Shane Goulash

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

Previously on Australian Survivor, 23 Aussies and 1 three-time American loser were marooned in the lush jungles of Fiji for the non-biblical battle between top dogs and underdogs. Despite getting out to a strong start in the opening challenge, the Contenders were first to suffer a loss with Matt giving an extremely patronising speech at tribal leading to him becoming the first boot. He was followed out of the game by self-appointed King Russell Hantz, Damien, Steve K, Jenna – yep, doing this – Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan and Heath.

In honour of the Spicys, two became one and the tribes merged, leading to the downfalls of Lydia, Robbie, Sam, Mat, Benji, Steve, Fenella, Monika, Shonee and Brian before Shane defeated Sharn the prosecutor in front of the jury.

Despite being fairly low down the totem pole early in the season, Shane managed to find her way into the main alliance and make it to the merge where she truly flourished, while not being able to be fucked with. From finding idols, to dominating around camp, spying for allies, fostering critical bonds, orchestrating pivotal blindsides and being a damn boss, Shane managed to defy expectations for the older female archetype and played, arguably, the showiest game of our three victors.

And prove that Shane Gould will always be a champion. Obvi one that is never to be fucked with.

The only fear I have about Shane’s victory, is that we’re going to have to suffer through Dawn Fraser next season and let’s be honest, Dawn is no Shane. And I don’t want to fuck(ing deal) with Dawn Fraser.

After giving a rousing toast as she left the island, I raised her arm in triumph and congratulated her with a big, hearty, piping-bloody-hot and victorious Shane Goulash. Huzzah for Shane Gould, iconic, Queen of Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders.

 

 

Packing a powerful paprika punch, this goulash is the perfect thing to renew your energy after 50 days starving on an island. Rich hunks of beef melt in your mouth, while the spicy sauce is like a warm hug. Throw in some mash, and you’re in heaven like Shonella smashing margs or Benji doing whatever he does to a plate of nachos.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shane Goulash
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg chuck steak, cut into large cubes
3 onions, quartered
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 of each red, yellow and green capsicums, cored, seeded and cut into chunks
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
400g canned diced tomatoes
1L beef stock

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a large dutch oven and season the beef with a whack of salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pan in a couple of batches and cook until sealed. Remove from the pan, reduce heat to low and cook the onions for ten minutes or so, or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and sweat for a minute.

Bring the heat back to medium and return the beef to the pan with any leaky juices with the three paprikas and the three capsicums and cook for a minute or so. Add the paste and bay leaves, stirring until well combined. Add the tomatoes and stock, stir and bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat, chuck the lid on the dutch oven and transfer to the oven to cook for 2.5-3 hours, or until tender and your house smells like it is not to be fucked with. Like Shane Gould.

Serve with a shit tonne of Gabriel Mash, sour cream and chives. Then devour, like the ultimate champ that you are.

 

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Sharnold Palmer Coombes

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Drink, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the final three returned back at camp after taking out the final Contender and congratulated themselves on a job well done. The next day they were surprised to receive a family visit ahead of the fallen comrades section, where we were reminded of the majesty of the Contender boys penchant for nudity, the horror of Benji eating nachos and Shonella just being the greatest. With that out of the way Sharn defeated Shane and Brian in a hard fought final immunity challenge, before dispatching of Brian as the final juror despite him reminding her that he is by far the easier win.

The final two returned back to camp with Shane proud to be waking up on day 50 and still being a stone cold champion at 61. She reminded us that when she held every world record, there wasn’t a lot of money in swimming and she had to fight tooth and nail for everything she has got. That being said, she was terrified about having to face off against a crown prosecutor at final tribal. On the flipside, Sharn was proud of being a dominant physical force throughout the game and looked forward to doing what she does best in front of the jury. They snuffed the fire for the final time before grabbing their torches and heading out to tribal where Shane tried to find the resolve to defeat Sharn.

Jonathan welcomed them to final tribal and called in Robbie, Mat, Sam, Benji, Steve, Fenella, Monika, Shonee and Brian to form the jury, before announcing the new final tribal council format, where the jury questions would become an open forum discussion. Shane kicked things off like she was in a speech and drama competition in primary school crossed with Sophia Petrillo. She spoke about not knowing what to expect at the start and having to learn on the go to overcome being a liability at the start. She then spoke about playing an idol – unlike most of the jury – jumping ship from a sinking alliance to take out Jackie, who was a big threat, leading to her becoming a double agent for Mat and co. Tragically neglecting to mention the Lydia blindside.

Sharn opted for a different approach, saying she shouldn’t still be there given she has been a threat since the first post-merge immunity challenge. She spoke about playing from the bottom since the final 7 and making it to the end by being a trusted ear for her allies, and being open to those she wasn’t aligned with. She then told them that if they don’t vote for her, they’re doing the wrong thing. Essentially.

With that Jonathan handed things over to the jury, with Fenella kicking things off asking Sharn why the hell she took Shane to the end and why she is going to fight? Sharn played up her loyalty to Shane, with Robbie confused about how that loyalty exemplified her superior game. She brought up her ability to save herself post-swap, blindsiding Sam and almost saving Mat from being booted, she then played up taking out the contenders and bonding with Shonee to make it to the end.

Benji asked Shane about her gameplay, with the icon talking about how she actively tried to avoid becoming a target like the rest of them, while working hard around camp to gain intel from people. Sam wasn’t really sold, asking her to articulate her active gameplay throughout the season. She kinda rambled before Benji tried to get her back on point, ultimately leading to her claiming Jackie and Lydia’s scalps as her biggest moves. And let’s be honest, working against Lydia while the challenge was happening was masterful.

Mat jumped in, admitting he loves them both but would have to pick one person, so asked them to explain their games. Sharn started to struggle as she tried to articulate her how loyalty was the defining feature of her game, before Brian jumped in and asked why if she was so loyal to Mat, why didn’t she warn him that he was about to be blindsided? She said that she didn’t have the opportunity to talk to him, nor did know whether he had an idol. Brian then questioned whether not telling him is actually disloyal, leading to her stuttering through an attempted response which clearly upset Mat. Benji then jumped in to question why loyalty is her major card and as such, Sharn continued to flounder.

Brian then addressed Shane, asking her to finally bring some honesty to final tribal council and answer who played the more loyal game out of the final two. While she tried to dance around the question, Brian pushed her and she admitted that she was more loyal and that loyalty was clever as it built a shield for her to hide behind. Shonee too addressed Shane, asking if she even has any clue where she lives since she is praising her ability to get to know people. Shane then shocked her, pointing out she lives in London most of the time and Noosa the rest, and was offended as she is actually the one that saved Shonee after the tribe swap. Mat jumped in to vouch for the move, giving Shonee the cutest smile. She then secured Fenella’s vote, taking the time to praise her killer game and the way she goaded Brian to keep herself safe. Sam asked Shane whether if things come down to loyalty, they shouldn’t vote for Sharn over the Mat move which she agreed to. Poor Sharn then looked like a kicked puppy and desperately pleaded with the jury to see past her one mistake … ignoring the bungled idol find at the challenge, obvi.

With that the jury voted, Jonathan collected the votes and took them back to Australia, somehow in the middle on the desert, jumping in a jeep before arriving at the finale stage. Jonathan checked in with the finalists, with Sharn proud of how they played and Shane saying the wait was more nerve wracking than an Olympic final and she’d just like the votes read. As such, Jonathan started reading them, counting two for Shane, followed by four for Sharn before Shane tied things up four apiece. With that, Jonathan was left to count the final vote, handing Shane the victory and title of Sole Survivor.

Despite playing an extremely strong, strategic game, and keeping the target off her for the last few weeks of the game, Sharn proved to be no match for the seasoned Champion Shane at final tribal and narrowly missed out on the title of Sole Survivor.

While most people would need a nice stiff drink to wash away the pain of bombing what they do best and losing half a mill in the process, Sharn is an absolute positive, delight and as such took it in her stride, was proud of her dear friend Shane and gladly toasted her with a Sharnold Palmer Coombes.

 

 

Now I normally prefer my drinks like I like peens, but it is hard to argue against the majesty of this soft concoction. Or soft concoctions in general. TBH, I just love any and all concoctions. Anyway, let’s focus on the beauty of ice tea and lemonade, mingling together to fill you with joy.

Don’t you love when a concoction does that? Enjoy!

 

 

Sharnold Palmer Coombes
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
ice
1 ½ cups iced tea
½ cup lemonade

Method
Fill two glasses with ice.

Top with iced tea, followed by lemonade.

Slurp it down.

 

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Lisausage Stanga

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, my dear Matty Chis dropped 18 Kiwis on some islands in the middle of a lake close to the Thai border. After dipping in and out of the drink, debating the merits of peanut butter brands – which I am not shading, I take peanut butter damn seriously – spewing and broken challenges, 15 were voted off one by one from Jose, Karla and Franky to Kaysha, Liam, Josh, JT and Dylan – yes we’re doing this – before the tribes merged and Arun, Brad, Renee, Eve, Matt, Adam and Tara joined the jury, leaving Dave, Tess and Lisa to battle it out at final tribal council.

After Matt threw him under the bus, poor Dave landing in third place leaving superfan Lisa to best Tess, take out the title of Survivor NZ and tick the ultimate thing off her Survivor bucket list.

To be honest, when I saw the cast lined up I assumed that Lisa would be the obvious first boot, however she masterfully downplayed her status as a superfan and hid behind the mum role, to lull people into a false sense of security.

She emerged, coincidentally, at the merge and quickly took control of the game, blindsiding the biggest threats and somehow navigating to the end after she became the biggest threat. Perfectly playing a vote steal and executing a 3-2-1 vote, Lisa’s game was pretty much a masterclass and I am so glad that the was rightfully rewarded.

With the game and a big fat Lisausage Stanga.

 

 

Some may say a sausage sandwich is not worthy of a winner, but to them, I say you’re wrong. Sausage, onion, swiss cheese and mayo on the most nutritionally devoid slice of white bread? Eat your heart out Bunnings, because I’m coming for your game!

Enjoy!

 

 

Lisausage Stanga
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
8 thick pork sausages
8 slices bread
Shayonnaise Swain, to serve
100g Swiss cheese, grated

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring, for about twenty minutes, or until nice and caramelised.

In a large frying pan, cook the sausages over medium-low heat for about ten minutes, flipping occasionally, until cooked through.

To assemble, smear some mayo on each slice of bread, top with the onion and the sausages, before sprinkling over the cheese.

Then devour, in honour of a game well-played!

 

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Tess Fillahey Chicken Burger

Burgers, Main, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Tara eliminated herself from the game leaving Dave, Lisa and Tess to battle it out for the title of Sole Survivor. Sadly for Dave, however, his school friend Matt told everyone that they’ve known each other for decades and hid it from everyone to get throughout the game. As such the jury was hella bitter with him and downplayed his achievements, despite the fact he is the only reason Matt made the merge over Zadam’s nemesis Dylan.

With that, the jury voted and completely shut out Dave, landing him in third place with both Tess and Lisa snagging three votes with only one left to be read. Which, no shade to Tess, thankfully went to Lisa, handing the superfan the title and landed Tess as the runner-up.

Despite not knowing a great deal about Survivor going in, Tess played a strong game and managed to sneak through despite her allies being systematically targeted. Couple that with a string of immunity wins at the right time and she almost Fabio-ed her way to victory. Which I reminded her when she was disappointed to have missed out on the cash. Add to that the glory of a Tess Fillahey Chicken Burger and she soon forgot about the pain of losing.

 

 

Succulent chicken breast coated in 11 secret herbs and spices, hang on, this could end in a lawsuit. This homage slash copycat to the glorious OG KFC burg fills anyone with joy, crunchy iceberg, creamy mayo and fried chicken? Sign all ya’ll up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tess Fillahey Chicken Burger
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 Kirsten Bunst, sliced
2 Farrahed Moan Chicken, using chicken breast instead obvi
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
½ cup iceberg lettuce, shredded, washed and dried

Method
Started by prepping the buns, chicken and mayo as per their respective recipes.

When they’re done, split the buns, slather the top and bottom with mayo, place lettuce on the bottom and top with the fried chicken.

Close the burger and devour immediately.

 

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Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 18 castaways were abandoned in the lakes of Thailand. After being divided into tribes by Jose, she tragically found herself becoming the first boot from the game. Khangkhaw dominated the early section of the game with Karla and Franky following Jose out of the game, with Kaysha the only person heading out the door … or Khangkhaw. The tribe swap left Matt & Josh screwed on new Chani while Dylan had a new lease on life, wait, no Matt and Dave went to school together and Matt found himself safe, while Dylan was sent home.

Oh and Liam was booted from new Khangkhaw and JT medequit, though they don’t play into the narrative much.

The tribes merged and Lisa immediately stepped out of the shadows playing an extra vote to ensure Arun’s departure before flipping the game and taking out Brad. She then dictated the boots of Renee and Eve before flipping on Matt, executing a perfect 3-2-1 to send him from the game. While Tess and Adam tried to turn things around, Lisa maintained control sending Adam from the game leaving Tess to have to pull out an immunity run to make it to final tribal, leading to Tara orchestrating her own boot, blindsiding Tess one final time.

Back at camp Tess apologised for trying to take out Dave whilst also complaining about being perennially blindsided. Lisa felt guilty about lying to Tara throughout the game after she ended her own game so Lisa could make it to the end. Dave then questioned what happens at final tribal, begging the question … has he seen the show before?

The final three awoke the next morning to discover the final three breakfast before reminiscing about all that they’ve achieved. Lisa was shocked about how hard the game was and was proud to have made it to the end as a superfan … though feared how she will be perceived by the jury. Tess too was feeling proud, though mainly because if it is a popularity contest it is her game to lose. Dave was thrilled to have survived the Chani losing streak and planned to avoid mentioning the fact he and Matt are friends, knowing it would make his feat far less impressive.

Right on cue we then pivoted out of the game and over to the Jury Villa where Matt pulled Adam aside to admit that he and Dave are old school friends. Word quickly spread throughout the jury and just like that, Matt ended one of his oldest and dearest friends’ game.

With that we arrived at tribal council where the jury all scrubbed up and looked ready to attack. Hopefully not Lisa, obvi. Speaking of who, she kicked off the opening statements by talking about how she managed to downplay her super fandom and overcome her lack of physicality by making strong relationships and echoing Queen SDT’s strategy. She admitted to lying, though said it was in the name of the game and to do it to them before they did it to her. Continuing to tick off all the bases, she apologised to Renee and Matt for blindsiding them and spoke about how she promised her family that she would do whatever she could to win. Then there were tears and she told them, essentially, that she would be the best winner for their season. Crown. Her. Now.

Tess was up next and tried to summon emotions by talking about how honest and righteous she is, positioning herself as the counterpoint to Lisa. The downtrodden underdog, who was at times pretty nasty, unless you were a Lisa. TBH, I started to tune out because she was proud of not playing the game and that is not something I can get behind. Though the emotion about her family was really sweet, so, I guess she can come second if she has to?

Dave wrapped things up going down the Denise Stapley route, touting how often he went to tribal council. Though unlike her, was proud of how many votes her amassed throughout the season. He then talked up how much of a hustler he was throughout the game, expertly pivoting away from the votes to the point he could hang onto his idol. He then gave props to his friend Arun for protecting him early in the game, however conveniently kept quiet about his relationship with Matt. Obviously he did apologise though before going for the sympathy, talking about his rough upbringing and committing to donate money slash pay off his parents mortgage if he wins. Poor naive Dave doesn’t know what is about to hit him, does he?

The power turned to the jury with Arun kicking things off in a positive tone asking Tess if she really had no idea about the game – she didn’t – before shading Dave by asking how he managed to survive after Matt’s boot – hustlin’, obvi – much to the delight of the jury. Brad was up next and admitted that everyone knows that Dave and Matt are friends, questioning all the lies that Dave had told in the pursuit of selling his game. Dave tried to pretend that he had planned to reveal the relationship when Matt stepped up to talk, though did make the valid point that he saved Matt at the start of the game and if that paid dividends, power to him.

Renee stepped up as the bitter juror, listing why she wasn’t voting for Dave and asking if he was cool with this. She then praised Tess’ honesty before asking Lisa who, if anyone, she thinks will vote for her to win. She then slayed her, answering that she has learnt not to name names around Renee so wasn’t going to bother giving her any. While I thought Eve would come in all nice, she asked Lisa if her family would be proud of her which she answered with an emphatic yes. Wait, no, Eve is actually being nice and congratulated her on a game well played. She was also chill when Dave gave a non-answer about his odds of survival should Matt have not been in the game.

Adam was up next, professing his undying love for Tess … and even Lisa, before asking them the same question – would they rather an advantage of a best friend in the competition or three extra plates in a challenge? They both said friend, which I felt was surprising for Lisa until she explained it would be futile since she is balls at challenges. Dave’s mate Matt was next and kicked things off by apologising for completely blowing up his game, saying he just respected everyone too much. He then asked for a rationalisation about voting him out, which kinda feels like it was a vindictive – justified – move. Seeing the writing on the wall, Dave said that the only reason he turned on him was because he lied to him about the idol.

Rounding things out was Tara who asked everyone what they gained from the experience, with Tess proud of her personal growth and Dave once again trying to apologise and say that he learnt to live with his decisions. Queen Lisa knocked the question out of the park, saying it inspired her to travel and gave her the confidence to step out of her comfort zone and not write things off because they don’t seem likely or realistic.

With that the jury stepped up to vote, Matty Chis whipped them back to Auckland and seamlessly walked out into the auditorium where the scrubbed up castaways awaited their fates. After briefly checking in with booted castaways, he finally got down to crowning a winner with the votes rolling in 3-3 between  … well, not Dave who finished the season in third place.

While most people would be extremely salty about their friend completely destroying their chance at winning $250K, Dave seemingly took his loss in his stride. Though maybe he could just smell the of Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic wafting out of the Jury Villa.

 

 

I honestly don’t think their could be a better dish to make up for someone losing a stack of money. I mean, the butter goodness of croissants, crossed with the sweet, glory of chocolate. That is the perfect duo for drying tears.

Enjoy!

 

 

Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
1 batch David Croissants dough
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
sea salt flakes, to sprinkle

Method
Prep the dough as her Dave’s (Cross’) recipe and when you’re almost ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190°C.

Roll out the pastry to form a 30cm x 30cm square of dough, cut it in half to form 2 rectangles and then cut each into quarters. Place a line of chocolate close to the two longest edges and roll the dough towards the centre to meet. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam down, and repeat until done. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 20 minutes, or until slightly puffed.

Whisk together the egg and milk and brush each croissant before adding a sprinkle of salt flakes and transferring to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, crisp and risen.

Devour immediately.

 

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Avi Dukkah-Jones Eggs

Breakfast, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

After 39 – or 40 days, depending on whose narration you trust / whether you go off the titles, rather than the final day supers – surviving a rough start on the weaker tribe, gaining some power and allies at the swap and navigating the post-merge with ease – aside from the Sala blindside and never being able to win a challenge – Avi landed in the final three with Tom and Barb.

Thanks to his dominant social game, the final tribal council was a complete Avi love fest – with a Barb roas-t as the supporting act. The jury then all piled their votes on Avi, except for Jak, handing him victory over Tom … and the runner-up prize for the US seasons.

While Avi’s game wasn’t as showy, exciting – or physical – he made extremely strong bonds early in the game, that carried him through to the final tribal council. What is most impressive about this, is that he was able to stay in the game despite everybody knowing they would lose to him in the end.

J.T., meet you kiwi equal.

I mean, as much as Barbs’ game impressed me strategically, the way she was willing to play the game to get Avi to the end and almost give up to guarantee him one vote at final tribal is a testament to his social game. Sure it is boring to watch, but it is no less artful.

Given the fact that I was hardcore fangirling over Tom, I wasn’t as gracious and congratulatory as I could be when we met up post game.

“Hey Ben – are you going to cook something for me like everyone else,” he asked like a victim of my rage.

“Make your own fucking eggs,” I screamed … before breaking down in tears and then laughing maniacally. I mean, what are the odds that I’d make eggs – more specifically Avi Dukkah-Jones Eggs – for the inaugural Sole Survivor of Survivor New Zealand?

 

 

Like Avi, these babies are hard to fault. Perfectly boiled eggs, butter slathered toast and a hearty spoon of dukkah. It isn’t a showy meal, but it feels right for Survivor NZ. I mean, at least it isn’t melted funsized chocolate in a ziplock bag?

Enjoy!

 

 

Avi Dukkah-Jones Eggs
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2 eggs
2 tbsp dukkah
4 slices of bread, toasted and slathered in butter to serve

Method
Heat a saucepan of water over high heat. Once bubbling, add the eggs and boil for five minutes.

Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.

Peel the eggs, slice in half and generously sprinkle with butter before devouring.

 

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Tom Paterscone

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

After a rough final tribal council, particularly for our third place finisher Barb, my dear friend Tom sadly wasn’t rewarded for his physical dominance landing as the runner-up. While it was kind of expected after the Avi love fest, I was shocked – and of course angry slash out for vengeance – to learn that he only mustered one vote.

Consider yourselves officially out of my little black book, Lee and Mike.

While Avi’s social game took him over the line, Tom played the game on the back foot from day one and needed to work harder to survive day after day. He had a brief period of luck post-swap, before ending up back on the bottom – swoon – at the merge.

He then won challenge after challenge, buying him enough time to build the relationships that took him through to the final three.

Sadly though, the jury couldn’t see that – or did, and didn’t think it was worthy – with only Jak voting for him to win. Which is tragic, but it at least gave him the runner-up title outright.

He arrived in loser lodge where I completely flipped out because of his loss. After about an hour or so, he managed to calm me down enough – with clothes on, most shockingly – to whip him up a batch of my delicious Tom Paterscones.

 

 

I love me some bacon. I also love chilli and live for cheese, throw it in a scone, slather it in butter and you’re in for a dreamy treat. Almost as dreamy as the babe-town that is Tom.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tom Paterscone
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
125g chilled butter, cubed
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced and fried
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
200g aged cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
200ml milk, plus extra to glaze

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour until it resembles wet sand. Stir in the bacon, spring onion, chilli, tomato and ¾ of the cheese.

Whisk the eggs with the milk and combine with the flour mixture using a cutting motion, with a round bladed knife until a soft dough forms. Turn into onto the bench and knead until it just comes together, ensure not to overwork it.

Roll out the dough until it is 2-3cm thick, cut into rounds and place on a baking sheet. Brush with milk, sprinkle with leftover cheese and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed.

Devour, slathered in butter.

 

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Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 16 kiwis were dumped in the Nic-ar-ag-ew-arn jungle, where they were surprised by a tribal council on day one, where Dee and Hannah were each voted out of their tribes. While it felt like all hope was lost, Matt introduced redemption island where Hannah won the first duel … only to be bested by Tony in the next. She was followed out of the game by Tony, Izzy, the medically evacuated Lou, and Georgia who was beaten by Shay who returned to the game at the merge.

Shannon flipped on the young boys at the merge, sending Lee and Mike to redemption island where the latter went on a streak, sending Lee, Sala, Shannon, Shay and Jak to the jury, returning to the game with Nate … before both being voted out again, leaving Queen Barbs in the final three with Tom and Avi.

The finalists returned to camp where they congratulated each other on a game well played, and marvelled at how surreal an experience it has been. Barb then quickly filled us in that the only reason she made it to the end, is because Nate told her she needed to back herself and that she deserved to make it to the end.

Conversation quickly turned to the jury where Avi was concerned that keeping Barb means he is down one guaranteed votes, Barb felt all the jurors hated her and Tom felt it was going to come down closely between him and Avi.

The next day the final three were feeling calm and noticing the beauty of their soon-to-be-former jungle home, before Avi went into an extended monologue, speaking about playing Survivor being a high school dream of his, making it feel like victory is rapidly approaching. They soon discovered a final three breakfast set up by the beach … leading into Barbs’ monologue about deserving the win and playing the game to prove that she could do it and to focus on herself, rather than just being someone’s wife or mother.

What happened next? You guessed it – Tom had a monologue! Talking about how Survivor was also a childhood dream of his and that he fought to stay in the game the entire time, though was concerned that Avi being a nice guy will soak up a large number of votes.

At final tribal council, the finalists kicked off the show by telling the jury why they deserved to win. Tom spoke about his lifelong love of the game and wanting to be a role model for his students. Avi told them he gave it his all in the game and he fulfilled all of his goals, which sounds arrogant … as does telling the jury he trusts them.

Then came Barbs, who went for the jugular telling them she achieved her goal of sitting opposite them, rather than next to them, and navigated the huge personalities, survived the noose around her neck and played the best game of the three, whilst being underestimated by their inability to be perceptive.

I love queen Barbs, but fuck – no one is going to give her the votes she deserves.

Shay kicked off the jury portion asking Barb if she is kind – she thinks so, which shocked the jury – she asked Avi what he wants the children of New Zealand to know from his game before Shay used the opportunity to clear the air between her and Tom, turning it into Dr Phil.

While I thought Jak would bring some humour to the occasion, he sadly didn’t, instead applauding Avi for being nice, Tom bro, for being a great bro friend bro … and then told Barb he was impressed by her, but felt disrespected by her the entire season.

Mike threw Barb a ditto, what Jak said before telling Avi he doesn’t feel he wants to win the game and needs to be convinced. I’d love to say it was a good question, but it wasn’t, nor was asking Tom to convince him he has morals … despite being a teacher which is probably the noblest profession known to man.

Nate congratulated the final three before reminding them that they all took the opportunity to vote him out twice before asking why Avi didn’t take him to the final three. Spoiler alert, he never committed to the plan. Shannon as a superfan was disappointingly bitter, telling Barb there was nothing she should say to make her vote for her, asked Avi why being nice deserves a win and whether Tom was carried to the end by Avi … despite dominating challenges.

Then came Sala. While he started out being his usual, sweet self by congratulating Tom and Avi for being nice guys that he is proud to have played with. He then lay into Barb, calling her disrespectful, selfish and lazy – just observation, soz not soz – shat on people and was rude. What a sanctimonious dick.

Lee then told them all that they only made it to the end because of luck, despite Tom dominating the game physically, Avi dominating socially and Barb dominating strategically.

As was expected after the roasting she got from the jury, my girl Barb couldn’t muster a single vote from the jury finishing in third place. Despite being destroyed by the bitter Bettys of the jury, she was thrilled to see a friendly face in loser lodge. Particularly one holding a freshly baked Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie.

 

 

A little bit sweet and a little bit tart, this pie is the perfect culinary representation of my dear equine loving friend. Wrap it in some soft pillowy dough and you have pie-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
450g plain flour
125g icing sugar, sieved
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, 2 for the dough and 1 lightly beaten for the glaze
325g butter, diced, 225g for the dough, 100g for the filling
1kg Granny Smith apples, cored, thickly sliced
1kg rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
500g raw caster sugar
2 cinnamon quills
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 lemons, rind and juice
60g panko breadcrumbs
20g demerara sugar

Method
Combine the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, add butter, vanilla and 1 tsp of cinnamon and blitz until it resembles wet sand. Add the eggs and blitz until the dough just comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter in a pot over medium heat, add the apples and stir for about five minutes. Add the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon quills and vanilla paste, and cook for a further ten minutes before adding the lemon juice and rind, stirring and removing from the heat. Once the mixture is cool and you’re just about to make the pie, stir in the breadcrumbs.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 3-5mm thick. Drape over a pie dish, and shape the pastry into the dish. Trim the edges and pour in the filling.

Roll out the remaining dough, drape over the top and press the edges to enclose. Poke a hole in the centre for steam, brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Chuck it – not literally – in the oven and bake for an hour, or until golden and cooked through. You may need to cover with foil for the last twenty minutes, but trust your gut.

Once ready, allow to cool in the dish for a couple of hours – preferably on a window sill, obvi – before devouring with fresh vanilla ice cream, or a spice custard.

 

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Saramen Lacina

Main, Soup, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Ciera exited first – not able to throw the target on to her mother, followed by Tony, Caleb, a screwed but-not-in-the-way-I-want-to-screw-him Malcolm, J.T., Queen Sandra, and a desperate Varner. Hali was once again Queen of the jury, quickly followed by Ozzy, Debbie, Zeke, Sierra, Andrea, Michaela, an eliminated by default Cirie, Aubry and Tai, leaving Troyzan and Brad to round out the final three with my girl Sarah Lacina crowned our newest Survivor.

From the very beginning, Sarah knew that she needed to change up her game if she wanted to have a chance … giving us close to 6000 separate quotes about Officer Sarah playing like a criminal. But hey, when it works, you can’t really mock her!

While Sarah was also lucky to avoid most of the pre-merge tribal councils, if they did attend she was well enough positioned that she likely would have survived all the carnage.

When some members of the jury weren’t thrilled with the way she made personal connections only to turn on people, I started to fear she was about to get the Dawn Mehan treatment. Thankfully the new jury format allowed for people to jump in and defend her, and also allowed her more time to address these issues and help win people back to her side.

Despite the heartbreak of not being able to celebrate Sandra’s third win (yet), I was super excited that my dear friend Sarah had learnt from her mistakes was able to convert that into victory. While our friendship started in a questionable manner – she arrested me during one of my wild phases – she took me under her win and tried to do the opposite of her game changers game, turning me from criminal to cop.

Sadly for her, my prior arrests nipped that in the bud … but we always stayed friends and try and catch-up as often as we can for a Saramen Lacina.

 

 

Hot, spicy, sweet and fresh – ramen is always a delicious option. Throw in barbecue pork belly and you can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!

 

 

Saramen Lacina
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
600g pork belly, skin removed (by that … 600g sans skin)
⅓ cup char siu sauce
peanut oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp Sriracha
200g ramen noodles
4 eggs
2 baby bok choy, quartered lengthways
100g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 long red chilli, thinly sliced

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Brush the pork with half the char siu sauce and place in the oven for half an hour. Reduce heat to 120°C and bake for a further twenty minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest, brushing with the remaining char siu sauce.

While the pork is resting, heat a lug of peanut oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the shallots, garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes, or until super, duper fragrant.

(It is now that you should also bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over high heat).

Back to the fragrant pan, slowly add the stock, tamari, fish sauce, Sriracha and 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, add the noodles, bok choy and mushrooms, and simmer for about five minutes.

With the ramen simmering, the saucepan should be boiling, at which point you should add the eggs and cook for four minutes, or until soft boiled. Peel the eggs.

Then, slice the pork into 1cm thick pieces.

Transfer the ramen to a bowl, top with pork and an egg sliced on top. Probs avoid drizzling Sriracha over the top if you’re wanting to photograph it … but otherwise, that’s the only addition I’d suggest … before devouring your victory meal!

 

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Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie

Main, Pie, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

So that cat is well and truly out of the bag, with Brad, Sarah and Troyzan outlasting the rest and landing themselves in the final three. The new and improved jury segment lead to some robust debated between Brad and Sarah, with Troyzan relegated to the role of ignored finalist / zero vote second runner-up.

While Sarah played the clearly superior game, Brad did a great job learning from the mistakes of his first game via following the mantra – what would that neat lady Monica do. Turns out, he took it too literally and followed in her footsteps to finish in second.

I mean, sure, the last few days on the island he started to choke and clearly needed a damn snickers, you can’t fault the way he controlled the early game with Sierra and upcycled everything they could salvage from the marooning to ensure their island digs were as stylish and comfortable as any and all five star accommodations.

As you know, Annelie and I have been firm friends with the Culpeppers since Brad’s time in the NFL. After what happened during One World, I knew how critical it was to our renewed friendships to avoid selling stories to the tabloids during this run.

Brad was disappointed to not take out the title when he arrived at Ponderosa but his mood quickly changed when he discovered that I was whipping him up a hearty and comforting Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie to dull the pain slash cure his hanger.

 

 

You really should know by now, that I have a passionate love for pies. Sweet, savoury, fruity and filled with cream – if you can make, I will love it. But obviously, this one is extra delicious given the aggressive kick of pepper elevating the smooth meaty gravy.

Meaty gravy – what delightful imagery.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1kg beef mince
2 onions, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
kosher salt, to taste
¼ cup flour
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp cracked black pepper
salt to taste
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the beef and cook until browned while breaking up with the spoon. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt and cook for about five minutes. Reduce heat to low, add the flour and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Stir through the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce and pepper, and simmer for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Once the filling is reduced and glorious, transfer to a pie or baking dish. Cover with puff pastry, crimp the edges to seal, prick a couple of steam holes and brush with the beaten egg.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Serve immediately and devour.

 

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