Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto

Main, Survivor, Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water

I know I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to the twist of the upcoming season of Survivor but I am still excited because, well, it is Survivor. And for every One World or Redemption Island, there is a China or Heroes vs. Villians, which is something I am eternally grateful for. Plus – One World gave us Kim and Redemption Island gave us Russell’s pimpled, ingrown-haired armpits.

But I’ve been waylaid – I am here to celebrate one of my favourite Sole Survivors slash two-time The Amazing Race contestant and the cherry on top of San Juan Del Sur’s twinnie bookends, my girl Natalie Anderson.

Like Bob before her, I didn’t meet Nat until after her first reality TV stint – I am a close, personal friend of the Beekman’s – however the friendship quickly blossomed. And I played a critical role in getting her a spot on San Juan Del Sur and her well deserved win.

While people tire of the constant bartering and handing out rewards as treats, San Juan Del Sur is an unpredictable season and Natalie’s arc from wounded surviving Twinnie to vengeful powerplayer after Jeremy’s boot is one of the greats.

Add to that a beautiful idol play, a masterful ‘accidental’ blindside to save Keith and dragging him along as a meatshield to guarantee a path to the end puts her in my top ten favourite winners. And more than worthy of a hearty Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto whenever she damn wants!

 

 

There is nothing quite as comforting and glorious as a risotto. I don’t know if it is the creamy rice or the liquor, but it always fills me with joy when I’m feeling blue. Add in mushies and bacon, and I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 ⅓ cups arborio rice
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
200g baby spinach leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring the stock to a simmer over low heat and heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Once nice and foamy, add the leek and garlic and sweat for five minutes. Add the bacon and cook for a further couple of minutes or until the kitchen is fragrant and glorious.

Add the rice to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to get translucent around the edges. Working a ladleful at a time, add the stock to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, waiting until the stock has been absorbed before adding the next.

Once all the stock has been used up, add the mushrooms, spinach and thyme, and cook for a further couple of minutes. Stir through the parmesan and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, slathered in more cheese and then devour.

 

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Bobcorn Chicken Crowley

Main, Poultry, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Gabon

We’re less than two weeks away from someone joining the Francesca Hogi Memorial First Boot Club – well technically, who knows with extinction in play – and as such it is high time to corral another Sole Survivor to drop by and celebrate.

Side note: can you believe I am one victor away from completing the winner’s circle? Well, two given Brian Heidik shoots puppies and will never appear here.

Anyway, given that our best shot is for this season to be an epic disaster that manages to be entertaining, I thought it was finally time to catch up with my dear friend Bob Crowley. Aka victor of one of the most chaotic and beautifully entertaining seasons of all time, Gabon.

While I didn’t know Bob until after his win, we became the best of friends as soon as Sugar introduced us. Some may say it was his out of the box buff wearing that saw him snatch my heart, and well, they are totally right. And that is why we’ve never fought a day after our beautiful friendship.

Despite being one vote away from being bested by Susie, Bob’s win is one of the greatest possible outcomes for a season as insane as Gabon. I mean, it would be like Angelina winning David vs. Goliath. Sure Matty dominated physically, the onions were nasty and Sugar controlled the game, Bob managed to find his footing against all odds, made a stunning fake idol and leveraged Sugar’s emotions to get to the end.

And if that isn’t worthy of a bowl of Bobcorn Chicken Crowley, I don’t know what is.

 

 

You know I love me some fried chicken slash take-away copycats, so this baby pretty much has it all. Spicy, crunchy itty-bitty pieces of chicken – the perfect way to feel like you’ve eaten less, while getting optimal batter to meat quantity. Perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bobcorn Chicken Crowley
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
⅔ tsp salt
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil
⅓ tsp oregano
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp white pepper
500g chicken breast, cut into popcorn sized chunks
1 cup buttermilk
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Combine the flour through white pepper in a large bowl and place the buttermilk in another. Toss the chicken through the buttermilk, then in the flour mixture to coat thoroughly.

Bring 1 inch deep oil to heat – around 180°C – in a large pot. Once shimmering with heat, add the chicken a handful of pieces at a time – size, not literally with your hands since the oil – and fry for about five minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain slightly and repeat the process until done.

Devour immediately. With or without your fave sauce.

 

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Juicy Lucy Liu

Burgers, Main, Street Food

It is not often I will cop to being wrong, but I am so glad that I’ve finally been able to swallow my pride and admit that despite not being my genre, Elementary appears to be a decent show and didn’t die within episodes of airing. And I shouldn’t have scoffed at my dear Lucy for taking the role.

Oh and I am sorry for refusing to talk to her until the show is axed and she admits I was right. Because I wasn’t.

Thankfully Lucy has always known that I can be a volatile person – she did meet me when guesting on Bev Hills, after all – so she took my apology at face value and we quickly caught up on everything we’ve been doing the last almost-decade.

While she isn’t as hopeful that I’ll be able to coax our girl Drew, Cameron D and Destiny to reform for a third Charlie’s Angels movie – I did get a third Sister Act to happen though, even if it won’t be a damn sequel – it was nice to spitball ideas and be in each other’s company.

Given outlining the entire plot of a sure-to-be-Oscar-winning film is tiring and time consuming, I knew that we would need a special combination of comfort and heartiness. As such, we gladly tucked in to a good, ol’ fashioned Jucy Lucy Liu to toast our hopeful success.

 

 

While there is a battle between where the Juicy – or jucy – Lucy originated, I like to think it was invented by whichever Tom served it up on Vanderpump Rules a few weeks back. Whoever did create this beauty however, I salute you. Meat injected with hot, hot cheese in the middle of a dripping bun? Sign. Me. UP.

Enjoy!

 

 

Juicy Lucy Liu
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper, to taste
2 slices American cheese, cut into quarters
vegetable oil
2 pickles, sliced
2 Kirsten Bunst
Ketchup, mustard and Shayonnaise Swain, to serve

Method
Combine the mince, Worcestershire and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and a great whack of pepper. Once it is well a truly and cohesive mound, divide into four and press into patties.

Take two of said patties and stack a slice’s worth of cheese quarters in the centre and top with the remaining patties. Press the edges to firmly enclose and leave to rest at room temperature for ten minutes.

Heat a good lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and once scorching, add the patties and cook for five minutes. Flip and cook for a further five, before removing from the heat.

To serve, split and toast the buns. Slather one side with mayo and mustard, and the other with ketchup. Place gherkins on the base,  top with the filled patty and close.

Devour, weary of the molten cheese that could burst out and destroy your face, lips or mouth at any moment.

 

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Novak Gnoccovich

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

Oh my goodness, Novie is just the sweetest damn thing in the world.

He ran into my arms at the secret security exit of Brisbane Airport – the one made famous by Schapelle Corby, FYI – and said, “I’m so glad you invited me to appear on your anthropological study! I feel like time spent with you will be what pushes me to another grand slam victory.”

I mean, come on. That is adorable and brings a tear to my cold dead heart.

I’ve known Novak for years, meeting in 2005 at the Australian Open. As you know, I am well respected in the tennis community and I was on hand to offer unsolicited advice to people that lost their matches. To help them be better, you know?

While most people balked at my advice and labelled it useless, ill conceived and offensive, Novak appreciated my efforts and we became the best of friends. Well second-best of friends, because Rog.

Nov hasn’t had the best run at the last couple of Opens so was excited by the prospect of my magic touch helping him to glory and hand him the Male Singles record outright. And given how magical my Novak Gnoccovich is, I have a good feeling he’ll be taking out the win.

 

 

Earthy mushrooms and delicate gnocchi bathed in a rich creamy sauce … and THEN covered by a tonne of parmesan and cut by lemon juice. It is heaven. HEAVEN I tell you!

Enjoy!

 

 

Novak Gnoccovich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp butter
500g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup ricotta
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp sage, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
500g fresh gnocchi
parmesan, to garnish

Method
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally for ten minutes or so, or until the liquid has all absorbed. Add the remaining butter and flour and cook for a minute, or until it has lost its flouriness.

Remove from the heat and slowly stir through the chicken stock. Return to heat and bring to the boil, before reducing heat to low and simmering for ten minutes. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice, sage and chilli, and cook for a further five minutes.

At this point, cook the gnocchi as per the packet instructions or recipe. Once done, drain and add to the creamy sauce. Serve immediately and top with a generous handful of parmesan.

Devour!

 

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Diavollen Pizza

Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Main, Pizza, Street Food

I can’t believe we’ve arrived at day four of this year’s Golden Globes Gold, Goldy Bird which is also doubling as my triumphant return to internet glory. I mean, it feels like only yesterday I was sitting down with Ryan, Katey and Rich. I guess in Rich’s case, that is because it was yesterday. But anyway, I decided there was no better person to hang out with and round out the Motion Picture Awards than my dear, dear friend Diane Warren.

I first met Di in the late ‘80s while working on Mannequin. As you know, I was on set with my dear friend Estelle when I heard her humming what would become the hit theme song Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. I was blown away by her talent, and immediately approached her in the hope of striking up a friendship and riding her coattails.

But plot twist, before a single word left my mouth she admitted that it was my beauty and the chemistry I shared with Andrew McCarthy that inspired her to write the song. And she asked my to move in with her and be her muse.

Which I did, until my epic tirade at the ‘99 Academy Awards that led to me being blacklisted from the Academy and she had to distance herself from me. While she could appreciate my rage that she and Cate Blanchett both lost, she had to set me free and we lost contact for a few years.

Until a young girl called Gaga brought us back together, which is another story for another time.

It was so good to be able to see her again, reconnect and celebrate our dear Gaga, before sitting down and discuss the final two Motion Picture categories, Score and Song. Obviously we’re both backing Gaga for Song, though I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if Kendrick Lamar snagged it for All the Stars. And I would obviously love my two dear friends Dolly and Linda to snag a win. As far as the Scores go, Justin Horowitz’s is near perfection in First Man and as such, we both think it would win. Though I would argue this category is essentially wide open.

With that, I said farewell to the Motion Picture odds and we sat down for a big slice of Diavollen Pizza to toast to our ongoing successes.

 

 

While you may not remember given my part-time relationship with this anthropological study last year, I have a passion for anything so hot and spicy that it can liquify my organs. And this inferno salame pizza is one of my favourite vehicles, hot, meaty sausage, pillowy dough and drippy cheese, there is nothing I would love in my mouth more.

Enjoy!

 

 

Diavollen Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup passata
a small handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped
1 cup grated mozzarella
¼ cup basil leaves
200g hot inferno salame

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with passata and herbs. Sprinkle with the cheese, followed by the basil and the salame.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately.

 

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Gnocchalie Boscaiola

Main, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the tribes joined Jeff on a beach where they were told to drop there buffs – after Bi’s medequit, not that they seem to care – with the OG Davids at a disadvantage on each of the tribes. Carl was left tribeless and sent to exile island, which did come with an advantage in being immune from the upcoming tribal – and joining the losing tribe – and snatching an idol nullifier from the clutches of the ocean. But back to joining a tribe, he would be joining the tribe formerly known as David – Vuku – after they lost the immunity challenge. Despite having a Goliath advantage, Alec grew tired of his allies and joined the Davids to get rid of Natalia and keep my pizza curse going.

Back at camp Kara and Alec quickly introduced themselves to Carl before going aside to discuss what the hell happened at tribal. Kara thankfully played the situation perfectly, congratulating him on his move but questioning where that leaves her now that he is their hero. While he assured her that they are simply numbers for them to use, I don’t think he realises he is now in the minority.

The next day we checked in with the newly formed Tiva tribe where Gabby was encouraging the tribe to enjoy the positive vibes from the sun … as a massive storm rolled in and started to pummel all of the tribes. Not that it seemed to bother Natalie on Jabeni, who was just living her life as rain and wind lashed her face. She then told the producers it is probably time for them all to go. Tivas sign blew over, the camps flooded and they all became Davids as mother nature dominated them – thanks Christian – and they were evacuated from their beaches.

A couple of days later they returned to discover their camps destroyed, learning that in addition to playing the game they would be rebuilding their two week old camps. At Tiva Alison was overwhelmed by the pace of the game, which wasn’t slowly down as Jeff returned for the reward challenge. The tribes were required to retrieve sandbags from a net, being shooting them at two targets with slingshots. The prize was four chickens for first and eggs for second, begging the question, will the chickens be evacuated during the next cyclone? Anywho John looked like a total bae – are you a bae, or just bae? – while getting Tiva out to an early lead, while Nick and Alec appeared to be slowed down by Mike and Davie respectively. Dan seemed to struggle with the targets however, allowing Alec and Elizabeth to snatch victory for Vuku while Jabeni snatched second place just after Dan scored his first point.

Vuku were delighted to return to their destroyed camp to discover their new chickens, while Kara started working on the Davids to get them to turn on Alec. She went to her semi best friend Elizabeth to check her chances of staying over Alec and while Elizabeth likes her, she knows Kara is more loyal to the Goliaths and as such, Alec is the one she needs to keep. Meanwhile over at Jabeni, Angelina was delighted to finally have some protein in the form of eggs. As was Natalie, who wanted them to cook all the eggs instead of letting them go off, despite culinary school grad Lyrsa trying to explain that won’t happen. Natalie wandered off after napalming her way to victory, leaving Lyrsa to lament to Mike that she just wants to make it to the merge and not play with Natalie anymore. Mike obviously then jumped in to explain that he has had nine more days of it and he too, is sick of it,

The next day Christian was still bonding with John and Dan, christening themselves the brochachos. This made Dan nervous however, as their bond makes Gabby more of an outsider and that could trigger her to find an idol and get rid of one of them. As such he went hunting for the Tiva idol and while he failed, he did find a clue to the idol which would be hidden at the upcoming immunity challenge and give him his second of the game. And made the former fat kid feel like a Goliath. Swoon.

Jeffrey returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to run over an obstacle, lift and climb a ladder, raise and cross a bridge, retrieve a ball and guide it through an upright maze. Oh and Dan chose to only wear jocks and a tee, so hopefully him trying to hide the idol turns out like Sharn’s fail. Vuku and Tiva were neck and neck while Jabeni desperately tried to close the gap. Dan casually tried to make his way back to collect the idol – which based on the side-package he is rocking, should remain hidden – which he did, as Alec and John made a play for my heart working on the maze with their buns on display. While Nick managed to close the gap and take the lead, Christian tapped out with John and he and Alec quickly re-closed the gap, snatching immunity for themselves and sending Jabeni to their first tribal council.

Back at camp Lyrsa confirmed that she is definitely planning to get rid of Natalie, while Natalie led the charge to vote out Lyrsa, since Nick is stronger in challenges. Despite Nick losing the challenge. Angelina brought up the side-benefit of getting rid of Lyrsa, since she has a jacket that Angelina wants since it is super cold and she doesn’t have one. She then asked Natalie to find a way to get the jacket, leading to her approaching Nick and telling him to give up his jacket, steal Lyrsa’s or risk being voted out. Obviously he didn’t stand for this bullying, told Lyrsa and approached Mike to turn the tables on Natalie without activating the napalm. Nick and Mike decided that they needed to get Angelina on board and while she assured them she was all in, she was scared about the repercussions with the OG Goliaths.

At tribal council Angelina was still worried about the OG tribal numbers and staying Goliath strong, while Lyrsa quickly pointed out that clearly wasn’t the case since Natalia is gone. Natalie defended their Goliath strong mentality – Kellyn flashbacks – and assured them she is never the centre of drama and is quite laid back. She then brought up boiling the eggs and Lyrsa explained that she understands how to cook since she went to culinary school, before Natalie said that it should have been two people making the decision rather than the pack talking about it, Angelina tried to explain it away as liking to be efficient but sometimes not taking people on the journey with her, Mike explained she has strong opinions about a lot of things and poor Queen Natalie was shocked to learn she had issues with people.

Nick finally joined the fray and brought up jacketgate, which Natalie explained was a negotiation not bullying. While Lyrsa and Nick continued to argue that it was unfair, Natalie continued to defend it as a negotiation and didn’t throw Angelina under the bus. Sick of waiting for Angelina to jump in, Queen Natalie prompted her to admit the jacket was for her which she eventually did. Though it definitely wasn’t enough to save our Queen, as Mike joined with the Davids to take out Natalie and her napalm, as poor Angelina was left to beg for her to leave her jacket behind. Which fell on deaf ears and while I like Angelina, it was glorious.

My dear friend and mentor ran into my arms at Loser Lodge and despite being fresh out of the doom and gloom of the game, took me in her arms, wrapped me up in her jacket and chastised me for looking so cold. Which TBH is v. on brand for this season’s queen, caring and bossy. Not that the castaways would let you believe she is caring.

Anyway as a fellow journo/writer/publisher, I’ve known Natalie for years and we’re the best of friends – obvi – so I knew the only thing she could stomach after a blindside would be a piping hot Gnocchalie Boscaiola.

 

 

Gloriously soft gnocchi – lest you want to piss of Nat – slathered in the perfection of a rich creamy, sweet, salty boscaiola sauce, may look suspiciously like what I served up for Kylie Evans but I can assure you they’re different. This has mushrooms, after all.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gnocchalie Boscaiola
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
200g mushrooms, sliced
6 rashers streaky bacon, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chilli flakes
300ml cream
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
500g packet potato gnocchi, I wasn’t risking pissing off Nat with a dud
2 cups baby spinach
½ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste
small handful parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and cook the mushrooms, bacon, garlic and chilli for five minutes or until the kitchen is hella fragrant. Add the cream and peas, bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes.

Cook the gnocchi as per packet instructions.

Once the sauce has slightly reduced, add the spinach, parmesan and a good whack of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Remove from heat, stir through the gnocchi and serve sprinkled with parsley.

Devour.

 

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Biffalo Nguchicken Burgers

Burgers, Main, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the David tribe continued to face setback after setback, losing Pat in a freak accident before casting Jessica aside after losing the second immunity challenge. Things looked like they were starting to look up after they won the third immunity challenge, however their only physical asset Bi injured her MCL and as such, that will probably be their only one. Meanwhile over at the Goliaths, Natalie continued to rub people the wrong way until Angelina decided that getting rid of Jeremy was the more pressing issue and convinced everyone to get rid of him instead.

We forwent any camp action and instead returned to see Jeff for the latest challenge where the Davids were shocked to discover that Jeremy went. No sooner than everyone reacted to said news, Bi announced that due to her injury, as an athlete, she needs to leave the game to recover.

This made Angelina emotional for Bi being pushed to the point where she had to make that decision and they all gave up so much to play the game. She wished everyone well, was saddened to be leaving her motley crew and bam, Jeff sent her to the shore to wait for a boat to get the hell out of there.

She eventually arrived at Loser Lodge after lingering by the shore, disappointed about her injury but ultimately happy with the decision that she made. Despite shady lady Jeffy Pop branding it a quit, rather than a medevac or at the very least a medequit, I avoided going on a tirade – because he will always be BAE – by whipping out some freshly fried Biffalo Nguchicken Burgers.

 

 

Burgers are delicious and buffalo chicken flavoured anything is delicious, so it stands to reason that buffalo chicken burgers would be delicious. Which they are, based on the speed Bi and I forgot about her busted knee while smashing them.

Crispy Farrah Moaned Chicken, buttery hot wings sauce and a generous heap of Slawren Rimmer, this little number combines the best of reality TV recipes to fill you with unending joy.

So, en-joy!

 

 

Biffalo Nguchicken Burgers
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 Kirsten Bunst
2 pieces Farrah Moaned Chicken
1 serve Slawren Rimmer
¼ cup Frank’s hot sauce
3 tbsp melted butter
100g blue cheese, crumbled

Method
Cook the buns, chicken and slaw as per their respective ingredients.

Place the hot sauce and butter in a saucepan and cook, stirring, until well combined.

To assemble, slice and toast the buns. Place a heaping of slaw on the base, top with fried chicken, a crumbling of blue cheese and drizzle in sauce.

Devour immediately.

 

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