Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip

Condiment, Dip, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Party Food, Side, Snack

Once again we’ve come to the end of another glorious Oscar Gold celebration in honour of tomorrow’s big day. Quickly on that note – I know I normally give you live behind the scenes coverage as I walk the red carpet, try and bribe the PWC auditors/steal their briefcase, reconnect with my many ex-lovers and script doctor the hosts efforts … but Jimmy banned me from doing it this year.

Something about my inflamatory way of behaving putting me perilously close from being banned from the Academy for life.

While I am pissed, the show must go on as Hollywood needs me. Plus, you guys need to know tips for your last minute bets.

Now for the moment we’ve been waiting decades for … I was finally able to welcome my dear friend Leo DiCaps to the Oscar Gold party. While it is tragic we will no longer have sad Leo memes at every couple of Oscars, I was ecstatic to be there – live tweeting, thank you Jim – to witness Leo finally snatch the statue after years in the Oscars’ bridesmaid wilderness.

I first met Leo on the set of his first film Critters 3 where we became fast friends of the mutual disappointment we felt for our co-stars. It was on that set that I decided to take him under my wing and help him reach the heights of fame.

I think it is no coincidence that he received his first unsuccessful Oscar nom less than two years later. Leo – and the wider world – you’re welcome.

Being a newly minted Best Actor winner, Leo and I giddily got to work discussing the odds for both the male categories. He agreed that Casey Affleck’s melancholic beauty in Manchester by the Sea deserves the glory … but it extremely concerned that Julia Robert’s will be loving her life again with Denzel pipping him at the post for a loud performance.

To be honest, if anyone is pipping Casey, it should be Viggo … but anyway.

Over in Best Supporting it is essentially a one horse race with there being no way in hell anyone is beating Mahershala Ali. Though I said that about Trump’s Presidency, so who knows?

Given that we both have suits to fit into tomorrow – as Leo asked me to attend as his date – I quickly whipped up a fresh Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip to mark the first anniversary of him breaking his Oscars drought.

 

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Creamy, tart and completely delicious. This dip is super easy to make and even easier to eat.

Enjoy!

 

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Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 red capsicums, halved, deseeded, chargrilled and peeled
2 garlic cloves, roasted and thinly sliced
1–2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
250g feta
1 shallot, finely chopped
pinch of chilli flakes
pinch of smoked paprika
salt and black pepper, to taste
crusty baguette, Turkish bread or crackers, to serve

Method
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.

Blitz.

Devour.

 

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Sofia Coppo’boyla

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Snack

Another day of our Oscar Gold celebrations, another catch-up with a Best OG Screenplay winner. But I mean, my girl Sofia is Hollywood royalty and really should have some Best Director and Best Picture wins under her belt … so she is pretty much the perfect person to run most of the outstanding odds.

As you know, I am a dear, close personal friend of the Coppola-Schwartzman-Cage Dynasty and as such have known Sof since she was knee high to a pig’s eye!

I was even the one to suggest to Fran-Ford to cast her in The Godfather Part III, which in retrospect I should apologise to all involved … but that is beside the point, you know.

Thankfully Sof was quick to bounce back from my (horrific) career advice and quickly turned herself into the auteur we know now. I mean, between The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette, she creates beautiful languid films of substance, lead by strong women.

Basically, I love her. So damn much. And that isn’t just because she made a movie about my crime spree in Bev Hills back in the day.

I’m pretty sure I mentioned being part of The Bling Ring before, right?

That being said, my girl has been hella busy with The Beguiled so we haven’t been able to connect recently so it was such a treat to get together and discuss the Oscars … which we are hopeful she will have a strong showing at next year.

Anywho, I know you came for the odds so let’s get to them first. Sof agrees that the Screenplay gongs will go to Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea … because La La Land’s best writing came in the form of its music which will take Best Score and Original Song along with Cinematography, Editing, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design, Director and Actress on its way to Best Picture.

Oh and obviously if we are wrong about the technical categories … it is fake news, ok? Because let’s be honest Arrival will probably take most of those. Maybe it isn’t fake news if I hedge my bets?

Ok – I’m hella confused, so I’m off to prep for tomorrow’s big guest, so why not head to the kitchen and whip up a delicious Sofia Coppo’boyla while you wait.

 

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Spicy, warm and delicious with the addition of the comfort of bread, these Po’Boys are everything I want from those creole creations without the addition of the mucus of the sea.

Because oysters are grosse, long live chicken ok!

Enjoy!

 

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Sofia Coppo’boyla
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken breast
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning, plus ½ tsp extra for the sauce
1 egg, whisked
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 tbsp sweet pickle juice
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp prepared horseradish
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
4 small baguettes, sliced in half leaving a join at the edge
half a small iceberg lettuce, shredded
3 tomatoes, sliced
4 hot and spicy pickles, thinly sliced

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces.

Combine the breadcrumbs with a good whack of salt and pepper and the tablespoon of cajun seasoning. Dip the chicken into the egg and toss through the spiced breadcrumbs to thoroughly coat. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and cook for twenty minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

While the chicken is baking, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, hot sauce, pickle juice, paprika, horseradish, garlic cloves and remaining cajun seasoning in a jug. Add salt and pepper to taste and leave to chill in the fridge and let the flavours mature.

When the chicken is done, brush the inside of the bread with some butter or oil and place in the oven to crisp for a couple of minutes.

Remove the rolls, smear generously with sauce, top with lettuce, tomato, pickles, chicken and another drizzle of sauce.

Devour.

 

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Alan Meatballs

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Poultry, Snack

Ok, so full disclosure – I didn’t really think about category diversity when organising this year’s soiree. For that, I am sorry … but also, not sorry – these people are my friends and you’ll just have to accept that we’ll be spending a lot of time discussing the screenwriting categories.

Adding to my flock of seagullsscreenwriters is my dear friend, Best OG Screenplay winner and – of course – ex-lover Alan Ball.

I first met Al whilst working on Cybill – him writing, me as part of Chrissie B’s entourage – and our attraction was instantaneous. After a torrid affair, I broke things off assuming he would amount to nothing – I don’t admit it often but I was wrong. He was obviously heartbroken and injected his pain into a little known screenplay called American Beauty.

Yes, you’re welcome – I inspired the classic film.

After seeing that I was wrong I tried to grovel my way back into his heart – well I don’t know if I grovelled but I definitely recall being on my knees – and the Oscars. While he sadly declined my offer to rekindle our romance and we’ve helped each other creatively ever since.

Fun fact: I’m the one who inspired him to cast Skarsy in True Blood. Again, you’re welcome.

Now for the most important part of the event – oh, after catching up with my dear friend obvs – Al agreed that Manchester by the Sea will take out Best OG and Moonlight will take out Best Adapted Screenplay … though Lion and Arrival are worthy challengers.

Given my love of Alan and (his) balls, there was no way I was going to whip up anything other than my Alan Meatballs.

 

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You know I love balls as much as Jenna Maroney but these minimally altered lil’ Meatball Shop numbers are as pure perfection as Skarsky (obvi NSFW). Big, thick and juicy, they are everything you want in and around your mouth and are absolutely exploding with flavour.

Enjoy!

 

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Alan Meatballs
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
a good lug of olive oil
500g chicken mince
1 egg
¼ cup breadcrumbs
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
30ml white wine
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp ground chilli
a generous whack of freshly ground black pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Combine all the ingredients – excluding the olive oil – in a large bowl and scrunch together in your hands.

Roll the mixture into a golf ball size, packing firmly as you go. You will need to wet your hands frequently as you go to smooth out the edges. Place on the sheet and repeat until done – you should end up with a dozen balls.

Place into the oven and bake for twenty, or until firm and crisp. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving with your favourite salad or as sliders … and devouring.

 

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Pumpkim Basinger Soup

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Side, Snack, Soup, Vegetarian

While I like to let the lesser celebrity categories shine, I know why you drop by for Oscar Gold and that is my extreme proximity to the A-list.

And there is no one more A-list than my dear gal-pal and past Best Supporting Actress Winner, Kim Basinger.

I first met Kim through her ex-husband – and my ex/oft-lover Alec – but her kind heart and sassy nature won me over and I actually grew closer to her during their split. Thus leaking the pig-daughter tapes.

Kim and I haven’t been able to catch-up lately what with her doing the publicity rounds for Fifty Shades of I-Won’t-Show-My-Peen-and-This-Is-A-Waste-of-Your-Time, so it was such a treat to sit down and chat about the most important categories – Best Supporting and Best Actress.

Given the fact that I have a temper similar to Al’s, Kim was a bit scared to engage in any major disputes so we both landed on Viola for Supporting, despite the fact that she agreed that the previously insufferable Nicky Kid turned in such a beautiful performance that echoed her life and made you love her that it should be her taking out the crown over V’s always consistent scenery chewing.

Also … surely Mish Wills needs an overdue win sometime soon. And the post first scene was damn perfection.

She also agreed that Emma Stone was a lock because she is my friend and was cast in the musical whilst starring in Cabaret – which I saw and critiqued her in – bringing her luck. Though that being said, Isabelle Huppert is the most likely to upset any of the favourites on the night.

So yeah, discussions were robust meaning we needed something hearty that also hugged your soul like my Pumpkim Basinger Soup.

 

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Earthy, spiced and warm, this is pumpkin soup isn’t what you’d get in a can. In a good way, obvi.

All the veggies are baked first giving a depth of flavour and sweetness that is perfectly cut through by a whack of herbs and a smack of chilli. Dis good, dis real good, ok?

Enjoy!

 

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Pumpkim Basinger Soup
Serves: 100 people aka all the Baldwins … or maybe just 12 people?

Ingredients
1.5kg butternut pumpkin, cut into 3cm dice
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 carrots, diced
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 potatoes, roughly chopped
4 pieces celery, roughly chopped
olive oil
1 tbsp dried chilli
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp maple syrup, optional
bunch of sage
1L chicken stock
1 cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place all the veggies – and realistically you could use anything you had in the fridge, capsicum is a great addition to be honest – on a lined baking sheet (or two), drizzle with olive oil and chilli, season and bake until golden and tender. About half an hour.

Once the veg are ready, transfer to a large pot, drizzle with maple syrup, add the sage leaves and fry over medium heat for a minute, reduce to low pour in the stock and simmer, stirring sporadically, for about fifteen minutes to half an hour, or until all the veggies are tender and your kitchen is smelling amazing.

Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool for five-ten minutes and blitz thoroughly yet carefully with a stick blender until smooth and glorious. Return to low heat, stir through the cream and coook until heated through.

Serve – immediately if you like to risk burning all the skin in your mouth – and top with a drizzle of cream and some chopped sage, if you are patient enough, and devour.

 

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Pedro Almoturnóvar

Baking, Dessert, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Side, Snack, Sweets

Para el segundo día de Oscar Gold, sabía que sólo podía celebrar una persona con mi querido amigo Pedro Almodóvar.

Oh – sorry, sometimes I forget I speak 1 ⅞ (combined total of four different) languages. What a smartie pants!

Anywho, for those who can’t be bothered popping that into Google Translate – like I needed to to fill in the gaps of the sentence – I knew that there was only one person I could spend the second day of Oscar Gold with, my dear friend, director, screenwriter and icon of Spanish cinema, Pedro Almodóvar.

I first met Peds while working together at Telefónica and we quickly fell in love and I began to ride his coattails to renewed fame and fortune. Oh, I should probably clarify, I had fled to Spain and pursued a career as an escort under an assumed identity … to avoid being deported from the US.

Upon first meeting I knew Peds was destined for greatness and the muse part of me knew that I needed to inspire him, resulting in the one-two punch of Law of Desire and Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. While our relationship didn’t work out, I have always maintained my muse status in his heart.

Given the success of his last movie Julieta, it has been hard to pin down Peds for a catch-up but thankfully he knew it was vital to drop by and run the odds on his previous categories – Best OG Screenplay (they officially change the award to this name in 2023) and Best Foreign Language Film.

Despite the fact that The Salesman is my preference to take out Best Foreign Language Film, Peds being polite old Peds is backing the little Australian gem Tanna. Best OG Screenplay was decidedly more complex – we both loved Hell or High Water and 20th Century Women, but know that this is firmly a two horse race for La La Land and Manchester by the Sea.

We argued back and forth for hours until agreeing that is La La Land goes on to scoop the pool as expected, this is probably going to be a lock for Kenneth Lonergan’s heartbreaker.

Or we’ll both be wrong and the Academy won’t give the screenwriter gongs to Moonlight and Manchester and will instead opt to break the Oscars record with La La Land – oh and FYI, as a director he is baking Damien Chazelle – I mean, if there is one thing Hollywood loves more than anything else, it is Hollywood.

Me and Peds? Well, we love a simple and sweet Pedro Almoturnóvar.

 

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Now I know using store bought puff pastry is cheating but puff is the most difficult of the pastries and I’m not ready to attempt it and fail yet.

Plus, it is hella convenient and given how busy I am with prepping for the weekend ahead and what I’m going to wear/who I’m going to do, I needed something that I could quickly wrap my sweet, tart and altogether delicious raspberry, chocolate and almond filling.

Enjoy!

 

pedro-almoturnóvar-2

 

Pedro Almoturnóvar
Makes: 16.

Ingredients
¼ cup raspberry jam
½ cup raspberries
½ dark chocolate, roughly chopped
¼ cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
4 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1 egg, lightly whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Combine the jam, raspberries, chocolate and almonds in a bowl and give a good stir.

Lay out the sheets of puff pastry and cut each into four squares. Place a generous tablespoon in a corner of each little square – leaving a centimetre around the edge – and brush the edges with a little bit of egg. Press and pleat the edges to seal, pushing out as much air as possible.

Place all the turnovers on a lined baking sheet, brush with egg wash and baking for about 20 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Devour.

 

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Waffadele Burger

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Party Food

So speaking of Beyonce – one woman’s curse via recipe is another woman’s gain … and that woman making the gains was none other than my dear frenemy Adele.

Uggggghhhhhhhh. And contrary to what some may think of me, that wasn’t a shady comment about weight. Glass houses and all, you know?

Also let me start by saying that firstly, I love Adele … but the slag can fucking drink me under the table and I hate to lose – particularly if said competition I am losing is based on alcohol consumption – so as such, she is more frenemy than friend.

Plus – she keeps winning things and Jesus loves winners and if she is winning, maybe sometimes that means I’m losing. Which is terrible.

Anyway the ol shagger has not only won a shit tonne of Grammys but is also the proud owner of an Academy Award for Best Original Song which is, quite possibly, my favourite category (because when I’m nominated in 7 years, I get to perform the song on stage the same night I win 15 awards).

I should probably tell you about my past with Adele though, shouldn’t I? I first met Adsy ten years ago when I stumbled upon her busking on the tube or something – I was big into bath salts at the time so don’t remember much. I do remember she had talent though and took her under my wing and decided I would one day make her a d-list star to rival Kathy Griffin (read: they are both red(ish)heads).

Halfway through my tutelage of her I sobered up and realised that she is just someone that is skilled at writing sad music and holding notes – I must remember to see Chris Martin one day soon – and told her that she should give up on her dreams, lest she wanted my forehead to chase itself into the pavement.

It inspired her hit song and gave her a career … but did I get any thanks? No. Which is another reason we are frenemies. I also inspired her Oscar winning song Skyfall – it was about balls and is meant to be part of Lil Whorephan Andy – but that is another story for another time.

As much as I’ve complained about Ads, it was such a treat to see her and her 6000 new Grammys and to discuss something she is far less skilled at, the world of celebrity and the Holy Grail of awards ceremonies.

Lucky for this year’s race for Best Original Song is a two horse-one batch of nominees race between the two nominated hits from La La Land. I mean sure, in any other year Lin Manuel would be polishing the EGOT label on his future tombstone … but La La Land was a gem celebrating old Hollywood that was also more cerebral than most people give it credit for, meaning it is pretty much unbeatable in this category above all else. And even Adele can see that.

I mean, it is a musical for christ sake – we can ignore that Another Day in the Sun and Someone in the Crowd are infinitely superior songs.

We both agreed that City of Stars is the safest bet for the gong and that a Waffadele Burger is the perfect feed for such robust debate.

And drinking.

 

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I know, I know – a waffle burger is gimmicky … but this one is pure perfection. I mean it is a copycat Big Mac, served on waffles. It is a better McGangbang than the McGangbang and dipping fries into a sundae.

I’d tell you to enjoy but I know there is no getting around it! Now off to greet my fave writer/director …

 

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Waffadele Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp French dressing
1 tbsp sweet gherkin relish
1 onion, finely minced – ½ for the sauce, ½ for the burgers
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
12 waffle *Spoiler alert* aka 12 waffles, I don’t mind if you buy … for now
cooking oil of your choosing
iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
8 slices American cheese
pickles, thinly sliced

Method
Combine the mayo through garlic powder in a small bowl with a good season, stir and place in the fridge to chill.

Meanwhile squeeze out excess moisture (read: blood) from the mince and transfer to a bowl. Season generously, combine with your hands and shape into eight balls and flatten to make thin patties. Leave to rest while you heat up a large skillet over high heat.

While that is happening, start toasting the waffles in a toaster and transferring to a plate.

When the skillet is nice and hot, reduce heat to medium, brush with some cooking oil and cook the patties for a minute or two each side. Transfer to a plate and repeat until they are done.

To assemble, place a waffle on a plate, smear generously with special sauce, top with a pinch of the reserved chopped onion, add the lettuce, top with a slice of cheese and a pattie, followed by the centre waffle. Then smear with sauce, top with onion, lettuce, a few pickle slices, cheese – because I believe it needs two slices – the pattie and another waffle.

Push down, grab in one hand – if you can, Ads and I have big hands like Donald Trump, obvi – and devour.

 

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, and Tumblr.

Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind

Can you believe that the most wonderful day of the year – outside of Treat. Yo. Self. Day – is almost upon us again?

It feels like only yesterday that my girl Brie was taking the stage to win Best Actress … and this year it looks like another of my dear girlfriends, Em Stone, will take out the prize.

Unless of course I curse her like I did Beyonce at the Grammys – soz Bey!

Off topic but listen up ladies, if you want a shot at winning next year’s Best Actress award you better hope you’re my friend and have displayed our relationship on the blog.

Anyway, I’m thrilled to be sharing Oscar Gold with you for a third year in a row. I am so excited, it is only the A++ list this year and you are going to be so Gold with the Wind!

Image source: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

 

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Shirliders MacLaine

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVI: Gold Interrupted, Party Food, Snack

To finish off my pre-Oscar celebrations – aka Oscar Gold week – I’ve got to go with one of my oldest, figuratively and literally, and zaniest fellow Academy Award winning friends – Shirls.

And hurly burly what a girly my dear Shirley MacLaine is!

I’ve long been a family friend of the MacLaine-Beatty’s after meeting Shirl in NY in the 50s where I was turning tricks and being a stand-over man around the time Babs made it big. Shirl needed a favour bumping off the actress she was understudying, so I assisted in taking her out by breaking her ankle which went on to inspire both Tonya Harding’s attack on Nancy Kerrigan and the movie Showgirls.

That also contributed to my time in the clink in the 60s.

As I had learnt not to rat out my friends long ago, I kept her involvement quiet and was thrilled to watch her success from the sidelines before reconnecting in the 70s and subsequently became her go-to Oscars date due to my dashing looks and raging homosexuality.

As both Shirls and I are 30-40% psychic, it was less of a discussion about the winners (I spent a lot of time asking about her casting in the live action Little Mermaid film) and more about reading the lettuce leaves left on our plate from my Shirliders MacLaine.

 

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Burgers are arguably my favourite food … but sliders are better. I mean, why have one large burger when you can have 47 mini burgers? As they are tiny, it means you’re not gluttonous!

Enjoy … particularly while you watch Spotlight, Inside Out, George, Leo, Brie, Alicia and my lover, man I’ve body-doubled for and dialect coach Syl take home their Oscars.

Oh – did I mention I am hosting seven separate red-carpet specials (take THAT Rancid), attending as Mark Ruffalo’s seat-double (I need to talk more about my extensive career as a double) and Cate’s date while also live blogging and tweeting (so fucking hip, is this 2008?) the entire thing on Sunday/Monday, timezone dependant?

You should bookmark the page or something and join me while I spill the inside goss and roast the jokers I call my filthy frenemies.

 

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Shirliders MacLaine
Serves: 1 after the red carpet season ends, without judgement.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt
pepper
1 onion, finely diced
6-8 streaky bacon rashers, sliced to fit the rolls
150g sharp cheese or your choosing, sliced
iceberg lettuce (down with haters), finely diced
tomatoes, sliced
american mustard
ketchup
mayo
slider rolls (I went with the Briocher Bünsberg and just made them smaller, but not small enough)
olive oil

Method
Squeeze as much liquid (read: blood) from the mince as possible, aiming to avoid squirting it in your eye as that is foul and painful, and place it in a medium bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

With you hands, scrunch the mixture until it starts to come together. Break into 8-12 patties, depending on how big you like your sliders/made your buns. Place on a lined plate, cover and refrigerate for an hour or so.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat and sweat the onions until soft, sweet and caramelised.

When ready to devour, over high heat, heat a large frying pan, griddle or barbecue, whichever you prefer. When hot, reduce to low, halve the buns and fry the open sides until toasty and golden.

Wipe out any crumbs and fry bacon until crisp and remove to some papertowel. Place patties on the hot pan/griddle/barbecue, flatten with a spatula and drizzle each with about ½ tsp of mustard. After a minute or so, flip the patties, watching for spitting mustard (which hurts like hell), and place a slice of cheese on top to melt. Cook for a further minute or so, depending on your tastes, and remove from the heat.

To assemble the sliders, butter the bottom of the buns with a generous smear of mayo, top with bacon, some caramelised onions, a slice of tomato, some iceberg lettuce and the molten hot cheesy, mustard patties, a squirt of ketchup if you want, and who doesn’t, before topping with the rest of the bun.

Serve with sweet potato fries on a large platter and gorge, with or without friends.

 

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+.

Aaron Porkin Cabbage Dumplings

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVI: Gold Interrupted, Party Food, Snack

As a ramblin’ man, prone to long monologues at anyone that will listen with the speedy caffeinated talking style of the Gilmore Girls, you just know I am a close friend with Aaron Sorkin.

I first met Sorki in the late 90s when he hired me as to act as his sports advisor on the set of his new show Sports Night. Given our mutual love of fast-paced talking, the bond we shared was instant and we have been working together ever since with me doctoring all of his major scripts.

Well except for The Social Network as I was banned from the set due to my arrests for stalking JT and the consulting Winklevii twins.

This year’s crop of screenplay nominees are largely first time nominees, allowing us to really get into a wordy discussion on the merits of each picture without touching the elephant in the room that is his snubbing for the Steve Jobs script – he likely blames my doctoring, I blame everything but myself because well #OscarsSoStraight too.

When engaging in spirited and verbose discussion, it is important to make sure you have a meal that is both hearty and light – that is where my Aaron Porkin Cabbage Dumplings come in!

 

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Packed full of fresh ingredients, the flavours combine to give you an all together delicious blob of meat wrapped in a light, spongy dough. So, you know, the basic, undignified definition of what a dumpling is.

Enjoy!

 

aaron-porkin-cabbage-dumplings-2

 

Aaron Porkin Cabbage Dumplings
Makes: 48.

Ingredients
4 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ cup coarsely chopped wombok
500g pork mince
4 shallots, trimmed, thinly sliced
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cooking sake
48 gow gee wrappers
1 ½ tbsp vegetable oil, extra
⅔ cup water, extra

Method
Combine ginger and garlic, cabbage, pork, shallots, tamari, sugar, sesame oil, sake and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Place a wrapper on a clean work surface. Place about2 tsps of pork mixture in the centre of the wrapper, brush edges with water and fold over to enclose, pinching the edges together. Place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Repeat with remaining wrappers and pork mixture.

You can try and make them look nice and crimped but I am really terrible at it.

Heat half the extra vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Cook half the gyoza for 2 minutes or until bases are golden. Add half the extra water. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes or until cooked and liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a serving platter and repeat with remaining oil, gyoza and water.

Serve with sriracha, hoisin or soy sauce while walking around delivering rapid monologues with your friends.

 

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Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVI: Gold Interrupted

I am almost overwhelmed when it comes to talking about my beautiful, breathtaking and languid friendship with the gorgeous Ang Lee. He has brought me so much joy over the years – adapting books I love, casting men I love and having them flash their buns, which I love.

Ang Lee is both a pimp for my love of celluloid flesh and a saint, which is a stunning combination.

I first connected with the celebrated director while attending the Provincial Tainan First Senior High School where his father, our principal, made him act as my mentor to curb my shameful, wayward behaviour.

Ang was such a kind, gentle soul and I desperately wanted to avoid disappointing him, however me being me, I rubbed off on him and he failed his final exams and couldn’t progress to being a professor. Thankfully it led him to eventually being a director so, in a roundabout way, I am responsible for his lush films and lauded career.

You’re welcome.

We lost contact after his mandatory military service however reconnected through Em Thomp – my closest boozing bud – while he was making Sense and Sensibility and I became his most trusted advisor, leading to Bana buns in Hulk and Brokeback Mountain.

While it was very hard to be overlooked for the role of Ennis opposite J-Gyll, Ang was kind enough to introduce us on set – he hired me as the resident flannel expert – and we enjoyed a torrid love affair that I ran to the paps about, thus starting all of the Jake gay rumours.

No one was better to discuss this year’s Best Director crop than the two-time winner, so I whipped up my Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts to fuel our moving discussion about the possibility of our dear friend George Miller finally getting recognised for his work after such a majestically eclectic filmography.

Dark horse pick goes to Adam McKay. I mean, he was robbed for the Anchorman movies.

 

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While asparagus pee is both a blessing (I’m special) and a curse (it is rank), these tarts are well worth it. The sweetness of the leek with the sharp goat’s cheese and earthy asparagus create a delicate little tart that packs as much of a punch as one of Ang’s films.

Enjoy!

 

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Ang Leek and Asparagus Tarts
Makes: 18.

Ingredients
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon butter
2 leeks, finely sliced
1 bunch asparagus
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
300ml cream
150g goat’s cheese

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Melt butter over low heat and saute the leeks until soft, and place into a large mixing bowl.

Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut into 5cm pieces and fry for two minutes on high heat in the same pan, until bright and just cooked. Add asparagus to the leeks and allow to cool.

Once cooled, add in the eggs and cream, season and stir to combine.

Place the puff pastry on a clean surface and cut both into a 3×3 grid, so that each sheet make nine squares. Roughly press each square of pastry into a muffin tin, to create a rustic looking case – I am too lazy to worry about it looking “nice,” as is Ang.

Pour the vegetable/custard mixture even amongst the 18 cases and crumble the goats cheese on top.

Whack in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until set and golden. Remove from the oven and rest for about 20 minutes before inhaling.

Devour in a poignant fashion.

 

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+.