Jane Crackpieski

Baking, Dessert, Hashbrown: The End, Pie, Sweets

Like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt itself, we’ve reached the end of the road of our farewell celebration – Hashbrown: The End – and I am starting to get a bit misty, which is inappropriate when you’re meant to be honouring a hilarious show. But after catching up with Carol, Dylan, Ellie and Tituss I was too emotional, so I reached out to my dear friend and icon Jane Krakowski to see if she was free to drop by.

And she obviously was, since you’re ready this.

As you know I met future EGOT Jane in the 80s while co-starring in Starlight Express until my before I was callously cut. Thankfully it was Jane’s undying love and support that saw we through the tragic loss of my role of a lifetime.

Given Jane is a damn comedy icon, I try to see her as much as possible however it has tragically been well over two years since we last got together. As soon as she walked through customs I ran into her arms and started sobbing – some say it was because I missed her so, but we both knew that it was because at the close of today Jacqueline Voorhees will go the way of Jenna Maroney. And that is hard for me to deal with.

Unless Teens does reboot 30 Rock, I guess.

Somehow I managed to pull myself together long enough to drive home, go to the fridge and pull out the ultimate comfort food in the form of a Jane Crackpieski.

 

 

I feel like I am on a bit of a Milk Bar kick at the moment, but you know, when it’s right, it’s right. Any everything they do is right, even when it is a mistake. If you don’t know the story, Christina Tosi made the pie for staff dinner and while it was undercooked and she felt it was a dud, they couldn’t stop eating it and an sweet, addictive icon was born – the Crack Pie®.

And if that doesn’t offer you hope in a post-Kimmy Schmidt world, I don’t know what does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jane Crackpieski
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Oat Cookie
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g muscovado sugar
40g raw caster sugar
1 egg yolk
½ cup flour
120g rolled oats
⅛ tsp baking powder
pinch of baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt

Assembly and filling
180g muscovado sugar, plus 1 tbsp for the base
1 tsp kosher salt, plus ¼ tsp for the base
280g butter, melted – 55g for the base, the rest for the filling
300g raw caster sugar
20g milk powder
24g corn powder
¾ cup double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
8 egg yolks, separated with military precision
icing sugar, for dusting

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Kick things off by working on the oat cookie. Cream the butter and sugars using the paddle attachment on a stand-mixer on medium-high for 3 minutes or so, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the egg, before increasing speed and beat for a further couple of minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients and using the paddle, mix by hand until moist enough to return to the mixer to beat on low until just combined.

Dollop the mixture onto a lined baking sheet and flatten into a 1cm thick splat. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until caramelised, puffed and firmly set. Allow to cool completely.

When you’re ready to get to work on the final product, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the cookie in a food processor with a tablespoon of muscovado sugar and ¼ tsp of salt, and blitz until it is the consistency of wet sand. Add 55g of melted butter and blitz until it comes together as a ball. Transfer the ball into a pie dish and firmly pack to cover the edges in an even thickness.

To make the filling, combine the remaining sugars, with the milk powder, corn powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until evenly blended. Still going, add the remaining butter and mix for 3 minutes or until all the ingredients are moist. Add the double cream and vanilla and continuing mixing for 3 minutes, or until completely combined. Scrape down the side and add the egg yolks, mixing on low speed until it is glossy and combined.

Pour the filling into the pie dish and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown but still jiggly.

Open the oven door and reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and close the door once it has cooled to that temperature. Cook for a further ten minutes, or until firming around the edge but jiggly in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before covering in cling and transferring to the freezer to set. Remove to defrost a couple of hours before you’re ready to serve.

When you’re ready for your mind to be blown, dust with icing sugar, grab a spoon and devour. Greedily. Thankful that we exist at the same time that Milk Bar does.

 

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Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls

Hashbrown: The End, Main, Side, Snack, Street Food

Now I know I said I don’t have favourites when I caught up with Carol way back when – you know, before Dylan and Ellie – but there is no denying that Titus is he true heart and soul of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. From scamming Kimmy in the early episodes, to lemonading and fighting with High Schoolers, Titus has my heart. And that is because of the iconic work of my dear friend Tituss.

Oh and it doesn’t help that he was based off me. Thanks Teens!

While I didn’t meet Tituss until he appeared on 30 Rock, I was blown away by his hilarious performance and immediately attached myself to him. And vowed to get him a damn Emmy one of these days.

Despite not making that a reality – yet – Tituss never throws shade at me when we have our monthly catch up to gossip and gulp down as much pinot noir as humanly possible. Which we obvs just refer to as the gossip and gulp date.

In any event, Tituss was thrilled to add another date to our busy dance card, particularly in light of the end of him playing me. As is oft the case, we laughed, we cried – which is becoming more and more prevalent as the end approaches – and gorged on as much comfort food as possible. Like some Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls.

 

 

Bet you thought I was going to make a red wine themed meal, no? Well instead of going with the literal interpretation, I instead opted to take another phallic symbol and form it into something just as comforting. And how do you go past smokey sausage wrapped in warm, doughy pastry? You can’t.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tituss Burizo & Chicken Rolls
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
300g raw chorizo, casing removed
300g chicken mince
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 rosemary sprig, leaves finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp sesame seeds

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the chorizo, chicken, onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot and rosemary in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch with your hands into it comes together in a cohesive ball.

Cut each piece of puff pastry in half and divide the dough into four. Shape into long sausages and place close to a long edge of each piece of pastry. Tightly roll and cut each into 4-6 pieces and transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam side down.

Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden, flaky and cooked.

 

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Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles

Hashbrown: The End, Main

After kicking off my celebration of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Hashbrown: The End –  catching up with Carol and Dylan, I realised that I needed to circle back to the point and celebrate the titular Kimmy. Aka my dear friend Ellie Kemper.

While I haven’t known Ellie as long as some of the other cast members – I met her in 2011 while visiting Melissa on the set of Bridesmaids – we quickly bonded over our passion for writing and became the best of friends.

Despite being a close personal friend of Tina, I shockingly didn’t organise the casting. It was such a delight to pick up the phone from Tina who was giddy to have found her Kimmy, only to discover it was my dearest friend.

I haven’t seen Ellie since the last Emmys – where I refused to believe the news that Kimmy’s end was nigh – so it was wonderful to spend some time together and absorb the fact that this delightful, quirky show is ending and the world will never be the same.

And our hearts will become a blackened void.

Though I guess that’s where my Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles come into play.

 

 

Chargrilled eggplant topped with a juicy, braised rissole, covered in tomato sauce and cheese? You can’t go wrong, even for the staunchest of anti-eggplanters – the veggie only, obvs – like me.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles
Serves: 6-8, depending on the size of your eggplant.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
1kg beef mince
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
1 tbsp basil, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups passata
½ cup – or more, obvi – mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the slices of eggplant on a lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, flipping once. Remove and drain on some kitchen towel.

Reduce oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince, oregano, basil, garlic and parmesan in a bowl and shape into 16 rissoles.

Place the eggplant slices in the bottom of a baking dish and top each with a rissole. Pour over the passata and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the cheese is golden and the rissoles cooked through.

Serve immediately with a big heaping of Gabriel Mash or on their own. Or with salad. I don’t mind, the most important thing is you devour.

 

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Quesadylan Chipotlula Chicken

Hashbrown: The End, Main, Snack, Street Food

Now I know Kimmy Schmidt only has four main cast members, but I couldn’t go past honouring one of the wider ensemble members before the show comes to an end. While Amy Sedaris is still someone I need to catch-up with ASAP, it is Dylan Gelula who I felt deserved a date given Xanthippe’s relationship with Kimmy provided me with so much joy when it first started.

I first met Dylan on the set of Jennifer Falls where I was working as Jessica Walter’s self-appointed bodyguard – I couldn’t trust Jeffrey Tambor not to appear and verbally assault her – but was taken by the young upstart’s talent. And ability to hold her own against Jess and the equally iconic Jaime Pressly.

When Tina first brought Unbreakable to me, she was hoping I would play Xanthippe – then named Benthippe – though I was too busy making bad choices and made a bad choice for my career. And a great choice creatively, suggesting she gender flip the role and cast Dyl.

You’re welcome.

I haven’t seen Dylan since filming the earlier seasons, so it was a treat to look back on how far she has come and for me to bait her into thanking me for giving her the big break. Thankfully she was a sweetie and before I had even mentioned that I would be serving a big plate of Quesadylan Chipotlula Chicken, she was talking about how wonderful my support has been.

 

 

You know I love my chilli to liquify my insides and given me the hiccups and the table, and these babies don’t fail. Piping hot, smokey and a little bit sweet, they’re the perfect food to honour the fire she brought to the role.

Enjoy!

 

 

Quesadylan Chipotlula Chicken
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
200g can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
400g can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
salt and black pepper, to taste
3 cups roast chicken, roughly chopped
8 tortillas
3 cups grated cheese
Guacamole, sour cream and lime, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and sweat the onions for five minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, or until fragrant. Quickly add the chipotle in adobo, tomatoes and sugar with a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and stir through the chicken until heated through.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, sprinkle cheese on a half of each tortilla – in a half-moon, ya dig? Split the chicken amongst the tortillas and spread to cover the cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and fold the tortillas closed to form semi-circles. Press firmly and transfer to a lined baking sheet.

Place in the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp. Cut into wedges and serve piping hot with guac, sour cream and a fresh squeeze of lime juice.

Devour.

 

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Sidecarol Kane

Drink, Hashbrown: The End

It is truly hard to pick a favourite character on Kimmy Schmidt. I mean, Titus is iconic, Jacqueline is Jacqueline, Kimmy is adorable and sweet but I will always have a special place in my heart from Lillian. Maybe because we both rent out apartments without floors or more likely because Carol Kane is an absolute damn delight!

Though to be completely honest, I do not and will not ever choose a favourite so DON’T bring it up again.

I first met Carol on the set of Annie Hall when I was part of Diane’s entourage and we bonded over the pain of trying to manage our naturally curly manes. I mean, everyone loves the concept of curly hair but it can be a total pain – particularly in heat or humidity – and that is something that only a curly can understand.

Somehow we’ve both managed to achieve great success despite the stress of our luscious, time consuming manes, so we don’t get to see as much of each other as we would like. No joke, we haven’t seen each other since 2006 and TBH it is probably the thing that keeps me up at night.

As a dear friend to both, I was on hand for the Madame Morrible changeover between Rue and her in Wicked, and we’ve been too busy to catch-up. Thankfully the end of Kimmy does offer us one positive, in that she had enough free time to jet down, reconnect, vow not to go so long between drinks and toast her success with a Sidecarol Kane. At it was amazing.

 

 

It should be extremely obvious by now that I will – and have – suck the alcohol out of deodorant if required, so it goes without saying that I find this delicious. But you will too – a little bit of tang and a whole lot of punch, it is the perfect way to honour a delightful show. And an even more delightful icon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sidecarol Kane
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
2 shots brandy
1 shot orange liqueur
1 tbsp lemon juice
ice

Method
Pour the brandy, liqueur and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker and give a good ol’ shake.

Pour into an old fashioned glass filled with ice.

Down.

 

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Hashbrown: The End

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Hashbrown: The End

Sit down and pour yourself a big glass of pinot noir because Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s end is nigh, and if that isn’t a reason to start living your life in ten second increments, I don’t know what is.

Unless you too were kidnapped by Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne and held in a bunker for the last four years, you would know that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of the greatest shows of all time. Given it is from the mind of Tina Fey though, we shouldn’t be shocked. And I am totally set to go all Kanye-on-Taylor on the winner of Best Comedy at this year’s Emmy if it doesn’t finally receive some love.

Oh and I guess congrats on being a mole woman if you were in the John Hamm bunker!

So try and relax, get gussied up and look like a million bucks – I’m sure that is a compliment to a non-celeb – and prepare to live as good as a werewolf while celebrating the too short life of Kimmy. And Kymmi too, I guess.

What do I make for the cast as they blimp in?

Image source: NBCUniversal / Netflix.

 

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.

Laceberry Sherbet

Dessert, Snack, Sweets, That Is So Fetch Week

Today marks the end of our first publicised Mean Girls day celebration, That’s So Fetch Week. And while that is probably going to leave you with a feeling of crushing emptiness, be glad that you got to experience the joys of celebrating with Mands, Dan Fran, Jono, Lizzy, Rachel and now Lacey.

Well, by association at least.

I’ve known Lacey for over two decades after meeting through Susan and Kelly on the set of All My Children. As with Mands and Lizzy, I was blown away by her talent and vowed to make her a star.

That led to Party of Five and The Wild Thornberrys, which would have been enough of a success without throwing in the role of a lifetime in Gretchen Weiners. Heiress of toaster strudels and key player in making fetch happen.

Given her current status as the queen of Lifetime Christmas movies, I am super proud of Lacey and can’t even be mad that we don’t see each other as often as we like. As soon as she walked off the plane we ran into each other’s arms, sped to my home and caught up on this year’s crop of Lifetime films over a big bowl of Laceberry Sherbet.

 

 

While it appears to be a bit too healthy for my liking, I assure you that this sherbert is hella delicious. Not the powdered type like Michelle Sherbert, this frozen fruit delight packs a strong raspberry flavour and fills you with boundless joy. Which is not an overstatement.

Enjoy!

 

 

Laceberry Sherbet
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
500g raspberries, thawed
1 ½ cups milk
⅔ cup raw caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced

Method
Blitz everything in a food processor until smooth.

Strain through a sieve to get rids of any leftover solids or seeds.

Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn for twenty minutes or until the consistency of soft serve. Transfer to a container and freeze overnight, before devouring.

 

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Rachon McAndcheesems

Main, Pasta, That Is So Fetch Week

While I am heartbroken to confirm that yes, this year’s Mean Girls day celebration, That’s So Fetch, is almost over, rejoice, because the queen bee herself is finally here! That is right, my dear friend Rachel McAdams aka Regina George is finally making her debut on this patch of cyberspace.

Despite only meeting on the set of Mean Girls, we quickly became the best of friends after she survived my Mr G-esque strength training to see whether she had what it takes to play Regina aka the worst parts of my character.

I was blown away by how someone so nice could so brilliantly capture how fundamentally awful I am, and decided to get her to show me how to be nice. While she failed at first and I lashed out, we reunited on the set of my then-boyfriend’s movie The Notebook, and we remained the best of friends. To the point where I gave her my blessing to pursue him after our relationship ended.

Anyway, I haven’t seen Rach since her son’s christening – I am obvs, godfather – so it was such a joy to reconnect, laugh about our fun times on set with Linds, Teens, Ames, Mands, Dan Fran, Jono and Lizzy – and Lacey, but obvi I can’t say that yet – whilst smashing a Rachon McAndcheesems.

 

 

Now I know mac and cheeses are fast becoming an over-catered market on this patch of cyberspace, I dare you to explain how the addition of bacon doesn’t send this to the next level. I mean, name a more iconic duo than bacon and cheese. I’ll wait.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rachon McAndcheesems
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g macaroni
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 shallots, sliced
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour, plus extra for dredging
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups milk
150g parmesan cheese
250g cheddar cheese, plus extra for crumblin’

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Get the pasta cooking as per the packet instructions and cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat for five minutes, or until nice and crisp. Add the garlic and shallots, and cook for a further minute. Add the butter to melt, and once foamy, add the flour, chilli, paprika, mustard and a cook whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and stir through the milk until smooth and combined. Add the cheeses to the saucepan and return to the heat until melted and combined.

By this point the pasta should be done, so drain and add to the saucepan and stir until well combined. Pour into a baking dish, top with additional cheese – potentially more than included in the dish, but who am I to say – and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes.

Serve fresh and molten hot, obvi being careful whilst devouring.

 

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Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

As you will soon start to notice is a pattern, like Amanda – though unlike Dan or Jon – I am the reason that Lizzy Caplan scored the role of Janis Ian and as such, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join me and help celebrate this year’s Mean Girls’ Day celebration, That’s So Fetch Week.

Not that it wasn’t optional though, of course. Honestly.

Anyway, I met Lizzy through Seth Rogen and current Survivor cast-member Mike White on the set of Freaks & Geeks. While it was only her acting debut, she completely blew me away and I deemed her worthy of my tutelage.

Given I am an excellent teacher – don’t you dare say anything about those unable to do, teach – I finesse her skills and within a couple of years, she was knocking on Teens’ door and making her way onto the A-list.

Lizzy’s career has absolutely blown up following her breakout performance in Masters of Sex, so we sadly haven’t been able to pal around as often as we’d like. Thankfully as soon as she heard Mean Girls celebration, she dropped everything, ran into my home and giddily reminisced over a big old Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine.

 

 

There is nothing I love more than a tajine, if only for the general festive look of a tajine. Add in succulent chicken and the tart kick of lemon and olives, and I am in heaven. Heaven I tells ya!

Enjoy!

 

 

Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
¼ tsp saffron threads
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric
salt and pepper, to taste
8 chicken thighs, bones in
olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 cinnamon quill
⅓ cup green olives, pitted and halved
2 Preserved Lemonika Radulovic, flesh removed and cut into strips
2 cups chicken stock
½ lemon, juiced
parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish

Method
Combine the garlic, ginger, saffron, paprika, cumin, chilli, coriander and turmeric with a a good whack of salt and pepper and blitz with a stick blender to form a thick paste. Rub the chicken thighs with the fragrant glob, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to rock, heat a lug of oil in the base of our tajine and sweat the onions on low for about ten minutes. Add the chicken thighs and seal on both sides. Add the cinnamon, olives, preserved lemon and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for half an hour.

When the chicken is completely falling off the bone, remove from the heat, stir through the lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve immediately on a bed of couscous and devour.

 

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Jonathan Dan Bennoodles

Main, That Is So Fetch Week

Hey, do you know what day it is? Of course you do! It’s October 3rd aka Mean Girls Day aka the entire reason for this year’s That’s So Fetch Week going public. I know you were probably hoping that Tina or Linds would be dropping by, but they have both already gone here … and Linds is still busy stopping that child trafficking ring. So following in Mands and Dan’s footsteps is none other than Aaron Samuels himself, Jonathan Bennett.

Aka the entire reason we have Mean Girls day.

As I alluded to yesterday, Dan Fran and I had a tragic break-up on the set of Mean Girls due by my infatuation for Jonathan which culminated in our torrid affair. Tragically it ended too – maybe because I am too much like Regina George – but Jono and I have been the best of friends ever since.

Hell, I even forgave him for writing the Mean Girls Cookbook without me, that is how close we are. Though considering he chose to go with an actual chef over someone that tries things he finds only and quadruples the garlic content and adds chilli, I really had no right being offended in the first place.

Giving how busy he has been successfully writing a cookbook and hosting a baking show, Jon and I haven’t seen as much of each other as we would like lately. I mean, as besties we Skype each day, particularly since I introduced him to his Amazing Race-r boyfie Jaymes, but there is nothing like the real thing of hanging out with your friends in the same room. Smashing some Jonathan Dan Bennoodles.

 

 

Once again proving my non-chef credentials, this dan dan was inspired by a couple of recipes I found online though hella simplified. And probably nothing like how it should taste. Rich, nutty, spicy and fresh, this baby will fill you with joy and put a fire in your belly. Given the heaping of chilli, obvi.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jonathan Dan Bennoodles
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
500g pork mince
3 tbsp Chinese chilli oil
1 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
½ tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp raw caster sugar
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
400g udon noodles, cooked as per packet instructions
1 cup baby spinach
1 bok choy, quartered
1 shallot, sliced

Method
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat and cook the garlic and ginger for a minute. Add the mince and cook for a further couple of minutes before reducing the heat to medium and adding the chilli oil, spices, sauces, sugar, stock and peanut butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce reduces.

Cook the udon as per packet instructions and add a tablespoon of cooking water to the pan if it starts to get too thick. Add the baby spinach and bok choy to the pan, and cook until heated through before tossing through the noodles.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with shallots and devour. Because it’s October 3rd.

 

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