to NY and I encouraged her to turn it into a beloved comedy musical. Emphasis on beloved.

It was such a treat to kick off the new year with such a dear friend and strap in for the all important running of the odds. While it was bittersweet given the fact she was snubbed this year, she held her head high as we got to work discussing the female TV categories. She agreed that Nicole, Laura and Lis would all add a globe to their hauls for Big Little Lies for the former two and The Handmaid’s Tale for the latter (with it also taking out Best Drama), we did differ in her ex-category comedy. While she believes Frankie Shaw would continue the trend of a young ingenue taking out the gold, I think it is definitely the other Rachel’s to lose. When it comes to comedy series, I believe Master of None will get the recognition it deserves, though wouldn’t be shocked if this is where SMILF takes out a win.

As is oft the case, the discussion rendered us completely exhausted so it was lucky I’d whipped up a delightful – and DiazTwine family favourite – Rachel Bloom’in Onion.

 

 

As a founder and ex-co-owner of Outback Steakhouse, it is hard to call this recipe a copycat … though I was fired in controversial circumstances and can never talk about it again. Forget I said anything … though be thankful that this copycat I have no connection to creating is delicious.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rachel Bloom’in Onion
Serves: 1 pair of besties.

Ingredients
1 large white onion
2 ½ cups flour
2 tbsp paprika, plus ¼ tsp for sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper, plus pinch for sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano, plus pinch for sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs
2 cups milk
vegetable oil, for fryin’
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp ketchup
2 tsp horseradish cream
¼ tsp paprika

Method
Cut the top of the onion off and peel back the skin, making sure to keep the root area intact. Repeatedly slice down into the top of the onion, about 1cm apart, stopping just before the bottom to form your petals.

Combine the flour, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and oregano in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. In a second bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together.

Dip the onion into the flour mix to completely cover, shaking off excess like my frenemy Tay-Tay. Transfer to the egg-milk mixture and swirl around until completely coated before returning to the flour for one final coat. Transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes to set.

Fill a medium saucepan with 10cm of oil and heat to 200°C.

While everything is coming to temperature, combine the mayo, ketchup, horseradish, ¼ tsp each of paprika and salt, and pinches of cayenne and oregano in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Gently lower the onion in, open side down and allow to fry for 5 minutes or so, or until golden and opened. Flip and cook for a further couple of minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain off excess oil before serving with the dipping sauce … and devouring.

 

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

Barney Marnhattan

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Drink

After kicking the 12 days of Festivus off on a joyous note with the divine Jason Alexander and then being brought back down to earth when checking in with the deceased Susan Ross’ portrayer Heids, I opted to whip out the time machine and check in with my dearly-departed pal Barney Martin.

While he was technically the second man to play Jerry’s dad, Barns will forever be the Morty in my heart.

I first met Barney on the set of The Golden Girls in the ‘80s and we became the fastest of friends, which led to me putting his name forward when they needed to recast Morts. I also got him cast on Full House with Cand as a gag.

As is oft the case when venturing back to hang with friends that have past, it was both uplifting and melancholic. Though it was exciting to pop on our best Morty Floridian shirts, have a laugh and enjoy a very, very festive Barney Marnhattan.

 

 

As my rapidly bloating liver can attest, 90% of Christmas is drinking so I couldn’t go past adding another festively flavour tipple on the menu. But seriously, how can you go wrong with the sticky sweet cherry and some bitters.

You can’t, so enjoy!

 

 

Barney Marnhattan
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
2 ½ shots of bourbon
1 shot vermouth
a hearty dash bitters
maraschino cherries, to taste

Method
Fill a glass with ice.

Pour over the bourbon, vermouth and bitters.

Stir.

Add cherries.

Down.

Repeat.

 

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

Brandy Jason Alexander

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Drink

While Seinfeld, as the name clearly suggests, is all about my friend Jerry Seinfeld, the great, wondrous holiday that is Festivus is all about the Costanzas. While yes, Frank was the creator of the blessed holiday – how many ways will I describe the holiday in the next 12 days? – I feel it is most appropriate to kick this celebration of with the delightful holiday Jason Alexander.

Jase is one of my oldest friends after meeting in ‘81 on the set of the hit TV movie Senior Trip. Annelie and I were part of Mickey Rooney’s entourage at the time but were both so moved by Jase’s performance in the bit-part – no small parts, just small actors etc. – that we vowed to make him an absolute star.

I think we can all agree that despite our questionable pasts, rehab and priz stints and aggressive feuds, the way we moulded Jason’s career truly is our opus.

Given how busy I’ve been since starting this anthropological study, I’ve barely had time to catch-up with my celebrity friends unless they’re keen to document it. And while Jason was always down for the career boost I offer, I wanted our date to be truly special.

And there is nothing more special than Festivus.

As soon as Jase arrived we were laughing like he’d snapped my fingers in a jewellery box – which coincidentally was inspired by us mucking around when he gave me some thank you jewels for the one-two punch of Seinfeld and Pretty Woman – catching-up on what he’s been up to lately and making a toast to our friendship slash the season, in the form of my Brandy Jason Alexander.

 

 

Now I know the great Ron Burgundy says milk is a bad choice in the heat and Brisbane is balls hot, but add some festive spice and a nip of brandy and you really can’t go past it. Trust me.

And that’s not a threat … but it’s also not not a threat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Brandy Jason Alexander
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
30ml brandy
30ml crème de cacao
30ml heavy cream
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon

Method
Shake the liquid in a cocktail shaker with ice, and pour into a chilled glass.

Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon.

Down.

 

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