Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, Snack, Street Food

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, 15 girls moved into Model Manor in the Hollywood Hills with the hope of following in India Gants’ footsteps and becoming America’s Next Top Model. One by one the girls went home, starting with Maggie and followed by Ivana, Liz, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Brendi K, Erin and Rio.

After once again being saved from getting the chop, Jeana remained in the final four who were then tasked with going to casting with the dastardly Philipp Plein. Despite surviving the casting relatively unscathed – compared to Khrystyana who he likened to a horse and forced to have an emotional breakdown – poor Shanice arrived at the Paper shoot to discover that based on her performance, the judges would be eliminating her immediately.

The girls shon to various degrees during the shoot, progressing to the final runway where poor Khrystyana couldn’t get out of her head. She was better off than the girl that was partnered with Jeana, however, who was abandoned at the end of the runway. In any event, Khrystyana was tragically felled in third – like the robbed-Goddess Shangela before her – and after a brief reading from the judges Jeana was handed the runners-up crown and Kyla proved that nice gals don’t finish last, snatching the title of America’s Next Top Model.

Like Tyra and the judges, Kyla grew on me week after week as she grew, blossomed and routinely stood up for herself against the tyranny of Rio and Jeana. While Khrystyana was obviously my favourite, Kyla hit her stride at exactly the right time, killing the Pantene and Paper shoots which is essentially a ticket to victory. That alone is worthy of a delightful Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas.

 

 

Hot and spicy, deliciously smokey and packing the punch of manchego, these quesadillas are almost as light, sweet and vivacious – not that one – as the new queen that is Kyla.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
250g hot chorizo sausage, cut into discs
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
300g manchego cheese, grated
12 tortillas
olive oil, for brushin’

Method
Heat a skillet over high heat and cook the chorizos for a minute or two, or until the oil has started to leak out and your kitchen is hella fragrant. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To assemble, place a tortilla on a workspace, sprinkle with cheese, top with the meaty, oniony, mushrooms and top with another sprinkle of cheese before placing another tortilla on top. Repeat the process until you’re out of tortillas.

Bring a clean, dry skillet to heat over a medium heat. Once scorching, brush with some olive oil and fry a quesadilla for a couple of minutes, or until browned and crisp. Flip and cook for a further couple of minutes. Repeat the process until done.

Devour, immediately.

 

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Indian Shants

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra brought all the girls back – well except for quitters Liz and Brendi K – to compete for the chance to return to the competition. Yes – all the girls … minus those two. I’m talking Maggie, Ivana, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Erin and even Jeana returned to take the place of one of the girls. Rio slowly unravelled throughout the entire episode, taking a horrible photo and finding herself out of the competition and replaced by her friend turned foe Jeana.

We arrived back at the model house where it was time for Kyla, Shanice and Khrystyana to celebrate arriving in the true final four. I assume, not really caring which of the demon twins was joining them. While they were a solidified, friendly unit, they had interest in Jeana and her attitudes return. Given she vowed to be savage upon her return, I still don’t blame them. Shanice then shared that she let herself down last week and had kind of just given up, though was galvanised to work through the final challenges and make something of herself and do her family proud. Khrystyana then spoke about how much she loves and needs her mother, how proud she wanted to make her and damnit, girl – I’m crying! She then couldn’t share that she had been molested as a child and broke down and damn, I can’t.

The next day the models were summoned to a carnival, or so they thought … it was actually a shoot for Pantene. The girls were given four different products – a foam, moisturising conditioner, a speedy miracle and a volumising conditioner for Jeana’s human hair wigs – and tasked with styling and directing their own shoot. Jeana then selected a wig that looked exactly like Khrystyana’s hair, before styling her make-up the same way and using the same props. But she is sweet yo, and is too busy to notice. Kyla slayed her ethereal shoot, as did an adorably bossy Khrystyana, Shanice relied on props similar to the queens Michelle hates that rely on their body and Jeana, well, thought she did well but kinds just looked dead.

The top four were then tasked with selecting their best photo where Kyla struggled as she couldn’t sell the product to herself and felt like she failed. They then delivered their photos to the client, where they were all praised … except for Kyla, who Pantene had wished selected a photo with the feather. Ultimately Khrystyana continued her dominance, winning the challenge and given a secret reward to share with the girl of her choosing. She chose Kyla, FYI.

Back at the house Jeana continued her reign of terror, laying into Kyla for talking like a baby while lamenting her confusion about the point of the challenge. Thankfully the editors are shady as hell and cut to Khrystyana talking about how proud she is off her dominance and how desperately she wants to stop Jeana from getting any further. Even Shanice complaining about her psoraiacis being more difficult than Jeana donning a wig, looked tame compared to Jeana being a demon.

The next day the girls were surprised by the arrival of Kyla and Khrystyana’s mothers. While the former immediately put her mother to work making beds and cleaning the house, Khrystyana took her mother aside to finally share with her about her molestation. Her mother was sweet and fiercely protective and it was all beautiful.

After the mother’s disappeared, the final for four arrived at their editorial shoot for the week promoting the same products from earlier. Better yet, the winning shot would ultimately form part of their prize and become a campaign for Pantene. Backstage Khrystyana was feeling confident until she noticed that once again Jeana had selected the same hair colour as her again. And based off the side-eye Jeana kept throwing, it was completely deliberate and she is the absolute worst.

Khrystyana went first and absolutely slayed the shoot – and vowed to outshine Jeana, which duh, she will – until Jeana walked over and played mind games while mimicking her entire shoot like a deranged psycho. Kyla was up next and powered through her long neck, and completely embodied the Pantene personality and looked beautiful. Shanice finally got her makeover look and looked stunning. That in turn gave her confidence and she looked great albeit terrified. Thankfully wicked Jeana struggled through the shoot, desperate to bring sex to the shoot rather than the everywoman look of Pantene. She however loved it, making me uber excited for her second fall.

At panel Shanice quickly got to work thirsting over guest judge Philipp Plein before Tyra dropped the bomb that he joined the panel to help select which girls would go on to become the final three and walk in his runway as the final challenge. While Shanice looked beautiful in her shot, the judges couldn’t agree whether it was a good or bad photo. Jeana was universally despised and was read for being way too sexy. Well except for Philipp Plein who just came off as thirsty. Kyla absolutely slayed and looked like a box for hair dye, while Khrystyana looked sexy though was able to overcome it because of the innocence she brought to it. Ultimately, Kyla took out best photo, followed by Khrystyana leaving Shanice and Jeana to fight for the last slot in the final runway. Thank f- Tyra handed the final photo to Shanice, eliminating Jeana from the competition again …

Oh, wait! Nope. Philipp Plein’s boner save Jeana yet again, earning her a free ticket to the final show. Though obviously she will get a fourth place finish, right? RIGHT.

Conveniently I was watching the episode with the current reigning top model and my dear friend India Gants, so you don’t have to go without a recipe. You’re welcome. India was a stand out last season with her down-to-earth personality, kindness and ability to take insane pictures. As such, she and I are backing a win by Khrystyana next week … though wouldn’t discount Kyla taking it out after slaying Pantene. Jeana is dead in the water, obvi, and Shanice is a winner just by making the top three. It was exhausting catching-up, running the odds and plotting the next in her career, so it was lucky I had a big vat of Indian Shants ready to go.

 

 

Spicy, hot and completely soothing, this rich curry is the best – and dare I say it, only – way to eat shanks. The meat crumbles, the curry burns and the raita cures all that ails ya’ – perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Indian Shants
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
4 lamb shanks
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves
3 dried chillies
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cinnamon quills
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp hot curry powder
400g crushed tomatoes
400ml coconut milk
500ml chicken stock
rice, Joe Manngo Chutney, fresh coriander and yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Place a dutch oven over medium high heat with a good lug of oil. Once nice and hawt, season the shanks to taste and seal the meat for about five minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to rest.

Reduce heat to low and cook the onion for a couple of minutes, or until just starting to get translucent.  Add the cloves, chillies, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, cumin, coriander and curry powder and cook for a minute to release the flavours. Stir through the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and stock, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, add the shanks, add water until they are just covered – you may not need any – cover and place in the oven to simmer for two hours.

Once your entire house smells glorious, remove from the oven and transfer the shanks to a plate and keep warm. Place the dutch oven over a medium heat on the stove and cook until the sauce has reduced.

Serve the shanks immediately on a bed of rice, slathered generously in sauce, yoghurt/raita, chutney and coriander.

Devour.

 

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Todd Herzongola & Mushroom Arancini

Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: China, Tapas

Can you believe that the premiere of Survivor is five days away? Well you better, because it is … and I am bursting out of my skin with excitement. After kicking off my countdown with past champs Vecepia, Tom and Danni, I knew there was only one person I could have over to round things out – my boy Todd Herzog!

Todd has had an extremely well publicised battle with alcoholism over the last couple of years (which was subsequently taken advantage of by Dr. Phil), but I’m pleased to say that unlike me, he is doing really well. And it filled me with such joy to see him, happy and healthy.

And ready to welcome another person into the winner’s circle.

As you may have assumed, I played a large role in Todd’s problem, always wanting to give him one more drink … but thankfully he hasn’t held that against me and we’ve been able to maintain our close friendship.

Todd truly is an icon of Survivor and, in my not at all humble opinion, is one of the best winners and gave one of the best final tribal performances of all time. Let’s be honest, the jury wanted one of the girls to win before Todd schooled them, and charmed his way to a million dollars.

If it isn’t already abundantly clear, I love Todd and desperately want him to return when he is well enough.

Anyway, we laughed, we cried and we ran the odds on who we want to win (heart, Jacob) and who we think will win (please Wendell or Kellyn). As is always the case here, I found it to be extremely hunger inducing, so whipped us up a batch of Todd Herzongola & Mushroom Arancini.

 

 

Now I love me some arancini … but when they taste like this, how could you not? The creamy risotto, the woody mushroom and the whack of the gorgonzola. These babies are heavenly.

Enjoy!

 

 

Todd Herzongola & Mushroom Arancini
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
250 mixed mushrooms, finely chopped
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry vermouth
⅔ cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
150g gorgonzola, diced

Method
Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer. Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sweat for 5 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the mushies and cook for a further five minutes, or until soft before adding the rice. Stir for a couple of minutes, or until the rice starts to get translucent around the edges.

Stir through the vermouth, followed by half a cup of the warm stock and stir until the liquid has just all absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat the process until it is all gone, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the parmesan and seasonings, and stir to combined. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place the breadcrumbs in one bowl, the flour in another and whisk the egg and milk in another. With wet hands, take 1-2 cup of risotto in your hands, form a ball while squeezing out all the air. Form a whole in the centre, press the gorgonzola inside, enclose and roll. Repeat until they’re all done.

When you’re ready to crumb, roll each arancini in flour, followed by egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour.

 

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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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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.

 

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.