Pia Mintanda Soup

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Side, Snack, Soup, TV Recap

After fifty days in the Fijian jungle, after Anastasia was booted from the game first thanks to Pia’s machinations, Laura was booted in lieu of Baden. They were followed by – yep, happening again – Susie, Nova, Steven, E.T., Sam, Sarah, Hannah, Casey, Matt, King RossAndy, Shaun, David, Zaddy John, Daisy, Simon, Janine, Abbey, Luke and Harry, leaving Pia and Baden to battle it out at the final tribal council.

And to say Pia dominated is a bloody understatement.

She clearly articulated her game, stood up to people that downplayed her achievements and really drove home to Baden how bad his final decision was as she claimed the first unanimous victory of the series.

Bow down to Pia Miranda, the one true Queen of Australian Survivor. Nay, Australia. Ever since she smacked that bitch Carly Bishop in her film debut, Pia has held a special place in my heart. I first met her on the set of Alibrandi when I was part of Anthony Lapaglia’s entourage slash personal security detail to protect him from Matthew Newton. Pia and I quickly bonded, so I vowed to protect her as well free of charge.

A few months later we were catching up and decided to tune in for the finale of this new little reality show called Survivor, and while watching Rich defeat Wiggles we fell in love and both vowed to both play and win the game some day.

While my moment in the spotlight is yet to come – I am growing my man bun first to make people think I’m relaxed rather than driving my anxiety and strung higher than Everest – I am so proud to have born witness to Pia’s game. From narrowly escaping becoming the first boot, her charm quickly found her solid allies that she could use as a shield while dominating the game socially. Which is ultimately what handed her the game and title of Sole Survivor. And the Pia Mintanda Soup prize that goes along with it.

 

 

While pea and ham soup is enough to make most people shudder at the thought of peas in soup, this baby is so good it will win you over. Like Pia. Glorious sweet peas and a good whack of mint work perfectly with some salty prosciutto to fill your heart with joy and make you feel like a Champion. Again, like Pia.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pia Mintanda Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g frozen peas, defrosted
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
8 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup thickened cream

Method
Combine the peas and stock in a dutch oven and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour. Add the mint and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further ten minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Heat a lug of oil in a fry pan and cook the prosciutto for a couple of minutes, until glorious and crispy. Transfer to some paper towel to drain.

Meanwhile blitz the soup until nice and smooth. Return to the heat and stir through the cream. Season if required, going lighter on the salt than the pepper, and cook for five minutes.

Serve immediately topped with a cross of prosciutto and devour. Victoriously.

 

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Baden Sherbert Cocktail

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Drink, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 12 celebs were once again pitted against 12 plebs, with the Contenders coming out of the gate strong forcing the Champions to get rid of the least famous of the bunch in the form of Anastasia. After a fail at the second challenge the first Contender was sent out of the game in the form of pocket rocket Laura. The Champions lost Susie, Nova, Steven and E.T. back to back before Jonathan took pity on them and switched the tribes. Despite a mega-majority on the new Champions tribe, Luke and David took control and sent Sam, Sarah and Hannah back-to-back before the Contender decimation continued with Casey and Matt booted from the new Contender tribe. My heart King Ross was then tragically felled by a faulty challenge, medevaced just before the merge which saw Andy, thankfully, become the final juror.

The merge led to the annihilation of all immunity threats with Shaun and David going back to back. They were then joined with Zaddy John, Daisy, Simon, Janine, Abbey and Luke, leaving Baden, Harry and Pia to battle out for final immunity with challenge beast Baden taking it out after 6 hours and 40 minutes. Under the cover of darkness they made their way to tribal council where Pia pulled some voodoo mind tricks and convinced Baden to boot Harry from the game.

The final two awoke on day 50 and congratulated each other for making it all the way to the end. Pia was shocked to have made it to the end and was hopeful to plead her case, snatch the win, pay off her mortgage and set her family up for life. The final two then arrived at treemail to discover a feast which they took back to camp to gossip about everything they’ve gone through during the game. Baden too was proud of everything he achieved during the game, most of all the fact that he pushed himself socially. He then explained that he knew that Harry had tried to drag him to the end, ultimately explaining why he chose to keep Pia in the end.

With that the final two arrived at final tribal council with Baden kicking things off, telling the jury about how Survivor helped him grow and overcome his fears and that he knew his only hope of surviving was to play the middle perfectly, befriend everyone and know exactly where all the votes were going each tribal. He knew that both Pia and Harry planned to take him to the end should they win the final three immunity challenge, so his best shot at earning their love was to win immunity and take himself.

Pia then took the floor and pointed out that she planned to come in hard strategically while being friends with everyone. She then pointed out that since day one, she was fighting to survive, getting Nova to flip the vote at the first tribal council and then flipped Abbey and Ross to take control of the tribe. She then dominated the game, kept a couple of meatshields around, which ultimately protected her when her alliance were turned on.

Shaun kicked things off by asking them why the other doesn’t deserve to win, with pia pointing out that while Baden won the game of most personal growth, he didn’t do anything throughout the game and as such can’t claim to be a strategist. Baden tried to counter that Pia rode an alliance and nothing else and has been blindsided before JaQueen jumped in to back her up and told everyone that Pia was aware they were flipping on Janine and wasn’t confused. David then saltily asked them how their goat game was advantageous which led to ultimately the greatest speech since Kristie’s as Pia schooled Dave and pointed out all the times she took control, schooled him about the difference between Australian and US Survivor. Baden then tired to jump in and point out he helped groups make decisions and said that Pia was his goat, allowing Pia to dispute his claims and honestly school him too. I mean, she pointed out that he tried to vote her out instead of Abbey which kinda proves she wasn’t his number one goat.

David jumped in to save Baden and asked whether he felt he played a good social game, with him proudly talking about successfully playing the middle – which is really hard, so props to him – and keeping everyone from turning on him. JaQueen jumped in to congratulate Pia on a game well played and asked her to articulate how she was the wolf in goat’s clothing and how she helped take herself, JaQueen and Abbey so far. Pia articulated how well she managed to keep people calm and make sure nobody saw their blindside coming, which David jumped in to admit is the exact reason he didn’t play his idol.

Harry tried to get people talking about cars with Baden saying that he actively navigated throughout the game, was never blindsided and ultimately was able to choose who he was up against. Pia reminded everyone that having an alliance and making decisions in them is something to be proud of and they shouldn’t downplay how she managed to keep hers together without becoming the target. Zaddy John asked how the game changed them, with Baden saying that it has helped him grow and he used being an introvert to his advantage, was never a threat and powered through.

Luke wrapped things up pointing out that he helped save Pia twice, and then asked him why she couldn’t do it that one time. This allowed Pia to talk about fighting hard in the final immunity challenge because she didn’t want voting him out to be futile. She then listed off how hard she has played, reminding them that just because you didn’t see her big game didn’t mean she wasn’t playing one, just that she wasn’t stupid enough to let people see it and paint the target on her back.

With that the jury voted, Jonathan brough the votes back and surprised them that they would be read with their families in attendance, wheeling out Pia’s kids and instantly making Abbey sob. Baden’s mum spoke about how proud of him she is and how much he has grown throughout the game, developing into an adorable little sass monster. Pia’s husband was proud of her and only reaffirmed everything he thinks about her (making Abbey cry) … and hoped that the jury voted the right way.

Jonathan then started reading the votes and they rolled in, one by one for Pia handing her the first unanimous victory of Australian Survivor. While poor Baden stood by with his family. Despite not earning the love of the jury, I firmly believe that Baden played a strong game as playing the middle is truly a difficult strategy – hi Julia – and he used everyone’s perception of him to avoid the target that may come from it. With that, I gave him two hearty thumbs up and toasted to his game with a Baden Sherbert Cocktail.

 

 

While it may look like an innocent little bevvie, like Baden, this sure packs a punch. A little sweet, a little tangy and carrying a nice burn as it goes down, it will have you feeling as spritely as Baden on the monkey bars. Or after standing on those stumps for nearly seven hours.

Enjoy!

 

 

Baden Sherbert Cocktail
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 shots gin
2 shots Cointreau
1 orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
ice
a twist of lime or orange

Method
Combine everything but the twist of citrus in a cocktail shaker and give a hearty shake.

Pour into two glasses.

Garnish.

Down.

 

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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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Danni Floatwrights

Drink, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Guatemala, Sweets

After a blissful week in Byron with Nico and a cruel irony of Liberty-Belle being felled during Pride Week on ANTM, I needed someone far less X-rated and scandalous respectively, to help me celebrate ticking over to sub-two-weeks-left-until-Ghost-Island. And boy was Queen Danni Boatwright the right woman for the job.

As a fellow notable sportscaster and journalist, I knew Danni before her time dominating the irritatingly forgotten season of Guatemala.

While I concur, it did have some wholly unlikable contestants and saw the universally beloved Stephame LaGrossa go from hero to villain (was it solely ignored so she could compete as a hero?), its camps were located in freaking temples and had some amazing contestants worthy of a return. Danni, being one of them.

Rant over.

Kind of … Amy for second chances, damn it.

Despite being on the wrong side of the numbers post-merge, her friendly nature, competitive drive and ability to spot her Hogebooms from her Hawkins, allowed her to seize control of the endgame and murder the most beloved contestant thus far in the final tribal. And it was glorious.

After – spoiler alert – almost returning for Game Changers, Dan has a renewed love for the game and like Tom looks forward to camp-curse LaGrossa making an appearance on Ghost Island, to ruin challenges like the medallion of power … or the everyone gets a prize contestants of San Juan del Sur.

We spent our time gossiping, laughing and plotting all the themes better than the arbitrary ones rolled out in recent years. It was thirsty work, and thankfully I kept the Danni Floatwrights flowing for the duration.

 

 

Does a Root Beer Float call for a recipe, I hear you ask? Screw you … they’re delicious and I make up the rules on this ‘ere website, Manchego Lentox be damned.

Plus … it means it is super easy to follow along at home, meaning you too can feel like part of the A-list.

You’re welcome slash enjoy!

 

 

Danni Floatwrights
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
1-2 scoops vanilla ice cream
375ml can root beer

Method
Scoop ice cream into a highball like you’re Eric Reichenbach.

Slowly pour root beer over said perfectly scooped ice cream

Drank, greedily.

 

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Turkey Tom Westyum

Main, Poultry, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Survivor: Palau

So I’m going to start by going a little off topic, which is so on brand for me that I really shouldn’t have had to say anything. Anyway I was already hitting peak excitement for Survivor’s return in less than three weeks, particularly given I got to reconnect with my dear friend Tom Westman today … and then I started listening to Josh Wigler’s First One Out, and now I’m surprised I haven’t had an aneurysm in anticipation.

Anyway … if you love Survivor, listen to it. If not, ignore the above par and continue on.

I’ve known Tom for years, meeting not long after 9-11. I was starting to fetishise all first responders following their bravery during the attacks, and was working my way through the ladder companies to find me a mans. While Tom ultimately wasn’t won over by my charm and sexuality, he did grow to love me and guided me like a big brother.

As is oft the case, he failed at turning me into a decent person but for some reason, never gave up on me. I repaid the favour by getting him cast on Palau … which earned him a mill, so technically I was a good investment. Fun fact: if he had made it farther on Heroes vs. Villains, I would have been his loved one visit.

Like me, he is hella excited for the new season and hopes that the cursed Stephenie LaGrossa doesn’t have to spend the entire time on Ghost Island, and can at least enjoy some tropical delights while sucking the life – literally – out of one of the tribes.

Was it a kind of dark way for our conversation to go? Sure. But when it comes with a side of Turkey Tom Westyum, how can you be mad?

 

 

Spicy, fresh and healthy – for the sole reason that turkey is healthy, duh – this tom yum, is the tom yum to beat all tom yums. Sorry Tom Yum Everett Scott, this is a winner.

Have I mentioned, tom yum? Enjoy!

 

 

Turkey Tom Westyum
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g turkey mince
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tsp ground ginger
handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
vegetable oil
1 bunch of shallots, trimmed and sliced
1 tbsp tom yum paste
1L chicken stock
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 birdseye chillies, halved
1 tsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
salt and pepper

Method
Combine the turkey mince in a bowl with a clove of garlic, lime zest, ginger and a tablespoon of chopped coriander. Form into balls and place on a lined baking sheet in the fridge to semi-set.

Heat a lug of oil in a large deep frying pan and cook the shallots and remaining garlic for a minute or so. Add the tom yum paste and cook for a further minute. Stir in the stock, lime leaves and chilli and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, gently place the balls in and simmer for fifteen minutes.

Stir through the sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, remaining coriander leaves and a good whack of salt and pepper. Serve immediately and devour, piping hot.

 

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Vecepia Baowery

Main, Poultry, Street Food, Survivor: Marquesas

Just like the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, I’m about to be back, back, back, back, back again on a remote(ish) island in Fiji to cook-up some culinary commiserations for the 19 soon to be losers and 39 days, one sole survivor, of Survivor: Ghost Island. As has now become traditional, I am counting down to the premiere by spending time with past victors. And we’re kicking things off with one of my favourites – Vecepia Towery.

Now hold up – did I desperately want Kathy Vavrick-O’Brien to take out Marquesas? Without a doubt. But does that take away from the low-key brilliance that was Vecepia’s win, the likes of which we had never seen up until that point? No.

I mean, not even the kite flying challenge could diminish my love of the underrated Marquesas.

Not only did Vecepia land on the worst tribe in Survivor history at that point, but she overcame a three-seven disadvantage at the merge to lead (with Sean and Kathy, yes) the first ever shake-up in Survivor, rallying the minority to turn on the majority and overthrow the game. For that alone, you can’t count out Vecepia. Particularly when you take into account the journal she kept, that helped her snatch victory in the fallen comrades challenge.

Anyway, as you should probably have guessed by now, V is one of my dearest friends and I will defend her to the end of the earth. Knowing that, she was thrilled to answer my call and drop-by to honour the 36th season of the show … which Marquesas kind of set up to become what it is.

We laughed, we cried, we strategised about ways to get more people from early seasons brought back for returning player seasons and most importantly, we absolutely annihilated some four-weeks-to-go Vecepia Baowery.

 

 

I love me some bao buns. So, so, much. And these spicy little numbers do nothing to reduce said love. Spicy, sweet and a bun slathered in white creamy goodness? Perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Vecepia Baowery
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
5 garlic cloves, crushed
3cm piece ginger, sliced
3 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 long red chillies, chopped
½ cup Chinese rice wine
⅓ cup dark soy sauce
1L chicken stock
4 chicken thighs
½ cup rice flour
2 tsp Chinese five-spice
vegetable oil
8 buns and the cucumber from Bret LaBao Buns
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
small handful of coriander leaves, to taste
kewpie mayo, to taste

Method
Prep your buns and cucumber as per Bretty’s recipe.

Place the garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, chillies, rice wine, soy and stock in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, reducing heat to low when rollicking. Add the chicken and simmer for twenty minutes or so. Remove and allow to cool before cutting across the thigh into short 1 inch wide strips.

Combine the rice flour and five spice in a bowl and toss through the cooled pieces of chicken to coat. Place enough vegetable oil to fill a pot up to 1cm and place over a high heat. When shimmery and starting to get that weird dancing appearance, reduce heat to medium and add half the chicken, cooking for a couple of minutes – flipping once – until they’re gloriously crisp. Remove to a paper towel and repeat the process.

To assemble, spread open your buns, slather with some kewpie, top with cucumber, capsicum, chicken, more kewpie and some coriander. Devour immediately.

 

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Jericroquettes Malabonga

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

And after 55 days out in the Samoan jungle, we finally have a new sole survivor in the form of Jericho.

He and Tara managed to outwit, outplay and outlast Joan, Adam, Kate, Tarzan, Aimee, Sam, Mark, Jacqui – yes this is a shameless plug for all our other recipes – Kent, AK, Ben, Odette, Jarrad, Anneliese, Henry, Tessa – yep, still going – Sarah, Luke, Ziggy, Locky, Michelle and Pete, to battle it out in the final tribal council.

While his performance at final tribal was – like night and day with last year’s champ Kristie’s – rather subpar, Luke’s going into bat for him and Henry pushing him to get fiery were enough to hand him a win for a game well played.

I mean, sure, I am shook to see that sometimes nice guys do win after he worked his ass off around camp to provide for his tribe, single-handedly tried to save his tribe from crushing defeat and made some hilariously ridiculous metaphors to give people a laugh … I assume. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he did get pretty villainous on his way to the prize.

Now it is quite awkward, but Jericho and I aren’t the best of friends after he restrained me on a flight for “drunk and disorderly behaviour,” so I wasn’t thrilled to see him out in Samoa, let alone taking out the win … but he did manage to win me over while we shared his victorious Jericroquettes Malabonga.

 

 

It could be said that croquettes are quite simple, but there is no denying that they’re delicious and definitely have more than meets the eye. Plus – potato, bacon and cheese. How do you go wrong?

Congratulations on your victory Jericho – enjoy!

 

 

Jericroquettes Malabonga
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
5 potatoes, cooked, mashed and cooled
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced, fried and – you guessed it – cooled
2 eggs
3 shallots, thinly sliced
½ cup plain flour
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 ½ cups panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup milk
salt and pepper

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mashed potato, bacon, 1 egg, shallots, half the flour and the mozzarella in a bowl. Divide into 10 balls – I like a big fat croquette – and roll into a sausage shape.

Place the remaining flour in a bowl, with the remaining egg whisked with the milk in another and some seasoned breadcrumbs in another. Roll the croquettes in the flour, followed by the egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined baking tray, chuck it in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and devour immediately, with some Spicy TomaJones Sauce.

 

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Chilli con Tarane Pittza

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Pizza, Snack, TV Recap

After sending Peter out of the game to become the final juror, our final two awoke on the final day shocked and excited to have made it to the end and potentially hours away from being a hell of a lot richer. They then arrived at treemail to discover the final two breakfast, rather than cookies or lollies.

As they cooked the feast, Jericho shared his childhood growing up poor in the Philippines and spoke about being underestimated the entire game. He then outlined his entire game, using Luke as a meatshield, using the cookies to build alliances and avoided receiving votes until day 52. On the flipside, Tara spoke about her journey being voted out of Samatau – and saved by a twist – and somehow surviving her way through 21 tribal councils. They then packed up the camp and got quite emotional to be leaving the place they’ve called home for eight weeks … before heading off to the final tribal council.

Jonathan gave Jericho and Tara a quick rundown of how final tribal council plays out before they delivered their open statements. Tara spoke about how terrified she was by her competitors on day one and she knew that her social game was the only thing that could save her. She outlined how she spoke to everyone to keep her options open while riding her shield Locky, before slaying him and not taking the easy vote at the final four. Jericho then congratulated everyone on their gameplay before telling everyone he wasn’t as lovable as they assumed, with his usual eloquence. He then referred to his cookies as a shield before I started having horrific Amanda Kimmel final tribal bombing flashbacks.

Queen Michelle kicked off the festivities by congratulating the final two on sitting there – savage – before asking them to each point out their biggest move in the game. Tara singled out the Locky vote as her greatest achievement, orchestrating the boot while allowing her enough time to prove she could survive without him. Jericho’s big move was the cookie alliance. Amanda, can you hear me?

Anneliese was next, giving Jericho the chance to defend himself for riding Luke’s coattails. Once again, he gave a delightful metaphor about riding Luke like Santa in a sleigh, meaning he was whipping Luke to get him to do what he needs. She point blank told Tara that Jericho was currently above her in her mind, and questioned why she chose to save Jericho at the final four. Once again Tara clearly explained that she felt Jericho deserved to be in the finals … and knew that she needed someone strong in the challenges to battle Pete and carry her to final tribal.

Locky – still clothed – then congratulated Tara on getting him out of the game before asking Jericho if their swim in the deep water was truly personal, or just a game. Jericho told him it was his highlight of his time, and Locky deemed it enough. Ziggy then asked each of them to explain why the other deserved to win the game, which highlighted nothing more than the fact both of them aren’t very good at explaining their games but damn can they talk up their pal.

King of the Jury Jarrad arrived to talk smack about his whiny underlings before asking Jericho where his game went wrong, if he loses tonight. Thankfully he said that booting Tessa from the jury was what scares him the most. Finally adding some interest to the affair, Jarrad warned Jericho that like the merge vote, Jarrad would be underlining his vote to send a message to him. May the odds be ever in your favour, mwahahahaha.

Sarah then got involved, telling Jericho he played a skittish, confusing game before reminding Jericho that he let her, as a cat, drown. She then pointed out that he constantly contradicts himself, and asked him to explain himself better. Which he did not. Next up was Luke as the clouds opened up, dumping rain on everyone as he went in to bat for his friend. Kinda. Saying Jericho kinda deserves credit for some of their moves.

Peter arrives, terrifying Tara, before asking her the gentle question of what she did while still hiding under Locky’s wing. Sadly she outlined getting rid of AK, which happened after she was voted out of her tribe. Peter then asked Jericho to give him three words

Henry then fired up and rolled out his crazy eyes before announcing that he wasn’t a yoga instructor. He then asked Tara when she started playing the game, which she stupidly said was day 49. This pissed Henry off, so he cut her off and succinctly outlined her gameplay for the jury. He then tore into Jericho for his wishy-washy decision making, and booting Tessa from the jury despite the fact she said she wouldn’t vote for Tara … and then took Tara to the end. Jericho then seemed to get some fire, and defended his game and spoke about being proud of having Henry’s blood on his hands.

One by one the jury went out to vote before Jonathan dropped the bomb that unlike last year he wouldn’t be reading the votes on the island, instead taking them back to read in Australia VIA BOAT TO SYDNEY HARBOUR. YAS BISH, YAAAAAASSSSSS.

After some brief chit-chat, JLP got down to the business of crowning our winner. The votes rolled in for Jericho, followed by a second Jericho and a trio of Tara’s before a trio of Jericho’s handed him the win and the title of sole survivor. While Tara couldn’t convince the jury she deserved the title, she did play an extremely strong, flexible game and more than earned her place as the runner-up and a big fat, congratulatory Chilli con Tarane Pittza.

 

 

I have such warm memories of being fascinated by the kitsch ‘90s-ness of a Mexican Pizza. I mean, sure, spicy mince, bean and capsicum are delicious. But pile on some sour cream, guacamole and stab it with chips and you’ve got a hilarious pizza party.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chilli con Tarane Pittza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
passata and italian herbs, for the aforementioned bases
½ batch Chilli Con Kim Carnes
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 avocado, mashed
corn chips, hot sauce and sour cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Then prepare the Chilli as per Kimmy’s instructions – remember when she started it all? Such an innocent time.

Smear the dough with the passata and italian herbs, heap on chilli, splay with capsicums and cover with cheese. Bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Dollop the mashed avocado in the centre, spear with some corn chips and serve with some hot sauce and sour cream.

Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Kristie Belette

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Say what you will about Kristie’s game, her journey from a paranoid Abi-Maria-lite meltdown on day two, to Samoan sea-witch that laid low to dodge the vote at twenty tribal councils is an impressive feat.

I mean sure, a game littered with big moves is far more exciting for the audience at home – amirite Ciera? – but Kristie was playing with a group largely dominated by castaways like Lee who had barely seen the show and labelled anyone that was actually playing a snake and immediately turned on them. Her only real option was to ride it out being underestimated for as long as should could before making the moves she needed to end up in the Final Two.

And given that she ended up in the Final Two, you’ve got to give her credit despite the large amount of luck involved in her game.

Plus, what she did with her slot in the finals was fascinating to watch. As Lee fumbled and was unsure of what to do, Kristie put her 16 years of watching the show to good use and took responsibility for her game and was assertive and eloquent in explaining why she played the best game given the cards she was dealt.

And thankfully the jury – minus El, obviously – rewarded her for the effort as she was crowned Sole Survivor.

Obviously I have been friends with Kristie for a couple of years, after meeting at an occult convention and eventually starting a wildly unsuccessful witches coven. But maybe that is because I was serving us ritualistic Kristie Belettes which are far more fitting as a victory dessert, rather than an offering to the gods.

 

kristie-belette-1

 

Like island living, this dessert is the perfect, rustic treat to serve to someone who would need to acclimate back into real life. You can pretty much make this using any combination of fruit you like or switching out the nuts but there is something I love about the earthy pecans, working with the sweet apple and tart blueberry.

It almost feels, triumphant – enjoy!

 

kristie-belette-2

 

Kristie Belette
Serves: 1 Sole Survivor, or 6-8 normal peeps.

Ingredients
½ cup pecans, lightly toasted
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp raw caster sugar for dough, ¼ cup for fruit mixture, plus more for dusting
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 cups blueberries
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
1 tbsp cornflour
1½ tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp milk

Method
Blitz pecans in a food processor to make a coarse meal. Add in the flour, 2 tsp sugar, salt and cinnamon and blitz briefly to mix. Then add butter and you guessed it, blitz again until it resembles wet sand. Kinda like Aganoa after the wave washed out their camp on night one?

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add in some ice cold water – a tablespoon at a time – and mix until it just comes together. Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling wrap and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

While the oven is adding some heat to your life, combine the blueberries, apple, cornflour, lemon juice and ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl. Set aside.

Roll out the dough between two layers of baking paper until it is about a half a centimetre thick disc. Transfer to a lined baking sheet – or you know, flip one of the baking sheets you used to roll the dough over onto said sheet – mound the blueberry-apple mixture in the centre of the dough, leaving a 5cm edge which you then fold over in a rustic fashion, to ensure Kristie isn’t too uncomfortable by the high class of my baking after just escaping the jungle.

Brush said rustic fold with milk, sprinkle with sugar and bake until it is browned and crisp, with a molten berry centre aka 40 minutes. And I say browned, rather than golden because I clearly burnt this. What are you gonna do when you’re sipping mai tais while baking every other day in paradise?

Allow to cool slightly and devour. If it is warm, devour with ice cream – why not, she is our winner after all?

 

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