James Van Detray Bake

Baking, Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Main, Poultry

After starting things off with the dreamy Josh Jackson, followed up with the liberated Katie Holmes and my dear old friend Mary Beth Peil, we’ve arrived at the owner of the Creek. Yep – today is all about Dawth-son, my boy JVDB.

As you know – since this isn’t his first time on my patch of cyber-space – JVDB and I were lovers and then the best of friends. And most importantly, he is the reason I am married. Well technically it is thanks to the words of Fauxy on the series finale of Dawson’s Creek … but he made me watch it and as such, gets the points.

Given we’ve only recently caught up on the record – we have a monthly date and it is seminal to my happiness … this time, my meaning of seminal flies – I was surprised that he was able to make the trip down under. But I guess, how could you say no to honouring the 20th anniversary of the greatest role of your career?

JVDB has been hella busy of late, so was thrilled to be able to take some time to honour his work, while enjoying some R&R. Plus – I promised to cook up his second favourite food, my James Van Detray Bake.

 

 

Inspired by Nigella’s tray bake in Nigellissima, this little number – and I hate to say it – is even better than the OG. I mean, how do you go wrong with the addition of chilli and garlic?

Enjoy!

 

 

James Van Detray Bake
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 washed potatoes, cut into chunks
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
6 sprigs of rosemary
6 few sprigs of thyme
small handful of sage, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 tbsp chilli flakes
10 chicken thighs, bone in
8 Italian sausages
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Chuck the potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon juice and zest and chilli in a large baking dish and toss together. Add the thighs and sausages, pushing them into holes, burying some and leaving others all exposed.

Drizzle with a good lug of olive oil, season generously and transfer to the oven to bake for about an hour, checking after 45 minutes to avoid burning the meat.

Once cooked through, remove from the oven and allow to stand for about ten minutes before serving. And in turn, devouring.

 

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James Van Der Greek Chips

Party Food, Side, Snack

Did I ever tell you that James Van Der Beek is the reason I am married? I’m fairly certain I have … but it is a story that bears repeating.

While there is a part of me that will always be heartbroken that JVDB never proposed to me while we were dating – he didn’t like sharing me with J-Jax, which was a not-negosh for me back in 2001 – he knew before I did when I found the man of my dreams and pushed me to propose.

He sat me down the day before my 22nd birthday and made me rewatch the two-part finale of Dawson’s Creek. It got to the part where Joey and Pacey were watching his faux-show and he turned to me just as faux-Joe started quoting the theme song and said, do you want to wait? For your life to be over?

Obviously I didn’t and the rest is history … but that is just the kind of close friendship we have, you know? I mean, he knew I should propose even before I did.

I’m not surprised though, JVDB has been my best friends since he guested on Clarissa Explains It All and I dumped the wagon that was Mel J H. I knew he was destined for greatness – and that he was a total babe – and made it my life goal to make him the star of a seminal teen drama series.

When I first locked in that goal, I had a different understanding of the word seminal … but I was successful, even if I didn’t mean to be.

As I mentioned, I haven’t seen to him since the one-two punch of Don’t trust the bitch in Apartment 23’s axing and convincing him to join the cast of CSI: Cyber – with my friend Bow Wow – but thankfully he never held any of my advice against me.

And being that it came from my dear friend JVDB I actually believe he didn’t  … and that that fact had nothing to do with his love of my James Van Der Greek Chips.

 

 

I know he is not Greek … but these were our favourite post going Greek snack. And how could you find fault with that/them, really? Crispy potatoes, sharp feta, sweet oregano, tangy lemon and a nice punch of chilli.

Seriously, it is perfection – enjoy!

 

 

James Van Der Greek Chips
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2-3 potatoes, cut into ½ cm batons the length of the potato
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
zest of a lemon
chilli flakes, to taste
⅓ cup feta, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Once the oven is scorching hot, place the potatoes on a lined baking sheet with a lug of olive oil and a whack of salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to coat and spread into a single row. Place in the oven, reduce heat to 180°C and cook for twenty minutes or until golden and crisp. You may need to flip once halfway through cooking …  but I can never really be bothered.

Remove the chips from the oven, sprinkle the oregano, zest and chilli flakes over the hot chips and toss.

Decant to a bowl, top with feta and devour.

 

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I don’t want to wait

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I had two bae-bies in the ‘00s. One was Josh Jackson, the other was Van Der Beek.

It caused a set war or 44. But I couldn’t decide, you know? Every telephone ring, every heartbeat stinging. I thought to God my calling my calling here … was to start the greatest throuple of all time.

Oh would I son, grow to know two lovers?

The answer, obviously, was yes but it ended when the Creek did. Thankfully I remained close with both boys, Beek in particular.

I haven’t seen him since the demise of Bitch in Apartment 23, so gave him a call over the weekend and said – obviously – I don’t want to wait, for our lives to be over, I want to catch-up now. What will it be?

I don’t want to wait, for our lives to be over. Will it be yes or will i be, salty?

Thankfully for him, his career and our friendship, he said yes. What do I make to avoid him ugly crying?

Or better yet, what do I make that brings him so much joy that he ugly cries … and I film it, it goes viral and I live off the ad revenue like the Charlie bit me family?

Image source: Still from Dawson’s Creek.

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Charros

Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I tell you, Charo is an absolute miracle worker on the soul!

After a tumultuous month with Annelie engaged in a legal battle with Brandi Glanville after giving her the information which lead to Fish-Cooch-gate, foiling Kelly Rutherford’s attempts to gain back custody of her children and blocking Bryan Adam’s next album from seeing the light of day, and where I was involved in a non-deliberate-or-scam-related hit and run (the car hit, I ran … to a bar), we have been feeling a bit down, despondent and in need of a lift. Charo, petite as she may be, had us soaring higher than her flamenco riffs at the end of our catch-up.

Charo is a rarity amongst our friendships, in that we have never once been engaged in a fight, legal battle or had an ill word to say of one another in our five decade friendship. Some would argue that the mutual secrets of our actual ages make us scared to cross each other, but I would argue that her Spanish charm is too infectious. I mean, come on, she’s Charo!

Even during our time working on The Love Boat, where Annelie and I were heavily addicted to crack cocaine and invented the drug Bath Salts in the Captain’s Suite with Shirley Jones, Charo embraced us with warmth and tried to help us achieve our best.

Charo walked into Annelie’s place and could tell we were both down (Bryan’s album still had a release date and I realised I forgot to get the details of the man who legitimately ran me down), immediately breaking into an epic four and a half hour flamenco guitar solo about hope, despair and perseverance which turned our frowns upside down.

The only way to repay our dear friend, mentor and role-model and celebrate her multiple birthdays, was to whip up the biggest batch of Charros possible, while we plotted ways that Ben could win back JVDB’s love after he ruined a Beek Jeans event three years ago.

 

Charros_1

 

While Charros are good with a nice thick, chilli chocolate sauce our personal favourite accompaniment is Dulce de Nick Lachey. It is thick, sweet and makes you want to smack your hands/face in it until Charo can teach you the sign language for it / work you out of your funk.

Enjoy!

 

Charros_2

 

Charros
Serves: 3 friends plotting to woo back JVDB.

Ingredients
¼ cup caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup boiled water
corn or vegetable oil, for-a deep-fryin’

Method
Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a wide, shallow dish and place aside (this is for the coatin’).

In a large, heatproof bowl combine the flour and the baking powder, and then beat in the olive oil and boiled water. Keep mixing until the dough comes together, it will be warm and sticking so don’t let that scare you. Leave the dough to rest for 10 minutes, while you heat the oil over low/medium heat in a medium saucepan (the oil should come up a third of the way, remember I am pretty scared of deep fryin’).

When the oil appears hot enough, toss in a cube of bread and see if it sizzles and browns. If it browns in about 30 seconds, you’re good to go. Keep watch on the hot oil pan at all times, you never know when it can go nuts.

Preheat the oven to 80°C.

Load up a piping bag with a large star shaped nozzle (if you don’t have a star nozzle, like me, a plain one won’t matter. They will just look like strange little nuggets that taste delicious) and fill it with the dough. Squeeze lengths, about 6-8cm long, of dough into the hot oil, snipping them off with a pair of scissors as you go. You could do them long, but that would require some serious deep-fryin’ which I am just not emotionally ready to commit to. Cook about 3 or 4 at a time. Once they are browned, remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon and then place on a lined baking sheet. While you work through cooking all the churros, keep them in the oven to retain their heat.

Once all done, keep in the warm oven for about 10 minutes to help them finish cooking through before coating in the cinnamon sugar and serving with a generous amount of Dulce de Nick Lachey, preferably on Nick Lachey.

This may be all about Charo, but she isn’t the only one bringing the spice, no?

 

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