Jonathan LaPagliatelle

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Pasta, Vegetarian

He’s baaaaaa-aaaaack! This time next week we’ll have witnessed scruffy Oz-Probst – and my dear friend – Jonathan LaPaglia snuff his first torch of the season. And I will have screamed for smelling salts as the euphoria/orgasm rendered me unconscious.

Yes – that is the long winded way of saying Australian Survivor is back and I couldn’t be happier to announce that once again JoJo requested my presence in Samoa to act as his houseboy / culinary comfort chef for the castaways.

I’ve known Jo for years, after a chance meeting at the University of Adelaide where I was skulking about the med school trying to meet a future doctor to take as my husband. While he had zero interest in pursuing a relationship due to our similar appearance (read: killer guns), we became friends against all odds and I was quickly taken into the LaPaglia family.

While there was a period of ugliness after Anthony refused to get Josie Alibrandi gender-flipped – and that time I tried to torch his car when I was overlooked for the hosting role – we remain the closest of friends and I was thrilled to spend two months together in Samoa, catching-up, feasting in front of the contestants … and I assume doing weights.

To celebrate the impending return of Australian Survivor, I flew Jojo over to discuss how we felt the season went – really good … unless the editors really drop the ball / can’t be paid by Channel 10 – over a big fat bowl of my Jonathan LaPagliatelle.

 

 

I’ve long held the belief that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – I actually coined the phrase, NBD – and this is the first dish I ever made him to win him over. Warm, fresh, creamy and tasty, it is the second most fun I’ve had getting sauce over a man’s face.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jonathan LaPagliatelle
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
bunch of shallots, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
200g button mushrooms, sliced
5 sprigs of thyme leaves
250g chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
500g tagliatelle
250g mascarpone
200g baby spinach, washed and drained
100g parmesan, grated

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook off the shallots and garlic until the island love nest – or kitchen – is aromatic. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for a further ten minutes, or until the mushrooms are lightly browned.

Add the stock and bring to the boil, before reducing the heat and simmering for fifteen minutes. Season and keep warm while you cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

When the pasta is al dente, add the mascarpone and spinach to the the mushroom mix and stir until combined and the spinach wilted. Stir through the pasta and half the parmesan, before serving, generously drowned in the excess parmesan.

Devour immediately with your big strong, LaPagli-esque arms and think of how they’d hold you tight in winter. Or something.

 

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Peter Baklavenstos

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, Sweets

Running into an ex is always awkward, but when it is seeing the person that broke your heart after getting them on the show … after they were just voted out is kinda satisfying.

Scrap that, it is fucking glorious.

This week we started with Petey trying to woo Tai into his third showmance in six episodes while over on Chanloh, part-time model Debbie and her adonis Nick engaged in, what on the island was, the filthiest and most explicit romance since Ozzy and Amanda in Micronesia.

Love, however, isn’t what we watch for … it is all about Probst making a series of ball puns while people were bobbing for them during the reward challenge. Once again, Aubrey continued to be the challenge beast of the season.

Peter spent most of the episode putting a target on his back and being paranoid, before a block almost took out Biden at the challenge. Thankfully he wasn’t evacuated, giving Aubrey another chance to shine when she literally crossed out Julia’s name and changed her vote to Peter.

I don’t know if it was due to budget cuts or they are trying to be green, but I’m thankfully there are limited pieces of parchment for drama’s sake.

I first met Petey on the impersonating circuit where he, obviously, was a Time Square Obama and I was any misc-dark haired celebrity with curls, but was most often recognised as Fred Savage, Ray Martin or aggressive Andy Samberg.

Pete and I, again obviously, fell into a torrid love affair bathed amongst the lights of Bro-ad-way (right near where, I assume, Reed cheated on Josh). Our loving relationship was so strong, he convinced me to don blackface (to upset my nemesis Harry Connick Jr. – he always refused my advances/to whisper my name) and play the Michelle to his Barack.

Mich (who I am also friends with) loved the idea and thankfully deemed my arms perfect enough to play her … lucky I invented that workout system with her in 2014. I must look at releasing it soon, if only I paid Todd Tucker for his work filming it.

Anyway, when I found out Pete was officially going to be on Survivor I quickly tried to call Probst and try to help pre-game for my lover, but his attitude got in the way (I’m team Biden on the circuit, not on the island) and we sadly went our separate ways.

While you may assume that I would handle a break-up with expletives, lighter-fluid and booze, that wasn’t the case when I reconnected with Pete in loser lodge … probably as I was so smug to see him just before the merge, meaning my break-up, once again proves that Kat Mr. Edorsson is a genius – who wants to date someone that doesn’t make the merge?

Thankfully I am very mature and rational and was kind enough to whip it out him up a nice batch of my (usually post-coital) Peter Baklaventos.

 

peter-baklavenstos-1

 

Baklava, while time consuming, is one of the easiest sweets you can make but still looks impressive. Obviously this is my favourite kind of recipe – one that gives you the most bang for your buck … particularly if it is for a post bang meal.

Between the pastry, rosewater and sticky nuts dripping in a sweet, moist glaze … this is something you need to have in and around your mouth. ASAP.

Enjoy!

 

peter-baklavenstos-2

 

Peter Baklavenstos
Makes: About 24 pieces.

Ingredients
250 gm each pistachios and walnuts, finely chopped
100 gm caster sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
200 gm butter, coarsely chopped
500 gm filo pastry
Honey syrup
300 gm caster sugar
125 gm honey
1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only
1 cinnamon quill
4 drops rosewater

Method
Combine nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan, set aside and keep warm. Brush a 24x34cm baking dish with butter. Cut filo sheets to fit tray snugly and cover with a damp tea towel.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Layer one-third of the filo pastry in tray, brushing butter between each layer. Yes this can be annoying and I generally avoid this set when making filo pies … but this is the one dish you kind of can’t avoid this step, sorry.

Spread half the nut mixture on top, repeat the process with the next third of filo, top with the remaining nuts and do the filo again. Once more, with feeling and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and cut the dish into 4cm diamonds with a sharp knife, making sure to get through all layers of filo and bake until golden and crisp, about 50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly.

While in the oven, get onto the honey syrup by combining the sugar, honey, lemon rind, cinnamon and 300ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 20 minutes and the flavours have gloriously steeped in the liquid. Remove from heat, strain and stir through the lemon juice and rosewater and set aside.

Cool baklava for about 5 minutes and pour the syrup evenly over the pastry. Set aside at room temperature to cool completely … if you can. Then go crazy and devour it.

 

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