Chicken Shomein Fairfax

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Sharn and Shane were well and truly on the bottom, desperate to find a way to save themselves. Thankfully for them Brian voted Fenella out and upset the other half of Shonella, so when he took Monika on reward and left Shonee back at camp, the three of them formed a new alliance. Despite winning a car – a curse as powerful as my pizza curse – and not winning immunity, Brian survived tribal council thanks to his idol, leaving poor Monika to be blindsided by the SH clique who had a feeling he was packing said idol.

The next day Brian was feeling a bit salty, while Shonee rejoiced in surviving this long and being the final Contender standing. The four congratulated themselves on a game well played and were giddy about their only being three days left. Grubby continued to sulk around the camp, while Shonee listed off her impressive resume from surviving the tribal swap, navigating the post-merge flip-flop and most impressively, Benji’s nachos eating. Hopefully this is start of the winner’s coronation and not a send-off, because I can’t handle a Michelle Dougan situation again.

Meanwhile Shane was dolphin-ing it up in the ocean, talking about the complexities of the mind games and her stellar, not to be fucked with social game. She then shared that her ideal final two would be opposite Sharn, despite the fact she is a killer lawyer and would have an easier time against the disliked blindside. She followed Shonee, listing her resume of blindsides and knowing that going up against Sharn would show that she can defeat the barrister at her own game. Oh and obviously pulling off the blindside of Brian, flushing his idol and his ally in one foul swoop. Given she thinks he is villainous and wants to take him down, however isn’t sure whether taking him out next is the best idea.

Sharn and Shane went for a walk, leaving Brian time to approach Shonee to find out why she flipped on him at the previous tribal. While he pretended to trust her and accept her rational, he vowed to take her down and do what it takes. With that, he followed in the girls footsteps and listed his villainous resume and hoped that his final tribal speech would be interesting and exciting enough to hand him the win. Trying to find new friends, he went for a walk to check treemail with Sharn where they discovered a moral dilemma where a meal was sitting in the jungle and they could either choose to share with Shane and Shonee, both split it or if they can’t decide, the person that wants it for themself gets it. While they debated back and forth for a while, Brian chose to keep the food for himself while Sharn opted to split and as such, Brian got it all for himself. Which he ate, giddily and without remorse.

My boy Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the castaways were required to weave discs through a maze suspended on a spring and then stack 12 on top of said maze without knocking them off. Brian and Shonee got out to an early lead while Shane started to close the gap and Sharn took the slow and steady wins the race motto. As you can imagine, this isn’t really something exciting to type about, let alone read … so Brian placed his twelfth and then dropped the stack, as did Shane … and Shonee, leaving Sharn to Steven Bradbury. Wait, nope, she dropped too leaving Brian to snatch immunity on his second attempt. This time with far less arrogance.

Back at camp the ladies congratulated Brian on his immunity win, while Brian was proud of taking out another immunity challenge and quickly identified Sharn as the next boot. He approached Shonee to lock in the vote against Sharn since they were each other’s best hope. Shonee was fairly confident she would be able to turn Shane against Sharn, so approached her to explain how well Sharn has played and how strong she will perform at final tribal. While Shonee would prefer to be taking out Brian, she continued to work Shane hard and assured her that if they are in the final three, she will take her to the end over Brian. Shane and Sharn went for a walk and marvelled at Brian’s luck in the game, before Shane spilt all the goss to Sharn and told her that they were planning to take her out. This allowed Sharn to explain to Shane that if there is a tie between their votes and Brian and Shonee’s, Sharn and Shonee would make fire and as such, they would win out in the end.

After locking in a deal with Sharn, Shane approached Brian to see where his head was at and told him that she would be interested in flipping to them and taking out Sharn as it is their best chance. They roped in Shonee and the three agreed they would vote together, which made Shonee feel even more nervous about the vote ahead. As such, Shonee approached Sharn as she felt she was the most trustworthy person left in the game and floated the idea of joining together to take out Shane instead. Sharn acknowledged that Shane was her biggest competition left in the game and as such was conflicted about which way to go at tribal council.

At said tribal council Brian spoke about only being able to trust immunity at this point in the game, Shane agreed that she doesn’t really know who she can trust, however admitted that she planned to stick with her loyalty and hope for the best. Sharn spoke about being nervous about tribal, though planned to trust her gut, while poor Shonee spoke about not being able to trust anyone until after the votes are read. She hoped that the people she spoke with during the day and felt on the same page as were being honest and things would work out for her.

Sharn acknowledged people needing to play for the jury, trying to sway Shane into staying loyal by painting the jury as not interested in an easy – sorry Steve, giving – win. Shane said that some of the jury actual prefer the villainous gameplay, though admitted that past loyalties would come into play in the final vote. This led to Brian admitting that all the contenders would potentially vote for Shonee and as such, she is a threat. Though he backed the game he played. Sharn spoke about not knowing if she can beat everyone in the end, while Shonee tried to sway her by talking about sticking with her gut. Fellow gut-gal Sharn said that she too would be sticking to hers and with that, they headed off to vote and Sharn and Shane stuck together while Brian and Shonee didn’t, leaving Shonee to be tragically felled in fourth place.

While I desperately wanted to scream at her for essentially 2-1-1-ing herself out of the game and not even trying to go to fire, I couldn’t stay mad at her and instead broke down in tears over the fact that not only were we robbed of a Shonella final two, she follows in the footsteps of Michelle and Flick of being the fourth place robbed goddess. She held me close as I sobbed for all that we, Australia, lost until I was strong enough to serve her a comforting bowl of my Chicken Shomein Fairfax.

 

 

Sweet, spicy and packed full of comforting carbs, chow mein is one of those dishes which look complex but are super easy. So easy you can cook while blinded by the combination of tears and rage.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Shomein Fairfax
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g fresh hokkien noodles
peanut oil
500g chicken mince
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 chillies, sliced
2 carrots, julienned
1 red capsicum, seeded and sliced
1 tbsp curry powder
¼ cup oyster sauce
3 tbsp tamari
½ cup cooking sake
⅔ cup peas
½ cup baby corn
100g oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 bunch choy sum, roughly chopped
½ wombok, shredded
4 shallots, sliced

Method
Seperate the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water for five minutes or so. Drain.

Heat a good lug of oil in a wok and cook the mince over high heat for five minutes, or until browned, breakin up any lumps as you go. Add the garlic, chilli, carrot and capsicum, and fry for a further minute. Add the curry powder, oyster sauce, tamari and sake and cook for a couple of minutes. Add all the remaining vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes.

Remove from the heat, toss through the noodles and devour, piping hot, with plenty for hot sauce in honour of her spicy confessionals.

 

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Bougatsabastian Noel

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, twenty castaways were marooned in Fiji – again – with a fresh little twist added into the game called Ghost Island. Some say it is an excuse for more advantages and idols to be thrown into the game, others say it is home to all the cursed artefacts from Survivor seasons past which are waiting to come and reverse the curse. Anyway, Stephanie Gonzalez was first out the door thanks to Jacob being sent to Ghost Island first … which sadly only delayed his boot to second. Morgan was then swap-fucked followed by the continuing decimation of Malolo and my erection with zaddy Brendan, Stephanie – exempt from the erection part due to my aggressive homosexuality – James, Bradley and his teeny mouth, Chris and his ego, Libby, Des and Jenna before true tragedy struck as Michael was booted. While my heart wasn’t in it after that, the game continued and Chelsea and Kellyn followed him out the door, which leads us to here.

The final six features Sebastian is super sweet and looks super stoned, though has the opportunity to reverse the curse of the extra vote. King Donathan is adorable, got island hot, played a wild, oft chaotic game and I hope returns with Aunt Patty. Laurel is still here thanks to ruining everyone’s plans to take out Wendell and Dom, Angela is just here against all odds … I don’t even know what to say. Anyway, it all comes down to either Wendell or Dom, with Wendell amassing idols and friends along the way and Dom collecting idols, fakes and advantages though hasn’t made many friends.

Back at camp after booting Kellyn, everyone was still reacting to Donathan’s attempt to use chaos as a ladder. While Wendell joked about being disappointed not to help him get out Domenick, Laurel – or Yanny – told Donathan he was lucky not to get himself voted out. Because heaven forbid someone plays for better than third. Thankfully Sebastian has opted for the final six to be his moment to start playing the game, so hopefully he puts his extra vote to good use.

The next day Domenick and Wendell reconvened away from the rest of the tribe to see how best to overcome losing Donathan’s vote. While he turned against them, they still felt it was better to take out Sebastian since he is more of a threat – really? – and decided the only way to both make final four, is for one of them to win immunity. Yanny was present for the entire conversation but like this season, didn’t really contribute … though it would be a gag if she actually screwed up the plans which seems to be her thing.

Talk of the challenge manifested Probst for the final six immunity challenge where they would run a skull-maze to collect puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle. Everyone but poor Donathan and Domenick seemed to be neck and neck grabbing the puzzle pieces with Sebastian ahead when it came to solving the puzzle, followed by Laurel, Wendell, Angela and Domenick while Donathan wandered around the maze. In any event, Wendell continued his puzzle dominance, screamed for Probst to check his puzzle and didn’t have immunity snatched from him again. In addition, he got to enjoy a steak dinner which he shared with Sebastian and Angela with both he and Domenick ‘she deserves it man’ Abbate playing for those jury votes, much to the chagrin of Laurel who really wanted that steak, damnit.

The final six returned to camp with Wendell celebrating finally snatching an immunity win and guaranteeing his place in the final four thanks to his hidden immunity idol. He then joined Sebastian and Angela to smash a coupla steaks and get them all thinking that Donathan would be getting booted tonight, despite planning to take out Sebastian. Thankfully Sebastian realised he needed to build a resume, so thought it would be a good time to use his extra vote and take out someone big. Back at the camp Laurel continued to rage about Wendell fueling Angela ahead of the next immunity challenge, since she is the one that will need it to survive. Her rage at least made Dom nervous about his getting the boot. Sebastian joined Angela and Donathan to talk about just how many idols Dom has – they agreed one – and to get rid of him next with the help of his extra vote. Angela, bless, was just thrilled to be part of the plans for once. Sadly she channelled Laurel and blew said plans up by taking the information straight to Dom. Don and Laurel caught up with him sharing the fact Sebastian has an extra vote, with her deciding that maybe it is finally within her best interests to get rid of Domenick. Dom then caught Wendell up and briefly debated whether he should play it or keep it until tomorrow.

At tribal council Laurel spoke about the battle between playing big or smart – por que no los dos? – Donathan shared that he still felt nervous following the chaos he caused the night before … which Sebastian agreed with. Dom called shade, sorry, bullshit and said that he thinks Donathan accepting defeat is all an act to get him out in cahoots with Sebastian and his extra vote. Sebastian was shocked he found out, while Donathan said despite plotting against them, he knows they’re packing idols and as such knows he is going. Dom then continued his epic show for the jury trying to make Donathan look bad, though his nonchalance is totally making him look glorious and them look terrible. He then threw some bros around to mock them and it was iconic.

Dom continued to attempt to perform for the jury with Dom handing over his fake idol to Probst ahead of the vote, Sebastian and Donathan played cagey and Laurel seemed confused. With that, the tribe voted and before Probst read the votes, Dom opted to point out the idol he played was fake and pointed out how brave he was. Sadly it appears he was brave and also lucky, as the votes rolled in for Sebastian and sent him from the game.

Given Sebastian is one of the nicest damn people to walk the planet, he wasn’t too bothered to have been aggressively booted from the game. I even mentioned Angela straight-up ruined the plan to get him to bite and it didn’t. When I brought out the Bougatsabastian Noel however, I couldn’t get him to bloody stop biting.

 

 

As you could probably tell, I’m craving a bit of Greek at the moment so it was kind of convenient that Seb’s boot meant I could roll on from my ball party with some sweetly, spiced custardy goodness. Add in the flaky filo case and I was in absolute heaven. Heaven, I tells ya!

Enjoy!

 

 

Bougatsabastian Noel
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
3 cups milk
125g raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup semolina
pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp
375g filo pastry
icing sugar, to dust

Method
Place the sugar and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir through the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg before slowly adding the semolina while stirring. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir through the tablespoon of butter, transfer to a bowl, cover and leave to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter and  brush around the base and edges of a springform pan. Press a couple of sheets of filo into the tin and repeat the process of brushing the inside of the tin and added a few sheets of filo at a time, moving them around the tin, leaving about five-ten sheets of filo aside. Spoon in the custard and smooth the top. Trim the remaining pastry and place over the top of the pie, one at a time, brushing with butter in between. Fold the overhanging pastry in, brush with more butter and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes before dusting with icing sugar and devouring.

 

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Devon Pinto Beans on Toast

Breakfast, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, the four of the final five’s complacency lead to Ben finding yet another idol. Despite Chrissy’s best attempts to use her dead super idol to her advantage and play it as an idol to stop him searching. Yes, it was too little too late, but thankfully for Devon he felt Ben was too confident for someone that was about to be voted out, and threw a vote on Mike to save himself and send Mike to the jury.

The final four returned to camp, once again shocked by Ben’s latest idol play and Devon receiving his first vote. Ben then checked in with Ryan to see whether he and his series of idols broke another record. While semi-gloating that night, he was feeling decidedly less confident the next day given idols are dead. Though Probst did say that the final four would bring about another twist, so who knows.

Chrissy for one was extremely nervous about the twist as if all goes according to plan and one of their three win immunity, she wins a million dollars and Ben goes home in fourth.

Given she said immunity three times, Probst appeared for the final immunity challenge of the season which features the victor also getting said twist. The challenge seemed simple with the castaways required to spell our heroes, healers and hustlers on a wobbly platform. Looks were deceiving however as Chrissy quickly dropped her first batch of letters, as did Devon. Ryan and Ben got out to an early lead, while Chrissy and Devon continued to bumble around. Public enemy number one Ben then overtook Ryan and placed his final letters and locked in the platform, thinking he had immunity. Tragically for him, one of the letters was upside down and he lost most of his blocks as he unlocked the structure to fix it. That lead to Ryan, Chrissy and Devon all following suit and dropping all their blocks. The panic started to set in with Ben dropping again, followed by Ryan, Chrissy, Devon, Ryan and Devon. It came down to Ben and Chrissy who were neck and neck before Ben dropped again, giving Chrissy enough time to finish the puzzle and snatch her record-equalling fourth immunity challenge.

They returned to camp where Ben was feeling completely defeated, knowing he was a dead man walking. Ryan and Chrissy spoke about them potentially being millionaires soon while Ben spoke to Chrissy about the possibility of taking him to the end. While she told him she would think about it, she knew it may cost her the game. Little did he know that Chrissy’s advantage was actually a disadvantage, which gave her the opportunity to pick one person to take to the end and leave the other two to compete in a fire challenge for the final spot. Which bodes well for Ben and not good for Devon, as Chrissy thinks he will be better at making fire than Ryan.

Chrissy took the information to Devon and Ryan so that they would be across it and Devon could use the time to practice making fire. While Ryan was thrilled his ineptitude secured his place in the final three, there was an overwhelming sense of doom as Devon went down to the beach to practice making fire and immediately broke the flint.

Things didn’t go that much better for Devon at tribal council where after Ryan joined Chrissy as a member of the final three, Ben was shocked to learn he had yet another life and made quick work of the fire while Devon struggled to even get a spark, sending him out of the game as the final juror.

As heartbroken as he and his enormous torso were to exit the game on day 38 by an unprecedented twist, he quickly brushed it off as just part of the game. I screamed and threatened to sue for what felt like six hours before calming my farm and getting down to whipping up some Devon Pinto Beans on Toast for the morning after making Devs feel better.

 

 

While they oft have smack talked about them as the musical fruit, beans are fucking delicious and wholly nutritious … which is super convenient if you just spent 38 starving on an island and backed it up with a very late night.

Enjoy!

 

 

Devon Pinto Beans on Toast
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and cut into half-moon discs
400g can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
½ tsp smoked paprika
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices sourdough, toasted
parmesan, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a medium skillet until nice and hot. Reduce heat to low, add the onions and garlic, and sweat until soft and sweet. Add the tomato, beans and a lug of water and cook for two minutes, or until almost completely reduced. Add the paprika and a whack of salt and pepper, stir and remove from the heat.

Serve immediately on freshly toasted sourdough, top with some parmesan and devour thinking this is why I’m a morning person.

 

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Gnocchi Gilbert

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Pasta, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Jericho had the shits after his beloved Luke was booted from the game. Thankfully Locky was still public enemy number one … until he won his third immunity, leading to a battle between Ziggy, Tara and Locky, and Pete, Michelle and Jericho. Well, until the threat of rocks came into it and she flipped to guarantee her safety, sending Ziggy from the game in sixth place.

The tribe returned to camp where Tara quickly defended herself for flipping on Ziggy, rightly pointing out it saved her from getting Jessica Lewis-ed. Locky however was well pissed, given the fact everyone openly spoke about wanting him out at tribal, his closest ally Tara included. The next day he was still smarting, ignoring the rest of the tribe while they sat by the camp. Knowing that he is screwed if he doesn’t work through his issues, Locky spoke to Tara in the shelter about their issues, accused her of yelling at him while yelling at her and then dropped the L bomb to clear the air instantly.

While the love story was unfolding, Peter, Jericho and Michelle tried to come up with a plan B for if Locky wins his fourth immunity in a row. This in turn gave Locky enough time to fashion his own plan B, taking Anneliese’s idol message and rag, showing it to Tara to convince her that he has an idol and letting her spread it like wildfire to save him. Tara and Michelle bought it hook, line and sinker, but the boys weren’t buying it. Once again, Jericho proving himself smarter than I give him credit for.

Breaking things up, Jericho spoke about a traumatic experience from his childhood when he almost drowned while trying to surf, solidifying his rapidly expanding winner’s edit. Hell, it was so damn emotional I even welled up and rooted for him. Proving why I love Locky – other than his buns – he offered to go out swimming in the deep water with Jericho so he would feel safe and get to experience something he always wanted to. Fuck me dead – I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING. Can they go to the final two and one of them propose Boston Rob style?

As heartwarming as the moment was, him winning over Jericho and pulling at Tara’s heartstrings painted an even bigger target on his back, motivating them even more to pip him at the post at the next immunity challenge. Right on cue JLP returned for a combined reward and immunity challenge where they each had to line up dominoes on a suspended bar to ring a gong … without knocking them over. The reward? Well my friends, that is for a car – and picnic – meaning whoever wins immunity tonight is now out of the running for the win. Actually, does the car curse count on Australian Survivor?

In any event, Peter got out to an early lead though sadly was just short. Jericho thought he had it, missing by one block. Locky gave it a crack, missing after a couple. Then Tara failed, allowing Michelle and Locky to battle it out with the former taking it out by a couple of seconds. Fuck I hope the car curse isn’t applicable here. She was then given the chance to take the car for a spin and the obligatory picnic with two of her closest friends, taking Jericho and Tara. While Locky was pissed to miss out on immunity and a car, Pete was pissed about the picnic and spoke to me on the deepest of levels.

Michelle and her crew arrived at the beach to enjoy their picnic feast and before the basket was even opened, Jericho proposed them forming a final three alliance. While they all jumped on the idea, talk turned to Locky with his post-challenge reaction convincing Tara that he was idol-less, while Michelle was still unconvinced. Meanwhile back at camp things were decidedly awkward with Locky and Pete trying to make clunky chit-chat before Pete cut the crap and tried to get Locky to prove he had an idol.

Locky gave arguably the best deflection possible – we want you to question whether I have it so my vote can dictate the entire tribal – before the others returned and her started working on Jericho to flip and get rid of goat Pete to earn the respect of the jury. Jericho then rejoined Pete, Michelle and Tara while they debated whether Locky has an idol, while Locky hid in the bushes to make them think he was trying to find his idol. This somehow convinced Michelle that he has the idol as she followed him down the beach to plot about getting rid of Peter making me wonder, can he actually pull this off?

At tribal Michelle was quick to gloat about her immunity and car combo before JLP started to rub salt in Locky’s wounds. Pete quickly went in for Locky before Michelle started to defend him, before he and Locky started to bicker with Locky providing some much needed sass. Tara joined the fray to challenge the use of the term goat, explaining that sheep makes far more sense. After that brief interlude, Pete and Locky continued their fighting with Pete fighting hard, although not brave enough to say that Locky will vote for me anyway, so pile your votes on Locky and if he does have an idol, I’m out.

Tragically, albeit by no means surprisingly, Locky didn’t play his non-existent idol and found himself voted out of the game – despite Winchelle flipping – in fifth place. As heartbroken as I was to see my dreamboat go, I’m truly shocked that he managed to make it as far as he did so tried to keep myself grateful as we caught up in the jury villa.

Now I know you’d assume that I don’t actually know Locky, given how lecherously I speak about him each episode, but we’ve actually been the dearest of friends for years after he taught me to swim on an adventure trip, which I paid forward with Steph Rice via time travel. (Fun fact, me constantly suggesting nudie runs are why Locky was so comfortable getting nude in episode 2). How did I repay his kindness though? By whipping up a big bowl of my Gnocchi Gilbert, obviously.

 

 

I don’t know about you, but whenever I think about Locky, I think of white, pillowy mounds you just can’t wait to bury your face in. Add some spicy, salted meat and you’re living my dreams. I’m going, away, for a minute … enjoy!

 

 

Gnocchi Gilbert
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1.5 kg floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into a generous dice (larger pieces, less water absorbed)
large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
⅓ cup grated parmesan, plus extra to garnish despite how ugly it looks when not shaved
350g plain flour, plus extra to dust
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g speck, diced
1 tsp chilli flakes
800g diced tomatoes
2 cups baby spinach

Method
With that, place the potatoes in a pan of cold water – this is important – bring to the boil and cook until just tender. Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring, for a minute or two to ensure they are dry husks aka without moisture.

Allow to cool. Say it with me and remind me if you ever hear me mention gnocchi, allow to cool completely.

Pass through a ricer or mash aggressively until smooth and your rage sorted. Add a pinch of nutmeg, eggs, a pinch of salt and flour and gently bring together with your hands. Emphasis on gentle, the dough is like shortcrust pastry – you want to work it only as much as you need to.

Once it has come together, dust the bench and your hands with flour and take about a quarter of the dough, roll into a 1.5cm thick log. Slice into 2cm lengths, use the back of a fork to roll the gnocchi to give you the imprint – press the fork down into the length and pull towards you – and place on a floured baking sheet to rest. Repeat the process until all done and allow to rest for an hour or so.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a pot over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until softened. Add the speck and cook for a few minutes, or until crisp and fragrant. Add the chilli flakes and tomatoes, and reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.

Cook the gnocchi in batches until they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and repeat until they’re done.

The sauce should be ready to go, so add the spinach and cook for a minutes or so, or until wilted. Remove from the heat, toss – don’t you love tossing for Locky – through the gnocchi, cover in parmesan and devour, greedily.

Three cheers for Locky and his nudity!

 

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Charcucirie Fields Board

Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, twenty game changing survivors returned to go big or go home which was sadly ironic, with all of the big, iconic players – sans Cirie, Ozzy and Aubry – going home pre-merge. But oh what a pre-merge that was! Tony dug a bunker, Sandra stole something and blamed it on other people, Malcolm was brutally axed by Tai’s first idol and Varner shockingly outed Zeke at tribal.

And then last week happened.

After dominating the merge portion of the game, Cirie went into the second tribal of the episode – after taking out her girl Andrea – with Sarah’s vote steal in hand. Sadly though, she didn’t read the fine print and couldn’t actually use it, planting a seed of distrust with Sarah and sending her other close ally and new queen of jury reactions Michaela, to the jury.

Back at camp, kween Cirie made quick work of winning Sarah back to her side throwing Tai under the bus. While he tried to hem and haw, he eventually opted to continue with his traditional gameplay and immediately flip back, tell the truth and earn the wrath of Sarah.

The next day, Tai went for a walk with Brad to share the knowledge of his two idols to try and win someone over after his disaster last night. Sadly the walk returned villain edit Brad to the fray, saying he would gladly take the idols and vote Tai out … and I don’t think the idol theft would be for the purpose of home decorating.

Probst quickly arrived for the first immunity challenge of the episode – with an additional feast for the victor back at camp – which is a mighty epic maze to collect bags of puzzle pieces. While mazes are always hard to really tell how people are going, Brad, Tai and Troyzan got out to a quick lead, the former taking out a cameraman in the process. Troyzan started to take a lead as Aubry and Cirie started to close the gap. Brad, Aubry and Cirie ultimately made it back to the puzzle first, which really should have favoured Cirie, given her prowess. Sadly it wasn’t the case however, with Sarah closing the gap before Brad just snagged victory despite leaving a piece in the bag the whole time.

As is often the case, Jeff gave Brad the opportunity to share his reward with two others and isolate the other three. Poor Tai was among the latter with Aubry and Cirie, which kind of shocked me given the fact Tai and Brad appear closer than Brad is with Sarah. But what evs?

Troyzan finally got what feels like his first confessional of the season to remind us about his idol before sitting down to his meal with Sarah and Brad. The three then weighed up boot options for the tribal ahead, planning to throw their votes on Aubry and force Tai to play one of his idols and to hand over the other to bully Brad. For safekeeping.

Tai was feeling wistful, having lost his power in the game. Brad however, didn’t appear to care. Tai then showed Troyzan his idol, spooking him. Thankfully the returned villain edit of Brad was quick to inform Troy that he’d be taking Tai’s idol and voting him out like a fool the next night.

Surprising me, Tai approached Aubry for some much needed help in navigating away from Brad’s bullying, showing both of her idols in the process. Before they could come up with much of a plan, Cirie arrived on the scene and assured them that working together was the best option for the three of them … which is the most iconic final three remaining.

Cirie exited post plea, leaving Aubry to comfort a crying idol.

Troyzan told Sarah about Tai’s two idols, Tai told us he couldn’t trust Cirie, Cirie and Aubry knew they had no other option than sticking together and Tai cried again … which obviously took us into tribal where Michaela was quick to deliver some killer facials.

Aubry spoke about the fallout from the previous tribal, quickly pointing to Tai as the rat. Tai tried to defend himself, which annoyed Sarah and Brad. Sarah felt that it was everyone against Tai, while kween Cirie knows that people have made it through worse … and one. Cirie wasn’t feeling confident, while Aubry was keeping the the faith that she’d somehow survive tribal and/or the confusion.

Then it happened – advantagemageddon!

It started with Tai playing an idol on himself, followed by his second one on Aubry. This spooked Sarah into playing he one tribal only immunity idol, forcing Troyzan to throw his idol into the mix … meaning Cirie was eliminated from the game without any votes as the only person left in the game that wasn’t immune.

Fucking kill me. Fucking. Kill me. Fucking. Kill. Me.

Given the fact that she is an icon, she was given a touching exit that honoured her legacy, given a round of applause and a standing ovation from the jury.

Fucking kill me. I am broken – at least Probst made the audience also give her the standing ovation that she deserves.

As you know, this hurts so much more given how important she is to Annelie and my life – getting us clean and mostly sober, and treating us like family. She arrived in Ponderosa and I ran into her arms and broke down worse than her Micronesia final words.

I was gutted. Ruined. And most importantly salty, like the meats included on my Charcucirie Fields Board.

 

 

Fat hour, wine snacks, tapas, party food, hors d’oeuvres – I don’t give a fuck what you fucking call it (sorry, still so angry for the iconic Cirie), a good charcuterie can cure almost anything. But hey, you know how much I love a good piece of meat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Charcucirie Fields Board
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 chorizos, sliced and fried
sliced hungarian salami
sliced pancetta
sliced pepperoni
pate
chargrilled artichokes
chargrilled capsicums
sundried tomatoes
Sierra Dawn-Hummus
a small wheel of brie
small vintage cheddar
water crackers
French breadstick, thickly sliced

Method
So this is pretty basic … place it all on a board and devour.

Why waste time on cooking, when in the presence of the kween?

 

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Jay Strawbrett Ice Cream

Dessert, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, Sweets

Previously on Survivor, two groups of castaways were marooned in Fiji in the midst of a cyclone for the worst titled season possible. Thankfully the millennials were droned onto the beach to set off Jeff’s season long arc of generational stereotyping.

That make absolutely no sense. But anyway, I still love Jeff.

Thankfully mother nature was annoyed by the aforementioned stereotyping too and took Jeff out with a wave to knock some sense into him.

I can’t really tell you what happened beyond that though as there was literally only music playing for the first two minutes of the recap in Australia … but let’s remember – since fallen comrades is dead – Rachel, Mari, Paul, Lucy, CeCe, Figgy, Michaela, Michelle, Taylor, Chris, Jessica, Zeke, Will and Sunday were booted, leaving us with Hannah living my dream to be surrounded by five semi-naked men on a deserted island. With cameras.

We opened up back at camp with all but Jay gloating about their ability to flush out Jay’s idol. Hannah and Bret went aside for a pow-wow, disagreeing about whether allowing David to stay was the right decision … which let’s be honest, we won’t really know for another two hours.

Tipping the argument in Bret’s favour, David made himself busy by putting together a fake hidden immunity while everyone was sleeping. The next morning Jay went for a walk to find the new idol, which he did … at the same time as David. Thankfully for Jay, David was too slow getting back to the technicolour coconut.

Finally we checked in with Kengel where we finally learnt that the legacy advantage guaranteed him immunity at the next tribal council. Womp womp – what a let down.

Jiffy Pop returned to the screen for the first immunity challenge – with reward thrown in for good measure – of the episode. There was a pyramid and some ropes, a puzzle and some locks, and it all looked mighty confusing. Jay took an early lead … resulting in David, Hannah and Adam cheating on his puzzle.

There were some more obstacles followed by an extremely difficult hanging puzzle which resulted in an orgy of cheating before Jay dropped his puzzle allowing David take out individual immunity and a steak dinner, which Jay promptly stole … and chose to share with David and Adam which let’s be honest would be a pretty great final three.

Echoing my sentiment, Jay commenced wooing the boys to boot Bret at the next tribal and go as a strong three to final tribal. Meanwhile Bret tried to woo Hannah and Ken to stick together and boot Jay, promising him that there is no way Jay would have an immunity idol.

How wrong he is.

David went to discuss who to boot with Hannah and Adam, with Adam pushing for Jay and David for Bret. Hannah and David then pulled Jay aside to discuss the fact that Hannah is a maybe on keeping him, David is firmly in his corner and that Adam is still pushing to boot him. Jay – obviously – then went to Adam and laid it on as thick as possible to save himself.

We then arrived at tribal council where Bret and Jay campaigned for people to boot the other. Jay wasn’t taking any chances though and played his immunity idol … WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE A COMPLETE FAKE – genuine #blindside … or was I meant to have noticed David had hid the idol in the coconut?

Before I could laugh at Jeff throwing the fake into the fire, Ken then stood up and played his legacy advantage resulting in Jay becoming the fifteenth boot and eighth juror.

Jay was sad to have finally found his way out of the game but was proud of everything he achieved. He was also very thankful to see me, one of his closest friends – we met when he was an extra on Rock of Ages – waiting for him in Ponderosa with a generous serving of my Jay Strawbrett Ice Cream.

 

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Sweet, fruity and smooth, this ice cream is the only thing you could possibly need to dull the pain of losing on Survivor. Or 2016.

Enjoy!

 

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Jay Strawbrett Ice Cream
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
395g can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups double cream, cold
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch maldon salt
500g frozen strawberries, thawed at room temperature for 10 minutes

Method
Whisk the condensed milk, double cream and vanilla paste together in a large bowl until it is firm, yet light and airy. Be careful not to over whip it – as that is yuck – but be mindful the strawberry will thin it out. Yay for pointless direction, right?

Meanwhile place the salt and strawberries in a food processor and blitz until they are broken into small-ish chunks, but that is more a personal preference rather than a command.

Unless you want it to be you sly dog.

Fold the strawberries through the whipped cream, transfer to a freezer safe tub – not that I think anything can’t go in the freezer, but JIC – and freeze for five or six hours before devouring.

It works beautifully in a Sundae Burquest too, FYI.

 

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Scrambled Flick Eggintons

Australian Survivor, Breakfast, Main, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the time had finally come for Matt, Flick and Kristie to split El and Lee and coast to the final three … so obviously the girls actually stuck with Lee and El as they made Matt the Magician disappear.

Seriously, I’m at the end of my tether and starting to lose faith in Kristie.

We opened up straight after tribal where Lee bemoaned the fact that Flick had tried to blindside the lovers again, despite the fact she literally told them that she was planning on booting El. Kristie then said something cryptic and wandered back into the woods, while you beaut El pulled Flick aside and tried to make her feel guilty. Ironically, she is the only one with nothing to feel guilty for, as she is the only one left making it interesting.

By the time day 52 rolled around, Flick realised that the OG Aganoans were in an alliance and that she is well and truly screwed. Not to be outdone, Kristie then ran us through her options which are rapidly becoming win final immunity or lose the game, since booting Matt last tribal.

Kristie then started a circle jerk – not literally guys, Sam has gone so Lee is riding solo in that regard – where each castaway had to say something they are proud of from their time in the game. Obviously El’s proudest moment is Lee – she needs to back off my (very soon to be ex) man.

Wanting to cut my grass, the producers then laid out enough ingredients to cook a feast, however Flick – being the only contestant left with a brain – used the opportunity to learn how to make fire in the hope that she could force a tie. So I guess Ten’s slight wasn’t a complete bust.

El and Flick started to have a babe off over the aforementioned fire while Kristie tried to emulate Queen Sandra Diaz-Twine by hiding in the rocks and eavesdropping. Lee then dropped by to talk about how horribly Flick is manipulating Kristie, despite it being his entire game, before El – hopefully – foreshadowed Kristie’s final immunity victory while creeping on her as she ate. Obviously in a hella patronising way, as El is known to do.

Despite having pushed me into a corner for the last half an hour, Kristie then started to work her way back into my heart by running off in the middle of the night to practice making fire. She may not have worked hard for the win, but it would be hilarious if she pulls it off … and kind of perfect for a completely bizarre season that always seem to head towards greatness, before choking and fizzling out with an eh.

Finally we arrived at the immunity challenge, an old favourite comprised of different stages from previous challenges. Given the fact that they’ve been pretty useless in challenges all season, it was no real shock that neither Kristie or Flick had any hope of victory while El, the deadset cobber that she is, was able to take out the victory.

More importantly, Lee got caught up in the ropes before working on getting his pole nice and big and hard enough to have a crack at penetrating my (key)hole.

With El wearing the necklace, we arrived back at camp, where the tribe commenced their scrambling … which pretty much meant Lee and El chilled while Flick worked overtime to try and convince Kristie and then El and even Lee to vote with her. And Kristie looked on, panicked from the shore.

Despite a strong performance at tribal council calling out literally everything, poor Flick’s work was all for naught as she found herself out of the game and into my arms. Obviously I was a mess to see my closest friend of the cast – we started as Meter Maids together in 2012 – booted from the game. After disgracing myself with the leftover Mattrioskas and a rancid Desmopolitan, Flick nursed me back to health the next morning until I was well enough to whip were up a big batch of my Scrambled Flick Eggintons.

 

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While they may not be the most difficult or elegant dish, there is something perfect about something as simple as scrambled eggs. Lightly whisked and folded through foaming butter, scrambled eggs can cure anything … even watching a season of your favourite show take a pretty hard nosedive.

Enjoy!

 

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Scrambled Flick Eggintons
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
3 large eggs
salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter, plus more for toast
a couple of slices of sourdough

Method
Crack the eggs into a bowl, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and give a hearty whisk.

Slowly melt the butter in a small frying pan over low heat and cook until frothy. Pour the beaten eggs into the pan and slowly stir with a spatula, dragging the spatula around the edges of the pan and dragging towards the centre, creating light, delicate folds.

When they have formed delicate, wet curds, remove from the heat and butter your toast – you need to make toast at some point in this process, FYI. In that time, the eggs will have finished cooking. Spoon over the toast, season with a good whack of pepper and devour.

 

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Cydney Goujons

Main, Poultry, Snack, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

Previously on Survivor Darnell crapped, Jen had worms whispering in her ear, Liz the robot malfunctioned, Caleb almost died, Alecia was bullied, Anna was screwed by the swap, Peter was screwed by his smarm, Neal almost died, Nick was a pretty girl, Debbie worked hard, Scot was nah-bro’d, Julia was run over in the middle of the road, Sargsonyle was vanquished and Joe ate too much meat … and almost died.

And then there was four … well five including the breakout star of the season #MarkTheChicken.

We opened with Tai and Aubry planning how to reclaim the numbers after Joe’s bowels had a beef with him, before Probsty’s took us straight to a reward challenge where Aubry’s underrated stint as challenge beast finally resulted in an individual win. Knowing that she needed to woo (not him) Cyd back to their side, Aubry chose to share her reward with Cyd and give them better odds of beating Michele in the next immunity challenge.

That or she was hoping a steak would take Cyd out for her like Joe?

But best laid plans, amirite? Cyd didn’t OD on satay and Michele ruined their plans by winning immunity.

There was discussion back at camp as Cyd and Michele tried to turn Tai on Aubry but surprisingly, Tai stuck with his ally and forced a taitie between the girls, and let their fire making skills make the final choice.

Despite getting a few of Alecia’s leftover embryos, Cyd was never able to have a flame take off, sending her to the jury and ending her dreams of paying off her parents mortgage (and breaking hearts across the globe in the process).

Well except Sia’s, I guess as she didn’t give her a cheque. Boo.

Obviously I am a close friend of Cyd’s, having met on the bodybuilding circuit a few years ago. Despite the fact that she refused my steroid regime – if only Crystal Cox had don’t the same – and I was eventually banned from the sport because of my roid abuse (and rage), Cydney stuck by me like the kind spirit that she is.

Cyd was heartbroken (and breaking) as she made her way into Ponderosa and ran straight into my comforting arms. While the first cut is said to be the deepest (or is that the Vytas), I almost feel it is worse to go out just before the finals (ask Wentworth). To come so far and get cut just before having the opportunity to plead your case to the jury is something that only your fourth place prize money / a loving meal can fix.

Given the scandal that came from feeding Joe meat in a spicy liquid, I wanted to give Cyd something soothing, comforting and delicious, with a bit of a kick, to get her in the best headspace before making a million dollar decision. While yes, they are spicy, my Cydney Goujons certainly fit the bill!

 

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There is nothing better than a spicy chicken (not Mark) goujon. I mean, moist chicken with a kick of spice wrapped up in a crunchy coating – perfection. Plus it is gluten free, so less inflammatory meaning it is comforting and sensitive … in light of Mr Joe’s issues.

Enjoy!

 

cydney-goujons-2

 

Cydney Goujons
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp chilli
½ tsp smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ tsp celery salt
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp parsley
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
pepper
1 cup almond meal
1 egg, whisked with a bit of milk
500g chicken breast, sliced into thick strips … that look like goujons

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

Combine the herbs, spices and almond meal in a large shallow bowl with a good whack of pepper. Whisk the egg in a second shallow bowl.

Dip a strip of chicken into the egg, drain and place it into the spice mix, flipping to coat. Place on the baking sheet. And then, this may come as a shock, repeat the process until all the chicken is done. You can drizzle them with olive oil, but Cyd and I are health conscious / I don’t feel they need it.

Place the chicken in the oven and bake until crisp and golden, or about 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

Devour with a plate of steamed veggies … or a massive vat of mash, depending on whether you’re a Cyd or a Ben.

 

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