Roast Melinda Duck

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Main, Poultry

How do I top my 300th milestone recipe? With the true star of The O.C. – I feel like I’ve said that most days … but I mean it this time – my dear friend Melinda Clarke.

Yes, I love them all dearly – well, maybe not always Tate – but every great show needs a villain you love to hate and Julie Cooper-Nichol wouldn’t have been able to pack the same punch without the stunning performance of my bestie.

I first met Mindy through her dad John when I was working as a writer on Days of our Life – which I got through Vytas and Aras’ pops via time travel. Side note: I was the one that came up with such wonderful storylines as Eileen Davidson playing seventeen roles, the Salem Stalker and the classic Marlena is possessed by the devil.

Anywho – I quickly befriended the broader Clarke family and knew that Mindy was destined for big things, making it my life’s work to see her become the star I knew she could be.

I haven’t seen much of her this year, so it was so nice to be able to have her over for an extended visit as we whipped up a Roast Melinda Duck.

 

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I had never roasted a duck before and obviously was terrified by the entire process, so I stuck with a tried and true Jamie Oliver recipe with a few minor tweaks.

Thankfully Jamie knows his way around a bird, because this duck turned out festively fragrant, spicy and most importantly, wet & juicy.

Enjoy!

 

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Roast Melinda Duck
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tsp nutmeg, grated
1 orange, zested and halved
1 tbsp maple syrup
a whole duck, necks and giblets reserved and roughly chopped
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 red onions, peeled and quartered
a few stalks celery, trimmed and chopped into chunks
3 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into chunks
½ stick cinnamon
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
freshly ground sea salt & black pepper

Method
Place the leaves from a couple of sprigs of rosemary in a mortar and pestle and mash together with the nutmeg, orange zest, a generous pinch of sea salt and some maple syrup. Rub mixture over the duck, cover and place in the fridge to baste for a few hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Stuff the duck’s cavity with the orange, some rosemary and the garlic. Line a baking tray with the onion, celery and carrot and toss with some olive oil, the ginger and cinnamon. Place the duck on top, drizzle with some oil and place in the oven for an hour.

Transfer the duck to a new pan – reserving the charred veggies and fat for tomorrow’s gravy – and return the duck to the oven for a further hour, or until golden and glorious.

Remove from the pan, transfer to a plate, cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Devour … with some gravy and potatoes, so maybe hold off two days until you make it?

 

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Kugelly Rowan

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Baking, Breakfast, Dessert, Main, Pasta, Side, Snack, Sweets, Vegetarian

From my favourite frenemy to my dearest, sweetest friend of the (adult) cast, Kelly Rowan.

And that doesn’t even take into account her portrayal of Kirsten’s relatable, educated, middle-class battle with the bottle.

I first met Kell on the set of Three to Tango in the late 90s. I was part of Neve Campbell’s entourage – it is beginning to seem like a trend that I met The O.C. stars via 90s scream queens, no? – at the time and we took Kelly under our wing – a hundred TV movies and four years later and our hard work paid off as Kell landed the career making role of Kirsten “Kiki” Cohen.

Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that Kirsten was the true star and glue of the show – I mean sure Ben was the protagonist, Mischa was the young ingenue, Rach was the spunky-upstart, Adam was the comedic support and Pete was the heart, but Kiki kept everything together and made the show all the better for it.

Particularly when she wasn’t keeping it together and hitting rock bottom.

Anyway, character ranking aside, I haven’t been able to catch Kell since Perception was axed, so it was wonderful to be able to reconnect, help plot her comeback – hopefully in the revival I’m plotting – and gab about the good old days with Neve … over a delicious Kugelly Rowan.

 

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It makes me so sad to think about the fact that I went so long before trying a kugel with Kell on set. I mean, what is better than creamy, spiced pasta, with sweet plums?

Nothing. Exactly – enjoy!

 

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Kugelly Rowan
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, melted
pinch sea salt
500g broad egg noodles
6 large eggs
600ml sour cream, room temperature
1 cup muscovado sugar
375g cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
200g pitted plums, halved (I used jarred plums as I couldn’t be bothered working too hard as it’s Christmas)

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta per packet instructions, minus two minutes, drain, return to the pot and set away from heat.

While the pasta is softening like Kirsten’s heart to Ryan, combine the eggs, sour cream, sugar, butter, cream cheese and spices in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until completely combined.

Fold the plums through the cheesy, egg mixture and pour over the noodles. Gently stir until it is all combined and pour into a large baking dish. Sprinkle with some extra sugar and bake in the oven for half an hour.

Once golden and glorious – maybe a little less so than my effort – remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Then devour.

 

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Crepe Susan Lucci

Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Say what you want about Susan Lucci – and fuck knows I do – she is one of the brightest, kindest and most generous people I’ve ever been lucky enough to call my friend.

Whether it is taking my acidic barbs like a champ, losing DWTS or more importantly losing the Emmy year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year – break to win – after year, after year, Suze accepts it all and laughs it off knowing that she is a wonder.

I first met Suze in the 70s when I was hired as a soap-fight consultant on All My Children, the success of which led to me being hired by Az in the 80s when Dynasty started. Despite only working together briefly, Suze and I became fast friends and I was always first on hand after her Emmys losses to provide her with love and comfort in the form of cripplingly aggressive humour.

So Rami & I were getting ready to leave Kit’s house, and I L.A. when I gave Suze a buzz to see if she wanted to catch-up. Chuckling, she agreed – knowing the roast she was about to ensue.

“Suze – I just dropped Rami off after we celebrated his Emmy win. Can you believe winning an Emmy on the first go … let alone a Primetime one?!”

“Sarah Paulson broke her streak – she only took six losses before converting one!”

“You know how you lost the Emmy 20 times? Tatianna Maslany won on her second go for playing twenty characters. I guess she is almost as bad as you, right?”

Obviously I actually got cruel and made off colour jokes, but I’d rather keep our aggressive relationship. It truly is way too special to us.

Either way, it truly was a great opportunity to reconnect and provide my commiserations for the axing of Devious Maids and end of her career. Well, until I launch the soap idea I’ve been playing around with.

Oh and get Little Whorephan Andy: The Andy Dick Story on Broadway – I know she’ll be perfect for the role of Andy’s mother.

Anyway, the sweetness wasn’t just relegated to our bond but my famed Crepe Susan Lucci which – fun fact – were the only thing that could cheer her up after her numerous Emmy losses.

 

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Like Suze herself, the crepes are lithe, delicate and humble, and the sauce is hot and full of zest, leaving you happy, content and full of love – can’t wait to see you next Emmys, Suze.

Enjoy!

 

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Crepe Susan Lucci
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
100g plain flour
salt
2 eggs, 1 whole, 1 yolk only
300ml milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted plus extra to fry

Sauce
100g caster sugar
35g unsalted butter
150ml orange juice
1 orange, zested
3 tbsp Grand Marnier
2 tbsp brandy
ice-cream, to serve

Method
Place all of the crepe ingredients in a jug and blitz with a stick blender until combined and forms a smooth, thin batter. Cover and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.

Once the batter is nice and rested, heat a small frying pan over medium heat, melt a small dob of butter and pour in enough batter to cover the base. Cook for a minute or so, carefully flip and transfer to a plate. Repeat until the crepes are done.

Meanwhile, in another small frying pan over low heat, melt the sugar with a tablespoon of water. Add the butter, increase the heat and cook for about five minutes, or until it is golden brown. Add the juice, zest, liqueur and brandy and simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring. Remove from heat.

Once it has cooled slightly, dip each crepe into the sauce, fold it in half and in half again – aka quarters. Layer a couple on a plate, top with ice cream and devour.

 

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All her losses

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Let’s be honest, there was never going to be anyone I’d rather catch-up with and roast after the Emmys than my dear friend and perennial loser – it is hard to beat a 1 from 21 record – Susan Lucci.

Yes, I know that herses were in the Daytime Categories but if you can’t roast your friends at any opportunity, what is the point of life?

Obviously Suze was free and very keen to hang – she loves a good roast and is angling for me to help her get one on Comedy Central – so I’ll drop in somewhere between In’n’Out and LAX – what do I make that is sweet enough to cut through my acidic barbs?

Picture source: Unknown but it makes me so happy.


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, Tumblr and Google+.