Marcia Hot Cross Buns

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Sweets

With Easter just around the corner, I started thinking about all the wonderful back-from-the-dead – or brink of – performances to ever grace the small screen and it reminded me how long it had been since I caught up with my dear friend Marcia Cross.

While much has been made about it in the media, I was not not the inspiration for the role of Kimberly Shaw in Melrose Place. I was just brought in to coach Marcia to peak craziness. We worked together day and night for months, and that close working relationship quickly developed into a deep and beautiful friendship that no questionable casting choices – I see you Quantico – will ever destroy.

Marcia and I are such wonderful friends, but since we’re both so successful and busy it makes it hard to maintain the day-to-day aspects of friendship, so it was such a treat to make the time to hang out and toast to the future.

Despite the fact she only has Quantico keeping her busy compared to the multiple pies I have my hands in. Not that I’m bitter.

Anyway, easter is the time for miracles etc. so Marsh and I made it work, plotted a return to the A-list – for both of us – and devoured in a shit tonne of Marcia Hot Cross Buns, as is the style of the season.

 

 

Spicy, soft and packing a punch – not to measure a shit tonne of delicious fruits – these make the perfection that is Hot Cross Buns even better.

Not convinced? Make them for yourself … and enjoy!

 

 

Marcia Hot Cross Buns
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
14g dried yeast
1 ¼ cups milk, warmed
¼ cup muscovado sugar
4 cups flour, plus ¼ cup for crossin’
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup sultanas
½ cup raisins
1 cup craisins
2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder

Method
Combine the yeast, milk and muscovado sugar in a jug and set aside in a warm, dry place until it is foamy and glorious.

Meanwhile combine the flour, spices and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and rub through the butter with your fingertips until it resembles dirty sand. Add the fruits, eggs and foamy yeast mixture, and knead in a stand mixer for five to ten minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to prove for an hour or so, or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Knock the dough back, shape into 12 balls and place on a lined baking sheet, leaving 5cm apart. Cover with some cling and allow to prove for another half an hour.

Combine the extra flour with the baking powder and ¼ cup of water. Spoon crosses over the buns and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 150°C, rotate the pan and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before serving, slathered in a shit tonne of butter.

 

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Braised Briskarmack

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Main

At the risk of sounding like the whore of Chrismukkah, my dear friend Chris and I started off as lovers – he put the Chris in my mukkah, if you will – which makes me extremely thankful, a little surprised and at the same time disappointed, that none of the cast fought over me on set.

Our love quickly blossomed when he guested on my dear friend Amy Sedaris’ classic Stranger’s with Candy but after a few torrid months we realised we were better off as friends and parted ways.

A few years later and fresh out of rehab, I wanted to show him how much I had grown and how mature I now was and pushed for him to be welcomed to The O.C.

Bitch.

Despite being the first to leave the series, Chris’ career went from strength to strength co-starring in the hit Amanda Bynes film Love Wrecked, the TV movie Beauty & the Briefcase, an episode of Desperate Housewives and more recently, a starring role in Nashville.

Which is actually good.

Given his commitments to the latter, Chris and I haven’t been able to spend much time together lately. It was such a treat to reconnect and get the inside scoop on what will become of Rayna and her hair … and celebrate the more -mukkah side of Chrismukkah with my Braised Briskarmack.

 

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To be honest, I have no idea if this meal comes close to being kosher … but I assume if you’re celebrating a hybrid holiday, you probably aren’t too staunch on eating kosher. I did avoid cooking the delicate brisket and sweet, creamy mushrooms together though.

That counts for something, right? RIGHT?

Oy – enjoy!

 

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Braised Briskarmack
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
10 cloves garlic
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1.5kg beef brisket
a couple each of celery stalks, onions and carrots, roughly chopped\
2 cups red wine
800g canned chopped tomatoes
small handful of parsley
small bunch of thyme, a few sprigs reserved for the mushrooms
500g button mushrooms, quartered
1 cup beef stock
3 tbsp horseradish cream
½ cup sour cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place half the garlic and all the rosemary in a mortar and pestle with a good pinch of salt and pepper and crush until a paste forms. Transfer to a bowl, combine with a generous lug of oil and rub over both sides of the brisket.

Heat a lug of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and sear either side of the meat for a few minutes. Chuck in the veggies, wine, canned tomatoes and herbs and stir gently to combine.

Place the lid on firmly and transfer to the oven, baking for about 4 hours. Check every hour or so to ensure there is enough liquid and to keep the meat covered – which I rarely would support. Once the meat is tender, transfer it to a board and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

While it is resting, get to work on the mushrooms by heating a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Reduce to low and add the remaining garlic – which you will have minced but I forgot to tell you – mushrooms and the leaves from the extra thyme sprigs and cook for about five minutes, or until browned and soft. Add the stock, turn the heat up to medium-high and simmer for about ten minutes, or until reduced and slightly thickened. Add the horseradish, sour cream and cooking liquid and cook, stirring, for five minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste.

Slice the brisket into diagonal slices and serve with some latkes, topped with the mushrooms.

 

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Frijoley Fisher Dip

Condiment, Dip

It is so hard being a close friend of celebrity dynasties. I mean, you catch up with one of your dearest friends and next thing you know, their kid half-sister is calling begging to reconnect as well!

Sure I would consider Joely Fisher a dear friend but just because I needed some soul affirming love from Carrie doesn’t mean I need to field over 100 missed calls a day from Jo, begging to catch-up.

After a quick call from my service provider begging me to just take the damn calls and free up their network, I relented and offered her a quick weekend slot to tide her over and help me soften up after the infuriating desperation of her calls.

As you can probably guess, I first met Jo through Caz after connecting in rehab and like the rest of the broader Reynolds-Fisher Dynasty, is a complete triple threat. Obviously being the youngest that I’m friends with, our duelling talents led to a friendly rivalry that would go on to inspire the hit movie Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Despite this, we have always remained close so I didn’t verbally assault her for the incessant calls.

Joels hasn’t be overly busy recently – aside from a guest stint on Tim Allen’s show and Drag Race U – so honestly, I was wary that this catch-up was an attempt to get back in the spotlight. Thankfully I was wrong and bless her heart, she truly just wanted some down time with a dear friend.

After learning that, I threw out my laxative-laced treat and quickly whipped up our favourite from our old vegas days, my Frijoley Fisher Dip.

 

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Beans and by extension, bean dip, often get a bad rap for the music the oft inspire – which is not a probs if you’re singing and dancing 8 shows a week in Vegas – but this dip is killer. Maybe that has something to do with the shit tonne of cheese?

Warm, creamy and spicy – it is the perfect accompaniment to reconnecting with a friend.

Enjoy!

 

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Frijoley Fisher Dip
Makes: 2 cups.

Ingredients
800g canned pinto beans
⅓ cup cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp diced pickled jalapeños
1-2 shallots, finely sliced
extra cheddar and/or sour cream, to garnish

Method
Chuck beans and cream cheese in a food processor. Blitz.

Transfer to a small saucepan over medium heat, add other ingredients, stir to combine and heat until until all combined.

Top with shallots, grated cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream.

Devour.

 

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Brian Austin Green Curry

Donna Martin graduates, Main, Vegetarian

Like David Silver, Brian Austin Green is an under-appreciated talent in the Hills. I mean, who else married Megan Fox slashed worked with the future Cersei Lannister (a character who I continue to argue is a product of the patriarchal society in which she lives/is a feminist icon)?

I first met Bri in the 80s when we both worked on Knot’s Landing and joined Nicolette Sheridan’s entourage of young, brunette male cheerleaders. I was working as a writer/fight choreographer at the time and I was blown away by his immense … talent.

Again, I don’t mean to gloat … but as you probably guessed, I also got Bri the job at Bev Hills. Realistically, I think I am going to have to sue the estate of Aaron Spelling for unpaid wages as I was single-handedly responsible for casting all of the teenagers!

As you should be aware, Bri has been going through quite the difficult time with separating from Meg Fox but thankfully they had some exciting news that we were able to celebrate (while he attempted to help me get Annelie’s memory back) – yes, I’m going to be godfather to another Austin Green Fox spawn!

FYI my obnoxious Instagram is coming – game on Swifty!

It was such an honour to once again be asked to provide spiritual and moral guidance to one of his children (Vanessa Marcil blocked me taking on the role to his first child). And what better way to celebrating an upcoming birth slash militant support, than a Brian Austin Green Curry?

 

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I decided during my yogi dietician phase that vegetarianism was best for Bri – whether he is or not, I don’t care. Either way, whenever we catch-up I ensure that I’m serving up solely vegetarian meals to not let slip that I was strung out on bath salts during that phase of my life.

Thankfully this curry is so delicious, even a staunch meat eater (and who doesn’t love to eat some meat) would fall for its charms. The sweet pumpkin and coconut combination works perfectly with the kick of the curry, provided a delicate dish that hits all the right places. I know it goes without saying, but just like Bri!

Enjoy!

 

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Brian Austin Green Curry
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
300g firm tofu, drained and thickly sliced
270ml coconut milk
½ cup water
3 tbsp green curry paste
700g kent pumpkin, deseeded and cut into large pieces
250g beans, topped and halved
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
juice of a fresh lime
brown rice, to serve
fresh coriander leaves, to serve
roasted cashews, roughly chopped, to serve

Method
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When as hot as the handle on the door when Kelly and misc D-character-to-horribly-disfigure got stuck in the bathroom during a fire at a house party, add the tofu and cook for a couple of minutes until golden. Remove to a plate.

Add the curry paste and the coconut milk, stirring, and cook for a minute or two. Add the pumpkin and the water and give a good stir to combine. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender.

Stir through the beans and sugar, cover and cook for a further couple of minutes, until they are bright, crisp and perfectly cooked.

Remove from the heat and stir through the tofu and lime juice, season and allow to rest for a couple of minutes.

Serve on a bed of rice and garnish with coriander and cashews.

 

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+.