Viola Halvis

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather

Once again, I’ve reached the end of my Oscar Gold celebrations and no tea no shade to Diablo, Henry, Kathryn, Brad or Mahershala, I’ve well and truly saved the best to last – current reigning Best Supporting Actress, Viola Davis.

And that is not just because we’ve been the best of friends for 17 years. She is the only Black Actor to win the Triple Crown of Acting, and that makes her long overdue for some coverage on this ‘ere patch of cyberspace.

I first met Viola on the set of Kate & Leopold when dropping by to visit Megs (Megs, Megs) and Liev, and while she only had a bit part I knew she was destined for greatness. As such, I sidled up to her at the craft services table and promptly hitched my wagon to her, to achieve greatness by association.

While I also wasn’t able to convince her to bring me along as a date, she did have a surprise up her sleeve … she convinced one of our mutual friends to take me (let’s call her Beryl Strap)!

Anyway, I could talk about her being the only good thing about Fences, slaying in How to Get Away with Murder and realistically should have a couple of Oscars under her belt by now, that isn’t what you came for. You came to hear our opinions on who will snag the female acting gongs.

While we both agree that my dear friend Allison Janney will succeed her as Best Supporting Actress for I, Tonya, I desperately wish for a tie between her and fellow TV star Laurie Metcalf who was beautiful in Lady Bird. What is becoming a tradition in this year’s acting categories, we both feel Frances McDormand is a sure thing for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I feel like fellow Gold Coaster Margot Robbie gave the better performance in  I, Tonya and am desperately hoping for an upset.

Like my date with Mahersh, I started to feel down thinking about Margot likely not snagging a win for Karl and Susan. That led to the requirement for something sickly sweet and totally delightful, like my Viola Halvis.

 

 

While there are so many forms of halva, this is obviously the best. Rich and nutty, delicate and floral, all wrapped up in a sickly sweet package, it is the perfect way to honour the ninetieth Oscars and Faye and Warren’s inevitable mis-crowning.

To The Goldfather, enjoy!

 

 

Viola Halvis
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g walnuts
250g blanched almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
500g pitted dates
1 tbsp rosewater
icing sugar, to dust

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the nuts and sesame seeds on a large baking sheet and bake for ten minutes or so, or until toasted and fragrant. Remove and allow to cool.

Place the cooled nuts in a food processor with the dates and rosewater and blitz for about five minutes, or until completely combined.

Pour the mixture into a lined small baking sheet and transfer to the freezer to set for an hour or so. Then remove and cut into squares, dust with icing sugar and devour.

 

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Jimmychangas Fallon

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Main, Street Food

To be honest, this marathon month of celebration is really starting to exhaust me and I’m feeling desperate to just relax and have a laugh while celebrating this year’s Grammys. And no tea, no shade to Whits, Burt, Tom or Madge, but there is no friend funnier than my fave chum Jimmy Fallon.

Well no one funnier that had won a Grammy. And was available, at least.

I first met Jimmy whilst loitering around 30 Rock to try and get Lorne Michaels to forgive me and let me join the cast of SNL finally. Whilst that obviously did not occur, I did befriend Jim when he was walking in and out of the studio. Did he mistake me for a beggar for the first six months of our friendship? Yes … but it showed that we truly did have a lovely relationship.

As is oft the case, i made his career my top priority and vowed to make him a star. I started by getting him to dip his toe in the cinematic pond, before making him quit SNL to defend my honour … and ultimately, release a comedy album that would go on to bag him a Grammy.

Since that is his winning category, he was thrilled to sit down and run the odds with me. He agreed that it is Jerry Seinfeld’s Grammy to lose … though can’t bring himself to count out Dave Chappelle. When it came to spoken word, however, we knew that there was no one beating my girl Carrie Fisher. Fuck I miss Caz.

Talking about Carrie got me feeling hella emotional, so it was fortuitous timing that I was already balls deep on making some Jimmychangas Fallon.

 

 

Hot and spicy, fresh and comforting, this usually fried delight is just as perfect when oven baked. But I guess, can you go wrong with something slathered in cheese, sour cream, guac and chilli?

You can’t, so enjoy!

 

 

Jimmychangas Fallon
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 red chillies
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
½ tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp dried oregano
2 shallots, sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1kg brisket
olive oil
1 tbsp ground chilli
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp turmeric
pinch of cinnamon
1L beef stock
12 flour tortillas
grated cheese, to serve
sour cream, to serve
guacamole, to serve
sriracha, to serve

Method
Place the chilli, cumin, coriander seeds, pepper, oregano, shallots and garlic in a food processor and blitz until it forms a paste. Blitz in a good lug of olive oil and transfer to bowl. Add the brisket and rub to coat, cover and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.

The next day, heat a lug of oil in a large skillet seal the meat for a minute or two on each side. Add the chilli, smoked paprika, turmeric and cinnamon and cook for another minute before adding the stock and bringing to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for three to four hours.

Remove beef from the pan and rest before bringing the heat back up to reduce the liquid. After about ten minutes of rest, shred the brisket with a couple of forks and return to the sauce. Continue to cook until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to chill completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place a couple of tablespoons of the brisket along one edge of the tortilla. Fold in the sides and roll to form a small burrito and tie in the centre with kitchen string. Repeat the process until done. Brush with olive oil, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and remove the string from each. Top with some grated cheese and bake for a further five minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Serve immediately, slathered with sour cream, guac and sriracha. Though be careful when devouring, since they’ll be bloody hot.

 

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Tyramen Banks

America's Next Top Model, Main, Poultry, Soup

Oh my GOD – you would not believe the week I have had! I was quietly resting off a post-boozing-with-Cath hangover on Thursday morning, minding my own business, when I received a call from my dear friend Tyra Banks.

“Ben, just wanted to check when your recap of our premiere would go live?”

I stayed quiet, hoping she would think I wasn’t there.

“Ben … Ben … BEN?”

“Um, you see, I wasn’t actu … ”

“I was rooting for you. We were ALL rooting for you.

“Tyra, you never invited me out to set so I couldn’t …

“Stop talking. Ben, stop talking. Be quiet, be quiet … STOP. I have never yelled at a friend like this before. I know you have a time machine, I
know zthat isn’t an excuse. I want us to work together to become next level fierce.

“When I yell at a friend like this it is because I care … “

“Sorry Tyra, I’ve got another call coming through. It is Naomi, she wants to … “

“Ben,” she said as sweetly as possible. “I love you, you’re fierce, you make me smize, you pop. Maybe I should pop … on the next plane and we should reconnect and discuss making this all work.”

True to her word, my girl Tyra arrived on my doorstep the next day, held me in her arms, apologised for yelling at me. Given we’re such old dear friends – we met whilst supermodelling, obvi – and the fact I was pretty cold bringing up Naomi Campbell, I forgave her. And yeah, I guess you could say this is happening. ANTM is joining the ranks of Survivor, Australian Survivor, Drag Race and Survivor New Zealand, and getting the whole culinary condolence treatment … and our friendship is renewed.

That, I guess, is the soothing power of my Tyramen Banks.

 

 

Crazy hot with a little bit of sweetness, this baby is everything you want from a ramen. And is super easy to whip up, making it look like you’ve been planning it for ages. Because I was, Ty, I was.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tyramen Banks

Serves: 2.
Ingredients

2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp tamari
400g egg noodle
500g chicken breasts
1L chicken stock
2 tbsp sriracha sauce
½ cup bean sprouts
½ red capsicum, finely sliced
5 spring onions, sliced
1 fresh red chilli, sliced
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Method
Combine the soy, tamari, minder ginger and chilli in a large bowl. Toss through the chicken, cover and leave to marinate for about eight hours or so. Or while you’re at work, for example.

Preheat the oven to 180C and prep all the ingredients.

When you’re ready to go, place the chicken on a lined baking tray and cook for about fifteen minutes, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile bring two saucepans of water to the boil and cook the eggs until soft in one, and the ramen noodles per packet instructions in another.

And in a third saucepan, cook the chicken stock and sriracha over medium heat until piping hot.

To serve, place the noodles on the bottom of your bowl, pour over the chilli stock and top with bean sprouts, capsicum, spring onion and chilli. Slice the chicken on an angle and place over the top before breaking the eggs in half and adding them to the bowl.

Garnish with coriander and a wedge of lime. Squeeze said lime in the broth before devouring, and curing all that ails ya.

 

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Kraftherine O’Dinnara

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Main, Side, Snack

While Eug is the Schitt’s Creek cast member I have known the longest, my dear best friend Catherine O’Hara is the one I am closest to. And that isn’t meant to shade my relationships with the rest of the crew, but simply highlight how great a bond Cath and I share.

So obviously I met Cath when she joined the Second City troupe in Toronto, but our bond truly solidified when we worked together on the one-two punch that is Beetlejuice and Home Alone. You see, I was the stuntman for both Winona Ryder and Joe Pesci in the movies, and working together again gave Cath and I the opportunity to grow even closer on set.

That and the fact that I was so moved by her work on Home Alone, led to me dedicating my live to getting her the recognition she deserves. Aka an Oscar.

While my trips to rehab, multiple deportations and myriad of scandals have distracted me from that goal at times, we’ve always remained the best of friends and I was thrilled when Eug told me they were co-starring again in Schitt’s.

As expected, Cath was thrilled to drop by and celebrate the premiere with her bestie and to honour her greatest role yet as Queen Moira Rose. She was even thrilled to see a big vat of the delightfully Canadian meal, my famed Kraftherine O’Dinnara.

 

 

Does her name easily work with Kraft Dinner? No. Am I still unsure whether Kraft Dinner should be classed as a national dish of Canada (hey, Wikipedia says so … so it has to be – Canadians, please let me know if this is true in the comments)? Fuck no. Am I ashamed to admit how much I loved my copycat version? I’d sooner die!

So enjoy and feel no guilt, ok?

 

 

Kraftherine O’Dinnara
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g macaroni
⅓ cup butter, cut into chunks
3 tbsp flour
½ tsp mustard powder
pinch of paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups milk, to taste
1-2 cups grated vintage cheddar cheese
250g Kraft ‘cheese’ slices (aka American cheese), yes the plastic stuff (it’s fantastic)
6 hot dogs, cooked and sliced
tomato ketchup, to serve

Method
Cook macaroni per packet instructions.

Once you’ve drained the pasta, place the butter in the pot and melt over medium heat. Cook until foamy before adding in the flour, mustard powder, paprika and a good whack of salt and pepper. Cook stirring for a couple of minutes or until the roux has come together and the ‘flouriness’ has gone. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk.

Return the pot to the heat and slowly whisk through the cheese and the ‘cheese’ until melted, goopy and well combined. Stir through the cooked macaroni and hot dog pieces, and serve immediately. Then, obvi, devour slathered in ketchup to taste.

 

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Pierogene Levy

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Main, Party Food, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, Vegetarian

Given I am close with the entire cast of Schitt’s Creek, it was extremely difficult to decide who to bestow the honour of kicking off my celebration honouring their return to the screen. But like my girl Hizza Clinton before me, I am known for making hard choices when I need to, so picked up the phone to call the delightful Eugene Levy first.

I mean, it is only fitting that I kicked off the party with Eugene as he is the person I have known the longest. Eug and I first met whilst a part of Second City, Toronto and by a part of, I was his stand in when blocking performances given our eerily similar appearances.

While we drifted apart when I was deported from Canada – and therefore unable to appear on SCTV – we reconnected again in the ‘90s through my dear friend Tars. I was part of her entourage on the set of American Pie to get closer to Chris Klein – it was the ‘90s – but I was so thrilled to see Eug again that I abandoned my lust for Chris, and instead focused on making up for the lost years of our friendship.

Despite being extremely busy with other publicity commitments, he was so excited to come down under and mark season four in culinary form with his dearest friend.

“Ben, you really need to come visit when we’re filming next season. I could see Alexis having a long-lost twin and you have the perfect nature to pull off the role!”

“Eug, my love, I don’t know. I’m super busy at the moment, but it truly makes a lot of sense.”

Now I can’t tell you how that conversation ended for upcoming contractual reasons – hell, I shouldn’t have even mentioned how it began – I can tell you that my v. Canadian Pierogene Levy were the perfect snack to toast season four … and beyond.

 

 

Like Eugene, these babies are the perfect comforting slash celebratory snack. Warm and fluffy, and packed full of carb-y, cheesy goodness, you need to get these in your belly ASAP.

Warm apple pie my arse (… which is another embarrassing story of mine for another time).

Enjoy!

 

 

Pierogene Levy
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1.5kg potato
6 shallots, roughly cut
200g ricotta cheese
100g cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
40 gow gee wrappers

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Peel and cut the potatoes quarters and place in a saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until just tender, about five-ten minutes depending on their size. Drain the potatoes, transfer to a lined baking tray with the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes, or until all the moisture is gone. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes.

When the aggressive heat from the potatoes has gone, mash them until their mostly smooth. Add the ricotta, cheddar, eggs and a good whack of salt and pepper, and mix until thoroughly combined.

To make the pierogis, place the gow gee wrappers on a clean, dry bench and place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre. Brush the edges with water and press the edges together, pleating as you go … to make them look as flash as a rat with gold teeth. Because, obvi.

When they’re all done, bring a large pot with about 1-inch of water to the boil and steam the pierogis for about ten minutes, give or take, or until they’re cooked through.

Devour, greedily, with sour cream or some hot sauce.

 

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Cherry Seinfeld Cheesecake

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After what feels like a marathon finish to an epic year – kicking off with the supreme Diana Ross, experiencing the highest of highs honouring the 10th anniversary of Because I Said So, and the lowest of lows witnessing queen Sandra Diaz-Twine’s torch being snuffed for the first time, learning that Nicaragua can be pronounced Knee-Coo-Arrr-Ohhh-Goo-A, seeing the glorious buns of Locky Gilbert on the killer second/fourth season of Australian Survivor, the glorious crowning of Sasha Velour, catching Milk post-All Stars 3 filming and a breathtaking end to the oddly titled Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers – we’ve finally hit day 12 of the 12 Days of Festivus.

You know, after catching up with Jase, Heids, Barn, Liz, Wayne, Mike, Pat, John, J-Lou, Stel and Jez.

It should come as absolutely zero surprise what with the process of elimination and the fact the show is named after him, that we’re rounding out our Fete de Festivus with a date with my dear friend slash protege, Jerry Seinfeld. What – you didn’t know I taught him everything he knows?

He first caught my eye during his appearances on Benson and I took him under my wing, guiding his career from Johnny Carson, to Letterman and eventually introduced him to Larry David. The rest, as they say, is history.

Given how busy Seiny has been with his Netflix deal, we haven’t seen much of each other lately so it was such a treat to pop on our puffy shirts and ring in Christmas – by way of Festivus, of course – with a big fat Cherry Seinfeld Cheesecake.

 

 

Tart and sweet, creamy, rich and packed full of spice, this cheesecake is festive perfection. And super simple, which is perfect if you want to focus on your drinking. And who doesn’t?

Enjoy!

Oh, and from our crazy family to yours, Merry Christmas! We’re taking a short break and will be back in the new year … or maybe a bit before. Dun dun DUUUUNNNN!

 

 

Cherry Seinfeld Cheesecake
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 cup frozen pitted cherries
¼ cup muscovado sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
200g butternut snap biscuits, crushed
100g butter, melted
500g cream cheese
½ cup raw caster sugar
½ cup thickened cream
3 tsp gelatine powder, dissolved in ¼ cup boiling water

Method
Place the cherries, muscovado sugar, cinnamon and mixed spice in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for about fifteen minutes, or until it beautifully scented and reduced. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and place in the fridge to cool.

Combine the biscuit crumbs and melted butter, and press into the base of a 20cm springform pan and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low and add in the sugar, cream and gelatine until smooth and combined.

Fold through the chilled cherries, and pour the mixture into the chilling pan and return to the fridge for a few hours to set.

Remove from the fridge half an hour before serving and devour.

 

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Julia Meatlouis-Dreyfus

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Main

I know it is only day 9 and I know Julia Louis-Dreyfus is neither the inventor of Festivus nor Jerry ma’fucking Seinfeld – but after catching up with Jase, Heids, Barns, Liz, Way-Way, Mick, Pat and John – but today is the jewel in the crown … that is the savoury portion of our 12 days of Festivus celebrations.

Off topic, but did reading that sentence make you picture a big green underline telling me to consider a fragment. Because it felt like it did but I can’t really be bothered dealing with it. So soz.

Despite the ban from Lorne Michaels, I was lucky enough to meet Jules on the set of Saturday Night Live and well, we just clicked. I don’t know it was our foul mouths, our shared sense of humour or the fact we didn’t click with similar people with few exceptions *coughs* Heidi *coughs*, but we quickly became the best of friends and I’ve guided her career from the start all the way through to her record breaking Emmy success on Veep.

Given poor Jules is still undergoing treatment for breast cancer, I made an exception to the ‘everyone comes to me unless it requires time-travel’ rule, and headed over to whip her up a warming festivus dinner in the comfort of her own home. FYI she is doing really well and is a testament to a good attitude making a world of difference.

Now I know I said Jules was the jewel in our festivus crown … but I never actually said the meal was classy. In any way, shape or form. But let’s be honest, how do you have festivus without a traditional Julia Meatlouis-Dreyfus.

 

 

Warmly ensconced in a hug from some fresh iceberg lettuce, this meatloaf is actually hella tasty. And dare I say it, a classy version of the Costanza classic. If meatloaf can ever be considered classy. Which I think it can be.

Enjoy!

 

 

Julia Meatlouis-Dreyfus
Serves: 8 angry family members airing their grievances.

Ingredients
1kg beef mince
1 onion, diced
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, whisked
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 zucchini, grated
2 carrots, peeled, grated
handful baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp, wait for it, chilli flakes
small handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
small handful oregano, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup smokey barbecue sauce, for glazing
4 leaves iceberg lettuce, washed and dried, for wrapping the slab of meat

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Combine everything but the sauce and lettuce in a large bowl, scrunching with your hands until well combined. Form into a large loaf-ish shape, place on a lined baking sheet and bake for an hour or so, or until firmed. Brush with the barbecue sauce and return to the oven for fifteen minutes, or until caramelised and delightful.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for fifteen minutes before slicing and serving on a bed of lettuce. Why? Because that is what Estelle Costanza would do … before devouring.

 

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Potato Michaelline Richards

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Side, Vegetarian

We’ve reached the halfway point of our 12 days of Festivus celebrations, and I thought that after kicking things off with Jase – yes, this is just an excuse for a shameless plug for our previous recipes – before going to the portrayers of smaller characters like Heidi, Barney, Liz and Wayne, it was high time I caught up with another member of the core four.

And there is no one more core to Seinfeld than Michael Richards. Well, outside of the other three leads, obvi.

I first met Mick while working together on Fridays. Fun fact: I was the one that encouraged him to carry the cue-cards out to Andy Kaufman leading to the infamous drink throwing incident. While we fell out of touch in the years that followed, I was thrilled to see him again on the Seinfeld set.

Despite having another falling out after the laugh factory incident in 2006, Kirstie Alley helped us reconnect while he was working on her 2013 sitcom and we’ve been renewed friends ever since.

He was so excited to drop over for Festivus that he also knocked my apartment door off its hinges on arrival – classic Kramer style.

“What are we doing? Where are we going? What are we eating? Who are we seeing?”

For a second, I felt that I’d managed to finally crack the code and travel to alternate dimensions and into tv and films, due to Kramer-esque energy. Turns out, he was just hella excited to see me and down a vat full of Potato Michaelline Richards.

 

 

Uuuuuggggghhhhh – I hear you grown. How many versions of mashed potato can one anthropological patch of cyberspace have? A) Screw you and b) dickloads. I mean, creamy gooey potato on the inside, crisp and golden on the outside? This is perfection, damnit.

Enjoy!

 

 

Potato Michaelline Richards
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1.5kg potatoes, peeled and quartered
salt and pepper, to taste
¾ cup milk
50g unsalted butter
½ cup parmesan, grated
1 cup thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks

Method
Heat the oven to 120°C.

Bring the potatoes to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat with a good pinch of salt. When rollicking, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, half-covered, until they are tender but not sodden, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the still hot pan and stir until any excess water has evaporated and they’re no longer steaming.

Mash thoroughly, or put in a stand mixer on medium with the paddle attachment, until the potato is completely smooth. Stir in the butter, milk and parmesan until combined and the butter completely melted slash incorporated. Gently old through the whipped cream, being careful not to lose too much air. Season, transfer to a medium baking dish and bake for half an hour, or until heated through and just started to crisp and get golden on top.

 

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12 days of Festivus, for the rest of us

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Get out your longest, hardest pole and prepare to air some grievances because Festivus is almost here!

Yes, that’s right – after surviving Christmas in 2014, checking in with the Kardashians in 2015 and celebrating everything hybrid with Chrismukkah last year, we’ve decided to mark this year’s festive season by celebrating nothing.

Join us tomorrow as we kick off our countdown to Christmas with the stars of the greatest show of all time Seinfeld.

Welcome to the 12 days of Festivus, for the rest of us.

Image source: NBC.

 

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.