Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté

Baking, Bread, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Side, Snack

Previously on Drag Race, Ru got nice and meta by tasking the dolls with filming two parody super-tease commercials for their own season. Obviously madness ensued as Maddy made up that her dads cast her out for being straight, DeJa hilariously broke down over being born when she was young and Angeria continued her charming ways. At the other end of the spectrum, Kerri was read for not going ugly enough, Alyssa for being one note and Kornbread for not giving enough levels – complete with a slow-mo, mid-fake-tantrum! Ultimately Angeria rightly took out another victory for slaying the commercial and the J-Lo runway, while Kerri destroyed the lipsync in the actual green J-Lo dressing, saving herself and sending Alyssa home from the competition.

Backstage the dolls were heartbroken to see sweet Alyssa go home, while Kerri was just proud to have shown the girls what she is made of. Despite the fact she wished she was doing better in the competition, she was also glad to be able to get feedback and learn the judges wanted Scary Kerri to come back. The dolls took a seat and congratulated Angeria on her victory, while Bosco just wished she was cutting through as much Angeria with the judges. Kornbread meanwhile shared that she was heartbroken to have been in the bottom, though more than ready for her redemption. Oh and like Bosco, Camden was sick of continually being safe and was ready to star.

And YAS, we’re entering the era of Bosco and Camden, aren’t we?

The next day the queens returned to the Werk Room, with Kornbread conspicuously missing from the line-up. Before they could get answers, Ru arrived to announce that poor Kornbread’s onkle LITERALLY went cleek and that doctors advised that she would have to stay off her feet for two months and as such, was leaving the competition. In a filmed message to the girls, she praised Kerri for being the monster within, encouraged Jasmine to speak enough to the two of them and reminded Willow to look after herself. But also to throw away her damn flip flops. This got Willow ugly crying and ugh, I love them all.

While everyone was heartbroken to lose sweet Kornbread, Daya was thrilled that there was now one less front runner to contend with. Oh and Ru also announced that Kornbread didn’t have the golden ticket, so it is still in play for one of the remaining dolls.

We then did a hard pivot as the Pit Crew arrived to help split the girls into groups for the upcoming Maxi Challenge. One by one, the dolls would have to dirty dance with the hunks – oh god, am I old?! – until they pop their balloon bussies, with the confetti inside deciding which group they’re in. Bosco went first and blew green confetti, Jasmine got purple confetti all over Bryce’s back while Bruno had to power bottom to announce DeJa was on the orange team. Maddy poorly topped for the first time before landing on the purple team before Kerri effortlessly exploded to land on team orange. Daya and Camden got green while Jorgeous just couldn’t top before power-bottoming on to the orange team. While an orgy left Orion on purple and Angeria on orange.

Ru then wheeled out Tempest DeJour – complete with matching shirt to Daya – Jaymes Mansfield and Kahmora Hall before Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, each group would be making a PSA for the Save a Queen foundation, which supports first eliminated queens. With that, Tempest went to team Orange, Purple snagged Jaymes Mansfield while Team Green got the iconic Kahmora Hall.

The groups immediately split up to get to know their first boot sisters, with Tempest quickly looking after her babies and inspiring them to go in on her age, given that is the drama that surrounded her one-episode arc in Season 7. Despite Tempest keeping them focused and motivated, poor Jorgeous was super overwhelmed and nervous as public speaking is her weakness. Meanwhile over at Team Jaymes, Maddy opted to focus the PSA on giving her a second chance while Orion was just being mean. Which is hilarious. Maddy and Willow were a dream team with the scripting however, while Willow and Jasmine were just awkwardly off to the side watching the back and forth.

Ru ru-turned to kiki with the teams with Team Kahmora talking about the importance of keeping Kahmora in on the joke and given she is delightful, I feel this will be fun. Ru told Camden to think about a serious issue close to her heart to connect with the fake emotion required, with her literally just repeating the sentence back to Ru rather than sharing an issue. Ru then popped on his shady boots, pointing out Camden, Daya and Bosco have never been in the top, so wondered how they will make this work out for them.

When Team Jaymes jumped up, Jaymes shared how great her career has been despite being a first boot. Maddy led most of the discussion, while Orion was super nervous about getting the challenge done, given PSAs usually make her sad. Which made Willow nervous about how to land their characters. Team Tempest meanwhile were confident, with Angeria glad to mock her age as Tempest assured them she wants them to go really rude. Ru reminded them they need to play it straight, given being too jokey will give it away. Jorgeous took that to mean ditsier and cutesier and girl, please get out of your head because I love you.

We then followed Team Tempest to the set where they filmed in front of Michelle, where Jorgeous ripped off the band-aid but sadly couldn’t get her rhymes in during the allotted time. DeJa meanwhile got stuck in her head and forgot all her lines and while it appeared like that was contagious, Angeria rallied and knocked it out of the park. Oh and Kerri’s version of ugly was popping on glasses. Which is offensive to my bad eyesight, despite me loving her.

When Team Kahmora took stage, Bosco immediately took charge and directed the shoot and well, it was joyous, perfect and demented. Camden leant into her accent and was completely perfect, despite being a little quiet. Bosco on the other hand, was not quiet and lent into things with full rage. And then Daya gave full newsreader realness and damn, this is the group to beat.

Wait Jaymes Mansfield looks perfect and ugh, they could challenge her. Orion was in a jumpsuit while the rest served weather girl realness, with Maddy strong and Willow perfection – as usual – while Orion was sadly a little one note and Jasmine gave us the Count from Sesame Street realness leading to an EPIC read from Maddy which was perfect.

One bad take, ugh ugh ugh. Two bad takes …

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls quickly splitting up to beat their mugs with Daya, Bosco and Camden feeling confident in their PSA, while Camden was nervous she’d once again be safe. Bosco praised them both for nailing the entire thing while Jorgeous watched on awkwardly since she was counting on them bombing to save herself. Jasmine and Maddy kikied with the latter feeling very confident while Jasmine was super nervous given filming was a struggle for her. Orion meanwhile was feeling good and glad that she tried super hard, which made Jasmine nervous for her given she was kinda flat.

Jasmine moved on to talk to Jorgeous to chat about their first time in drag, with Jorgeous sharing that she started when she was only 16 at pride. She jumped on stage, starred and then booked a weekly gig at a club where her parents had to be there as chaperones and ugh, it was GREAT. Angeria and Willow were also kikiing about their families, with Willow talking about how close she is with her mother before opening up about how her body is disintegrating due to her condition and broke down to Angeria and Kerri about how that fires everything she does. And just like that, Willow has two new protectors to replace kornbread and ugh, it’s just so wholesome.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the judges panel by Ava Max as the queens kicked off the show on the Spring has Sprung runway where Jorgeous was perfect in a cute, pastel green mini dress. Kerri was a demented, stunning alien, coral-floral delight. Angeria too went floral with a yellow bodice dripping in flowers. DeJa served slutty Easter Bunny realness, Maddy was perfection as a torrential storm, Jasmine was a sparkly green showgirl while Orion did an even sluttier version of the Easter Bunny. Willow was delightful in a pastel country house dress, complete with Help Me written in blood on the back of the house built around her head. Daya was stunningly messing in an orange number while Camden did a weaker version of the Canadian Marie Antoinette runway. Well until she spilt the macrame tea. Bosco then served a killer reveal, going from a stormy cloud to a stunning sunshine gown.

The eliminated dolls returned to the runway with Tempest messy – in a good way – in leopard while Jaymes was delightfully campy in pink while Kahmora was obviously stunning in vintage Mackie.

When it came to the PSA, Angeria starred for Team Tempest while the rest were all ok, though Jorgeous really should have edited her script as there were too many words. And only Toto can pull that off. With Team Jaymes, it was Maddy and Willow’s show while Jasmine was bored and Orion struggled. Team Kahmora meanwhile knocked it out of the park with both Bosco and Camden really standing out and finally getting their star moments.

Well out of the queens, because the Sarah McLachlan cameo calling the PSA offensive was EVERYTHING.

Ultimately Kerri, DeJa, Maddy, Willow and Daya were sent to safety, with Daya complaining about just wanting to get critiques so she knows where she needs to improve. Kerri too was feeling flat about not being in the top while Maddy was shocked that Willow wasn’t in the top once again. Willow admitted she was just glad to not be judged as a group given their commercial was the weakest. Daya shared that she felt Maddy deserves more credit for what she is given so far in the competition, while Daya couldn’t tell how her sisters would be placed. When it is obvious they’re the top two.

DeJa meanwhile felt she should be in the top but when her sisters didn’t ask, she threw a tantrum about them not loving her. Before the drama could escalate, Tempest, Jaymes and Kahmora joined the dolls to untuck with Tempest and Jaymes reading them all for filth, while Jaymes praised herself for being great. Maddy then read her for filth and ugh, I love it. Tempest stepped in to remind Maddy to ignore the haters when she gets out of the competition because people will come for him for being straight.

On the mainstage, Jorgeous was praised for her killer runway though the judges were concerned by the disconnect between her confidence on the runway and her nerves in the challenge. Once again, Angeria’s performance was universally beloved while the judges felt the runway was a little ill fitting. Jasmine’s excitement didn’t translate to the performance given she was tragically monotone, though they lived for her runway. Orion was praised for looking stunning on the runway, while her challenge performance was read for being bored and tired. Lady Camden received universal praise for her camp runway and the seriousness she brought to the PSA. While Bosco too was completely beloved, with Michelle and Ross loving her willingness to take a risk and do something different.

The tops and bottoms joined the dolls untucking with Jasmine admitting she is definitely in the bottom though felt it was unlikely she’d be the one lip syncing. Orion on the other hand knew she’d be lip syncing while not really feeling it makes sense. Once again, Angeria shared that the judges lived for her while Camden was giddy to finally become a top. Which was a feeling shared by Bosco. DeJa suggested it could be a double win, while Daya narrowly avoided crying about being safe, wanting to know what she needs to do to land in the top. While her sisters read her for being too much. Jorgeous too was sure she’d be lip syncing and when everyone praised her for being such a killer lip syncer, Orion looked ready to cry. Because yeah, Jorgeous is an assassin.

Angeria and Willow then toasted to Kornbread’s performance in the competition as they opened up about the letters she had left them all. Jasmine shared she was grateful Kornbread called her out because she can genuinely grow from it and there was no malice. Willow opened up about how heartbroken she was to lose her dearest friend, with the queens agreeing that they all knew they couldn’t cross Willow without facing the potential wrath of Kornbread. Kerri started to break down over her bond with Kornbread and how she feels like she’s now lost her lifeline. As they prepared to return to the runway, DeJa gave Jasmine and Jorgeous a pep talk and reminded them to fight with no mercy even if it was against each other.

Given Orion already had some culinary comfort, I gave her a pat on the back for a job well done and legged it over to Kornbread’s hotel to make sure she was following doctors and feeling a-ok!

Poor Kornbread was in a moonboot as I joined her to help pack up, heartbroken to go out via an injury particularly given she was expecting to be a finalist. I reminded her that she truly was one of the front-runners of the season, but should she also return next season, she will have the rest of the cast terrified before they even step foot in the Werk Room, which is kinda a blessing. With that, we laughed, we cried and she vowed to come back bigger and better next year while splitting a Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté. Because obviously!

Oh and I also think it is important to note that she Vanjied out of the Werk Room for the last time this season chanting ANKLE. And. I. LIVE.

Given Kornbread is a star on her own, I opted for a simple, traditional recipe to honour her performance. A little sweet mixed with a tinge of salt is the perfect pairing for the fluffiest side imaginable. In a word, it is perfect.

Enjoy!

Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
¼ cup muscovado sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and left to cool
1 cup buttermilk 
¼ cup honey
2 eggs

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt and stir to combine. In a measuring jug, combine the melted butter, buttermilk, honey and eggs.

Using a wooden spoon, create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly stir in the wet ingredients until it is just combined.

Transfer the batter into a lined square cake tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to rest for ten minutes before cutting and devouring.


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Harvey Fiersteamed Buns

Main, Party Food, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

As we move into the second half of our inaugural Tony Gold celebrations, I knew I had to go with some even bigger Tony Awards legends and there is no one more legendary when it comes to the multi-hatted Harvey Fierstein.

I honestly don’t even know where to start about my dear friend Harvey Fierstein, the man can do just about anyoneanything and truly is a Broadway legend. I mean, he’s won Tony’s for acting and Best Play and for writing the books of musical, there aren’t many of my friends that can say they’ve achieved more. Which is a huge part of why we’re friends, as I assume you suspected.

I first met Harve’s through my dear friend Andy Warhol – I was one of his muses – when he came in to audition for his play Pork. While I was ropeable that Andy didn’t hand me the part, I begrudgingly knew that Harves was the better man for the job and instead of tearing him down, hitched my wagon to his for inevitable fame and fortune.

Fun fact: he wrote the roles of Alan and David in the Torch Song Trilogy in honour of our love affair and my childish attitude, respectively.

Given the fact that he can do pretty much anything on Broadway, I decided to wrote the best book of a musical and best production odds, so buckle in. For the book, it seems to be a two horse race between Dear Evan Hansen and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, the edge I give to the former and Harves gives to the latter. For the plays, we agreed on Six Degrees and of Separation and A Doll’s House, Part 2 taking the gold, with the musical gongs going to Hello, Dolly – never bet against Bette – and Dear Evan Hansen, despite Come from Away taking out the Drama Desk.

Given the conversation was robust, I couldn’t go past whipping up our old favourite post-coital meal, Harvey Fiersteamed Bun.

 

 

There is a lot I could say about Harve and my passion for a tempting, hot bun but these are far and away the best ones we want to have in our mouths to devour. I mean, steamed buns are amazing – they even ended my feud with the artist formerly known as Cumberbitch – but have you ever had a mexican themed one? Because they’re amazing. A light, fluffy cornbread enclosing a piping hot chilli and gooey cheese? Sign me the hell up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Harvey Fiersteamed Buns
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1-2 cups of Chilli con Kim Carnes
7g active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup plain flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup cornstarch, talk about corny
¼ cup raw caster sugar
¼ cup canola oil
2 ½ tsp baking powder
grated cheese

Method
Start out by whipping up the Chilli con Kim Carnes, remove the two cups required and cook a little bit further to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while you carry on, not necessarily calmly, with the dough.

Combine the yeast and warm water in the large bowl of a stand mixer before adding the flour, cornmeal and cornstarch, stirring with the dough hook to kinda combine / avoid a kitchen resembling an anthrax scare. Place the dough hook in the mixer and mix on the lowest setting. Slowly add the sugar and oil and continue mixing until a smooth ball forms. Remove, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for a couple of hours.

As its had a chance to prove itself, add the baking powder and return to the mixer on low for a couple of minutes. At this point it may be looking a bit dry since the cornmeal acts like a sponge, so add a couple of tablespoons to keep it smooth and soft … but not sticky. Nice and simple instructions, no? Once the dough is smooth, cover with the damp cloth again and allow to prove for half an hour.

While the dough is proving, cut out 12, 10-15cm squares of baking paper. Once the dough has proven itself again, punch it back and divide into 12 equal balls. Press each into a 15cm wide disc and place on a piece of baking paper. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of each disc with a pinch of cheese before pulling the edges in to enclose like a bun.

Once the buns are prepared, bring a pot of water to water with a steamer over the top. Once the water is going off like a frog in a sock, add 3-4 buns and steam for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed, fluffy and gorgeous. Repeat the process until they are done.

Once you’re ready, serve with any combination of chilli sauce, sour cream or guacamole and devour.

 

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Tamale Cyrus

Main

Full disclosure, I forgot corn husks. Then I drowned the dough. Then I burnt my hands. Then I opted for a deconstructed ta … I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let me take you back – picture it, my kitchen, yesterday. My girl, staunch Vegemite fan Miley Cyrus, dropped by after requesting a catch-up.

Having played such an integral role in Annelie’s departure, Miles and I have been in close contact most of the year however she has been too scared to get too close to the scene of the crime. Thankfully Hiddleswift are in town stealing the limelight and showing their true colours, so Miles thought it was time to catch-up and make sure Annelie’s studying-medicine-to-cure-her-ailment was going well.

Miles dropped by after spending the day with Annelie and was disheartened by the fact that her selective amnesia seems here to stay … but was pleased that the silver lining is that she will be a doctor and will hopefully lack enough morals to give us an endless supply of pointless prescriptions and fraudulent medical certificates.

You win some, you lose some I guess.

Either way, we opted out of having a friendly cage fight and instead gabbed about our Hemsworths – he’s Thor? I’m so thor I can barely shi … nevermind – discussed our dear Dolly and reminisced about the wondrous time of our lives that was Hannah Montana (she is unaware I had an affair with Billy Ray while working on the set – don’t tell her).

As I alluded to up front, this week’s meal didn’t go to plan. I wanted something fun, spicy and comforting – not knowing how she’d take Annelie’s continued amnesia – so I went with her fave, my Tamale Cyrus.

Then my forgetfulness – do I also have amnesia – laziness and patience got in the way (read: I bought mince instead of pork butt and forgot corn husks to wrap them), resulting in a deconstructed Tamale Cyrus. But the thing is, I actually loved them!

 

tamale-cyrus-1

 

I mean sure, there is nothing better than wrapping your meat in some warm pillowy dough … but sometimes it is just as satisfying to slap it on top of said dough and slather it in your special sauces.

Enjoy – you know I did!

 

tamale-cyrus-2

 

Tamale Cyrus
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
Meat
vegetable oil
2 onions onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1kg pork mince
¼ cup chili powder
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
3 cups chicken stock
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (removed the seeds if you don’t like heat)

Corn(flat)bread
5 cups cornmeal
1 ½ tbsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
200g unsalted butter
cooking broth

Method
Heat a lug of oil over medium heat in a large, deep pot and saute the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the meat, breaking up with a spoon as you go – if you accidentally buy mince, dems the breaks – and cook until lightly browned.

Add the spices and jalapeno and cook for a minute, to release the flavours. Then, add the stock, crank up the heat and bring to a boil. Once it is getting lively, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

Once everything has literally simmered in its juices, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Once cooled, strain off the liquid from the meat and leave the meat to rest while you cook the bread.

See why real pork would have been better than mince? Nigella once told me to embrace the failures though, so I’m making it work!

Anyway, combine the dry cornbread ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, rub through the butter until it resembles wet sand on a terrible beach with mega coarse sand. Once combined, gradually add the stock while stirring until the dough is thick and moist – how good is that word, moist, MOIST – but not wet. Trust your judgement, not mine.

Press the dough into a large baking sheet – like one you’d use for making cookies – until it is a smooth 5mm layer and bake for 10-20 minutes, or until golden and cooked but not to hard. Again, use your judgement – Miley and I were pretty wasted at this point so it may have taken anywhere from 5 minutes to 6 hours – you want it to be soft yet squishy, like a polenta chip.

Once it is what you would deem ready, carve the bread into squares, place one on your plate, top with your meat and then top with another piece of dough. Who doesn’t love their meat in a sandwich?

Then top with guac, sour cream and more chilli sauce if you need it. Or not … but who doesn’t love a special sauce?

Also, sorry – I won’t cook drunk again for a few weeks. Promise.

 

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